Author Topic: Push up & sit up challenge  (Read 3086 times)

zurberts

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Push up & sit up challenge
« on: September 05, 2018, 08:14:56 PM »
Last Sunday I went away for a business trip and when I woke up Monday morning I said to myself, I should do some stretches which turned into doing 50 push ups and 25 sit ups (actually 1/2 sit ups since I had back issues before and didn't want to aggravate it). Then the next morning I did the same, and the same....

Now I am 10 days in and have been doing them straight. I have been trying hard to find the time since I am fearful missing one day could derail everything since it is much easier to keep with something and becomes a slippery slope if you miss one day which turns into another, and another - the opposite of what I am trying to do.

I am pretty proud of myself for reaching this point. Today I did a double set since I want to have some pizza :) That is 550 push ups and 275 sit ups that I normally wouldn't have done. I can already feel that the reps are getting easier and I love the feeling after doing them.

Now I am not a big guy (5'-10", 165 lbs) so this is just helping me balance the otherwise sedentary lifestyle we live in the office environment. Another way I look at it is that it staves off putting on weight so I can be healthy for kids longer.

Hoping to keep this going. Figured I'd celebrate the small victory here and build on it.

dabighen

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2018, 08:16:22 PM »
Nice!  Keep it up!!

CubicleWarrior

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2018, 08:42:07 AM »
Great work!

I really like the (free) 100 push up app and the 200 situp app to help keep me coming back for more.


HAPPYINAZ

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2018, 10:42:37 AM »
excellent!

Spoonsor

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2018, 01:07:38 PM »
Nice job! I did similar with the push-ups and sit-ups not too long ago and eventually found my way over to https://www.reddit.com/r/bodyweightfitness/. Turns out you can do all kinds of exercises with just a floor and the occasional odd piece of furniture.




WranglerBowman

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2018, 02:44:35 PM »
This is awesome!  Good for you.  Keep uping your numbers gradually every third day or something.  When I tell people with just 5 mins a couple times a day they can get a halfway decent workout in with push ups or sit ups they typically look at me like some type of magician.  Seems to blow peoples minds that they don't have to put on their gym clothes, drive to a gym, drink athletic drinks, where a fitbit, etc... and still get a decent workout...

jrbrokerr

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2018, 01:22:44 PM »
Good job! I started 2 years ago doing 80 push ups and 100 abdominal crunches everyday, four days per week... then drop the abdominal crunches and instead do four series of 2 minute planks

I recommend to add planks into your routine, even 1 minute planks will make a substantial difference, consistency is everything

RWD

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2018, 01:41:26 PM »
which turned into doing 50 push ups

Consecutively or over multiple sets? 50 pushups in a single set would be astounding if you hadn't been doing them for a while. I've been doing push ups multiple times per week for over two years now and it was pretty recently that I was able to break 50 in a single set. If you haven't already make sure to check that you are doing proper form (elbows close to the body). You can permanently damage your shoulders if you do pushups with incorrect form.

I did 160 push ups over five sets today.

zurberts

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2018, 08:18:25 PM »

Consecutively or over multiple sets? 50 pushups in a single set would be astounding if you hadn't been doing them for a while. I've been doing push ups multiple times per week for over two years now and it was pretty recently that I was able to break 50 in a single set. If you haven't already make sure to check that you are doing proper form (elbows close to the body). You can permanently damage your shoulders if you do pushups with incorrect form.

I did 160 push ups over five sets today.

Thanks I will keep that in mind. I have been pushing out my elbows a bit. I am going to pay attention to my form after watching some videos to make sure I got it right. The first part is getting routine, the second is getting the form which is where I think I am at right now.

Appreciate all the support so far. 

Bird In Hand

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2018, 10:56:55 AM »
The first part is getting routine, the second is getting the form which is where I think I am at right now.

I commend you for starting and sticking to an exercise routine.  You are absolutely correct that starting/sticking to a routine is both difficult and important.

But I have some unsolicited advice for you, based on 20+ years of bodyweight exercise experience.  Feel free to ignore any or all of it.  I'm only telling you this because I wish someone would have told me some of this stuff this long ago.

1) I would emphasize form over almost every other aspect.  When I was much younger I was all gung-ho about increasing my pull-up and push-up reps, and I didn't think about form at all.  For the past 10+ years I've dealt with shoulder pain and mobility issues as a result.

Now that I'm older and wiser, I'm meticulous about form.  I perform my reps slowly and deliberately, and stop as soon as I feel I can't maintain excellent form.  My mind is always focused on the tension of the muscles that are supporting the movements, and that helps keep the form where it should be to prevent injury.

2) I would not attempt high/fast reps until I had perfected my form.  It's way too easy to develop bad form habits when you're focused on high reps.  High reps implies faster rep rate, and it's very difficult to keep tabs on your form when you're moving quickly.  Once you've mastered your form it's a bit easier to move quickly and keep good form, but when fatigue sets in at high reps you're still susceptible to bad form creeping in.

