Those that follow my emails/posts regularly know that pushups are one of my all time favorite exercises, bar none. I love doing them - and I do them on a daily basis. I'll do a 100 one day, 500 another day, or maybe just 30-50 on some days, but rarely does a day pass by without me banging out some pushups.
And what do I like so much about this seemingly "simple" (or so most people have been conditioned to think) exercise that brings such great results? What is the #1 reason that I rarely let a day pass by without doing pushups?
It's NOT the strength it builds all throughout your upper body, particularly the core and chest - althought that in itself is great.
It's NOT the deep breathing that is a MUST if your doing pushups correctly - and that if done correctly, cleanses your lungs and energizes your ENTIRE system like you won't believe it. See Fast and Furious Fitness for more on this.
It's NOT the flexibility some of the different types of pushups I do build - again, see the book for more on this - I love the flexibility benefits, and so will YOU if you do the pushups the way I tell you to - but thats not it either.
So, what is it then?
Well, simply put, my favorite reason for doing pushups daily is this: - They can be done virtually ANYWHERE, without investing too much time into the exercise. Yes, that's right - that is what I love the most about the exercise. You can do pushups virtually anywhere, and you need NO equipment to do them - and most of all, investing 10-15 minutes of your mornings into doing pushups will have you sweating like a fat man at a free dance - and you'll feel super-charged and ready to dive headfirst into the rest of your day.
And no, you don't HAVE to do pushups in the morning - although that is when I do them, and when I believe you'll get best results from exercising. But if you really don't have time to spare in the morning, make some time in the evening - or afternoon, if that is when you have a few minutes to spare - that works as well.
And because pushups can be done anywhere, and require very little time (and NO equipment) - there's no more excuses to not get a good workout in regardless of where your at? Stuck at a hotel and can't get to the gym? Well, I bet you have a FLOOR - drop down, and start cranking the reps out. No time to exercise except for 15 minutes before lunch? Well, do some pushups before lunch and see how good you feel for the rest of the day. And so forth.
So, the next time your feeling "down in the dumps", or "aren't in the mood to exercise", or "can't get to a gym" (insert excuse of choice), remember that you have a powerful exercise that you can use - anytime, anyplace, anywhere. No more excuses, my friend - and you'll be better off for it.
PS: For those that'll rail against this and say pushups aren't a workout unto themselves - well, sorry, but they can be - and ARE. And if you still don't believe me, well, just do some of the different types of pushups I mention in my book and THEN come back and tell me!
Today I'll discuss a topic that most of us have wondered about at some point. And that involves stretching - as in, when exactly should you stretch your muscles? Before a hard workout? During a workout? Or AFTER a tough workout?
Most "experts" recommend stretching before your workout. According to them, stretching "loosens" up your musclesd, and prepares them for the rigors of your workout. And according to them, stretching before your workout lessens the chances of injury. So, you've likely been taught that it's best to touch your toes a set number of times before you go out for that run. Or maybe that you should "stretch for at least 10 minutes" before starting your workout. Or something similar.
Well, I'm going to go out on a limb here and say something that will likely contradict what you've heard until now on this - I do NOT recommend stretching before a workout. Stretch once you've started to exercise if you must, and by all means stretch AFTER a workout - but not before. And while that contradicts what the "experts" say, well, try doing a stretch (that is somewhat tough for you - for instance, touching your palms to the ground in a standing position with the legs STRAIGHT) before you start exercising - and then do it again after you're hot, sweaty, and done with your workout. Which one is easier?
I'll bet it's easier to do it after your workout - not before - and the reason for this is quite simple. First, your muscles are properly warmed up by the time your done exercising - and a warm muscle is far more pliable and receptive to a tough stretch than a cold, tight muscle is. Ever tried to jump straight out of bed and do a tough hamstring stretch? OUCH!
Note that warming up is NOT the same as stretching - and stretching to warm up is usually not a very good idea, and actually increases the risk of injury as opposed to what the "experts" say. I am not against warming up - in fact I recommend it, and do so myself. But I don't do so by stretching. I may do a few light sets of an exercise to warm up, or I may go for a brisk walk - but that is NOT "stretching". And warming up actually helps you stretch better; not the other way around.
And thats one of the great things about the exercises I recommend in Fast and Furious Fitness - you can warm up with a few light sets of these exercises - and you can then use them in your actual workout as well.
