Wednesday, March 14, 2012

One Hundred Pushups

About 4 years ago Brahm and I both started working on the One Hundred Pushups training program.  It's a very very simple pushup program where you do (ideally) 5-8 sets of pushups 3 times a week for 6 weeks (but most likely it will take you much longer than 6 weeks, probably more like 10-20), adding a few each time, until you are strong enough to do 100 pushups in a row at the end of the program.  Check out the website to see how the weeks work.

It's really for absolutely anyone, even the tiniest, weakest weaklings like me because the first day you literally do sets of 2 and 3 pushups.  It's super amazing though how fast you do build muscle and how fast you can suddenly pump out 20+ pushups in a row like it ain't no thang.  Two weeks in and you'll suddenly realize you have muscles and can lift things that you couldn't before.

Last time I tried the program I ended up giving up in around the 4th week - we went on a camping trip and it is basically impossible to do pushups when you are camping, and when we got back I just felt like I'd fallen behind and didn't want to do it anymore so I stopped.  But this time I started again because it was really cold at work (like -40) so I couldn't walk to my office from camp, and I am a gymophobe (afraid of going to the gym because I don't know how to even turn on a treadmill), so I felt like I needed to at least do some sort of exercise, even if it was just a bit of strength training, so I started the program again.  I also admit I was being a little bit vain and wanted my arms to be toned in my wedding dress this summer, although those results could realistically be achieved just by doing a few pushups each day during the week or so before the wedding, given how fast pushups build muscle.

I'm now about halfway through Week 5 (the weakling Week 5, i.e. the one that starts with 17), meaning I almost did Day 2 of Week 5 but not quite, so I'll repeat it until I can get all the sets done without collapsing.  At the end of Week 5 I'm supposed to be able to do 45 pushups in a row (I know, me??) and then it will be on to the final week, after which I should be able to do 100 pushups in a row!

I cannot stress how easy this program is to follow if you decide to commit to it, and how incredibly fast you begin to see and feel the results.  And how awesome would it be to be able to brag that you can do 100 pushups in a row?  Even most athletic-types suck at pushups! 

A couple neat things I've learned this time around:  a lot of being able to do the sets is in your head.  If you dread doing them and feel like you're not going to get a set, you probably won't be able to.  I've definitely noticed that as soon as I give up mentally I struggle a lot more, but if I'm in a better mindset going in, I can usually squeeze out a few more pushups.  Also, resting a day or two between program days is crucial - it's much harder when you try to do the sets the next day.  It's really neat to see how your body requires the time to grow the muscle (is that how it works?  It grows muscle tissue?  Sounds right I guess), and how much stronger you suddenly are two days after doing the sets.

I'd recommend this program to anyone, but especially anyone who is looking for a really easy program to follow and an easy, free way to get some muscles in the comfort of your own home.  It really works great and it's super cool to feel these almost immediate changes in your body as you build strength on a daily basis.

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