Burpee Pull Ups

I remember it was about 8 or 9 years ago when I first started doing this exercise. I thought at the time I had come up with a new exercise, and that no one had ever thought of combining the two exercises together. NOPE. These things have been around, they just aren’t all that common to see in the everyday gym.

Oh well. There really aren’t all that many things that are original, just rediscovered or repackaged in a new way.

I will tell you that this is an awesome exercise that can be used in many ways as an addition to your normal routine. The last 6+ months, Burpee Pull Ups have taken up more and more of my time, and i have really learned to appreciate their versatility and what they bring to the table.

What do they hit?
Just about everything. This exercise gives you “more bang for your buck.”
Bend, plank, push, squat to jump, catching, pulling, and a depth jump catch at the end when dropping from the bar for good measure, it has it all.
When you string reps together, you get the breathing and the blood flowing as well.

How to fit them in?
Personally, I use them as a warmup the majority of the time. When I finish using these as a warm up, everything feels ready to go regardless of whether the rest of the workout is upper or lower body focused.

Burpee Pull ups, can also find a place as a finisher; super setted with either an upper or lower body weightlifting exercise; as the whole work out itself. The possibilities are endless.

Reps or Time
When I do these, I usually set up a rep range I want to work in, and from there break it up into sets and reps that reach it. When I break it into the sets and reps, I try to vary it between workouts in one of two ways: lots of lower rep sets, or fewer higher rep sets.
Example: my current total I am going for is 40-60.
Last week I did 10 sets of 5, at a pretty good pace.
Yesterday, I did 5 sets of 10 with a steady pace, and a little longer rest period between sets.
Next week I will do 10 sets of 6.
Two weeks from now 3 sets of 15.

It’s up to you how you use them. But try to have short rep sessions mixed in. You will work the sets harder and faster, and mentally its easier to handle. The long rep sessions are good for building up stamina, but are hard to do mentally week after week.

I use time mostly for max rep testing. Last time I did these for time i got 79 in 20 minutes. My previous best was 77. My goal, is 100 in 20 minutes. When I get that, it’ll be 100 in 15 minutes, etc, etc.

Another way to use time is to do say 5 a minute, for 10 minutes. Set your clock, and then go at it.

How to do them
The photos show as best as I can how each rep to chin over the bar goes. Some things to keep in mind when doing these by photo:

  1. Use a bar you have to jump up to. You can do them on low bars, but you want a higher bar. Stand under the bar.
  2. When you bend down to plant you hands on the ground, your hands should be directly under the bar.
  3. Kick back into a good push up start position, body tight and do a push up to at least upper arms parallel to the ground. I prefer this to the flop the body on the ground burpee some do. When in this position, the only things touching the ground are the hands, feet, and chest.
  4. When you retract your feet back towards your hands, do it quickly, and land in a squat position. Your hands will come off the ground on their own. Feet placement here is up to you. The feet can come back up between your hands (narrow base squat), or to the outside side (wide base squat)
  5. Explode up to the bar. Try to jump as high as possible. Think of trying to get your chin over the bar every jump. This won’t happen, but you want the catching of the bar to be as high as possible, and there to be momentum to carry you up in the pull up.
  6. Catch the bar and continue to pull using the momentum from your jump. The goal is to not do a dead hang pull up. If you jump short and have to do a dead hang, then fine, but momentum is your friend here.
  7. Chin over the bar at a minimum. Chest to bar if possible. The more tired you get, the longer your pull up range of motion will get.

From here, lower from the bar quickly, and under control, and drop to the ground. Land with knees bent, and body up right in an athletic position. Control is key on dropping from the bar. Once you are planted, go into the next rep as fast as possible, staying strict with your form. The sound of your feet with have a rhythm- clap, clap, clap (plank- feet to hands-landing)

(One thing I found out, is this exercise did not help me in my dead hang pull/chin ups. I found very little carry over, and when I started back into dead hang work, I had a loss in reps, and technique. Dead hang pull/chins did have carry over to the burpee version though.)

If you’ve never done them before give them a serious try. If you already use them, let me know how you program them in to your routine.

Till next time, take care and good lifting.


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