When I asked professional CrossFit athlete Aimee Cringle for a bodyweight workout to challenge Coach readers, I didn’t think she would reach for something quite this wicked.
It’s a brilliantly simple challenge and unlike some CrossFit workouts, it’s accessible to all fitness and skill levels.
Death by burpees is an EMOM workout. EMOM stands for every minute on the minute. Start a running clock and do one burpee in the first minute. Do two burpees in the second minute, followed by three in the third, and so on, until you can’t complete the target number of burpees within the minute.
This can feel like a strange workout because it’s not especially taxing at first. It might even seem a bit boring. Cringle says you can start on three, four or five burpees, if you want to skip to the good bit.
“People will think it’s easy on round seven, but just you wait,” says Cringle. “Anything following a ‘death by’ format is just horrible. I think by round 12 it will get a bit spicy, maybe even before then.”
Burpee Form Video Demonstration
Aimee Cringle’s Workout Tips
Knowing what’s in store for anyone who attempts this workout, I asked Cringle if she had any words of wisdom which Coach readers could help them as they approached the latter stages.
After a moment’s pause, Cringle answered: “Dig deep. When you get to the rounds where you have about 10 seconds of rest at the end of the minute, just try to control your breathing, because once the minutes start rolling on and you just have to keep doing non-stop burpees, it’s horrible. But once it does get hard it’s probably not going to last much longer.”
In true CrossFit style, she also suggests doing it as part of a group. There’s comfort in company, after all.
If you’re looking for a score to beat, Cringle recalls finishing somewhere around the 24th minute when she tackled this challenge a few years ago. However, this was doing burpees-over-bar, a popular CrossFit upgrade that sees you jump over a loaded barbell between each rep.
“If you had access to something you could jump over, you could make it harder by doing burpees-over-bar,” she suggests. But unless you too are a professional athlete, I highly doubt you’ll want to make this test any more difficult.
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