Second, stretching after your workout helps release the lactic acid that builds up in your muscles during a hard workout and this helps you recuperate better from your workouts. Stretch a muscle that has been worked throughly during a workout - and it feels like pure bliss. Can't explain the why's or how's of this one - try it yourself, and you'll understand what I mean.
And now that I've said that it's best to stretch after a workout - and not before - let me throw a spanner into the works and say that there are workouts you can do that involves nothing but STRETCHING alone.
Yes - thats right - you can get a great workout sometimes by doing exercises that involve pure stretching - and I'm not referring to yoga here. Yet, these exercises stretch your ENTIRE BODY at once - not ONE particular area - and thus you can "ease" into the stretch, and keep easing into it throughout your workout. This actually helps tight muscles loosen up, while using the muscles that are already "loose" to help out in the stretch - giving you a great overall workout.
I'll speak more about this type of workout later - but for most people, you'll do just fine by stretching AFTER your workout - not before!
And thats today's tip. Have a great day!
My forearms are having a tough time of it today. They are swollen to the point where I think clenching my fist tightly will cause a vein or two to "pop out" - literally. My right upper forearm is making strange palpitations - sort of like the graph on a heart rate monitor - and the portion of my left forearm right beneath the elbow joint is numb in a strange, achy sort of way. Heck, it's not just my forearms - my fingers feel swollen as well, and are starting to make their presence felt as I'm typing this letter to you. Talk about being put through the wringer - YOW!!
And that, my friend, is what is liable to happen to you as well when you partake of a workout consisting of rope jumping, pull-ups, pushups, handstand pushups and grip/ab work at 10AM on a bright sunny March morning.The workout must have taken about 35 minutes total - I'm not sure, as I was too bushed to even time myself today, but thats a general estimate of how long it took.
Some people term this type of training as "madness". I've had folks look at me as if I were crazy while training. Heck, most of you regular readers know that I used to climb a hill as part of my daily routine in China - and this was sometimes done at 11AM, in temperatures approaching 37 degree Celsius, and humidity that made you feel like you stepped out of a hot shower the minute you stepped out of the air conditioning. At that time, a LOT of folks quite literally told me I was nuts to train this hard in hot weather, and how did I keep up my discipline, and so forth.
And to be honest, I'm fine with that. Maybe I AM nuts - maybe it IS madness - who knows - but for those of you that are enthused by this sort of thing and would like to try it yourself, remember that training the way I talk about will result in the following: -
- Forearms that feel like they've been put the wringer (yes, you already know that, but I'm just saying)
- The sweat will pour off you in a hot shower - even during your "rest" times, and your heart rate will go through the roof, and stay there. Ever felt a sledgehammer pounding inside your chest? Well, you WILL when you train this way.
- You'll feel like your about to collapse in a heap after a few minutes of this type of training; and you might well do so.
- The local ruffians hanging about in the park will cease playing cards and shooting the bull, and stare at you as if you've landed from Mars. Heck, not just the local ruffians - it'll be people in general that'll look at you as if you were certified. Even the friendly canines roaming about in the park where I sometimes train look at me with a funny expression on their faces when I'm doing handstands as if to say "Jeepers, what is HE doing?!"
- Some nuts with nothing to do and only time on their hands will come up to you and urge you NOT to train this way, and give you dozens of absymally silly reasons as to why you should heed their "advice". And you need to deal with this sort of thing firmly - see http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/articles/81-unsolicited-advice-and-why-you-should-ignore-the-same for more on this.
- You will have no energy left to "socialize" (read waste time) with others during your workout - you'll barely be able to talk during your workout, so your liable to be labeled anti-social in addition to crazy.
- And, your forearms will feel like they've been put the wringer - but hey, we already covered that one, didn't we?
So, if you don't feel like training the Fast and Furious way, well, I completely understand - no complaints from my end.
But if your one of the few that DO feel like this type of training is for you, then here are some MORE things you can expect: -
- Fat will melt off you like butter in a hot frying pan
- You'll develop a really strong and healthy core, stronger than most folks get in their lifetimes.
- You'll feel so great after your workout that you'll never consider exercising any other way
- You'll build the upper body strength of King Kong - and your shoulders and upper back will look like you borrowed them from a male African gorilla.
- You'll start growing out of your shirts just WEEKS after you buy them.
- Your legs will turn into nimble, strong, pillars of POWER - you'll wonder where all the extra endurance and strength came from!
And more, but those are some of the things you can expect.
Anyway, more on the "madness" - I plan on getting another workout in this evening. Not quite as extreme as what I did this morning, but I plan on banging out at least 30 handstand pushups and 100 situps in the workout. See how I do on that one.
