Back in the swing of things a bit

I’d fallen off the wagon a bit with my hundred pushups workout so I dropped back to Week 3 tonight.  (We were without air conditioning for a week, and doing much of anything physical was a chore.)  At the suggestion of Fit36 I tried tightening up the rest periods between the levels, and ended up failing to do the minimum number of pushups on the max level all in one stint; I ended up five short (15, 12, 12, 10, 10) but went back to do the other five about 30 seconds later.

I’m still thinking that going for more pushups each workout, rather than trying to cut the breaks down to the prescribed amounts, is what I need.  I’m more than happy taking a good long time to get through 100 pushups in a row, but I need to keep myself from getting injured, and I also need to lose some more of the weight.  More pushups means more calories burned.

Hundred Pushups, Week 4, days 1 and 2

Two days’ worth of updates:

Week 4, Day 1, Column 1: 16, 13, 13, 11, max = 21 (total 74)
Week 4, Day 2, Column 1: 16, 14, 14, 12, max = 20 (total 76)

I’m still being pretty generous with the breaks in between the different levels but I cut them down a little bit tonight. (I should be resting 90 seconds in between the sets, but I’ve been taking more like three minutes.)

It’s nice seeing a small amount of definition in my arms again.

If you’re interested in keeping track of your workout on your iPod, Peter over at Quick to Fit has just the download for you. (Or you can get my analog version here.)

Hundred Pushups, Week 3 wrap-up

Got through another week!  I thought week 3 would get me but I squeaked by.  Here’s my progress so far:

Date Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Maximum Total
06/18/08 Initial test 8
06/21/08 7 7 5 4 12 35
06/23/08 9 8 6 5 10 38
06/25/08 10 8 8 5 11 42
06/28/08 9 8 6 4 14 41
06/30/08 11 9 7 7 12 46
07/02/08 10 10 8 8 15 51
07/04/08 Exhaustion test 19
07/05/08 15 12 12 10 15 64
07/07/08 16 14 14 12 16 72
07/09/08 20 15 15 12 17 79

One thing I did find myself doing is “powering through” the pushups more (meaning I did them faster). That and I continued to take a little extra time in between the levels (somewhere between 3 and 5 minutes rather than 1 to 2 minutes). I can see the number of pushups I’m doing going up steadily, so that’s what really matters, I guess.

Sticking with the program is going to be most of what gets me to the hundred. Since I was so fat to begin with I set my expectations of getting to 100 in six weeks as being zero.  I’ll be happy if I can get there in anywhere close to six months.

But that’s all right.  It’s helping me to get into better shape.

Hundred Pushups, Week 3, Day 1

This one was tough, and I thought I may have pulled a muscle in my right arm doing it. Powering through sixty-four pushups isn’t a good thing to do if I injure myself in the process.

Week 3, Day 1, Column 1 (based on my exhaustion test result of 19): 15, 12, 12, 10, max = 15. (No overachieving on the maximum this time around.)

This week may be one I’ll have to repeat since I’m coming close to injuring myself in the process. I probably overdid things a little bit by also doing Rhythm Boxing on Wii Fit
at the encouragement of my coach, who came back this evening with her mother from a trip to West Virginia.

My arm is feeling better as I write this, but it’s something to watch and be careful about. I do some stretching of the push-up muscles but a warm-up period and more stretching probably wouldn’t hurt.

Hundred Pushups, week 2 summary

Well I just managed 19 pushups for my post-week-two exhaustion test. Here’s the progress so far:

Date Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Maximum Total
06/18/08 Initial test 8
06/21/08 7 7 5 4 12 35
06/23/08 9 8 6 5 10 38
06/25/08 10 8 8 5 11 42
06/28/08 9 8 6 4 14 41
06/30/08 11 9 7 7 12 46
07/02/08 10 10 8 8 15 51
07/04/08 Exhaustion test 19

My 19 pushups will put me in column 1 for week 3, which is just fine with me since I think that will be plenty. However, it’s really nice to see that I can do more than twice as many pushups in a row as I could a few weeks ago!

Hundred Pushups, Week 2, Day 1

I rested for two days in between Week 1 and Week 2, and did 41 pushups for tonight’s workout. I’m in column 2 at the moment: 9, 8, 6, 4, max = 14.

I’ve heard anecdotal evidence that even as early as the first day after starting a new exercise it’s possible to outperform the first try. For example, a friend of mine recalled the time he started working on the bench press. The first day he did 110 pounds, and the following day he could do 120 pounds.

It’s pretty cool that even after just a week I can do nearly twice as many pushups (fourteen) in a row — after four sets of pushups — than I could on the first day (eight). Maybe that’s the way God designs exercise: some quick improvement at the beginning so that we give thanks and stay encouraged, then a lot of hard work after so that we stay humble. 😉

Hundred Pushups, Week 1, Day 3

Done with Week 1! I got through the first week’s workout on Column 2. Here it is:

Date Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Maximum Total
06/21/08 7 7 5 4 12 35
06/23/08 9 8 6 5 10 38
06/25/08 10 8 8 5 11 42


Oh, I’ve created a worksheet so that you can easily log your progress on the Hundred Pushups Challenge! It’s a free download, and you can share it with as many people as you like!

Download the Hundred Pushups Challenge Worksheet

Hundred Pushups, Week 1, Day 2

I actually did this one last night but I made it through the workout in Column 2: 9, 8, 6, 5, and a max of 10, for a total of 38 pushups.

I’m being generous with my rest periods in between the levels. The sheet calls for 90 seconds (or more if necessary) and I always seem to feel that more is necessary. 🙂

There’s probably a trade-off between conditioning myself to power through the sets with only the minimum time in between levels or trying to take it a little “easier” and do more pushups at this stage of the game. What little I do know (or think I know) is that the strength building comes from the last part of the set at which point the muscles tear under the exertion and are repaired, stronger, over the rest period. Maybe taking the levels a little bit slower makes the workout more aerobic and less strength training?

I don’t know. But I do know that doing the pushups either way is better than not doing the pushups. Like Jim said, yesterday I did 38 more pushups than I probably would have done without the program.