To Step or not to Step: A Burpee Rant

So. There's this thing called the burpee. HIGHLY CONTROVERSIAL. Let us discuss.

The burpee has been an integral part of CrossFit's gritty, suck it up buttercup workouts for the last 10 years. Basically any workout where the programmer wants the athlete to absolutely suffer, they will program burpees.

Basic explanation of the burpee is as follows: Hit the deck, get back up, jump and clap. The whole body should lay on the floor, and then the whole body should return to a standing position, jump and clap overhead to complete the movement. There have been burpees in workouts and competitions in the CrossFit community for years and years and years.

Then, right before the 2018 CrossFit Open last year, Director of the Games Daveyboy Castro says: HOLD ON A HOT SECOND!! Everybody stop what you’re doing. You can no longer step your burpees.

Stepping a burpee refers to the athlete going down to the floor, as well as returning to their feet. In either instance, it used to be okay for an athlete to step one leg out at a time, slowing their movement and controlling their breath with less impact. The other method would be throw both legs back at once, flopping to the floor, and then more explosively jumping back to the feet, with both legs moving in unison.

This new standard for the Open and any future competition indicated that any stepping motion in the burpee will here-bye and forever more be called a no rep.

SO, what does this mean for those not in competition? Obviously in competition, you follow the standards or get no ‘repped’. But addressing the "normal" CrossFit community in daily classes, should we step? Or should we adhere to the no stepping because now that’s cheating, as it makes the reps easier?

As is customary with most of these issues, it’s a matter of opinion.

SO here's mine: shuttttttt up and work people! 100 burpees is 100 burpees is 100 burpees. I don't care if someone flops to the floor, and jumps back up. I don't care if someone steps back and steps up. Hell, I don't even care if someone does a weird half-assed squat thrust thing (see this video).

The point of the program is not defined by these small-minded squabbles, it's about intensity. If Sally does 50 burpees with a step back in 2 minutes, and Joe does 50 burpees making SURE to jump back in 6 minutes, is Joe more fit than Sally? HELL NO. SALLY WHOOPED HIM.

So often, people get bogged down by these ticky tacky nitty gritty details, when the only detail that matters is do the work for the result. Work hard, to the best of your ability, and you will succeed at being healthy, which is the goal.

But hey, what does Greg Glassman know right?

~ Marc OUT!

Comment below and let me know what you think about all this hullabaloo.
Read more CrossFit-related posts here.

Join our Travel and Fitness Community

related posts