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!

The killer hidden cost of weight-loss programs

BankRate.com had this article on MSN Moneycentral:

What does it cost to drop 30 pounds?

The article runs down the costs associated with well-known diet programs like Jenny Craig, Nutrisystem, Weight Watchers, and The Zone Diet. These programs aren't cheap. The cheapest of the four for losing 30 pounds is under $100 (for online registration at Weight Watchers, not including food) to over $5,000 for daily food delivery in some cities for The Zone Diet.

A former member of our church went on one of these programs (his was $10 per day including food) and lost the weight initially, but then it came back.

I can see the plans being pretty difficult to stick to, and I can see it being pretty easy to cheat (eat food outside of what's allowed). And that's the killer cost.

I'm sure the added external structure of these programs is worth the money, but let's face it: It's not in the best interest of these companies to get you to a point where you don't need them. They make money by selling controlled portions of food and other services. And they also make money when you fail and come back.

So though these programs may be good at kick-starting a diet, the dieter should look for a way to maintain the eating habits without that company. Also, if one of these programs doesn't seem to be working or is just too painful to follow for whatever reason, get out. That's not failing; that's just being pragmatic. Try something else after figuring out why that particular plan didn't work. There's no real reason to pay a premium for food if it's not serving its intended purpose.

What is the body mass index?

Each time I do a Body Test on Wii Fit my body mass index (BMI) is computed and displayed for by viewing (dis)pleasure. Mine hovers in the 36-37 range, which is off-the-scale obese.

My ideal BMI according to Wii Fit is 22, which would put me at a sleek 140 pounds.

But how the heck is this calculated? The original BMI was developed in the mid-19th century by Adolphe Quetelet and is simply the ratio of a person's mass to the square of his height. So if I express my mass in kilograms and my height in meters, then

BMI = mass in kg / (height in m)2

Or, if I don't want to convert to the units that the rest of the world uses, I can just use pounds and inches, and multiply by 703:

BMI = 703 (weight in lbs) / (height in inches)2

(To see why 703 works, substitute 2.2026 lbs for 1 kg and 39.37 inches for 1 m. Now, 2.2026 / (39.37)2 is 0.001421, or 1/703.7.)

BMI is most useful on populations (i.e. large-number statistics) and there may be other reasons why a healthy person could have a high BMI. (I don't think this applies to me. I'm just fat.) But clinically obese people like myself do run a higher risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other problems.

BMI is a measure that does carry some weight (!) but it's possible that a BMI higher than 22 is just fine for some people. But again, it probably has to be quite a bit less than 37. 😉 )

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. 😉

My three year old daughter is a great coach

She works me hard!

During dinner tonight she asked me to “do boxing” on Wii Fit. This is the Rhythm Boxing cardio workout. She really likes the fast punching at the end, and informs me that I'm “going to go fast later.”

Then, she wanted me to run the Island Lap. Ten minutes of jogging.

Following that, I walked the tightrope.

Finally, six minutes of Super Hula Hoop™. (Yes, it's pretty amusing to watch me do that.) She made sure I was all right a couple of times when I lost my balance, and threw in a few “go go go Daddy” shouts for good measure.

Thirty-two minutes later, I was spent, but I know that I got a good workout!

And my daughter coached me through that. 😉

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.