Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Whoever thought 30 pushups would be easy?

At this point, 30 pushups seems like nothing. But seriously, week 5 of the 100 pushup program is definitely not a walk in the park. About halfway through week 3, I dropped my pushups down to my knees. Part of me feels like that's cheating. But on the other hand, my wrists were taking a serious beating doing 100 pushups (over 5 sets) on my toes. Plus, given that both my mother and grandmother have carpal tunnel syndrome, I listen to my wrist pain.

So no toe pushups for me (at least, not for high reps).

Plus, doing them on my toes means that I only come down about halfway, three quarters if I'm being really good. When I dropped to my knees, I could then bring my chest all the way down to brush the floor, and it felt as if I were isolating the chest muscles better.

All that to say that I'm doing pushups on my knees and getting a better workout for it.

I did my week 4 completion test on Sunday, and I made sure not to not look at the minimum to get the top rung (because if I did, I knew, just knew, that I would only do the minimum and tell myself that was enough). I managed to pound out 50 (50!), and it didn't really start to get hard until about 35-40 (40 ended up being the minimum).

Monday I was teaching boot camp, and our cardio exercise was jumping jacks. And I was psyched to notice that I actually have shoulder dimples now when I'm doing jacks! My body type is the kind that doesn't gain muscle definition easily, so I'm always super excited when I have the least little line that shows up. If I end up not finishing the pushup program, then I'll still be happy for this little development, even if it goes away once I stop doing so many pushups.

But then came the start of week 5 on Tuesday. Week 5 and 6 look completely insane. I'm not kidding. I didn't have too much trouble with the last day of week 4, even though I did too many since I couldn't remember the numbers (I did 30,24,24,20,30). But once I get past 30 and start nearing 40, that's when the muscles in my chest start to burn badly. Which is the point, I suppose. Here's what weeks 5 and 6 look like:

Week 5
Day 1: (60 sec rest in between) 40/32/30/25/40(or as many as possible/AMAP)
Day 2: (45 sec) 20/20/18/18/15/15/14/AMAP 40
Day 3: (30 sec) 18/18/16/16/14/14/12/AMAP 40

Week 6
Day 1: (60 sec) 56/45/42/40/AMAP 56
Day 2: (45 sec) 30/30/25/25/25/25/22/AMAP 56
Day 3: (30 sec) 27/27/23/23/23/23/20/AMAP 56

Given that my max on Sunday was 50, doing 40, then another 32 with just a minute in between seems nigh on impossible. I made it through about 25 of the second set. I think I may take another couple days off of pushups, maybe do some chest flies instead, and repeat week 4 again.


Crabby McSlacker said...

Good for you for doing all those pushups, and for watching out for your wrist pain too.

It's easy to get caught up in arbitrary goals and end up with injuries; I think it's great that you figured out how to take the challenge without making the carpal tunnel worse.

The Lethological Gourmet said...

Yeah, I learned that the hard way a couple years ago when I tried to combine high heels with step aerobics (not at the same time, ack!) and no stretching and ended up with a killer case of plantar fasciitis. Just never really thought about what the heels and the exercise were doing to my body. So definitely paying more attention now. And I so need a couple days off from pushups. Maybe even I'll wait until Saturday. I've had a hell of a week this past week, and I need a break.

Charlotte said...

Way to go girl! 100 push-ups in any increments is a huge accomplishment. And I'm glad you're watching those wrists. Ever try push-ups on your fists? Def. easier on the wrists...

The Lethological Gourmet said...

I can actually do them on my wrists when I'm on my knees (or up on my fingers, with the heels of my hands in the air). I couldn't do them on my fists when I was on my toes (not at least, in that quantity of reps). So I mix it up. Sometimes hands flat, sometimes fists, sometimes on fingers.

I have these pushup handle thinks that are like weights without the weight part. They're supposed to help your wrists. My problem is that they fall over and I end up landing on my wrists. Not a good option.

Laura K. Curtis said...

I like to do them on my fists with my hands curled around small barbells. Keeps the fingers off the floor. But my orthopedist would have a fit if he knew I was doing them at all, so they're quite rare for me these days. (Shoulder surgery put an end to the pushup fun. When I was in the best shape of my life, I could do 50, I think it was, as part of the Women's Warrior Workout, but no more.)

My husband has--and loves--Perfect Pushups ( ). It's the same idea as using the weights to keep your knuckles off the floor and gives you the addition of the movement.

The Lethological Gourmet said...


I keep telling myself I should use weights to help out my wrists, but then I always forget. I think I have some deep down in my closet somewhere I should unearth...