Thursday, 25 June 2020 12:22

Why pushups TRUMP the bench press ANY day of the week

I wonder what the ole Trumpinator would think of this, hehe.

Probably doesn’t care either way, but hey, he’d probably LIKE this email here - - and NOT for the reasons you might expect! ?

Anyway, I still remember the boobybuilder at the swimming pool, back in 2010 I think it was . . . Maybe 2009. Not sure.

Guy that was big as heck. Had all the puffed up bloated muscles, the massive chest and pelican legs . . . and very little back development to boot.

And of course the beachball biceps and so forth . . . which unfortunately weren’t helping him in the pool.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this dude. I was doing my laps swiftly, and he was watching me, and I still remember him coming up to me and talking to me.

“That’s good, man! You can really swim!”

“I’m getting there”, I grinned back (which is true;  I love to swim and can do it pretty well, but there’s always room for improvement!).

And then he told me the entire tale that I’ve detailed on the Shoulders Like Boulders page.

While he didn’t quite drop dead of a heart attack when he lifted his arms up to hang a picture, he almost got there.

Two bypasses before the age of 25 I think it was, or maybe 26. I can’t be “arsed” to look right now, but it’s something like that.

And all the so called strength and twelve pack abs couldn’t get him to ONE continuous SLOW . . . BREADTH of the pool.

He was literally resting for 10 minutes between each slow breadth! And this guy could pound out the weights like nobody’s business apparently before he did the smart thing and flat out quit.

Anyway, my last post on mental tip #2 (on the other site) w.r.t high rep workouts caused a bit of flutter for some people it seemed.

One person posted the following on my WeChat account: (one of the crappiest social media sites out there with some of the worst rogue nation tom tommers out there and . . . ah, but lets not get into that!)

“Maximum weight . . . add oil” was the first comment.

I have to confess I don’t know why he made the “add oil” comment. It’s a comment the Chinese often use in their own language. Translates into something like “come on”, or “keep going” or some such thing in English, and to be honest I don’t much care to delve into the specifics.

Much like I prefer calling an apartment complex an apartment complex as opposed to “garden” which a lot of foreigners seem to prefer calling it.

(The Chinese call apartment complexes “gardens” ; even in their own language. Don’t ask, hehe).

Not much of a China sympathizer am I? Well, that much is apparent from my posts, or should be . . .

And then 2 minutes or 3 later . . .

“Keep adding weight on the bench press for 1 rep with no spotter until you just can’t lift it. See how big your balls get when it’s really life or death”.

Anyway, why should that concern you eh.

Well, actually it should but we’ll get to that later.

My response to this dude was …

“Heavy singles are indeed a good method (if you lift weights). The oldtimers did a lot of that”.

And it’s true. Weightlifting done right is GOOD . . . but NOT the way most people do at the gym.

And if there was ever a more retarded exercise than the bench press out there, Id love to see it.

Perhaps the lat pulldown. . . but we’ll get into that later. I was going to talk about this to the dude, but got a bad vibe at the minute I was going to type out my response, so stopped.

No point talking to those that have already made their minds up eh. ?

For now though, here are some reasons right off the top of my head that I’d take pushups over benching any day (and bodyweight exercise OVER weight lifting, especially the puff and buff nonsense, any day of the week.

Pushups are the #1 strength and conditioning (and weight loss) exercise all in one, my friend. Truly the big dog of all exercises.

Don’t believe pushups require strength?

Lets take the 500 lb bench presser, and see how many handstand pushups he can do, or even GET into the position.

Let me tell you one thing – most CAN’T.

And the reverse isn’t true either.

Its far easier to progress into weight lifting if you’re already good at bodyweight stuff, but it doesn’t quite work that way the other way around.

And that brings me to my second point. Conditioning.

High rep bodyweight exercises, or even a set of 50 pushups done in slow, perfect form have a way of making that heart THUMP like NO other weight lifting exercise (especially not one rep, and then “rest”) will.

They have a way of making you breathe like NO other exercise will (except perhaps hill sprints).

And they build the ENTIRE body, my friend. Including the legs and core.

As for bench pressing . . . legs? Core? I don’t think so, my friend.

And I’m not just referring to pelican legs. I’m referring to the exercise itself (and hence the pelican leg syndrome that is so damned common out there - - and pathetic, really, to say the least).

The legs and core – and back are the TRUE seat of power, my friend and hoicking up a massive (or whatever you can) weight while lying prone on your back aint the way to develop any of those areas.

Especially not the way most guys grunt and groan through poor FORM while doing the bench press, an exercise which along with the deadlift is probably responsible for more shot shoulders than ANY other weight lifting exercise I’ve known.

And as for “life or death”.

There have literally been cases where people have died doing exactly what dude suggested i.e. try max reps with no spotter.

Might sound good in theory, but I doubt anyone approaches these with the goal to go out of the gym in a coffin . . .

And with pushups, the worst that can happen is nasty injury.

Circa my sprained thumb (or dislocated, actually), by far the most painful thing ever to happen to me. I’ve detailed what happened before, but basically it was freezing cold and a rainy day, and I got the urge to do fingertip handstands after a long ass workout, and . . . POP!

That thumb popped BACK in, and BACK OUT. And – OUCH!

I was told to rest it to “recover”. Never did. Kept training all throughout it, WITH the pain, and I really do think that helped me recover faster than if I were to just ice it up and “sit” on it, hehe.

Or, perhaps the busted chin (damn near) that happened when some joker let his dog get too close to me when I was doing my patented WIDE grip handstand pushups . . .

But nothing worse than that, really.

And while all of the above should be more than plenty, there are tons of more reasons, but I’ll do up another post (article, actually is what this damn thing is turning into!) on that later.

For now, lets look at what Herschel Walker had to say about bench pressing, pushups and the core. You know who he is, I’m sure!

"Almost everybody wants to look like a body builder and do 500 pounds on the bench. That sounds good, but all of sudden you've got back problems and all these other problems."

“You get the core ready, you can handle anything else”

As for pushups. His workouts (up till 3500 pushups a day) – should be proof enough!

And ANY serious combat athlete, or strongman would tell you the same thing.

Take Iron Mike Tyson, for instance. Bruce Lee. The Great Gama from India. All of them did a TON of pushups, and did NOT lift weights (and in the case of the Gama, he did, but certainly not bench pressing).

Last, but not least, if all of this ticks you off royally, well, that isn’t really the point of me saying it.

If after reading all this you’d prefer to go back to the benching station and see how many you can pump out with the bros cheering you on,  by all means be my guest.

Aint my job to “make the horse drink”, hehe. All I can do is take it to the water . . .

Lifting weights CAN be good –  but doing it the way people do in the gym (bench pressing, deadlifting etc) is usually more harmful than good.

As for what sort of “weight lifting” I am referring to that is good - - I’ve spoken tomes about it before on the list, but if you’re new to my list; well, hang on for a while yet - - I’ll do up another piece on that later!

And those are my thoughts on that.

Whew, that was a longer than usual piece. I’m out for now - - back later!


Rahul Mookerjee

P.S. – Pick up the best damned course there is on pushups right HERE. There truly IS NO BETTER course than this one, my friend, and that is a FACT.