All for now - as always, if you train today - make it a SUPER one!
P.S:- More such "crazy" routines that build crazy levels of strength and fitness can be found HERE.
Was another one of those days today where I woke up a bit cranky, and not feeling "on top of the world". No worries - I know exactly what to do to drive the blues away, and proceeded to do so almost pronto. And I'm feeling great now - can't imagine another case of the blues attacking me today.
And my instant pick me up is NOT comfort food, not a magic pill, and certainly not "one for the road". It involves a jump rope, and my running shoes - the exact formula being 1500 jumps. That's it - it's that simple.
Jumping rope is a fantastic overall exercise, not just for overall fitness, but also to drive the blues away. The jumping motion strengthens your legs and back, and the constant whippy rope turns ensure your forearms get a decent workout in as well (more than decent, if you do things the right way).
And fat loss? Man, when you can do 1500 jumps within 15 minutes, your not going to be worried about losing fat - your metabolism will be cranked so high that you'll be doing it all day long without even thinking about it!
Note than I'm emphasizing the TIME taken a lot - this is key. You don't want to take all day to jump rope, or any other exercise for that matter. I'm not saying everyone's gotta do 1500 in 15 minutes, but try and get your routine done as fast as you can without comprising form. This is key to weight loss, but also to releasing the correct endorphins into your body, and also gives you a fantastic, natural HIGH - that lasts all day long.
If your a beginner, start with some of the routines I mention in Fast and Furious Fitness. Do what you can, and you'll quickly realize why I can't praise this one exercise enough.
And last, but not least, don't overdo things. Progress slowly, and at a level YOU can handle - and you'll be on the road to super fitness within no time.
Let me know how you do!
PS: For the folks at Technorati, here's the code you requested me to put into a blog post: Q76FX9ABA3U9 . Regular readers may ignore this line.
PS#2: There is a reason why boxers and wrestlers jump rope as part of their daily routines. Find out why by going HERE.
I collapsed in a puddle of my own sweat this morning while exercising. Was breathing heavily, sort of like an old locomotive puffing it's way up a steep hill. And this happened multiple times during my workout - each time, I felt I couldn't go ANY further - but go further I did - until I completed my routine. I'm sitting here writing to you after I've finished - and I'm STILL sweating. My arms feel a bit numb, as does my chest - but they're going to be talking to me later for sure. HA!
And that, my friend, is what is liable to happen to YOU as well when you bang out 500 pushups in a single workout - which is what I did today.
Remember that 500 pushups per day is not something I currently do - so it was something different. It was also a real challenge - and making it past 300 odd didn't seem like it would be possible at one point - but I puffed, panted and somehow pushed my way to the magic 500. In fact, I was sweating so heavily that the carpet on the living room (where I work out) was damp as well - I kid you not on that one. And remember that winter's not gone as yet from these parts; I'm wearing a thick vest and a T-shirt on top of that - both of those should be enough to absorb the sweat, but evidently not - I was literally dripping sweat all over the place. And even if you leave the strength benefits aside for a minute - talk about a GREAT cardio workout - WOW!
Pushups are a workout all unto themselves - strength and cardio combined into one simple, and highly effective exercise. And the amazing thing about them is that even the easiest pushup is enough to humble the toughest guy. There is a very good reason that pushups (along with pullups) are a mainstay for soliders in the army. I teach you how to do different style of pushups in Fast and Furious Fitness, as well as how to progress up to higher numbers, so if your looking to get better at pushups, this is where you need to start.
Now, I know that some of you reading this are going to get pumped up and are going to want to do hundreds of pushups daily, even if you haven't been doing them a while. And while getting pumped is good - remember that it takes TIME to work up to 500 a day. I do pushups on an almost daily basis, and 500 is hard as heck for me as well. A good goal for most folks would be 50 pushups a day - believe it or not, that in itself is more than what most folks can handle.
If your working out regularly, shoot for 75, or 150 pushups per day - but whatever you do, remember that working up to higher numbers takes TIME and dedication. There's no point in busting your butt trying to do 500 if you can't do 10 in good form - do what you can, and work up from there.
And that's it for the day. I'm off to shower now - provided I can get my shirt off my back!
PS: Pushups are great, and you should be doing them on a regular basis as well. Grab a copy of Fast and Furious Fitness NOW, and catapult YOUR own strength and levels of conditioning to a whole different level.