3) I would not work on horizontal pushing without also working on horizontal pulling.  You're going to end up with muscular imbalance in your upper body, and that is going to cause progressively worse posture issues over time.  If you're going to be spending a lot of time on push-ups, you should put forth a similar effort doing inverted rows.  While you're at it, for overall upper body muscular balance I would also recommend vertical pulling (pull-ups/chin-ups) and pushing (overhead press/handstand push-ups).  Just get a dang pull-up bar already -- it's the only piece of exercise equipment you'll ever need.  :D

4) Don't forget to train your lower body as well!  Squats, lunges, and running are great choices.

5) YMMV, but personally I see relatively little value in high/fast reps for bodyweight exercises.  You will increase your muscular endurance for those specific exercises, but that will not be particularly useful in most people's day-to-day lives.  What is (generally) more useful is increased strength, which allows you to move yourself and things in your environment with greater confidence and with less risk of injury.  Secondarily, maintaining (or increasing) your muscle mass is important to your long-term health, and once you hit 40-ish, it will require more and more effort to prevent losing muscle mass.

None of this is to say that muscular or cardio-vascular endurance isn't important as well.  It definitely is.  But -- Herschel Walker and Jack Lalanne notwithstanding -- I think you're leaving a huge portion of the potential benefit of exercise on the table if you focus exclusively on reps.

6) Don't do sit-ups.  Especially if you've already had back problems.  You can get a much better ab workout by doing hanging leg raises on the pull-up bar.

7) Rest.  It is possible to exercise every day, but your body really does need time to rest and repair the muscles.  Not only that, but your nervous system needs a break from time to time.  I'd recommend not hitting the same muscle group hard on back-to-back days at least.  And I think it's beneficial to just give yourself a complete break from strenuous exercise at least one day a week.  You can get away with all kinds of crazy stuff when you're younger, but as you get older, the periods of rest become even more important.

zurberts

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #10 on: September 11, 2018, 08:13:57 PM »
Thanks Bird in Hand for the detailed advice and funny enough I have been taking your advice into consideration as I refine what I am doing. The biggest wake up was the previous comment from RWD suggesting I could develop shoulder injury. Since then I have been looking into doing push-ups better and focusing on that form rather than the # of reps. It is much harder so I have been settling for fewer reps but knowing I am doing them right. Today I did 15 push ups meticulously focusing on my form. Then I see if I can do more when I get back at it the next day if it feels right. I also realized that I need some rest in between days so I took Sunday off and didn't do anything. My biggest fear was that I wouldn't get back to it on Monday but that turned out not to be an issue.

I have also introduced stair climbing on alternate days. I did 2 sets of 10 flights one night which burned a bit in my legs but felt good.

I am feeling stronger with the sit ups. When I started they killed but now I can do my 25 reps and they don't hurt as much. I do them on the bed so it doesn't feel as hard on my back and I am now able to do a full controlled sit up rather than the 1/2 ones. You are right that approaching 40 (which I will be in November) reminds you that you aren't a spring chicken anymore.

The routine is down and I have been enjoying getting in those few minutes of exercise which was missing in my daily routine. Now I can't go without it. I am happy with the lifestyle change.

For the chin ups, that's a good idea. I can try some on the monkey bars next time I take the kids to the park :)

Overall, I am just enjoying doing this which is the best part.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2018, 08:22:48 PM by zurberts »

Knapptyme

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2018, 08:48:51 PM »
Keep it up zurberts!

I started a 10,000 push-ups by Christmas challenge on September 1st. It gave me some wiggle room on 100 push-ups per day. If successful, I may try to do 30,000 in all of 2019.

Thanks to Bird in Hand, it'll take me longer each day, but it's probably for the best. I could ruin my shoulders at a rate of 25 per set, but now I'm at about 10 per set with better form. If I'm going to do it, I might as well do it right.

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2018, 08:45:02 AM »
The routine is down and I have been enjoying getting in those few minutes of exercise which was missing in my daily routine. Now I can't go without it. I am happy with the lifestyle change.

Glad to see. I hope it sticks.

In December 2011, a friend and I decided to try ten burpees a day for a month. it felt so good I haven't stopped, nor have I missed a day. I'll start year 9 in a few months. As I strengthened, I would add burpees. Now I do 54 per day (3x9 in the morning and evening) and added stretches and ab, back, and arm exercises for a 10-15 minute routine (I added and removed exercises over the years to converge on what works for me). I've done around 110,000 burpees cumulatively. http://joshuaspodek.com/js_blogseries/burpees

It's one of the best things I've done for myself. I've spent nearly zero on fitness in a decade and am more fit than ever at 47. I don't depend on a trainer, weather, space, equipment, etc. After a couple years the self-awareness and social and emotional skills that come from disciplined practice are comparable to the physical benefit. I lacked discipline to do something like this before doing it. Doing it developed it, especially the challenging days, like when I'm tired, busy, stressed, etc, and still doing them.

