Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.
11 Oct

WOW: Cave Burpees

For time:

100 Burpees (with Pushups and Jumps)*


Warmup: A couple rotations of the Grok Squat.

This is an oldie but a goodie. All you need is a small patch of floor space and your bodyweight to perform this WOW. There is no equipment and little space required, so it’s perfect for a quick, impromptu workout while on the road or when you want to stay indoors, out of the harsh fall and winter elements.

Give it a shot, record your time and list it in today’s comment board to compare with others. Just finishing 100 burpees is an accomplishment in itself, but if you’re a fit individual and would like a goal to shoot for I’d recommend attempting to do it in under 10 minutes. Sub-4 minute times have been recorded.

This is a challenging WOW and may not be for everyone as prescribed. Luckily, there are ways to customize this WOW. See the variations below for ways to adapt this WOW to match your fitness level and goals.

*How to Perform a Burpee (with Pushups/Jumps): Drop down into the squat position. Place your hands on the ground about shoulder width apart while simultaneously jumping your legs back so that you are in the standard pushup position. Perform a pushup. As you come up from the pushup jump your legs forward so that you are back in the squat position. From the squat position jump straight up so that your feet leave the ground and your arms come up over your head. Here is a decent video example.


There are numerous ways to make this WOW easier:

  • Decrease the volume. Instead of 100 burpees for time attempt 50 or 30 burpees for time.
  • Instead of regular pushups do knee pushups.
  • Skip the jump and/or pushup, so the movement only includes the squat and plank.

What are WOWs?

  • Workouts of the Week (WOWs) are an optional component of Primal Blueprint Fitness that add a fractal and often fun and playful quality to the basic PBF protocol.
  • In most cases WOWs should only be completed by those that have mastered Level 4 of each Lift Heavy Things Essential Movement. Also, it’s recommended that WOWsreplace one or both Lift Heavy Things workouts or the Sprint workout (depending on the WOW) each week instead of being done in addition to the Lift Heavy Things and Sprint workouts.
  • Learn more about WOWs and Primal Blueprint Fitness by getting the free eBook. And access all Workouts of the Week in the WOW Archive.

You want comments? We got comments:

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  1. i really like this one.

    Jon wrote on October 11th, 2010
  2. simplicity :)

    adam wrote on October 11th, 2010
  3. Harder than it might appear; 8 min 49 secs.

    Guy wrote on October 11th, 2010
  4. estimate: 3 weeks

    debbie_downer wrote on October 11th, 2010
    • LOL, nice!

      The Primal Palette wrote on October 11th, 2010
    • Haha I think we’re on the same level.. Or i still am at least

      Aaron (Grok Mendoza) wrote on March 25th, 2011
  5. This is great. Just yesterday I made the comment that everyone on the forum should do 100 burbees in celebration, and know it will be happening!!! This is why I love this site.

    skink531 wrote on October 11th, 2010
  6. I’m always slightly baffled by the new trend of “high intensity” workouts to be highly repetitive. It’s like the reverential badge of pride endurance athletes uphold to justify their continuation of a grueling, un-fun regiment has been transferred over to a different type of physical training. In the same space and time used for 100 burpees, one can throw in some different movements to work more muscles, engage the mind a bit more, and enjoy a refreshing sense of strength rather than slog through the uphill battle with fatigue.

    SLS wrote on October 11th, 2010
    • While I agree with the spirit of your post, there is value in mastering the basics and repetition is an effective tool for doing so. Doing 100 burpees is going to challenge anyone and help their form with that movement. That said, I wouldn’t do something like this all that often for the reasons you specified.

      The Primal Palette wrote on October 11th, 2010
    • I’d like to know which muscles are not being used in a full burpee?

      Justin wrote on October 11th, 2010
      • You’re right, it is full body, no doubt. I misspoke there. In particular, though, your hams, biceps, lower back, upper gluts, and obliques probably won’t be fatigued like your quads, upper back, triceps, delts, lower gluts, and calfs. Also, it could certainly help to transition to another move and preserve posture, as hunched shoulders, rounded spine, and closed hips become pervasive as you fatigue with burpees.

        SLS wrote on October 11th, 2010
        • Yes, but your lower back hamstrings and glutes should be the prime movers in powerful hip extension for jumping, not your quads. Also some of us do find pushing ourselves to the limits “fun” it’s all relative.

          Justin wrote on October 11th, 2010
        • You have to have a deeper squat to really use hamstrings and there are multiple glut muscles, each activating maximally with different movements. Lower back should really stay neutral and act as a stabilizer. Yes the hip flexors work hard, hence the tendency to hunch and not fully extend in the jump as you tire. Yea I totally understand the desire to hit it till you drop. Cool for testing, but for a workout, not so much.

          SLS wrote on October 11th, 2010
      • Any muscles that are used to smile.

        Mark L wrote on October 13th, 2010
    • This kind of workout is about mental endurance as much as physical. There is a benefit to training your mind to focus, and not needing to be distracted by other exercises.

      Craig wrote on July 8th, 2014
  7. I love the simplicity. I am not sure if I can do 100 in less than 10 minutes but I may give it a try Friday.

    Primal Toad wrote on October 11th, 2010
  8. 6:35

    I just finished the 100 Day Burpee Challenge…this is the final day.