Had one of the best workouts of the week today. I know I say that a lot of times - said it yesterday, as a matter of fact, but that's how it goes when you train in a sensible manner, and put in a ton of hard work - you get RESULTS, and you get one GREAT workout after the other!
If you read yesterday's post, you know that I did some tough exercises in my workout yesterday, and made good progress on a lot of the movements. I was sore when I woke up today - especially in my triceps and back (funny combination, huh?) - so figured I'd do a "lighter" workout than usual, in order to speed up recovery and still get a decent workout in for the day. And so, off I went to the living room - which is currently where I'm exercising. Nice, large room, can move a couple of the sofas out of the way and have lots of room in which to train.
By the way, I mentioned a small, but important detail in that last paragraph which you need to incorporate into your routine - see if you can find it.
Anyhow, I was planning on doing rope jumping and pushups as the mainstay of my workout today, and end after that. Started off with a few jumps, and then pushups, and so forth. And before I know it, I'm dripping with sweat and have not just got in a good workout - I've got in a HECK of a workout - just as tough as yesterday, except in a different manner.
And would you believe it - I did nothing other than movements that I consider to be EASY - and yet got a fantastic workout in. Yes, that's right - I did EASY movements all throughout the routine.
Now, how is that possible?
Well, I simply did an "easy" exercise, and then supersetted it with more reps of that "easy" exercise and then collapsed when I couldn't do any more. And then believe it or not, I did another superset of that same exercise - right after the second one - and then went from there. Before I knew it, the easy exercises had become tough, and completing even one rep was a challenge by the end of it all.
So there you have it - yet another small detail than you can incorporate into your routine at times to change things up, and give you a superb workout without doing a lot of new things. Many more such (usually ignored) details are included in Fast and Furious Fitness - grab your copy today.
Note that I don't advocate this type of training all the time, and neither do I advise doing so for new trainees, or those that are just starting out. Ditto if your not good at a certain movement. I myself only do this once in a while, maybe once every two weeks or so. And always, always listen to your body while training - that bit of advice holds true here as well.
Try it, and let me know how it works for you!
PS: Make sure to visit our products page regularly for updates on new items!
A few days ago, I spotted a couple of guys training in the park a few feet away from me. Now, normally I don't pay much heed to what others do during their workout - I'm more concerned with my own training. Also, I make it a point not to interrupt others during their training - even if I don't agree with what they are doing - and thats a courtesy I expect (but don't get all the time) myself as well.
So, these guys were having a pushup competition. I didn't hear the actual words being spoken, but they were trying to see who could rep out 50 pushups without stopping, and who was the fastest. And it was good I didn't actually hear what they were saying - my eyeballs were bulging out of my sockets (and not in a good way) just upon seeing what they were doing - so I don't think I needed to hear the logic behind what they were doing!
Anyway, guy #1 starts on his pushups. He pumps his chest out once or twice, stretches his arms, and drops to the ground. And he starts on the reps - only going halfway down on the down part of the pushup and bouncing up with atrocious form on the up part. And he didn't even go all the way up before marking that as one rep, and immediately starts again. He made it to about 12 before dropping on the ground like a sack of potatoes, and declared "that was tough".
On to guy #2, who does much of the same thing guy #1 did - except with even more lousy form - I'm wondering what state his lower back must be in if he constantly does pushups with his stomach touching the ground before his chest does. . .I think he made it up to 15 before sinking to the ground like a deflated balloon.
They then started for round #2, but neither was able to reach more than 15, at which the pushup mania petered out, and they moved onto their versions of dips - something you do NOT want to hear about.
At that point I quit looking - I love a good laugh as much as the next person, but there's only so much foolishness I can take in one session.
Anyway, the point of telling you this is not to poke fun at the two guys - it's to point out that getting an ego blast from completing sloppy "half reps" doesn't count for squat. I could give these guys ten regular pushups to do in correct form, and they likely wouldn't be able to complete that number - let alone 50. But of course, the guy's gotta tell his friend that he did 50 in a row, just so he can feel good about the number.
And this sort of behavior is more common than you'd think - I've seen countless other examples over the years I've been training. It's sad - allowing your ego to take over your training only harms you. You'll actually take two steps backward instead of one forward, run the risk of getting injured, burning out on the exercise and all for a temporary ego massage. NOT worth it, me thinks.
The funny part is, the guys I'm talking would actually get a great workout (considering their current levels) by doing pushups slowly and in proper form rather than think about the numbers. They would do good to start off on the basic pushups I mention in Fast and Furious Fitness - and THEN move on to other pushup variations once they get good at cranking out the basic movement.