By the way, I think "perfecting" one's form is overkill. I'm still improving my form. Simone Biles is too. I recommend a lower threshold of getting to where you won't injure yourself. You can't help improve your form through practice. I find practice the only way to improve your form.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2018, 08:49:56 AM by JoshuaSpodek »

GreenEggs

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2018, 09:12:26 AM »
Good thread.


I need to get my butt in gear a start exercising.  I've always taken my slim build for granted, and recently begun to realize that I can't anymore. 


Thanks to the tips & advice posted.  I'm going to start today.  :)

zurberts

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #14 on: September 17, 2018, 05:57:04 AM »
GreenEggs, I thought the same thing. I am getting to 40 and have always taken for granted that I can eat whatever I want, whenever I want and just not put on much weight. I won a gene pool lottery not requiring much "maintenance" to stay slim. I do get some physical activity but it is not through a concerted effort and having little ones, life, work, and other daily life obligations makes it hard. Finding the time was the trick for me to kick it off. I said each morning I have to make it happen. Now it is part of the routine and I don't have to think it. I just do.

I remember telling people buying coffee each day, $1 a day, is a large amount after even 1 year - no one worries about tossing $1 but if someone asked you to toss $365 they would think 2x! I realized the same is true for exercise. You get in 25 of anything a day and that is a lot over a year - maybe a little less taking Bird in Hand's sage advise. The "financial interest" is your long term health which you really can't put a price on. All good!

Yes JoshuaSpodek, you are right that form is a work in progress. At this point, my "focus on my form" was really "focus on not hurting myself". That to me was and still is the biggest improvement needed. What is the point of doing all of this if you sideline yourself and can't do anything at all. The interest goes out the window and acts counter to your intentions.

BTW JoshuaSpodek & Knapptyme, after the amount of time you have been at it, can you give an idea of how your physique has improved with your commitment to date? I could use a little of that motivation right now....TIA.

ian055

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #15 on: September 17, 2018, 09:02:10 AM »
Awesome! I like doing a couple of minutes of something active first thing in the morning.

Bird In Hand

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2018, 08:49:22 AM »
By the way, I think "perfecting" one's form is overkill. I'm still improving my form. Simone Biles is too. I recommend a lower threshold of getting to where you won't injure yourself. You can't help improve your form through practice. I find practice the only way to improve your form.

I assume you're referring to this:

2) I would not attempt high/fast reps until I had perfected my form.  It's way too easy to develop bad form habits when you're focused on high reps.  High reps implies faster rep rate, and it's very difficult to keep tabs on your form when you're moving quickly.  Once you've mastered your form it's a bit easier to move quickly and keep good form, but when fatigue sets in at high reps you're still susceptible to bad form creeping in.

I probably should have said "learned good form" instead of "perfected my form".  You're right -- obviously we will never achieve perfection, and we can only improve our form by practice.  However, note that I was specifically addressing high/fast reps.  High/fast reps is not a good way to learn good form.  More insidiously, if you don't focus on form (and focusing is hard to do when you're moving fast and fatigued from the high reps!) it's also an effective way to ingrain poor form habits which will further exacerbate the kind of joint injuries that often accompany high reps in the first place.

It's nearly a universal experience for strength trainees to end up with some kind of joint injuries due to overuse and poor form, because relatively few of us start off with a good trainer or a focus on form.  Sometimes the injuries take a while to manifest, but then become chronic and can last a lifetime.  I think it's very worthwhile to warn folks about the potential for this, and to let them know about a preventative prescription -- good form. 

Quote
I recommend a lower threshold of getting to where you won't injure yourself.

I don't think someone without a decent amount of experience is going to be very good at knowing what that threshold is.  I think focusing on good form falls into the "way better to be safe than sorry" category.  YMMV.

Bird In Hand

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2018, 09:38:19 AM »
BTW JoshuaSpodek & Knapptyme, after the amount of time you have been at it, can you give an idea of how your physique has improved with your commitment to date? I could use a little of that motivation right now....TIA.

You didn't ask me, but since I've been at this for a long time, I'll chime in anyway.

Changes in physique depend on what your physique is like to start off with, and what your goals are.  Are you thin and want to become bigger/more muscular?  Are you overweight and want to both trim down fat and add muscle?  Do you want a physique like a body builder, gymnast, or horse jockey?  :D

The answers to these questions will help determine what is realistic in terms of your desired physique and how long it will might take to get there.

Generically speaking, if you're new to strength training it is possible to see noticeable physique changes in just a few months.  In that case the fastest way to get there is with something like https://stronglifts.com/5x5/ and an appropriate diet.

If you have some fat to shed, by all means keep doing pushups/etc., but your biggest/fastest physique improvement will come from diet.  With an appropriate diet, you can lose enough pounds of fat to make a very noticeable physique change in a few months.

