Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Fitness Things; 100 Push-ups

PUSH-UPS! I decided to write this post because I know that a lot of women struggle with push-ups. They just think they're not strong enough. I don't know all the reasons, but I do know that push-ups are something I struggled with for a lot time. I always thought I couldn't do them. Today I can do about 30 push-ups without stopping or putting my knees down. So, I thought I would share how I got here... and how surprisingly easy it was.

This is like the blog post version of the #latergram.

I've written a little bit a long time ago about my first efforts to get into some semblance of "good shape" after college - kettle bell swings and sprints with the (now) hubs, my first foray into the world of jogging while listening to audiobooks.

It was during that time I saw that a few of my facebook friends - who are in the Air force mind you - were going to try a program called one hundred pushups. Air force.  I'm thinking these girls are crazy fit and can probably pound out 100 push-ups without a second thought, but I was intrigued, nonetheless. At that point, I remember thinking I could barely do one push-up, let alone 100.

Push-ups are one of the easiest, most inclusive workouts you can do. If you have time for nothing else, try pounding out a few push-ups before bed each night. You'll be working your arms, shoulders, back and core like a mother******.

Upon exploring the website, I found that they designed it for pretty much everybody - whether you one pushup or 30 to start. So, I did my "fit test" and found that I could do three push-ups before my arms collapsed out from underneath me. At the time, I was actually impressed with myself, thinking I could only do one and managing to do three.

And so I embarked on their 6 week program. Yes, six weeks. You won't be able to do 3 pushups one day and then 30 the next... sorry.

I started in the first column - the zero to five push-ups column - and followed their plan.

They give you a schedule to follow. You do five sets each day. So, on my day one, I did 2-2-3-2-max. On day three it took major teeth gritting to get myself up to 5 pushups - especially after feeling tired out from the first sets that night.  I felt like one of those obnoxious groaning guys at the gym as I pushed myself back up to straight arms. You know who I'm talking about.

But I kept coming back. Each day when I got home from work, I got down on the floor for my five sets of pushups. By the end of week 2, I was maxing out at 7 pushups - double my original number - not to mention the other four sets. In week 4, I was struggling my way up to 18. Weeks 5 and 6, they lowered the reps per set, but increased the number of sets to allow you to focus on completing 10 or 15 at a time and working your way up.

They recommend you take a couple of days to rest before attempting the 100, but once you do, they encourage you to break it up into smaller sets so that it works for you. I still can't do 100 push-ups all in one set, but now I break it down by doing max reps on the first one - 25-30 - and then working my way down. Usually the next set will be 20 and then I'm already halfway there. They suggest breaking it into sets of 10. I'm too impatient for that. ;)

What do you think? Are push-ups part of your workout routine? or are you a little afraid of them like I was? Do you want to improve core, back, and arm strength along with your ability to do push-ups? Is this program something you might try?

*I am not being compensated in any way by hundredpushups. This is a program I used and is completely free*

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