Burpees are ‘Cruel and Unusual Punishment,’ Says U.S. Department of Justice


Burpee penalties–used in CrossFit gyms around the world as a punishment for late arrivals, dropping empty barbells, and other infractions against gym etiquette–are being challenged by the Center for Human Rights and Constitutional Law. The Department of Justice states that gyms that use the threat of burpees to influence behavior are in violation of the Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment. They have declared the penalties unconstitutional.

The DOJ has urged a federal judge to block Los Angeles CrossFit gyms from enforcing burpee penalties following a lawsuit against a local affiliate. A spokesperson for the DOJ commented: “We believe it is a basic human right to go about one’s day without the fear of being forced to do burpees.”

“They’re already taking our healthcare away,” said one concerned citizen at a recent L.A. city council meeting. “Now they’re making us do burpees when we spill chalk on the ground?”

But not everyone is happy about the DOJ’s position. Frank McDonald, a CrossFit Coach in Orange County, thinks burpees are actually good for us. “It’s literally just lying on the ground and getting back up. What’s wrong with you people? This is why Trump won.”

Similar city-wide bans on burpees are being considered in San Francisco, Portland, Boulder, and the District of Columbia.