If you're determined to continue on primarily with bodyweight exercises, it's going to be a long haul.  I wouldn't recommend this path if you want to look like a bodybuilder.  But with dedication (it sounds like you have that!) and careful attention paid to progressive overload (and less focus on high reps), you can see nice physique improvements in a few months.  Probably nothing dramatic, but something like a gymnast's physique is eventually achievable -- and pretty badass!

JoshuaSpodek

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2018, 08:34:41 PM »
BTW JoshuaSpodek & Knapptyme, after the amount of time you have been at it, can you give an idea of how your physique has improved with your commitment to date? I could use a little of that motivation right now....TIA.

Since you asked about physique, I have six-pack abs, though they come from diet. A week or two ago, when I was thinking about buying a compression shirt (at Goodwill) that I thought would only look good on a very fit body, I asked a stranger how fit she thought I was. She said an 8 out of 10. My resting pulse is 40 beats per minute, which I consider one of my top indicators of health.

Years ago when I ran marathons and played ultimate but rarely lifted, I had little muscle. Now my muscles aren't big like a body builder's, but they're solid and well-defined.

But I've increasingly come to believe that physical fitness is more about developing the mind -- confidence, calm, the ability to do what you want not just to act on impulse or for comfort and convenience. Exercising daily isn't the same as meditation, but it overlaps in many ways.

Another perspective is that not exercising now would be like not brushing my teeth. I know there are people who go to sleep without brushing their teeth and maybe they think it's a pain. They'd rather save the time and effort. That's their business, but I brush every day. Same with exercise. It may take physical effort, but by now it's mentally relaxing and calming.

I write about it at length on my blog if you look up burpees and sidchas there.

http://joshuaspodek.com/js_blogseries/burpees

http://joshuaspodek.com/js_blogseries/self-imposed-daily-challenging-healthy-activity-sidcha-series

Knapptyme

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #19 on: September 21, 2018, 07:16:15 PM »
BTW JoshuaSpodek & Knapptyme, after the amount of time you have been at it, can you give an idea of how your physique has improved with your commitment to date? I could use a little of that motivation right now....TIA.

There's another thread about "no more dad bod" which really got me started. I may not have ever let myself get to my dad's bod, but I don't ever want to get there. I run to stay fit and have done so fairly consistently. There's still some extra weight on me. I'm going for simple definition and tone and whatever comes with it.

Keep it up! I have to set a goal in my mind and write it on my chalk board to really make it happen. I haven't missed a day, but I've hit less than 100 some days. On the plus side, even with much corrected form, I'm up to 15 per set. My real update on physique will be around Christmas. That's my aim anyway.

Can I count it as a low/no cost gift to my wife?

zurberts

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #20 on: September 21, 2018, 07:44:12 PM »
Can I count it as a low/no cost gift to my wife?

I re-read your post and didn't realize you just started on your journey too. I should be telling you the same thing....keep it up! We should both check in with each other around Christmas time! I haven't missed a day yet either....except Sunday which I am deciding to be my rest day.

As for the low cost gift to your wife, I think if you frame it the right way it will go over well. Something like, I am doing this for my health so I can have many more happy years with you could be seen quite positively.

zurberts

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #21 on: September 30, 2018, 10:06:53 AM »
Quick update: my wife stopped me today and said that she notices a bit of a difference. My investment is paying off!

Currently my routine is 25-30 sit ups and 15-20 burpees per day, nice and slow on each rep. I throw in some ad hoc stair climbing.

MrSal

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #22 on: October 01, 2018, 07:44:09 PM »
Ill add to some pull ups as well.

Go to walmart and buy their pull up bar which is inexpensive. about 12 dolllars. I love to have a pull up bar at the house because whenever I walk by I decide to do a few ... youll be amazed on how fast you improve.

You can go from being able to do 0 pull ups, to 15-20 in a row in about 2 weeks just by randonmly walking by and doing a few.

Echeverri

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2018, 04:40:56 AM »

I am pretty proud of myself for reaching this point. Today I did a double set since I want to have some pizza :) That is 550 push ups and 275 sit ups that I normally wouldn't have done. I can already feel that the reps are getting easier and I love the feeling after doing them.


Hoping to keep this going. Figured I'd celebrate the small victory here and build on it.

That is really good, I can imagine you being proud!
I did a test for the Naval Reserves two weeks ago and I thought I was fit enough to do it but I failed miserably. But I have a second chance so I started practising last week and although that is is only 7 days I noticed the difference yesterday! So funny to read this thread today, it actually gives me hope!

Bird In Hand

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2018, 07:00:15 AM »
You can go from being able to do 0 pull ups, to 15-20 in a row in about 2 weeks just by randonmly walking by and doing a few.