So don't inflate your rep numbers artificially just to please your ego. And note that there is a difference between setting goals and massaging your ego.You CAN set a goal of 100 pushups and work towards that - but claiming you can do a 100 pushups when you can't do 5 in proper form is useless.
Don't be the guy that can bang out a 100 pushups within a certain time frame - be the guy that can bang out a 100 pushups in good form within a certain time frame. Two words to be sure, but they make a massive difference to your training, and the results you get.
PS: Order your copy of Fast and Furious Fitness now, and you'll soon be on the road to doing 50 GOOD pushups in a row.
This morning's workout was FUN, and got me breathing hard and heavy. I was dripping with sweat before I was even half way through my routine - and you know it's FUN when I wanted to go on, and do more and more. And what made it even better is that I interspersed my regular routine along with practicing some new moves - moves that I've done but am not that good at - yet.
That's one of the great things about the routines I emphasize in Fast and Furious Fitness - they're FAST, and they're FUN. The exercises and routines mentioned have you moving quickly from one exercise to the other, and you don't get much of a break in between either. That is not the case with weight training where you take breaks in between sets, and neither is the case with "long distance" cardio, where you keep your heart rate at a certain level and don't take it beyond that. No, my routines get you moving FAST - and they get you STRONG at the same time. Don't believe me? Well, try out some of the tough routines I've mentioned in Fast and Furious Fitness, and then let's see how you feel.
Now, note that the point of this email is NOT to knock other forms of exercise - hey, if you enjoy lifting weights, jogging on the treadmill and so forth - go for it. My own personal opinion is that my routines work better in terms of delivering more results in lesser time without the hassle of extra equipment, but if you feel otherwise, hey, thats your opinion and your fully entitled to it.
Anyway, back to learning a new skill. I worked on several different skills today during my regular workout - including freestanding handstands, one arm pushups, and more. I can DO these exercises - but I am not yet at the level I'd like to be with regard to these, so working on these ALWAYS makes my workout tougher.
And note that learning a new skill takes time - so if your trying something different - something WAY tougher than what you've been doing - then expect it to take some time. You may not be able to do very many repetitions when you first attempt the new exercise , but stick to it - the learning process alone will strengthen your entire system in ways you've never experienced before, and the time spent will be well worth it.
I recommend throwing in learning new skills WITH your regular workouts. One of the reasons behind this is that you don't get a lot of cardio benefit initially from learning the new skills, as you are unable to do many reps - so your regular workout gives you a good cardio and strength workout - and you then take the strength to another level with the new exercises. And once you get good at them, you add in some MORE new exercises. And so forth.
This goes to show that the sky is, literally the limit when it comes to advancing with bodyweight exercises. And thats one of things I love most about these exercises - the ability to progress as far as you want to.
The above is one of the keys to unlocking your "potential" for gains. Implement it wisely, and you'll be amazed when you accomplish what you previously thought was impossible.
PS: Here's the link once again - click NOW, and start working towards a better and stronger you TODAY!
How often should you train? You get all sorts of conflicting information these days about when to train and how often to train. "Training frequency", "adequate recovery", and other such buzzwords abound; and it makes it hard for the newbie who has just embarked on a training program to figure out how much is "enough".
For instance, you may have a person thinking "Rahul advertises 15 minutes programs", so 15 minutes is enough, and not a second more. Or "My second aunt told me to train if you feel like it and not worry about how much or when and so thats what I'm going to do". Or "Bubba down the road trains for two hours daily, and he's got HUGE arms! THAT is how long you should be training for - TWO hours daily!".
And it's true - it may sound humorous, but it's true.
So, how much IS enough? Only YOU can decide that. Only you know what level your at with regard to your training, and what your goals are - and you need to tailor your program to suit those goals.
I advocate daily training; as well as taking optimal rest. This means that you train hard daily - but you do NOT do so to exhaustion - to the point that you can barely move the next day. This may mean training for 15 minutes daily, or it may mean 30 minutes. It may mean training every second day while undergoing "active recovery" on the rest days.
We were always told to exercise daily when we were young for optimal health. This is sage advice; "wisdom" that has been passed down through the ages, but it holds true today as well - and will apply to generations to come as well. The old-times all emphasized DAILY activity. You might workout once on Monday, twice on Tuesday - and then take a rest on Wednesday and walk for a mile or so - and so forth. This way, you do SOMETHING daily while not overloading your system to the point of no-recovery.
