This is an 8-count exercise that is also known as the “burpee pushup”.  It is famous – no, infamous – as a military fitness training drill in which the instructor calls out the 8 counts at his or her will. Brutal.  That said, some military workouts with this drill consist of one rep…except it takes 5-10 minutes to complete!!  Here’s an example:  A single 8-count BB counted along the lines of 1,2,3,4,5,4,5,4,3,2,3,4,5,6,7,­6,5,4,5,4,5,6,5,4,3,2,3,2,3,2,­3,4,5,4,5,6,7,8.  I can’t even imagine the pain!  Well, I actually can imagine the pain…  Wow.  Now that I’ve completely scared you, let’s break down the exercise for those of us who do something other than save the world for a living!

Stay tuned for a video link that breaks down the 8 ct BB for levels 1, 2 and 3.  Until then, for those of you eager to plug this drill into your home workouts, here we go!

Let’s learn the basic 8-count body builder!

1 – from standing position, PLACE HANDS on floor in front of you, at push-up width (just wider than shoulders, so arms form a 90-degree angle when you do your push ups)

2 – JUMP (or WALK if you are new to this/just getting started) the feet back to a PLANK position.  The body line should be straight from the head through the body, all the way to the heels.  If you are doing your push up from the knees, place the knees on the floor with the same straight body line.

3 – push up DOWN phase

4 – push up UP phase

5 – jump the feet OUT to the sides (as if doing a jumping jack) while maintaining your straight body line plank.  If you are knee-based in your push up and plank, skip this step…  we’ll add it when we’re ready!)

6 – jump the feet back IN to the plank position

7 – Jump (or walk) the feet FORWARD to land between the hands – or as close to that position as you can

8 – Stand UP.  Phew!


That’s the 8-count Body builder!  Have you tried one?  Even better, have you tried doing this for a minute?   This is a perfect example of an equipment-free full body strength, core and cardio drill that is an incredible challenge!    Speaking of which, think about the strength and endurance shown by the ladies and gentlemen in our military that are doing one of these that goes on for 5 minutes or a set of them that lasts 10 or 20 minutes straight… ‘Nuff said.