This is one of the craziest things I've read in a long time.  I'm not saying you're crazy, but what you said is so far outside my personal experience and observed experience that it makes me think we're living on different planets (where yours has much less gravitational pull than mine).

It's also possible that we have a very different ideas of what constitutes a pull-up.

At any rate, I'd go out on a limb and say that 99% of people who strength train cannot do anywhere close to 20 solid pull-ups.  I'd even claim that 90% of fit men who specifically train with pull-ups every week would take at least a 4-6 months to go from 0 to 20.

If you were able to from 0-20 (good) pull-ups by "randomly doing a few" over the course of 2 weeks, you are a genetic freak.  Full stop.

GreenEggs

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2018, 08:25:41 AM »
You can go from being able to do 0 pull ups, to 15-20 in a row in about 2 weeks just by randonmly walking by and doing a few.

This is one of the craziest things I've read in a long time.  I'm not saying you're crazy, but what you said is so far outside my personal experience and observed experience that it makes me think we're living on different planets (where yours has much less gravitational pull than mine).

It's also possible that we have a very different ideas of what constitutes a pull-up.

At any rate, I'd go out on a limb and say that 99% of people who strength train cannot do anywhere close to 20 solid pull-ups.  I'd even claim that 90% of fit men who specifically train with pull-ups every week would take at least a 4-6 months to go from 0 to 20.

If you were able to from 0-20 (good) pull-ups by "randomly doing a few" over the course of 2 weeks, you are a genetic freak.  Full stop.


If you can do 20 you should hang out with rock climbers!


Once you can do 20 I guess you should start trying one-arm pull-ups.  15 was my best, and I never felt ready to attempt a one-arm. 


I agree that pull-ups are a great exercise. 

MrSal

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2018, 05:53:37 PM »
You can go from being able to do 0 pull ups, to 15-20 in a row in about 2 weeks just by randonmly walking by and doing a few.

This is one of the craziest things I've read in a long time.  I'm not saying you're crazy, but what you said is so far outside my personal experience and observed experience that it makes me think we're living on different planets (where yours has much less gravitational pull than mine).

It's also possible that we have a very different ideas of what constitutes a pull-up.

At any rate, I'd go out on a limb and say that 99% of people who strength train cannot do anywhere close to 20 solid pull-ups.  I'd even claim that 90% of fit men who specifically train with pull-ups every week would take at least a 4-6 months to go from 0 to 20.

If you were able to from 0-20 (good) pull-ups by "randomly doing a few" over the course of 2 weeks, you are a genetic freak.  Full stop.

Im mesmerized by this answer... and yes what I wrote I fully meant it! I have done this over years and years. This last time I didnt workout for almost 2 years and gained a lot of weight ... after 2 years of not training and some weight put on, I was able to do 1 pull up and that's it.

I bought the pull up maybe 5-6 days ago, I have been doing it religiously every single day. When I bought the pull up I could maybe do 3-4 good pull ups. Currently I am cranking 9-10 pull ups per set. If I do sets in a row, on my 2nd set I can crank out another 9-10 pretty well while before I reached failure pretty fast.

Currently I am probably cranking 50 pull ups in a day. I work from home and whenever I walk by the pull up bar I crank as many I can. And it';s not like Im scheduling a workout since it takes maybe 30 seconds each time I walk by or so.

Now, you can attribute this to muscle memory or not, I recon some of it is muscle memory - I went from maybe 100 lb squats to 250 lbs squats in 3 weeks (I used to lift 340+ lbs in squats below parallel) , and I am sure mostly was just the muscle memory and getting used to it again and most important overcome the lactic acid barrier.

MrSal

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2018, 05:55:36 PM »
You can go from being able to do 0 pull ups, to 15-20 in a row in about 2 weeks just by randonmly walking by and doing a few.

This is one of the craziest things I've read in a long time.  I'm not saying you're crazy, but what you said is so far outside my personal experience and observed experience that it makes me think we're living on different planets (where yours has much less gravitational pull than mine).

It's also possible that we have a very different ideas of what constitutes a pull-up.

At any rate, I'd go out on a limb and say that 99% of people who strength train cannot do anywhere close to 20 solid pull-ups.  I'd even claim that 90% of fit men who specifically train with pull-ups every week would take at least a 4-6 months to go from 0 to 20.

If you were able to from 0-20 (good) pull-ups by "randomly doing a few" over the course of 2 weeks, you are a genetic freak.  Full stop.


If you can do 20 you should hang out with rock climbers!


Once you can do 20 I guess you should start trying one-arm pull-ups.  15 was my best, and I never felt ready to attempt a one-arm. 


I agree that pull-ups are a great exercise.

Not so... 20 is not that much believe me. I was able to do 20 in my sleep and no where I hjad the strength of a rock climber. But once I hit 15-20 I will start adding some weight

Bird In Hand

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2018, 06:41:55 PM »
Im mesmerized by this answer... and yes what I wrote I fully meant it! I have done this over years and years. This last time I didnt workout for almost 2 years and gained a lot of weight ... after 2 years of not training and some weight put on, I was able to do 1 pull up and that's it.