And now for one last thing: How often do I train?
Well, usually once a day - I train hard for about 30 minutes, or 40 minutes MAX (including warm ups). I may train twice a day if I feel like it, or if I'm trying out something new that I want to get better at. I've had periods before where I've broken down my workout into morning and evening segments. And on my rest days, I usually walk at least a couple of kilometers. Nothing back breaking, but I've found it helps me recover better. It also means I'm not lazing around and idling on my rest days - I'm "doing something", even if that something isn't something too taxing.
And as I've said so many times before, thats where it all starts. Do something, and that something turns into something more, and you go from there. And this applies to all facets of your life - not just training.
OK, that's the tip for the day. Gotta go get MY own walk in for the day!
PS: If you're serious about your training, grab a copy of Fast and Furious Fitness TODAY. You'll never wonder about this question again!
In today's workout, I didn't do as many repetitions of pushups as I normally do for each set. I couldn't sleep all of last night (not sure why) - so was naturally more than a bit fatigued this morning, especially considering I got in a tough workout yesterday as well.
Note: You would do good to remember that exercising hard or starting a new exercise program the day after you stay up all night is NOT a good idea - I'm used to the program, so I did it anyway - but this doesn't necessarily hold true for everyone. Listening to your body on such occasions is a very good idea. . .
Anyway, back to my workout. I did a total of around 150 pushups, but I did not do them at the pace I do them normally - and neither did I do the same number of reps per set that I usually crack off. Couldn't manage either this morning, and thats fine - that happens sometimes. They key thing is to work around it, and do what you can - and I mention the same thing repeatedly in Fast and Furious Fitness as well.
So I had to squeeze more out of each rep in order to get the most out of my workout today. And I did so - I focused on each rep as if it were my LAST, and did each rep in letter perfect form. These are things you'd do well to keep in mind even during a "regular" workout, but they are even more important on your "off-days" (as this morning was for me).
And do you know what? I ended up getting just as good of an overall workout, even though I did LESS number of reps per set. And this is because I did fewer reps - but I did them WELL. Emblazon this in your mind or training journals right NOW - Do a few reps, or even one if you can only manage one - but get the most out of that rep.
And last, but not least, you may want to exclusively concentrate on low rep workouts sometimes. I don't recommend this most of the time, but it makes for a good change sometimes - and is also an excellent way to work up to doing high reps of an advanced movement.
Implement these principles into your training routine, and watch your results soar.
All for now. Happy Valentine's Day (for those of you that celebrate it) - and if you train today, make it a great one!
PS: If you missed out on the special V-day offer I sent out earlier, hop on over pronto to http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/blog/item/32-v-day-special-offer. This is one you don't want to miss.
In a previous life, I used to share "cubicle space" with a guy that was into bodybuilding big time. And I mean big time - this guy used to talk about three to four hour workouts as the norm, and "even longer" on Saturdays/Sundays/holidays/whenever he could find the time. He was one of those guys who trained every body part and muscle seperately "to achieve the correct look" (in his words) - so his workout would be endless sets and type of curls for the biceps, then extensions and other things for triceps, and so forth for every body. And that pretty much made up the three to hour hours.
Now if this is what someone wants to do - I have no problem with it whatsoever. It'll entail living in the gym, and oding nothing other than eating and exercising (and not necessarily causing much benefit to your body) but again, if thats what someone wants to do with his life, well, you'll find no objections from my end. To each his own, is what I say.
But - think about the workout times he mentioned. THREE to FOUR HOURS - and remember this was his daily routine - he'd do more on the days he could. And he wouldn't rest - not even for ONE SINGLE day in the week. Now I don't know about you - but I know I need some rest time at least. And I know I have other things to do with my life than sit around in the gym all day.
The sad thing is, this type of thinking is more common place than you'd think. Folks tend to think of exercising "an hour a day" as being imporant - but neglect to think about what exactly they are doing in that one hour. Kids grow up looking at the muscle heads on TV, and the "six packs" on show, and end up thinking they need to go on crazy diets and spend their lives in the gym to get good results. And guess what - in most cases, they DON'T get good results from overloading their bodies to that degree. Remember yesterday's email mentioning the folks in the park? Well, the same logic applies here as well.
Anyway, reminds me of a day when this guy had done a "super grip" workout the other day, and wanted to check out how his strength had improved as compared to mine. Now, I had done my normal workout the day before - nothing different. We grasped each other mitts - he attempted to crush my fingers for a while - and then when he saw he wasn't having any success, he suddenly muttered something about not feeling well, released my paw, and retreated to the water cooler. So much for that one and a half hour "grip blast" that he did.
