In 2011, CrossFit Advanced in Easton, PA decided to host a burpee challenge for its members. Two of the members, Daniel Stein and Meg Green revealed that Royal Huddleston Burpee’s home town is Easton, PA and his descendants still reside there. With this exciting information, the 115 Royal Burpee Challenge was born. Our in-house challenge started getting attention on Facebook by others who wanted to participate and then went world-wide when CrossFit HQ published our story.
Now for some background info on the man responsible for it all:
In the 1930s, Royal H. Burpee created a test that used burpees to measure agility and coordination for the U.S. military. The test was included in his book, “Seven Quickly Administered Tests of Physical Activity.”
Burpee (1898-1987), 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.