Ever thought of getting in a complete workout from head to toe without a single piece of equipment (that includes even basic stuff like a jump rope, chinning bar etc)?
Have you ever wished that there was an exercise you could do day in and day out to give you a fabulous workout, 365 days a year, regardless of the weather outside?
Looking for an "all in one" exercise that hits the core and upper body like a Mack truck?
If your the average person, I'll bet you've answered "Yes" to at least one of these questions.
Now, the question stands - WHAT is this one single exercise that will get me in great shape regardless of external conditions? WHAT is this one "magic" exercise that I'm talking about that can be done virtually anywhere?
It's not sprints, although those will get your butt in great, great shape. It isn't jumping rope, and it isn't doing pull-ups - although both these exercises SHOULD be a part of your routine. And it sure as heck ain't "long distance running" either.
So, what is it, you ask.
Well, the answer is simple - it's nothing but the good old pushups. Yes, you heard that right - pushups can be, and ARE a complete workout unto themselves. This is a tough one for most people to accept, and yet, strange as it might sound to most folks, pushups tax every part of your body from head to toe, and ensure you get a fantastic workout in for the day.
Don't believe me? Well, I did 200 pushups as my mainstay today. And while I'm not going to bore you with the gory details, let's take a look at the exercises I did on the last 50: -
30 handstand pushups (in sets)
20 "arms extended" pushups (in sets of 10)
By themselves, these two exercises can give you a COMPLETE upper body and core workout - if you know how to do them correctly. Form is paramount - for good form on these, see Fast and Furious Fitness - and YES, it will take you time to get good at the exercises, but the fact remains that you could do these two exercises on a daily basis, and not have to do much else for the upper body and core.
Ok, so what about the lower body? Well, the "arms extended" pushups DO tax the lower body - but if your not satisfied, try on some "table" pushups for size, and then tell me how your thighs and hamstrings feel. Looking to blast the forearms some more? How about fingertip pushups? The list goes on and on - there is not a single body part except maybe the neck that pushups (done correctly) don't hit.
Now, am I saying that you shouldn't do anything else other than pushups? NOT at all - on the contrary, I highly recommend you mix things up once in a while, and work on pull-ups and other exercises along with your pushups. For instance, I myself did 500 rope jumps and a back bridge along with my pushup routine today. The point I'm trying to make is that pushups are an exercise that leave you with NO excuse not to get a good workout in - irrespective of other factors. And in today's world, where most procrastinate on end when it comes to exercise, this can only be a good thing.
So, my friend, have you done your pushups for the day? if not - it would be a great idea to get them in NOW - NO excuses allowed!
All for now - back soon with more!
PS: For those of you that have a copy of Fast and Furious Fitness, I've been preaching to the choir on this one. For those of you that don't, push on over HERE to grab your copy pronto.
I've often spoken about fingertip pushups as being one of the very best exercises that you can do. In addition to being a great finger, wrist and forearm builder, the fingertip pushup also develops the much ignored (and yet, equally, if not more important than the actual muscles) ligaments and tendons of the fingers. The exercise was a favorite for many an old timer, and you'll still find it being used extensively by boxers, wrestlers, and the like.
But, while it goes without saying that the fingertip pushup is something you need to work upon, here is something I haven't discussed before - and that is to concentrate deeply on your fingers while doing the actual pushup - perhaps even more so than while doing regular (or other) pushups.
Now, concentration is important in ANY form of exercise - you need to focus on each rep and perform it as if it was the last rep of that exercise you'd ever get to do. Again, this goes true for any exercise, be it sprints, pull-ups, lifting weights, yoga, whatever. So why am I telling you to focus more while doing the fingertip pushups?
Well, I started my workout off yesterday by doing a light set of fingertip pushups. Eased into my regular pushup workout that way, and all was going well. I was feeling strong on the day, so attempted a set of 20 fingertip pushups after doing 110 other styles. And they went fine - until rep #17 - when I felt my right thumb suddenly "slide" forward in front of my palm, and take my entire bodyweight on it as it did so.
OUCH! Now, THAT is something that hurts - those of you that have experienced thumb injuries of this type before know what I'm talking about. I couldn't even move the limb for a few minutes after that. Sensation gradually returned, and I somehow finished off the rest of my routine, but not without experiencing some serious discomfort in my right thumb.
Now, it's not as if I never do fingertip pushups. It's not as if they are something new to me - they're not. But yet, I managed to injure myself doing something I do most of the time. And the reason behind that was that I perhaps lost focus just a little bit while doing the pushups.
ALWAYS remember that while fingertip pushups strengthen your entire forearm from finger to elbow without belief, they also place tremendous stress on the fingers and supporting joints. And unlike with regular pushups where your large chest muscles start "talking" to you when the reps get tougher and tougher, your fingers generally won't give you any such advance warning - so you have to pay extra attention to them. You DO need to push your limits, as with any other exercise, but you need to do so with extra caution.