As for me, you know what I do. I emphasize brief workouts - that are TOUGH - and that get you working at a much higher level of intensity than you would normally. And they get you supremely strong and fit as a fiddle - and this without having to spend all day exercising. My own workouts don't generally last beyond 30 minutes at most - the only exception to this if I'm doing some new movements or learning a super tough exercise - other than that, I don't go beyond 30 minutes at most. In fact, on some days I'll only do TEN minutes - and thats more than sufficient as well.
So, always remember that your workouts need not last the entire day. Fiften to thirty minutes a day is really all you need - in fact, if do things correctly, you won't be able to do anything else after that. Exercise the way I teach you in Fast and Furious Fitness - get your workout done in a short amount of time - and then proceed with the rest of your day, while feeling on top of the world - and getting BETTER results than those that are spending their lives in the gyms.
Well, my friend, thats it for today. Gotta head over to the good old Post Office to ship out some copies of Fast and Furious Fitness.
PS: Always remember - Exercise hard and regularly - but do so in a SENSIBLE manner!
PS#2: Be on the lookout for a special offer coming your way within the next few hours!
Recieved a slew of responses to yesterday's blog post, some that I agree with, and some that I dont - but all of them interesting regardless. Thanks for sending them in, and remember that if I haven't responded to you personally, it's only because I haven't had the time to do so as yet. I DO read all the feedback coming in, so rest assured that if you've sent me something, I've read it.
Anyway, a gentleman from the UK wrote in with a particularly interesting response. I won't use his name here but the gist of his email was that he didn't believe EITHER high reps or low reps would cause any significant strength gains, if one were to use bodyweight exercises. He went on to say that he "used to do pushups and that sort of stuff before", but has now switched to weights, and is enjoying strength gains "like he's never had before". And finished off by saying that while he enjoys the daily emails I send out, he wasn't in agreement with what I said yesterday.
OK, so let me provide my thoughts on this.
First off, I am not and never have been against training with weights, kettlebells, machines or any other means that you may choose to. My own personal viewpoint is that you can get far stronger by working with your own bodyweight than you can with weights - and that's USEFUL, functional strength as opposed to doing the typical "bodybuilding" routine in a gym, but thats my view on it. I can explain my point of view to you, - but if after hearing me out you still prefer to go ahead and train with weights, then I have absolutely NO problem with it.
Now as far as the "no strength gains from bodyweight exercises" part is concerned, I am not in agreement. If you do bodyweight exercises like they're meant to be done - the correct numbers, right progressions and so forth - and with proper FORM, then you WILL get stronger - there's no two ways about it. And doing them the RIGHT way is key - you cannot expect to do 50 half assed pushups daily with lousy form and breathing, and yet expect strength gains - it's not going to happen. In fact, the majority of people that work out with weights need to do pushups on a regular basis - and it WILL make them stronger - but the pushups need to be done correctly - and this gentleman likely wasn't doing them that way.
I teach you a plethora of bodyweight exercises, as well as how to do them in PROPER form (something that most people do NOT do); order your copy HERE and get started on them - and be prepared to be stunned at the benefits you reap.
And if you still don't believe me, just look at what bodyweight exercises (done correctly) have done for folks. One of my friends in college was a die hard weights fanatic - he wouldn't do bodyweight stuff if his life depended on it, and was consequently fairly weak at most bodyweight exercises (such as pushups). I managed to talk him out of doing his usual gym routine for a month - and focusing solely on bodyweight stuff. It wasn't easy, but he finally did it - and when he went back to the gym, he was shocked that he could lift FAR more than before. ALL his lifts (and presses) had gone up substantially - and this without even lifting a single weight for an entire month. Not to mention the cardiovascuar benefits that he got - and believe me, you'll work up far more of a sweat doing bodyweight exercises at the right pace than lifting weights.
Last, but not least, I congratulate the gentleman in question for the gains he's made. He's done something, and progressed - so that alone puts him ahead of the rest of the pack - but mark my words and listen to me later, he would get far, far more benefits by following the routines in Fast and Furious Fitness.
But thats a choice only he can make.
What about YOU? What kind of choice are YOU going to make? I can make a recommendation - but only YOU can decide what you are going to do.
Make that choice, and make sure you make a SMART choice!
Ok, that's it for today. If you train this weekend, put your heart into it and make it one of the best workouts you've ever had!