    Graham King wrote on October 11th, 2010
  9. I did it in 7:34. I was totally out of gas by the end. You can see the video of it here:

    Good luck to all that try.


    David Grim - Get Fit Get Lean wrote on October 11th, 2010
  10. My time was 5:48, but I left out the pushup (chest is slightly sore)…I’ll have to do it again with the full pushup and see how much longer it takes!

    Awesome minimalist workout. My kind of thing!

    Griffin wrote on October 11th, 2010
  11. Great workout!! I’ll try it “tomorrow.” 😉

    gilliebean wrote on October 11th, 2010
  12. Grab a pull- up bar during the jump, and insert a pull-up in each burpee for real fun!

    Rich wrote on October 11th, 2010
  13. … or maybe a low hanging tree branch!

    Rich wrote on October 11th, 2010
  14. Love the simplicity and adaptability of this one. Thanks, Mark & Co.!

    Family Grokumentarian wrote on October 11th, 2010
  15. Holy S#!7, kicked my A$$. lost 30lbs since January so it is definitely better than in the old days. had to break up into 10 sets of 10. 16:08, but I know i can and will do better. GREAT WORKOUT, full body is feeling it.

    Robert wrote on October 11th, 2010
    • Hey man, you had the tenacity to stick it out so good on you. 100 burpees ain’t easy!

      The Primal Palette wrote on October 11th, 2010
      • Hey man, No kidding. That is by far what too many people fixate on. I can’t so I won’t. I am no stranger to pain. played Rugby for close to 10 years. I don’t think I ever worked this hard in such a short amount of time per week and still I am in better shape now than then? Love it.

        Robert wrote on October 11th, 2010
  16. 8:16…how anyone has managed a sub-four minute set is beyond my comprehension. great “sprint” like workout.

    Jack wrote on October 11th, 2010
  17. 14.29 for 100 +/- 5 . 100 is a really high number. I lost count a few times.

    Daniel wrote on October 11th, 2010
    • Brother, that happens to me all the time! I can’t seem to keep track past about 20 reps on any workout. Maybe I should just do it for time.

      Dan wrote on October 11th, 2010
  18. First WOW ever – Originally estimated 1 week and 4 days, but knock out 100 burpees (most without pushup) in 16 minutes. This is the first day of a new process for me. Grok on!

    Nikki wrote on October 12th, 2010
  19. No knee tuck? 😀

    Arthur wrote on October 12th, 2010
  20. I just did 100 burpees in 9:57. I may start to do this weekly as it was tons of fun… literally.

    Grok on!

    Primal Toad wrote on October 13th, 2010
  21. 13:45 holy heck that was intense!

    bear in mind that I have a 6’5″ frame to move around…so thats why it took me longer than you smaller people. Its not because I am not as fit as you guys… 😉

    Sean wrote on October 15th, 2010
  22. Ive been doing 100 burpees once a week for the last 6 or 7 weeks. I have also never cracked 10 minutes, but was in teh low teens working at 10 rep sets.

    In any case, checking the comments here gave me the kick I needed and this afternoon I set a PB of 9:23.

    So cheers for that! :)

    Pricey wrote on October 15th, 2010
  23. 8 min 18 seconds, come on!

    Archie wrote on October 17th, 2010
  24. Have done this for years with a weighted BP. First I put it on my back then flip it to my front. Great workout. Try hiking with weights too! Challenge extended…

    Yale wrote on October 21st, 2010
  25. 6min 48sec….Last time I did this, it took me 7:10

    Alan wrote on October 22nd, 2010
  26. 9:05 but that included one phone interruption. I think we a few more attempts I can get to 6:xx range, but sub 4:00 is crazy.

    Sean wrote on October 24th, 2010
  27. Never done Burpees before, 10:30 for 100 the 1st time. Gonna keeep working on it to get it under 10. Great workout as with all the WOWs.

    Jim wrote on October 25th, 2010
  28. In case anyone needs more “motivation”:

    M. Pile wrote on December 21st, 2010
  29. Daaang.. I’m out of shape primalistically speaking haha I only did 65 in 10:01 Seconds. That sure was fun though I am most def going to try that again!

    I need to get past the big shots who posted. Good job ppl!

    Aaron (Grok Mendoza) wrote on March 25th, 2011
  30. Please tell me again why do this for time, doesn’t that encourage poor form? I bet I can do it 20 second faster by not jumping so high; another 20 second gain by not controlling my push-up and making it a bouncing flop …?

    anotherMark wrote on May 7th, 2011
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    jingxiamnh wrote on September 5th, 2011
  32. Just did this for the first time today – 100 burpees (highest possible jump I could muster each time). Finished at 9:55.

    Still sweating.

    Pseudomotive wrote on September 22nd, 2011
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    poker news wrote on December 3rd, 2011
  34. I just didn’t have the motivation to drag out le weights, so I did this workout today. The sweat coming out of my scalp was intense. XD
    I managed to get 12:36! I’ll try to shave that down to 12:00 next time.

    Cassidy wrote on March 19th, 2013
  35. I accepted the challenge from a friend and though for sure I could get under 10….it’s harder than I though. 10:47 for me with a new goal of breaking the 10 min barrier

    El Roberto wrote on May 13th, 2013

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