Second, it is important to note that fingertip pushups are meant to be done with ALL fingers - at least until you get really good at them. You'll see most people unknowingly shifting focus to both the thumbs as they tire - and this is something you do NOT want. This greatly increases the risk of thumb injury; and thumb injuries can get real serious, and take a long time to heal, so you want to be extra careful on this one.
Again, note that you can attempt to perform the fingertip pushup with three - or maybe even two - fingers once you get real good at the movement (in fact that should be one of your goals), but start out with extreme caution. Finger (and especially thumb) injuries are nasty, and take a long, long time to heal sometimes - so avoid them.
Anyway, I soaked the thumb in warm water and salt yesterday, applied a lot of "magic" spray, and the finger's much better today. The fact that I perform finger exercises probably aided in recovery, but even so, I took an unscheduled break from all upper body exercises today. Want to make sure this heals up for the most part before I place more stress on it, and going by the evidence on offer, I seem to be on track for a great workout tomorrow!
And thats that for the day. If you workout today, make it a great one!
PS: For more powerful wrist and forearm builders, take a gander at some of the other exercises I mention in Fast and Furious Fitness.
One of my goals for this year is to do 500 pushups a day as part of my daily routine. More specifically, my goal is to BUILD myself up to the point where I can do that many a day, and still do other things without feeling completely winded. Sort of like my 1500 jumps a day goal, which was significantly easier to achieve (for me) - and no, I don't do that many on a daily basis now - but is sure is a nice feeling to know I CAN do that many if I want or need to.
Now, I CAN do 500 pushups if I want to even now - I wrote a bit about that here: - http://rahulmookerjee.com/index.php/blog/item/47-500-pushups-a-day. But I'm bushed after that and barring a few core exercises (a FEW), I'm not going to be doing much more - and truth be told, I wouldn't NEED to do much more after doing that many pushups in one workout. But, goals are goals, and it's always fun to set TOUGH goals - as accomplishing a real toughie makes the effort required to accomplish that goal more than worthwhile.
For those of you that are wondering, I made the pushup goal a month or so ago - it was NOT a "New Year resolution". Don't believe much in those anyway, those type of resolutions seem to be the first to fall by the wayside as soon as the festive season ends.
Anyway, I'm working on getting there, and things seem to be going good so far. I'm pumping out an average of 300 pushups daily at this point (in one workout) - give or take a few. So I could do 297 today (my numbers for today) and hit 320 tomorrow, and an even 300 the next day and so forth. After this I'll usually work on some bridging, rope jumping, core exercises, handstand pushups and pull-ups - but thats AFTER my pushups.
Some of the things that I've noticed after incorporating these many pushups in my regimen are: -
- My breathing has improved vastly - sinuses, blocked noses and the like are very much a thing of the PAST. And this is due to the deep breathing that accompanies a pushup workout.
- Vastly improved core strength and digestion - I'm not doing as many core exercises as I did before, but am still getting a better core workout.
- Improvement in pull-up numbers (sounds strange, huh?)
- Improved wrist and forearm strength, without doing a single direct grip exercise
And those are just a few - it proves a point that I make repeatedly - that pushups are an OVERALL body exercises that build strength and conditioning throughout the ENTIRE body.
Now, am I saying pushups are all you need to do? Not at all - you still need to include core movements and pulling movements into your workout (and don't forget about working the legs!) - but if your just starting out, you might find it quite hard to do anything else after a 100 or so pushups.
And last, but not least, I feel way more alive throughout the entire day after doing a lot of pushups. Not sure why - I believe the deep breathing purifies the lungs while also working the muscles of the diaphragm, chest and rib cage at the same time - which leads to automatically breathing deeper through the entire day, and a feeling of increased clarity and awareness. I'm not sure how else to explain it - the best way to experience it would be to do the pushups yourself, and then see how you feel!
Anyhow, thats a goal I thought I'd share with you. Will keep you posted on my progress!
PS: Rome wasn't built in a day, and neither will you do 500 pushups in a day without working up to it. But, work up to it you CAN - and Fast and Furious Fitness will show you just how.
Did you know that the good ole' pushup can offer you a core workout that is almost unparalleled in intensity?
If your like most folks, it's a good bet that you don't generally think of pushups as a "all in one" core workout. Sure, people know that pushups work the upper abdominal region as well - but what most people really believe is that pushups are a good workout for the chest and arms - and not "much else". Tell someone that he can get a fantastic core workout in with pushups, and pushups alone, and he'll likely look at your as if you were nuts.
And given the general knowledge that people have about pushups, proper form while doing them, and what type of pushup to do - tis understandable, but pushups are SO much more than a chest and arm workout that it's not even funny. Sure, you work your arms and chest well during the movement - but to label the pushup (or to think of it as) as a pure "chest builder" would be to do it a gross disservice. Pushups work the entire body as a unit - especially the core - and some types of pushups can rightly be termed as "pure core movements".
