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The Total Body Cardio Killer

March 28th, 2011 4 Comments

I hate doing “berpies” but I can’t think of a more efficient exercise.  It hits upper and lower body, forces you to keep your core engaged, and spikes your heart rate.

I’m sure you’ve seen trainers making their clients do these in the gym.  Bob makes me do them… Now I actually do them during my own workouts because they really get my heart going.

Here are my tips when performing a berpie:

  • Don’t go too fast.  Maintain your form.
  • Use your abs to help pull your feet back in when you go from a plank position to hunched over.
  • Keep your hands close to your shoulders, even if you do the push up.

Try doing 3 sets of these to start your workout interchanged with lunges (10 berpies, 20 lunges per leg) instead of the treadmill or 3 times throughout a weightlifting routine.  If you really want a challenge, try to do 15-20 in 2 minutes.  I don’t want to spoil the fun for you, but it will feel like an eternity!  Don’t believe me?  Give it a shot.

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  • Kevin

    Try doing 8-count body builders to add one more step of intensity to berpies. We did these in boot camp and they were the hardest exercise we did the whole time.

    1. From a standing position drop to a crouch.
    2. Place hands on the floor (shoulder width apart), quickly extend your legs back into plank.
    3. & 4. Complete a pushup.
    5. From plank, spread your legs to beyond shoulder width.
    6. Bring your legs back together, returning to plank.
    7. Quickly pull your legs back into crouching position.
    8. Stand up.

    Just like a berpie, maintain a steady pace but don’t move too slowly. These are usually done in sets of 10. Too add just a bit more intensity to this, perform the leg splits after the downward portion of the pushup.


    • I love it Kevin! Thanks for sharing.

      Celey is right as well. We should try to get as low as possible for a full range of motion.

  • Wow, you are in amazing shape! This video is making me get up and go to the gym :)
    xoxo Lauren

  • Cely

    For best results — if you’re going to add the push-up, make it a full range of motion movement. Your chest should touch the floor each time. You are really cheating yourself if you don’t get full range of motion. Yes, it’s difficult; you can drop to your knees or use a box or bench while you build up the strength for full push-ups. But don’t do a half-push-up!