x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Could you do a mile of burpees?

The Original Fitness Co has a challenge that will test the mettle of even the fittest.

Corey Oliver, the founder of Original Fitness, in mid-burpee. Lee Hoagland / The National
Corey Oliver, the founder of Original Fitness, in mid-burpee. Lee Hoagland / The National

Ahead of the first Dubai Burpee Mile Challenge on Friday, we analyse what many claim is the world's toughest workout move.

What is this burpee all about?

According to fitness coaches, a burpee - also known as a squat thrust - is the most challenging physical exercise there is. Although this obviously excludes that one in which you have to drag a lorry along with your teeth.

So, what does this so-called burpee entail?

There are variations, but it usually begins in a standing position, then dropping into a squat, before pushing your feet back into a plank. After a swift push-up, you return to the squat, before thrusting upwards into a jump with a clap above your head, giving you a full-body, fat-burning, toning workout. Anyone who can manage 50 can consider themselves very fit indeed.

Nothing to do with belching?

Nothing whatsoever.

Why the name, then?

Some contend it dates back to the US War of Independence, when one Lieutenant Thomas Burpee of the New Hampshire Militia may have conditioned his ragtag bunch of troops with prodigious use of the exercise. Slightly less dubiously, it could be named after Royal H Burpee, a physical education instructor from New York who may have invented it in the 1930s. In short, we don't really know.

What's this Burpee Mile Challenge all about?

Well, Original Fitness Co, the company behind those excruciatingly tough boot camps on the beach, has challenged people to complete a whole mile of them.

Not too difficult surely?

The average person takes about 2,000 steps in a mile, and you're expected to do one burpee per step, so most of us would probably keel over attempting this. In fact, hauling that truck with your teeth might actually be an easier proposition.

The Original Fitness Co Burpee Mile Challenge takes place on Friday from 8am as part of the Dubai Sports World event at the Dubai World Trade Centre. Visit www.originalfitnessco.com or call 04 311 6571 to sign up