“No Burpees Allowed” [20 Minute Conditioning Workout]

How many of yall hate burpees?

For a lot of fitness-minded folks, burpee-hating is almost a hobby.  After all, there are shirts out there like THIS and THIS.

buck furpees

As for me? I don’t hate burpees – heck, sometimes I almost enjoy them in small doses [like in THIS workout: “Down & Dirty” Cario Blast] – but I certainly don’t love them.  Plus, there are so many other plyometric exercises that I’d prefer to do in place of burpees.

I threw together this little doozy the other day to do for conditioning after some lower-body focused strength training.  It ended up being a lot more fun than I expected…not a single burpee in sight, but there were plenty of box jumps.  Apparently I’m a sucker for those guys.  [It was my first time doing box jumps, and I’m truly proud of the fact that I didn’t fall even once.]

box jump virgin no more

It was a very effective workout – my heart rate went up, up, up, and my lungs had to werrrk it – and the short intervals meant that the time flew right on by. Interval training is already a very efficient way to use your time at the gym.  On top of that, splitting interval training up by alternating between different exercises is a great way to make a workout go by faster.

If you’ve got 20 minutes and are ready to get in some aerobic + muscular endurance work, take this bad boy for a spin!


For active recovery, you can be creative – you want to let yourself catch your breath a bit; the only rule is don’t stand still! I like boxer shuffles, but you can powerwalk back and forth, march in place, do a little box step, bust out a quick tap dance routine…whatever keeps your mojo up while your heartrate comes down a little.

Dont’ forget that you can always substitute lower impact modifications as needed.  If high impact exercises [i.e. box jumps] are out due to joint problems, try bodyweight squat variations. If you can’t complete pushups on your toes, feel free to drop to your knees [even if you start off on your toes!]. The bottom line here is that you want 20 minutes worth of 20 seconds of hard work [aerobic + muscular endurance] and 20 seconds of active recovery…but one person’s hard work might be someone else’s sprint might be someone else’s active recovery.  So adjust whatever you need to in order to make this workout work for you.

Now go get sweaty!

As always, I’d love to hear what you think of this workout.  If you think it’s better than burpees, do me a solid and share it with your friends, ok?


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