I bought the pull up maybe 5-6 days ago, I have been doing it religiously every single day. When I bought the pull up I could maybe do 3-4 good pull ups. Currently I am cranking 9-10 pull ups per set. If I do sets in a row, on my 2nd set I can crank out another 9-10 pretty well while before I reached failure pretty fast.

Currently I am probably cranking 50 pull ups in a day. I work from home and whenever I walk by the pull up bar I crank as many I can. And it';s not like Im scheduling a workout since it takes maybe 30 seconds each time I walk by or so.

Now, you can attribute this to muscle memory or not, I recon some of it is muscle memory - I went from maybe 100 lb squats to 250 lbs squats in 3 weeks (I used to lift 340+ lbs in squats below parallel) , and I am sure mostly was just the muscle memory and getting used to it again and most important overcome the lactic acid barrier.

Sir, just accept your badassity and move on.  :D

Seriously though, the fact that you've done this over years and years, and you appear to have a strength training background, gives some valuable context to your answer.

And I admit that your approach of greasing-the-groove throughout the day, every day, will make you very good at doing pull-ups, especially if you already have a strong foundation of strength.

But for some additional context, consider that the standard for being accepted into Navy SEAL training is 8 pull-ups.  They do recommend that you are able to perform 15-20 pull-ups to be considered a competitive candidate, but now we're talking about being competitive with the cream of the crop.

Again, I salute you if you're able to do 15-20 pull-ups at all, and especially if it's no big deal to you.  If you tell me that you're doing 15-20 slow, dead-hang, pronated-grip pull-ups with no kipping, I'm just going to have to tear up my fitness credentials and put up a poster of you on my wall for motivation.  :D

MrSal

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2018, 07:12:24 PM »
:D

I can't do 20 yet. So far I'm stuck at 10 in a row. And yes, no kipping and fully extended as in letting the elbows lock out almost.

Once I reach 20 I'll send you a 60*40 picture of myself so you can hang it then  :D

I was never able to do a one arm pull up. My brother can though but he is a freak.

Anyhow my advice here still stands regarding the pull ups, just getting a cheapo pull up bar and crank some. If you cant do any do negatives...

As for 8 pull ups for navy Seals I find that ludicrous. If indeed that's real any person with some fitness should be able to do those

Bird In Hand

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #30 on: October 02, 2018, 07:57:15 PM »
I can't do 20 yet. So far I'm stuck at 10 in a row. And yes, no kipping and fully extended as in letting the elbows lock out almost.

I've been training with pull-ups off and on for about 6 years.  I'll get gung-ho about it for a while and get my numbers up into the low teens, but then plateau and/or re-injure my shoulder and/or get tendonitis in the elbows and/or get bored.  Last summer I reached 13 and plateaued there for several months before losing interest.  That probably sounds less impressive when you consider that I'm only about 150lbs.

So in my personal experience getting to 15+ is just really difficult.  I think it would have been easier when I was younger.  Now that I'm in my 40's, I need more time to recover and injuries come easier if I'm not careful.

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I was never able to do a one arm pull up. My brother can though but he is a freak.

See, I think you just have good genetic stock for doing pull-ups.  Some of us just have to work harder!

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Anyhow my advice here still stands regarding the pull ups, just getting a cheapo pull up bar and crank some.

I think that's pretty good advice for a lot of people, but I'll just throw out a data point: in my case upping the volume like that is a sure-fire way to bring on tendonitis.  The only thing worse is trying to increase my weighted pull-ups too quickly.

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As for 8 pull ups for navy Seals I find that ludicrous. If indeed that's real any person with some fitness should be able to do those

I also would have thought the SEALs had significantly higher fitness standards.  IMO 8 is decent but certainly nothing special.  However, there's a huge difference between 8 and 20 for most people!

zurberts

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #31 on: October 14, 2018, 08:46:18 AM »
Quick update (since today is my off day):

my routine is currently 15 burpees done nice and slow so I am not over exerting myself and some "modified sit ups".

I had to go to my chiropractor since I have had sciatic nerve pain in the past and felt something tweak as I pulled a storage bin out from under our bed (totally unrelated to my exercise regime). Anyway, he told me you get a great core workout by lying down and pulling up just until your abs contract and freezing there for a few seconds. I do that 20 or 3 times and man can I feel it. The rest of the movement upwards is aggravating on your back so not worth it.

I still throw that in with some stair climbs and some planks which the chiro said is not only good for the core but also if you squeeze your glutes (which often people forget), it stretches out that muscle group around the sciatic nerve.

This has been exactly what I have been looking for. Of course my routine will change over time but it is honing in on what I need and becoming more efficient. I feel a lot better then I started and I feel a lot more toned. I am excited to see where this will take me in 6 months.

