72 Burpees. 2 Major Complaints.

I almost didn’t do it
, so comfortable was I in my leopard pajamas and furry slippers, reading the thoroughly delightful cookbook Bought, Borrowed, Stolen, with Smudge in my lap and a cup of Honeybush Hazelnut tea in my hand.

But then I thought of all of you.


The first 20 burpees felt just fine, thank you very much. I actually felt-thought, Wheeee! This is fun. I’m flying. The remainder of the time was a huffing, puffing misery. I didn’t care for the way I could feel my roundish belly peeking over the waistband of my pants (Can’t waist seconds pulling them up! Keep moving, you big baby!), nor did I appreciate the one wisp of hair over my right ear that insisted on coming loose from my braid.

7 minutes. 72 burpees.

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  • Kelly says:

    Great job Mel! That challenge was no fun -72 is nothing to be ashamed of (ESP after time off)!

  • Harm says:

    Nice job!! Good score!

  • Sonya says:

    I got 72 also! I’ve taken a LOT of time off recently too. I’m not even officially registered for the Open. Dealing with a raging head cold which has been lingering for the past 10 days. I’m pretty stoked about those 72. I found the same- first 20 flew! And then I hit a wall.

  • Alicia says:

    My hero, you are.

  • Love that im not the only one who blogged about this burpee experience! Congrats on 72! Finishing at 74, i totally felt your pain! Until next week…cheers!

  • SnazzyGina says:

    I also got 72 and I was pretty darn happy with that score. Burpees are something I have sucked at for a long time. I give a LOT of credit to my new and improved physical appearance and my improvement in burpees to your cookbook and blog. You inspired me to do my first Whole30 a year ago. A year later I have stuck with it and I’m down 11 lbs and 5% bodyfat. I can also squat clean, jerk, deadlift and snatch more than I ever thought possible.
    72 burpees is insanely good, my friend. I told a few friends of mine about doing 7 minutes of burpees and they said, “well, I guess I can’t complain about a minute of burpees at boot camp anymore….” 😉
    Thank you so much for your blog and for being such a HUGE inspiration!

    • Mel says:

      Gina, you are snazzy, indeed! Congratulations on your awesome badassery. What a year you’ve had. Fantastic!

      Thank you so much for commenting and being part of our crew.

  • J.Marshall says:

    You. Are. A. MACHINE. Honestly, I can’t even BEGIN to imagine doing ONE burpee. I looked it up on youtube…yikes.

  • Esther says:

    Same hair problem for me! I had to yell for one of the non-participants to grab me a bobby pin; I just couldn’t handle it hitting my eye every time I jumped for the ring. I managed to squeeze our 91… crazy in me wants to redo it so that I can see how I would have done without the hair stop. Great job!!

  • Hi Mel.
    One word.
    You are a machine.
    I can’t even imagine doing 70 burpees in a row myself, but fitting them in 7 MINUTES seems impossible for me.
    Tried. Did 44 reps only.
    Will practice.
    I promise.
    I will get better.
    Thank you for inspiring me 😀
    Love you 😀


  • Tom R. says:

    Back. In. The. Game.

  • Linda says:

    Congrats! You showed up and totally kicked some Burpee butt!

  • lydia says:

    Wow, 7 minutes – good job!

  • 72, great work! I did 76. I’ll be doing next week’s Games WOD at CF Austin. Let’s hope it’s more pleasant than burpees. 😉

  • De23 says:

    Congrats! 72 is a great score!

    I’m not signed up for the Open either, but in my new-found determination this week I went to the gym this morning and did burpees with everyone else. 61. Actually better than I thought I would do, having done virtually no exercise whatever for 4 weeks. My gym owner, woman-of-awesomeness that she is, got 102.

    I had forgotten how much I missed the gym atmosphere and the encouragement. And we stayed for the kids class where they did 2 min burpees. My offspring got 18 and 19. One of the boys so so cute – “I’m Super Burpee Man!”

  • Lynne says:

    I noticed that your report is lacking information on your promised “Yay, Burpees!” audible chant. It’s okay. No one expected that part anyway!

    At 72 burpees, you did yourself proud. Congratulations. I know how daunting donning that cold workout gear can be – especially when sporting cozy leopard jammies.

