Lloyd Weema is what you’d probably call a fit guy. Replying nonchalantly, but not arrogantly to a question of what his background is, he replies, “I ran indoor/outdoor track at Case Western Reserve University and played Ultimate ( for the University’s Club team. I’ve played a lot of Ultimate on various teams since college. I’ve played at 3 Canadian National tournaments for a team called “Too Bad” out of Toronto. I enjoy sports, I’m undefeated in Tall Bike Jousting, I’ve run numerous obstacle races, I’ve been on the curling ice, I’ve thrown a dodge ball, I do CrossFit.”
Being in shape is his “thing”. His passion. But there’s one particular exercise that he likes the most. One thing that he drinks in like the sun and the very air that keeps him alive. Burpees. We’re not talking a few dozen or even a few hundred. Thousands upon thousands of burpees. Many would argue that Lloyd is a glutton for punishment, but the resident of Portland OR, known to some as ‘The Lloyd Of The Burpee’, likes nothing better.
“I don’t know exactly when it happened but somewhere along the way I fell in love with burpees. A couple years ago I started doing burpees at random landmarks I came across. Then this summer before the Reebok CrossFit Games I decided to do a 1000 person burpee challenge. My goal was to get 1000 different people to do at least one burpee with me in 10 days’ time. There were lines of people trying to do one with me. Some even wanted to do more than one. I was doing burpees at the airport, restaurants, the hotel, even in the parking lot. Somewhere during those thousands of burpees I knew that this was a forever kind of thing.”
It didn’t end with the completion of the challenge though. Not content with simply doing the 1000 person challenge, Lloyd decided to see how far this could go. A new idea was born, something a little crazier.
“After doing the 1000 person challenge, someone mentioned how it had to be a world record. So I started to look into world records for burpees. I really wanted to do a long endurance challenge, and I’m not really sure why I thought 24 hours wasn’t long enough. I joke all the time about how I never want to run a marathon because that’s nothing but 4 hours of running, how boring, then I go and do burpees for three days. I guess I owed it to the girlfriends of the past to do something no other man had done before.”
Thankfully, organizing this feat was put together with surprising ease. A friend from LA put together his website, the live stream was worked on by a colleague in Canada and a local Crossfit box were more than happy to be the venue. Once all this had been arranged, everything was ready to go.
“I used the world clock for official start time-I started at exactly 6am on Friday and time was up at exactly 6am on Monday. It was live streamed for the entire 72 hours. I also have the entire 72 hours on video as it’s needed for Guinness -although they may not put me in the book over disagreements on what a burpee is.
I did take some random breaks, I needed to eat, use the bathroom, etc. I tried to keep the breaks to a minimum. The first 3000 burpees were easy and I reached that in 12 hours’ time. 3000-4000 was a different story. That was when I first felt any sort of fatigue and just had to keep moving. Every single burpee after 3000 was painful. I took my first sleep break the first evening, getting about 2.5 hours of sleep (I originally planned 3 hours of sleep for each night). The second day was rough. I had to deal with the fact that I wasn’t going to make my initial goal of 14,000 burpees. It turns out burpees are kind-of hard. I reached 6000 on Saturday evening and decided to change my game plan just a little bit. I was going to combine my sleep breaks into getting six hours of sleep and just push through the final 24 hours.
I also took a long warm shower and despite my having to walk up a flight of stairs to get there, it was totally worth it. Sunday morning was the next big test, after reaching 6000 in 39 hours, I was sitting at 6120 after 48 hours, I had to tell myself to keep moving forget about the pain it will all be over soon. Around 9pm on Sunday I was at 8050, feeling good and ready to hit the 10,000 mark. The next burpee I felt like I got hit in the right shin with a crowbar – anyone remember Nancy Kerrigan? – I did one more and knew it was going to be a problem. I took a moment and was like, “I can do them one legged.”
I tried eight one legged and took a break to ice the leg and order a pizza. I needed comfort food and called the only place open on Sunday night. Pretty much from that moment on I was doing them with just my left leg. It was going to take more than that to stop me. I reached 9000 with just over an hour left on the clock and it was a sprint to the finish.
After 72 hours, Lloyd finished on 9480 burpees.
Bafflingly, Lloyd isn’t finished with his amusement of playing with burpees. Not satisfied with one colossal feat, he plans to do more.
“I imagine I will continue to do various burpee world records. I’d really like to continue on my 1000 person challenge and get 10,000 different people to do at least 1 burpee with me, so if you see me around, or want me to come do some burpees at your event I’d love to burpee with you. As for another long challenge, who knows but I’ve considered something like doing burpees across the Golden Gate Bridge. Guess we shall see what the future holds.”