PS: Don't forget about what I'm saying after reading this email. Don't sit back and think "there's nothing I can do to improve my fitness". Don't think about weight training as the be all and end all of succesful training. Do the smart thing by grabbing your copy of Fast and Furious Fitness HERE, and watch as a whole new world of possibilites opens up before you.
We've all heard it. The "high reps vs low reps" debate - basically, the question of whether to perform a high number of repetitions of an exercise or do a low number.
Most of us that train on a regular basis have heard this one and have pondered the question in detail. And even if you don't exercise - chances are excellent that at some point, you've thought or heard talk about "pressing 300 lbs five times for five sets ", or "doing 10 consecutive pull-ups". Is it better do the pushups all at once, or do them in sets? And so forth.
I'll provide my thoughts in a minute, but first, let's shift focus slightly and take a look at two categories of people that are generally considered to be "strong" - laborers (or others that do heavy physcial labor as part of their daily routine - such as dockloaders) and Olympic powerlifters. Yeah, I know, it's a strange combination, but bear with me for a minute here.
The dock loader lifts heavy weights all day long, loads them, and repeats. The laborer does much the same thing, except maybe in a different manner to the dockloader.
The Olympic weightlifter (NOT bodybuilder) lifts a massive weight, puts it down, rests and repeats. He may do this once, or for a set number of repetitions - but he doesn't do this all day long. He then does another exercise where he again lifts (or pushes) a weight, puts it back, rests and repeats. And so forth.
Now, who is "stronger"? Who is more "powerful"?
The answer is, it's impossible to tell from the information given - which in this case is the exercise, and the number of repetitions performed. And similarly, it is virtually impossible for me to give you a clear cut "yes/no" answer to the question of low reps vs high reps. The only answer I can give you is that "it depends", and by that I mean it depends on a variety of factors too numerous to mention here.
For example, my own workouts often involve high repetitions, especially when I'm doing things like jumping rope and pushups. But I often concentrate on doing low repetitions of a certain movement - and still manage to get an EXCELLENT workout in. As a matter of fact, that is precisely what I did this morning - and I feel great now.
The key is to do SOMETHING. Do 5 reps if that is all you can manage, and pretty soon you'll be up to 15. And that's really as simple as it gets. As to the almighty question of "what is better - low or high reps", again - start doing something - and KEEP on doing something - and you'll soon see why there is no one size fits all answer here.
More on this topic later. In the meantime, if your looking for routines with both low and high repetition workouts, well, you've come to the right place, my friend. Click on over to Fast and Furious Fitness and get yourself a copy of the book that will change the way you think about fitness - forever.
We've all heard the question, and know the answer - especially those of us in the corporate world, who probably hear it more often than we want to. A daunting task seems daunting - because that is what it is - daunting - but it seems a lot less daunting when broken down into small-sized "bites" or manageable chunks. And this applies to all aspects of your life - it applies to you whatever you do - and that includes your training as well.
This morning's workout was a combination of pushups, rope jumps and a few other things. I banged out 751 rope jumps and 151 pushups in this workout - and am feeling on top of the world now. And get this - I didn't do them all at once. I broke down the task into manageable chunks, and got my goals accomplished. 750 might sound like a huge number (an elephant) - 100 doesn't though. Do 7 sets of 100, and throw in 50 more - and voila, you reach your goal.
I cover this concept in more detail in Fast and Furious Fitness as well - but for now, let's shift focus to those of you that might be just starting out. Remember that what I've just said applies to YOU as well. Yes, I've been doing this a while - and 1000, or 1300 rope jumps (along with other things) in one single workout is an achievable goal for me - but it likely isn't if your just starting out. In fact, the rank beginner is often unable to do more than TEN repetitions of a single exercise - and that is perfectly fine. Set a goal of 50, and work up to there, and then improve from there.
You see what I'm saying - this little concept applies to everyone - beginner, intermediate or advanced, or any other category you can think of.
And some of you might be wondering "why 751" and not 750? Well, that's a personal quirk of mine - if I'm doing a 100 reps of something, I don't feel as if I've done 100 reps until I go slightly beyond 100. Could be 103, could be 108 - but I usually do a bit more than the target I set myself. And this is a powerful concept indeed - one that deserves it's own post - stay tuned!
Apply what I just said to your training - and watch your gains SKYROCKET.
PS: The best training program in the world is useless without a good diet plan - grab a copy of the Simple and Effective Diet NOW.