  • In retrospect, my “I did 76” must sounds quite “I did better than you.” Not my intention. Just wanted to say, I was in the same ballpark (and it sucked, hard). Apologies for any perceived douchebaggery.

    • Mel says:

      Not at all! I LOVE hearing about others’ success and that’s what CrossFit is all about: sharing our numbers and being inspired and supported by each other. But you are very cool to come back and re-comment. Thanks!

      For the record… I did that damn 7 minutes, then went to yoga, ate some eggs, and took a HARD nap for an hour. Sleep of the righteous. Love that!

  • Kristie says:

    Open 12.1 was my re-introduction to CrossFit after having my son (he’s 8 months old now…). What a way to get back in the game! 67 reps for me. I did waste time pulling my pants up, which were too big (thanks to my Whole30 v1!), but I can’t say that I would have moved any faster without those breaks – I kind of needed them! But my goal was 50 so I’m kind of stoked. 🙂

    Nice job with 72!! I really don’t think I could have eeked out 5 more.

    • Mel says:

      Congrats on your triumphant return!

      My plan was to do 25, then 5 breaths, then sets of 10 with 5 breaths in between… but at some point, the “sets of 10” changed into “sets of 5.”

      Ugly. But DONE!

  • Kate says:

    I did 72…too. I was aiming for 70, so I’m feeling pretty good about it. Great job, Mel – and kudos on being able to focus all your energy on non-corporate overlords’ activities!

  • Annie says:

    I’m with you ‘Buck those Furpees’ at 3 minutes to go i wanted to collapse on the floor like a starfish but my judge kept yelling at me to keep going which was great…I only managed 52…

  • Ashlee says:

    I just passed out, almost threw up and passed out again from reading this because I “used” to do burpees in my regular work out. but after coming back to and re-reading this again, I’m adding them back nex week because in a month or so I want to do a 7 min challenge! RAWRRRRRR!!

    • Mel says:


      No lie: I came into my office after the seven minutes and my breathing was so loud, I had to turn up the music. And I drank, like, 4 glasses of water like I’d just crossed a desert.

  • ms jane says:

    I conveniently forget to include burpees in my workouts but you’ve inspired me Mel. 72! I can’t imagine…Although I once did 108 backbends in a yoga class (108 is an auspicious number) and almost threw up at the end! Good on ya xxx

    • Mel says:

      HA! “Yoga til you puke” is surprising, isn’t it?! There’s one painful, vicious quad stretch we do sometimes on Saturdays that TOTALLY makes me feel like I’m going to barf the whole time we’re doing it.

  • Tluna68 says:

    I did 72 also! 🙂 I too give you and your cookbook credit. 🙂
    For not only my 72 burpees. but also my slimmer waist and my more organized kitchen. Yay burpees!

  • Txrowergirl says:

    72 rocks- Way to go!! Thanks for posting the breaking muscle video, after a 4 month hiatus, I was recently started doing the “bad form” burpee thinking I was conserving energy on long burpee workouts. but followed their advice and rocked out 75 good form (at least to me)burpees! I have to admit it sucked after 10 and I was at sets of 3 for I don’t know how long. thanks for all you do to motivate us!

    • Mel says:

      Right on! 75 is awesome! I was super secretly hoping I could get to 77, but it wasn’t meant to be.

      I started with 25, then did sets of 10, then eventually dropped to sets of 5/3, too. Brutal.

  • Melissa M says:

    Nice job! I eked out 70, which I was mostly ok with since my goal was the 50-75 range. Pacing was definitely key on this workout… I saw a lot of people burn themselves out in the first minute or two.

  • Thanks for sharing your results, love your honesty it really inspired me to be transparent about my results also. I shot for 80, didn’t get it but it encouraged me to know where other women (who I respect!!) stand. I got 72 also (had 4 misses on the target boo)

    • Mel says:

      I got off easy because I didn’t have a target over my head… but I’m not officially in the Open, so my goal was to just move-move-move for the full 7 minutes.

  • Charlotte Rayburn says:

    I also got 72 and my husband was doing the judging. At some point he yelled, “leave your hair alone, deep breath and go!” So I understand your hair pain too.

