Burpee Legs, Baby

Saturday morning, I woke up in just enough time to squeeze in a little Backyard Workout before heading off to Hatha Star yoga. Even though I haven’t done CrossFit regularly since last November (!), I’ve started secretly stalking the CrossFit Austin web site again to read their WODs and imagine myself doing them. It’s kind of like flipping through non-paleo cookbooks just to daydream about eating battered-fried-cheese-covered-la-la-la — except that my research on hormones and personal experience seem to indicate that it’s OK for me to do a very short metcon once in a while… and it will never be OK to eat a battered-fried-cheese-covered-la-la-la.

At 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, I suited up:
New, heavy-duty workout bra in place? Check.

Heart rate monitor strapped on? Check.

iPhone in armband for proper tune-age? Check.

This was the WOD:
1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 10, 10-minute cutoff

box jumps, 20″ box
1-arm dumbbell snatch, 15#

And this is what my legs looked like after making it through 8 rounds before the 10-minute timer beeped:

Five Cool Things About This Workout

1. I got dirty!
Sure, walking is nice and pleasant and good for me and all that jazz — but getting dirty is fun! Plus, it makes you look badass. And y’all know I like nothing more than pretending to be a badass. I LOVE TO GET DIRTY DOING A BACKYARD WORKOUT! Second on my list of CrossFit badges of honor is sweat angels, and I’m glad to report I also left some mighty sweat marks on the wooden deck in our backyard.

2. It’s completely scaleable.
This is one of those workouts that can be scaled for just about anybody. These are basic moves that can be modified without losing intensity. Burpees too tough? Move slower or turn ’em into sprawls. Can’t do box jumps yet? Replace the jumps with step ups. Dumbbells too heavy? Lower the weight or replace the 1-arm snatch with a PVC pipe snatch with both arms. (Disclosure: The RX for the WOD was 20# dumbbells but since I’ve been away from CrossFit for almost a year, I dropped back to 15#. My ego was whining, but my brain knew that was the right move.)

3. It’s a smart 10 minutes.
Ten minutes of full throttle is plenty of hard work for most of us, i.e., mere mortals who want to be superheroes once in a while. And those ten minutes are packed with explosive, full-body moves that are challenging enough to be engaging (engaging enough to be challenging?!) without being overwhelmingly hard.

4. It’s fun.
I know burpees aren’t most peoples’ idea of fun, but here’s the thing: Even at its worst (best?!), this workout only requires a maximum of 10 burpees in a row. These numbers are manageable enough that most people can probably knock ’em out unbroken — which makes it fun… and makes it smart because it’s possible to keep moving the entire time. No interim breaks needed. Plus, I still feel like a champ when I do box jumps. It’s been almost four years since I conquered my fear of box jumps, but I still feel really thrilled every time I kill ’em in a WOD.

5. It’s a great benchmark workout.
I only made it through the eight rounds this time, but I’ve got my eye on the full ten. My plan is to tackle this WOD again in eight weeks to see how I’ve improved.

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  • Ali says:

    I like that WOD! Going to have to give it a try this weekend. Our box (CF701, Fargo) did Barbells for Boobs this weekend. Grace is a rough workout, I’ve got the collarbone bruises to prove it. 😉

  • Tom R. says:

    Reading this just makes me smile. 10 minutes is smart. Period. I’m ready to read about the new craptastic gym, and I might just try yoga after I give the triceps a couple of weeks to heal. Losing my balance and falling on it would not be a good thing. I did locate one of these for my garage gym. Squatted with it this morning.


  • Kate says:

    Great idea! I do mine in my basement – way cooler outside. This weekend, I did 15 min of 10 push ups, 10 sit-ups, 10 squats, and a few burpees to finish it off.