Bird In Hand

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2018, 11:56:54 AM »
First off, congrats for keeping up the effort!

my routine is currently 15 burpees done nice and slow so I am not over exerting myself and some "modified sit ups".

I had to go to my chiropractor since I have had sciatic nerve pain in the past and felt something tweak as I pulled a storage bin out from under our bed (totally unrelated to my exercise regime). Anyway, he told me you get a great core workout by lying down and pulling up just until your abs contract and freezing there for a few seconds. I do that 20 or 3 times and man can I feel it. The rest of the movement upwards is aggravating on your back so not worth it.

I'm glad to hear this.  As I mentioned in #6 above, I think regular sit-ups are a bad idea for people with any back issues.  But your modified crunch type of sit-up is going to be very easy on your back by comparison.  That plus your planks should give you a good core workout.

This might sound overly-cautious to you, but be careful with burpees as well.  Even though I love burpees and think they're a great way to increase your fitness, it is very easy to mess up your lower back doing them.  I've seen enough people with chronic lower back problems to know that it can be a huge quality of life inhibitor.  My (once again, unsolicited) advice is don't do burpees if you have any lower back problems.  At least google 'burpees lower back' and read up on what can go wrong with the lower back, and how to prevent it.  If you still want to do them, it helps that you're doing them slowly.  Hopefully you won't hurt yourself.

Quote
This has been exactly what I have been looking for. Of course my routine will change over time but it is honing in on what I need and becoming more efficient. I feel a lot better then I started and I feel a lot more toned. I am excited to see where this will take me in 6 months.

I love the optimism.  Seeing changes in the mirror is a huge motivator for most of us.  Nothing wrong with wanting to look good naked!  :D  Keep up the good work, and stay healthy.

Viking Thor

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #33 on: October 16, 2018, 10:07:54 PM »
You can go from being able to do 0 pull ups, to 15-20 in a row in about 2 weeks just by randonmly walking by and doing a few.

This is one of the craziest things I've read in a long time.  I'm not saying you're crazy, but what you said is so far outside my personal experience and observed experience that it makes me think we're living on different planets (where yours has much less gravitational pull than mine).

It's also possible that we have a very different ideas of what constitutes a pull-up.

At any rate, I'd go out on a limb and say that 99% of people who strength train cannot do anywhere close to 20 solid pull-ups.  I'd even claim that 90% of fit men who specifically train with pull-ups every week would take at least a 4-6 months to go from 0 to 20.

If you were able to from 0-20 (good) pull-ups by "randomly doing a few" over the course of 2 weeks, you are a genetic freak.  Full stop.
LOL yeah this is absurd. The average person if they can do 0 pull ups to begin with they are lucky to do 1 good pullup within 2 weeks. Now MrSal may be a pull up machine but very few people can do 15 high quality pull ups even with training over many years. Having said that pull ups are a good exercise and definitely recommend as part of a well rounded workout.

Bird In Hand

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #34 on: October 17, 2018, 07:43:27 AM »
You can go from being able to do 0 pull ups, to 15-20 in a row in about 2 weeks just by randonmly walking by and doing a few.

This is one of the craziest things I've read in a long time.  I'm not saying you're crazy, but what you said is so far outside my personal experience and observed experience that it makes me think we're living on different planets (where yours has much less gravitational pull than mine).

It's also possible that we have a very different ideas of what constitutes a pull-up.

At any rate, I'd go out on a limb and say that 99% of people who strength train cannot do anywhere close to 20 solid pull-ups.  I'd even claim that 90% of fit men who specifically train with pull-ups every week would take at least a 4-6 months to go from 0 to 20.

If you were able to from 0-20 (good) pull-ups by "randomly doing a few" over the course of 2 weeks, you are a genetic freak.  Full stop.

LOL yeah this is absurd. The average person if they can do 0 pull ups to begin with they are lucky to do 1 good pullup within 2 weeks. Now MrSal may be a pull up machine but very few people can do 15 high quality pull ups even with training over many years. Having said that pull ups are a good exercise and definitely recommend as part of a well rounded workout.

I think @MrSal borrowed Arnold's lats before he started his pullups.  :D  Anyway, we seem to agree that he's an outlier.  I'm with you on pull ups being a good exercise though!

For @zurberts I would say that if you really want to improve your physique at home with bodyweight exercises, definitely add pullups to your routine.  Without them you're really neglecting your back (especially lats) and biceps -- two areas that can have a big impact on your physique when developed.  The push-ups are great for the other big upper-body muscles (triceps, pecs, delts), especially if you add a weight vest/weighted backpack instead of going for high reps all the time.  The stair climbing is good, but add in some reverse lunges and now you're getting somewhere with your at-home workout!

MrSal

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2018, 10:16:06 PM »
To be honest I never thought pull ups would be something that hard for average person. I consider myself average person and was never good at pull ups myself.

