In This Episode…
As part of my morning routine I do sets of press-ups. I’ve been doing them most of the year, building up the number of reps in each set. But recently I reduced the number of press-ups I am doing….and actually it’s made them harder.
In this episode I explain why.
Episode Show Notes…
My Press-Up Routine
I’ve never really had much upper body strength. Being tall and slim, my physical prowess has been more towards flexibility and agility than power. A few years ago I did do 3 months of intensive weight training and fell in love with my press-up ability I developed then.
When I stopped the training I reverted back to my usual slim (though I like to call it lean and slender) body shape. But the memory of being able to build my upper body strength and increase the number of press-ups I could do gradually over time, stuck with me.
So this year when faced with more time on my hands I kick started my fitness routine and got back into press-ups.
I started slowly beginning with 4 sets of 10, And then slowly over the last few months I built that up to a peak of 4 sets of 40 (with a 60 second plank and 90 second rest between each set)
But recently I dropped back to doing 10 lots of 10 reps.
I had let my ego take control over my press-up routine.
My machismo felt somewhat inflated as I was able to tell people I had a press-up routine, then that I was doing sets of 20, then that I was doing in excess of 100 and then that my maximum single set exceeded 50.
But, what I discovered last week took me down a peg or two.
I’d been cheating.
My press-ups were of an ok form.
But I was taking a few shortcuts here and there.
Perhaps I wasn’t going down as far as I could.
Perhaps I wasn’t completely straightening my arms at the top of the form.
Maybe I was taking an arm position that made the press-ups easier.
My performance was by my standards still pretty impressive, but by the gold standard of press-up it was way off.
I realised this when I accidentally came across a video by one of those ripped tatooed Youtube fitness gods who had a video entitled 100 push ups in one day.
Now I’ve recently hit 160 push-ups in one day and had a goal of doing at least a ton in 1 set so I thought I’d check it out to see if I could get a few tips to take me to the next level.
Well I certainly found tips that took me to the next level.
The only trouble is, I’ve now dropped back to 10 sets of 10 reps.
Because I discovered just how bad my form was.
And I’ve discovered press-up variants that will be far better for me but that are much harder. There’s no way I’ll be able to do much more than 10 of some of them if I do them properly.
So I have reset my approach.
The goal is still to do 100 push-ups in one go.
But instead of increasing my daily count beyond 100 to satisfy my ego, I’m going to keep to 100.
I’ve started at 10 sets of 10 reps, but with perfect form with 1 minute rests between sets. It is much harder to do that many at that rate when I do them properly.
I can feel the burn and the bulge from doing fewer proper reps in more sets.
So whilst my ego has had to be reigned in, my progress has accelerated because in this case, less is definitely more.
Over time the number of reps will stay at 100 in total. But I’ll decrease the rest time between sets and start to do fewer sets of more reps….until eventually 10 sets of 10 become 5 sets of 20 which becomes 3 sets of 33 which become 2 sets of 50 and then eventually 1 set of 100.
Progress is made one press up at a time.
Marginal gains will make me a monster!!! (I wish!)