Thursday, July 31, 2008

Push ups

I can't remember which blog it was where I first read about the 100 Push up Challenge, but it didn't take me long to jump on the bandwagon. I've been improving my fitness with the running thing (three times last week, woohoo!), and for a while now, I've been doing an excellent job of thinking about strength training. And reading about strength training on websites like The doing, not so much.

The 100 push up challenge turns out to be the perfect solution, at least for me, to kick start a strength training program. It has different levels to start at, it doesn't take a lot of time (about 10 minutes, 3x a week) and it tells you exactly how many push ups to do each session. Plus you can print it out, post it in your kitchen, and give yourself stars everytime you complete a push up workout! Yay for stars!

I'm on week 2a. Yes, there is a week 2a. I added it. Going from a maximum of 6 push ups at the end of week 2 to 15 push ups at the beginning of week 3 was just too much, at least for me. Actually, I can do 15-16 push ups now, but then I'm done. No second set of 12 push ups, and definitely no third or forth sets with the number of push ups scheduled for that day.

So here is my week 2a, for anyone who might be interested.

Day 1: 8, 7, 7, 6, min 8

Day 2: 10, 9, 9, 8, min 10

Day 3: 12, 10, 10, 8, min 10

So far (just completed Day 2), this seems to be the right level for me. I can tell I'm pushing myself, but I'm actually able to complete the workout.

By the way, I'm not actually doing full, plank-position, on-the-floor push ups, although that's definitely a long-term goal. Instead, I'm doing pushups in a plank position, but with my hands on a bench. Sumptuous actually has all kinds of suggestions for push up variations. If you're interested in increasing upper-body strength, but think floor push ups are too much, you can always try counter or even wall push ups.

Does the push up challenge work? You bet! I've gone from being about to do a max of 3 bench push ups to as many as 15. It's a great feeling to feel myself getting stronger just over a period of a couple weeks!


Merry said...

Go Theresa! :)

MizFit said...

it SO WORKS huh? both in strength training and in motivating me to git off my office chair and, well, PUSH.



Xenia said...

Wow! I'm so impressed.

I've only done two days of it and I've had to do the girly on the knees push-ups. Do you think I should try the bench thing instead? Which one's harder?

Running Knitter said...

Nice job on the challenge! Keep it up!

Theresa said...

xenia - not sure which is harder, but I want to work towards doing plank-style push ups (I can do 1), so the bench push ups seemed the way to go.

The bench ones may work your core a bit more in my inexpert opinion.

Jan said...

Go Theresa!

I didn't do strength training, but did spend 3 hours on my landscape today. Given that my garden is on a steep hill, and the tools are in the garage a flight of stairs up, I feel like I got some strength training :-)

Nice to have a garden again...