Royal Burpee Challenge

Athletes from around the world join Easton, PA’s Test Your Metal (CrossFit Advanced) in the Annual Royal H. Burpee Challenge to honor the Easton man who made the exercise a household name: Royal Huddleston Burpee. The challenge begins January 30, 2023 by doing 1 burpee. The next day, do 2. Then 3. And so on. Add a burpee a day for 126 days. BUT don’t skip a day as you will have to do the skipped day on the following day along with that current days burpees!  For example, if you skip day 3, then you will need to do day 3 burpees along with day 4 burpees!  Make sense?  That means 7 burpees for day 4!  See how messy that can get!  The challenge ends on June 4th with 126 burpees on what would have been Royal H. Burpee’s 126th birthday. In total, athletes perform 8,001 burpees over 126 days in our annual Royal Burpee Challenge!

How This Works

  • All burpees for the day must be done by midnight.
  • If all the burpees are not completed for a given day, then all the burpees from the missed day plus the burpees for the current day must be completed by midnight. Example: I only got 40 done on day 50. To catch up, on day 51, I will do all 50 from the previous day and the 51 for the current day. Obvious suggestion… do not get too far behind!
  • Burpees cannot be paid forward.
  • Chest-to-deck burpees are the standard.  Feel free to modify as needed.
  • Burpees in a prescribed daily workout do not count towards those due for the challenge. This rule can be decided by each participating individual, group, or box.

How This Got Started

In 2011, Test Your Metal (CrossFit Advanced) in Easton, PA decided to host a burpee challenge for its members. Two members, Daniel Stein, and Meg Green revealed that Royal Huddleston Burpee’s hometown is Easton, PA, and his descendants still reside here. With this, the Royal Burpee Challenge was born. Our in-house challenge started getting attention from others who wanted to participate, and went worldwide when CrossFit HQ published our story.

Who is Royal H. Burpee?

Now for some background info on the man responsible for it all: Royal H. Burpee (1898-1987) created a test that used burpees to measure agility and coordination for the U.S. military in the 1930s. The test was included in his book, “Seven Quickly Administered Tests of Physical Activity.”

Burpee, a World War I veteran, served as the overseas program director for the United Service Organization (USO) during World War II. Between the wars, he earned a doctorate in physiology from Columbia University.

A lifelong advocate of physical fitness, Burpee was also the executive director of Bronx-Union Branch of the New York City Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) from 1946 to 1964. He continued to be involved with the Greater New York YMCA until his death in 1987 in Easton, PA, home of CrossFit Advanced.

While it’s not clear whether Burpee invented the exercise, or just made it famous with his test, the move is still being done today.