So, between 40 and 50 years old, mountain biker weighing about 90kg. No problems doing 100km on an MTB on or off terrain in reasonably quick time frames. Recently (couple of weeks ago) started doing burpees daily. Proper form, full press-up and jump, and initially felt like I was dying doing more than 5 or 6 of them in a set. Am now able to do about 25 in a set before literally feeling unable to jump or breathe properly. I will then go on to finish 30 after a minute pause.

Is this acceptable progress? I am a little discouraged to note that many people on the internet talk of doing 100 burpees in a single set as though it was not a problem, and apparently with no previous experience of doing burpees. Is that level of progress too low, that I should be looking at some possible problem, eg: diet etc?

  • what do you want to achieve with those burpees? – Danil Gholtsman Nov 24 '17 at 11:35
  • So far I have achieved a number of things, such as a feeling of increased power, better posture and more upper body strength. What I want to do is just more of the same. Just more burpees. – Sentinel Nov 24 '17 at 19:28
  • Well, I think it's really good amount of burpees which one you got. I can't perform even 10 burpees without my breathing screwed up so I can't do more - and it really makes me feel exausted (even thou I tought that I, in good shape, almost 2 years straight of gym sessions). So I decided to not doing this burpees at all, maybe it could be bad for hearth. – Danil Gholtsman Nov 28 '17 at 10:02
  • Forgot to mention I'm 24yo – Danil Gholtsman Nov 28 '17 at 10:02
  • @Danil - it seems that different people respond to this exercise in dramatically different ways. It could be interesting and of general use to investigate why this is. – Sentinel Nov 28 '17 at 15:10

In general this seems like good progress for burpees. I generally take everything people say about their results on the internet with a grain of salt. Burpees are a particularly problematic one because people have different definitions of what good form is.

I doubt anyone other than the highest level of athletes could easily do 100 burpees without significant preparation. The idea behind an exercise like burpees is that they work out the whole body including core, legs, and shoulders as well as good cardio without too great an impact on joints. As a result they tend to be difficult for any athlete regardless of fitness level. All bodyweight exercises are going to continue to be difficult because as you gain muscle you will weigh more.

With burpees, like any other exercise, you will have large initial gains and then gains will slowly increase. All I can say is keep working on it and make sure you have sufficient protein intake and calorie intake.

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