6 Brutal Burpee Workouts to Supercharge Your Metabolism

Every gym-goer keeps a mental log of their favorite as well as least favorite exercises and, in certain cases, a particular move will wind up on both lists. Confused? Don’t be, because we’re talking about burpees. As grueling as they are, burpees also build strength, boost cardiovascular fitness, and improve balance while targeting every part of your body. The burning in your legs and lungs is a relatively small price to pay.

Since everyone’s fitness level, time constraints, and equipment access vary, we’ve rounded up routines to meet just about every need. Try one of these six workouts to kick your metabolism into fat-burning mode.

1. The New Dad Workout

Man doing plank position on a mat at home

This grueling workout is full of burpees. | iStock.com

Though Men’s Health designed this workout with new fathers in mind, it’s the perfect routine for anyone who doesn’t have time to make it to the gym. It’s also remarkably simple because the entire 15-minute workout is composed entirely of burpees. Start at level 1 difficulty and perform six burpees in one minute. The remaining time before the next minute starts is your rest. To make this workout more challenging, increase the number of reps per minute.

Since this workout is so bare bones, form is more important than ever. Check out this tutorial from Greatist if you need some pointers.

2. 100 Burpees Workout Challenge

man performing bodyweight squats on a track

Need a challenge? Check out this workout. | iStock.com

Another all-burpee workout, this routine from Fitness Blender provides a bit more variety for those who can’t stand the thought of doing the same move for 15 straight minutes. While you will perform 100 burpees, you’ll switch to a different variation every 10 repetitions. After each 10-rep set, you’ll rest for 25 seconds before heading right into the next round. Those who are in phenomenal shape will want to shorten this segment, though.

3.  The Burpee Blast

man in the bottom phase of a push-up in an empty room

Don’t leave out that push-up at the bottom of the move. | iStock.com

For those who are already burpee pros, it’s time to increase the intensity by using push-up burpees instead. The concept is simple. Perform a burpee as usual, but complete a push-up after you hop back into a plank position. Muscle & Fitness has a seriously tough workout that alternates this variation with strength-training moves like squats, kettlebell swings, and tricep dips. You should move through the workout as fast as possible, but not at the expense of correct form.

4. The Bedroom Bodyweight Workout

Woman about to work out

This circuit means business. | iStock.com

While most hotel fitness centers have come a long way in the last decade or so, there’s never a guarantee you’ll have access to all your usual equipment. Consider this nine-move circuit from STACK the bodyweight workout you must have.

The workout itself is divided into three different circuits of three exercises each. You’ll complete the prescribed number of repetitions for each move before going directly into the next. Once you’ve completed all three moves in a circuit, you’ll rest for 30 seconds before repeating the process two more times. Give yourself a full minute of rest before transitioning into the next circuit.

5. Advanced Metabolic Conditioning Circuit

close-up of a man performing push-ups with dumbbells

Add some resistance for an even greater challenge. | iStock.com

Another one for seasoned gym buffs, this circuit from BuiltLean ups intensity by adding a set of dumbbells to a push-up burpee. This small change will make the move significantly more difficult. You’ll also do mountain climbers and double unders with a standard jump rope. Because this workout is designed to maximize your burn in a tiny amount of time, you don’t get any rest between exercises. After completing one round, take a two-minute breather, then repeat the circuit at least two more times.

6. The Burpee Variation Workout

Girl working out in the gym with weights

Vary up your burpees. | iStock.com/LunaMarina

Feeling bored with your average burpee? It’s time to add some variation into this move. Byrdie shows several different (and more challenging) ways to do this move — and we recommend combining all five variations for a seriously intense workout. Go for the traditional move, then a burpee push-up, followed by burpee plank jacks, shoulder presses, and upright rows. You will need light to moderate weights for this, and aim to do each exercise for 30 to 60 seconds before moving on.