Author Topic: Effectiveness of doing push ups throughout the day  (Read 21132 times)

yyc-phil

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Effectiveness of doing push ups throughout the day
« on: May 08, 2014, 03:32:08 PM »
Lately, due to time constraints because I have a casual job on top of my regular job, and I get called almost every night to squeeze in a shift, I've not been able to do my workout routine, so I found myself doing many sets of push ups throughout the day. I'll just drop and give myself 20 at various times in my office. I am the boss here, so obviously I need to keep a certain decorum in the office so I must do my sets in my normal office attire, and without breaking a sweat. I've found that this at least gives me a workout, and when I leave work at 4:50 pm on my way to start my 5 to 11 evening shift, I don't have to worry about having to do a midnight workout!

My question is, is this effective at all. Ultimately, I'm doing 400 push ups a day using my technique of "sets when I can" throughout the day. Even after a week of not being able to do a high Intensity training, I still feel great and have not noticed an overall difference in my level of fitness, but I was wondering if it is as effective as other methods. My only concern is with my aerobic capacity: this doesn't allow me to elevate my heart rate to a high level for sufficient time, although I do sprint on my bike 4 to 5 times a day to get to and from the office and run errands (yup, while I am the boss, I took on the task of running all errands, getting the mail, doing coffee runs, etc. so I can get out of the office as often as possible).

Thanks in advance for any and all feedback!

dragoncar

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Re: Effectiveness of doing push ups throughout the day
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2014, 03:42:54 PM »
No evidence, but it can't hurt!  You may not get stronger, but regular use should help prevent atrophy.

wealthywinters

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Re: Effectiveness of doing push ups throughout the day
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2014, 11:50:35 PM »
I'm not sure, but I think it's probably a good way to get your heart rate up during the day. Sure, it's not super-high, but you're moving, not sedentary, working muscles, and that's more than most.

Something I'd suggest, then, is trying a more complicated push-up - perhaps with one leg or one handed? Something that focuses more on working new muscles harder, rather than many repetitions. You can still spread it out through the day as you are, but you'll be pushing your body further each time you try.

Props to you for getting in so much exercise during the work day, especially in the face of shift work which can be awful.

steveo

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Re: Effectiveness of doing push ups throughout the day
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2014, 01:17:54 AM »
I think that this would work really well however only doing push-ups might be a little one dimensional. I think if you could add pull-ups and squats or something like that it would be really good.

horsepoor

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Re: Effectiveness of doing push ups throughout the day
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2014, 08:04:20 PM »
Was also going to recommend squats.  Deep air squats can be deceptively hard, and recruit bigger muscle groups than pushups. 

dragoncar

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Re: Effectiveness of doing push ups throughout the day
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2014, 11:03:39 PM »
Was also going to recommend squats.  Deep air squats can be deceptively hard, and recruit bigger muscle groups than pushups.

Why not both? 

Anyways, google "greasing the groove" (not porn)

horsepoor

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Re: Effectiveness of doing push ups throughout the day
« Reply #6 on: May 11, 2014, 12:23:23 AM »
I meant adding squats, not one or the other.

I REALLY don't want to Google that. 

jba302

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Re: Effectiveness of doing push ups throughout the day
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2014, 07:37:30 AM »
There was a really big bencher that set up a bench press in his kitchen and did sets of 225 through the day, this is like a light version of that. It worked for him (or he was a big bencher in spite of this). So your pressing ability should go up a bit depending on your current baseline.

In terms of aerobic, this is in the realm of "better than nothing" but your aerobic capacity isn't going to be affected all that much, if anything, beyond being able to do more pushups. Partially because you aren't going to be doing significant work, and partly because the muscle groups are tiny. If you want to positively affect cardio ability in short sessions, doing a couple sets of 100-200m sprints would be significantly more impactful. But then you have to change clothes and sweat which is counter to your plan.

The problem is once you get to a certain level of aerobic/strength/whatever capacity, there are no real short cuts. Your body only responds when you breach a certain threshold, so you have to put the work in. If you can do a sub 8:00 mile then no amount of walking is going to help that, for example.


Greg

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Re: Effectiveness of doing push ups throughout the day
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2014, 09:33:11 AM »
For a little variety, do one of your sets with your feet on a chair.  You'll feel the difference that the different angle makes pretty readily.

bikebum

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Re: Effectiveness of doing push ups throughout the day
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2014, 09:27:44 PM »
I like to supplement my workouts with random sets of push-ups or whatever. I read something that said, for muscle and strength building, splitting up your workout throughout the day is better because it sends more frequent signals which tell your brain you need more muscle. I'm not sure I buy that it's better than one workout, but the fact that other people do makes me think it's probably not worse.

You may want to increase above 20 over time, or just do a set more often. If you do the same thing every time, your body has no reason to get stronger, which is fine if you just want to maintain.

k-vette

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Re: Effectiveness of doing push ups throughout the day
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2014, 09:55:42 PM »
Look up endurance muscle training.  This can work well.  I used a similar technique for pull ups.  Im out of shape terribly now, but was up to 300 per hour.  I only did pull ups throughout the day in small numbers, and never took "rest" days.