Only when I started working on them my numbers started going up. My brother on the other hand, he indeed is a freak. Super lean but super strong. His grip strength is ridiculous. Even just recently he just joined a cross fit gym, and they were doing I guess muscle ups, and I guess he was doing the improper way - a way that requires much more strength - and still managed to do a few.

He can hang with only one arm and even do a 1 arm pull up... I can't even grip myself with one arm. I lack the grip strength.

I do have a pull up plan comprised of 5 sets in order to work up the volume, however during the day I hit a few other reps as well. Currently my max - tested on last Friday - is 16 pull ups in a row. I would think I am able to achieve the 20 within the next couple weeks or so hopefully. Actually I think I'll start doing weighted once I hit the 20 ... I dont weigh that much myself - currently at 175 lbs (used to be 209 as recent as March)


Now to add to the thread for good body workouts:

- Pull ups as mentioned
- Push ups and its variations (one foot in the air, good morning push ups)
- Walking lunges or jumping lunges
- Burpees
- Jumping rope
- Plank and other abs exercises


Also, I purchased 12 years ago or maybe more Bodylastics and it was one of the best things I ever purchased. 12 years later and still going strong. it cost me at the time maybe 70-80 dollars or so. www.bodylastics.com totally worth the cost and great to do at home.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 10:19:57 PM by MrSal »

zurberts

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #36 on: October 18, 2018, 02:14:21 PM »

I'm glad to hear this.  As I mentioned in #6 above, I think regular sit-ups are a bad idea for people with any back issues.  But your modified crunch type of sit-up is going to be very easy on your back by comparison.  That plus your planks should give you a good core workout.

This might sound overly-cautious to you, but be careful with burpees as well.  Even though I love burpees and think they're a great way to increase your fitness, it is very easy to mess up your lower back doing them.  I've seen enough people with chronic lower back problems to know that it can be a huge quality of life inhibitor.  My (once again, unsolicited) advice is don't do burpees if you have any lower back problems.  At least google 'burpees lower back' and read up on what can go wrong with the lower back, and how to prevent it.  If you still want to do them, it helps that you're doing them slowly.  Hopefully you won't hurt yourself.


Yes I see a huge difference in the crunches. The burpees haven't been stressful on my back as they are done slow and steady. I always bend with my knees rather than my back into a crouch position (similar to a back catcher). I saw a YouTube video that suggested this way was easier on your back since you don't have to bend over your knees to plant your hands. So far so good. I also found that contracting my glutes when going into the plank position and holding it not only gives that core but slows down the overall rep.

I will check out the web search like you suggested. Thx for the tip!

Bird In Hand

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #37 on: October 18, 2018, 08:19:45 PM »
The burpees haven't been stressful on my back as they are done slow and steady. I always bend with my knees rather than my back into a crouch position (similar to a back catcher). I saw a YouTube video that suggested this way was easier on your back since you don't have to bend over your knees to plant your hands. So far so good. I also found that contracting my glutes when going into the plank position and holding it not only gives that core but slows down the overall rep.

I think there's a much bigger risk if you're 1) doing push-up burpees, and 2) doing them quickly.  Then it's very easy for the hips to sag and put a whole lot of stress on the lower back.

It sounds like you're doing the plank variety and being slow/deliberate with it.  Engaging the glutes before you start the plank is a great cue to keep your hips from sagging.  I think you're on the right track.  Sorry if I come across as a broken record when it comes to injury avoidance.  :D

zurberts

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #38 on: October 21, 2018, 12:21:38 PM »

Sorry if I come across as a broken record when it comes to injury avoidance.  :D

Not at all. In fact I welcome the feedback so keep it coming :) . That and keeping myself accountable were the 2 reasons why I made the initial post. I gain so much from the wealth of knowledge in this community. It is great to see it extends well beyond FIRE! It is lifestyle, after all, right!!!

Knapptyme

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #39 on: November 15, 2018, 06:58:26 AM »
Update:

I've done 7130 push-ups as of right now. It's not quite 100 per, but I'm well on my way to hitting 10,000 by Christmas.

I do feel stronger even if it's only a placebo effect.

MrSal

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Re: Push up & sit up challenge
« Reply #40 on: December 06, 2018, 06:39:35 AM »
Update:

I've done 7130 push-ups as of right now. It's not quite 100 per, but I'm well on my way to hitting 10,000 by Christmas.

I do feel stronger even if it's only a placebo effect.

Im sure you are stronger. If you are doing more than 30 push-ups already, I'd start putting a backpack and putting some weights inside.

I have hit now 20 pull ups in a row and I am thinking of doing weighted pull ups instead of doing so many (3x a week, 5 sets at around 12-14 per set, so about 60 pull ups per day).

Instead of doing the 60+ pull ups per day, I will maybe add enough weight until I can only do 4-6 pull ups per set, and work my way up. This would enable me to work on "pull up strength" instead of resistance/stamina.