  • Eberle says:

    You are stronger than you thought. That rest probably did you some good. Seems like the jist of us here in north Florida boxes have had the flu so the Burpee Apocalypse could not have come at a worse time. I, too, got 72 and considered going again but then thought, there are no redo’s in competition, what you score is what you get and even if I’d done 30 more, I would not have made the top 100 women so the fact that I got to join 55,000 other athletes in suffering through it is satisfaction enough. I want to leave you with a quote from my friend Billy Goodson who works out at World Camp CrossFit, he posted this this morning. Great Job MEL!
    To all my fellow crossfit open competitors, I’d like to ask you take this day after then end of our first open WOD to reflect a moment. No matter how your scores panned out, remember why we all started our crossfit journey. For me I was at a place where I was not happy with my physical state or health. i never started crossfit with any inclination of competition, or world championships. It was simply, honestly, desperation. Nothing else had worked. Over a year later I find myself stressing over a workout for 3 days, then stressing over my score for 3 more, then being upset when I dropped outside the top one hundred in the WORLD! Really?

    That tells me one thing.

    I’ve already won.

    Everything from here on out is gravy.
    Keep in mind we are all winners. Keep in mind you are the same athlete the day of the open wod that you are the day before and after, although your intensity may not be the same.
    For myself I’m going to try to enjoy the competition. I’m done stressing. I’m done with worrying about expectations. My own and those of others. If I have the ability it will show through my efforts. If I don’t I will have a new baseline to push past.
    Remember this is our enjoyment
    Let’s not make it a job.
    Remember crossfit billy loves ya….Now lets have fun. You all rock!!

    Eberle <3

  • Geri Lynn says:

    Cross fit is entirely new to me, so new that i’m just reading about it lol… so I had to google what a burpee was, and OMG SEVENTY TWO OF THEM??? WOW!!! I must start doing these. I’m afraid I’ll throw up though LOL! 🙂 Baby steps, right? 🙂

    • Mel says:

      My advice is to start with sets of 5, nice and slow, with a focus on form. Burpees are a great full-body exercise, but that also makes them very demanding.

      Try one!

      Then string 5 together, slowly.

      Then rest for 10-20 seconds, and do it again.

      Have fun!

  • Kelly R. says:

    72 is AWESOME!

    By default (and disappointment) I did this WOD twice. I had a momentary lapse in judgement to go through the torture once and go back for more the very next day. My affiliate (Big ups CF Minneapolis!) did the Open workout on Saturday. I wasn’t pleased with my original score of 63.

    I blamed my score on a lot of distractions, including my tank top falling down (no one needs to see me have a wardrobe malfunction)and my headband falling off. Surely, it could not have been my lungs straining for air to blame.

    When the gym programmed the WOD for Sunday, I decided to give it another go. This time I tested my tank top and headband in the living room before hitting the gym. No excuses.

    I won’t lie, day 2 was worse than day 1. My legs were spent by the last 30. But, my final total was 70!

    • Mel says:

      Oh, man! I can’t believe you did this two days in a row. You are made of tough stuff.

      Congrats on improving your score — that’s totally badass. And I love very much that your first day was hindered by a wardrobe malfunction, like any headline-worthy celebrity 🙂

  • Katee says:

    We did this workout on Saturday! I shot for 50 and got 56! Even better! I just started Crossfit in January, jumped in with both feet (so to speak). Did the 6 week Paleo/Zone Challenge that was going on as well. And ya know what? I lost 7 pounds and feel great! Got your book and am loving it! Thanks for being such a great outlet for everyone to share their accomplishments! Crazy Crossfitter in Colorado and loving it!

    • Mel says:

      WOOT! Way to surpass your goal. That’s so great — and congrats on your Paleo success, too. You must be feeling so good… that’s fantastic!

  • Cecilia Foltz says:

    Good for you!! I par-took in the bucking furpees challenge as well, might as well since I did sign up for the open and all. -7 minutes of my life. +95 burpees.

    Nice job everyone!! WOD 12.2 here we come!

  • Jay says:

    Hey Mel, love reading your blog!! my most recent run through 7 minutes of fun is 109 I really enjoy this WOD,I find it both mentally and physically demanding I try to do it ever 2-3 weeks…am I twisted if I say I look forward to it 🙂