Saturday, 17 March 2012 07:04

Should I give it my all in every workout

I know folks that stick to their training routines, work their exercises HARD and with passion; and follow a decent diet most of the time. These folks are giving it their very best in every workout - shooting for those 5 extra reps no matter what - or shaving a second or two off their sprint timings - or just doing an exercise better than they did it the last time they worked it.

Well, all good, you might say - so where does the question I posed come up?

Good question. 

A few weeks back, I was doing wonderfully well on my pushup workouts. Was banging out 200 odd pushups daily at a point - and when I say I was doing real well on them, I mean I was improving on every workout. I was either doing them at a faster pace, or doing more reps in one set, or doing more reps of a harder pushup than an easier one. And my progress led me to push myself harder and harder during each training session - which is normally a good thing.

But then, all of a sudden, one fine day, that seemed to change a little. I think it was Monday - I couldn't get past my previous "best" numbers on any of the pushups and I took a bit more time to do them than normal. Note that I still DID them - still felt GREAT after doing them - but I didn't "progress" in that particular workout.

No problem, it might just be an off day of sorts of me, I thought - and I didn't worry about it after that.

Come Tuesday, the same problem persisted. Come Wednesday, and I actually was able to do LESSER number of reps than I had been doing previously - and THAT got me thinking.

How could this happen? I was doing what worked for before (great tip right there), following the same diet as before, and doing everything the same way as before - but how was this causing me to go down on the pushup numbers?

Well, I then thought I'd take a bit of a break from the pushups and concentrate on some other exercises - this means I still did pushups daily, but I did more of some other exercises for the next three or so days. And when I finally did go back to my "set a personal record" pushup routine - voila - no more sticking points!

So, was it the different exercises that made the difference? Well - maybe - but the real thing is that I cut back on pushups a while, and didn't try to achieve a personal best in EVERY workout during those three days. And thats what I do these days as well. For instance, I did 100 pushups today - 120 yesterday - neither of those are a "best"; but sometime next week I'll shoot for 250, which is a decent number. And I bet I'll crack off without a problem.

So, my advice to you would be NOT to shoot for a personal best daily - and in THAT PARTICULAR regard not to give it your "all". Note I capitalized "THAT PARTICULAR" - this is important! I don't mean to tell you not to try hard in each workout - not at all. I'm just saying don't kill yourself in each and every workout - reserve that for some "special" day of the week. Follow that bit of advice, and you'll likely not hit many sticking points as well during YOUR workouts!

And that, my friend, is today's tip. Off to the shower now. 

Best regards,


PS: As far as pushup workouts go, you'll find all that you need right HERE.