Remember that when I'm talking about core training, I'm not just referring to the "abs". I'm NOT referring to the six muscles at the front of your stomach - I'm talking about hips, lower back, entire abdominal region, butt, thighs and hamstrings - all of which make up your core. Do a pushup - a simple, regular pushup in proper form and under control - and you'll quickly see that pushups are so much more than just an arm and chest builder.
And while the regular pushup does a super job of training the core, there are some variations that go way beyond where the regular pushup ends. For one, we have the "table" pushup where you position yourself on your hands and feet as if you were a table - hold - and repeat for reps. This variation is hell on the core, and is enough to pulverize even advanced athletes - but form is of utmost importance. Do this one in right form and for the right number of reps, and you'll quickly discover what I'm talking about when I say some pushups can be termed as "pure core movements".
Another one is the "extended pushup". This baby is a killer exercise - I'm yet to meet someone that can bang off 25 perfect reps in this one. You do these with your arms out in front of you, and while you may think that arm strength is the key to success in this one - it's NOT. You push up and down with core strength; and you build super core strength from this one movement alone. Do it with proper form, and you'll see what I'm talking about.
That's two that I just mentioned; but there are plenty of other such variations as well that I mention in Fast and Furious Fitness. I included these in my daily routine today - and believe you me, my core was shaking like an earthquake hit it after a few good sets. And you may be surprised to hear that each set did not take more than a minute or so to complete - 10-15 minutes of core torture in all, but that was plenty.
If your just starting out, I don't recommend doing them until you get good at the regular pushup as they are far more advanced and thus much tougher to do - but once you get good at doing regular pushups, work into the advanced movements as well.
So, what are you waiting for? Incorporate a few "core pushups" into your daily exercise routine, and watch (and FEEL) your core change before your eyes!
PS: Always remember that form is of paramount importance. Do NOT attempt either one of the exercise above until and unless you learn correct form, or you run the risk of getting injured. I detail proper form for these (and other types of pushups) in Fast and Furious Fitness - grab a copy NOW, and you'll be on the road to a strong, healthy, and conditioned core in no time at all!
I wrote a a bit about grip training and it's importance the other day. That post recieved quite a number of hits, so today, I thought I'd write a bit more about it - only, we won't be talking "directly" about grip training, rather, we'll be talking about how to get better at doing pull-ups. How does this relate to grip training? Well, you'll see - and I'm not referring to the usual "get a strong grip and you'll automatically get better at pull-ups" (though that is a very valid point as well).
But no. Today, we'll talk about an often ignored "link" while doing pull-ups - a hidden "key", if you would, that if applied correctly, will literally help you rocket past personal bests in pull-ups and other pulling movements in no time at all.
And this link that I'm referring to is nothing other than the "strength connection" between your hands, and your brain. This may sound strange to you at first, but hear me out first - the next time you do pull-ups, or lift a heavy weight, or do any pulling movement - focus on your HANDS, and your GRIP - and you'll find the exercise automatically becomes a bit, if not quite a bit, easier. REALLY focus on the bar your holding, or the feel of the weight in your hands - and see what a difference that makes.
I'll bet it's massive - and while I'm not sure how to explain it to you in scientific terms, I know that this is a FACT. Your fingers and hands are one of the areas of your body most jampacked with nerve endings and neurons "talking" to the brain, and when you focus on your hands - the brain automatically forces your muscles (and your body) to focus that much more on the lifting exercise - and boom - it becomes that much "easier".
And for those of you that believe in traditional Chinese massage and acupressure points - you'll know what I'm saying when I'm talking about tons of nerve endings in the hands reporting back to the brain. Sure, they exist in the feet as well - but we don't use our feet to lift too many objects. . .
Ok, so are you still with me? Still trying to figure out what all this hocus pocus about the hand-brain connection and Chinese acupressure has got to do with anything? Well, my friend, it does - and that brings me to today's tip - when doing pull-ups, or ANY pulling exercise - REALLY, REALLY focus on the grip. And the way to do that is to squeeze the living heck out of the bar your using - literally.
I do my pull-ups on a thick iron bar out in the park, so it's physically impossible for me to "squeeze" this sucker - yet, I try my best every time I do any pulling exercise on it. I really SQUEEZE the bar - until my fingers start screaming, and I STAY that way during the entire set. And guess what - this ONE simple detail has allowed me to make more progress in my pull-ups than anything else has.
This is one of those things that is easy to ignore - it's easy to simply hold on to the bar without really squeezing it - so make sure you keep this in mind while doing your pulling exercises. And if at all possible, do them on the thickest bars you can find - in addition to building fingers of rebar and a Tarzan like grip, you'll also build solid mental strength. Not easy to hang on to a thick bar and squeeze it for all your worth at the end of a tough workout - believe me on that one!
So thats today's tip - SQUEEZE the bar, and watch yourself progress faster that you ever have on your pulling movements!
PS: I cover this, and many other valuable tips that you do NOT want to miss in Fast and Furious Fitness - grab a copy NOW.
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!