Nah not THAT type of exercise - I hardly need to tutor you on that on this here site. Hehe.
I mean workouts as in fitness workouts.
This afternoon, I thought I'd take it easy. 50 squats and a LONG stretching session was ALL I did, friend.
I was feeling pretty good when I do what I do often.
"Let's do just ONE pushup".
I was resting at the time, so I really had no biz thinking pushups, but the "urge" to do so was greater than that not to (hint - key sign of an achiever) - and I dropped down, did one letter perfect rep.
Then a few minutes later, this thought popped into mind.
"Lets do 5 letter perfect reps, and call it a day".
5 I did, chest touching the floor on each rep, and I was amazed to find out I did not even want to stop there.
160 pushups later, I'm soaked in sweat and worked to the bone (especially forearms - man!) in a way I haven't been as of late.
What made this so intense for someone like me who casually cranks out 500 plus pushup workouts?
Well, there's several aspects to it, but maintaining focus on BREATHING And form as opposed to merely rep count and speed is key here.
Look, I tell you in Fast and Furious Fitness I can and do make 10 pushups harder than a 100, and this if done right is true.
Most people, even when they do FOCUS on the muscle being worked - focus on the wrong one for pushups - the chest.
This is better than nothing, but the real focus should be on breathing, triceps and LATS (or back) in that order.
Focus on the BACK of the body in general - and the front takes care of itself. Yes, those of you with naturally tight hamstrings - I fall into this category despite all the very extensive stretching I do - listen UP.
Finally, the key most folks miss even after you tell them (even I miss this sometimes during high rep workouts).
Yes, you heard me, scoffer - LEGS.
Specifically, the THIGHS.
I've written before in Pushup Central about proper form, keeping the body straight, but that isn't all there is to it.
You tense the thighs - the quads while doing pushups.
And if you do them the way I do - you CLENCH them as hard as you can while doing the pushup.
This turns the pushup - any form - into an entirely different workout that will work you to the BONE - especially the core my friend.
Try it, and see, and you'll understand what I mean.
Brooks Kubik in his classic book "Dinosaur Bodyweight Training" referred to this as the principle of co-contraction.
You can call it what you like, what he meant is what I'm saying - tense all muscle groups being worked consciously and breathe in and out "into them" and in general while you do your reps.
(That's a book I often read, much like any great book - such as 0 Excuses Fitness for one, or Think and Grow Rich, or the Magic of Believing- you cannot digest the contents of the book in one sitting - you have to come back repeatedly to get true value for the book. The discerning reader will note how he learns something new every time from these books when he does this!)
Really get MAX bang for each rep that way - and when you train this way you dont need very many reps at all to get a great workout in.
For me, today it was the relatively low number of 160 pushups.
OK, I swung my club for 100 reps too, but pushup wise...
When you train this way, you may find you ...
Do more warm up sets. I did more today (so about 185 in all).
SLOW down as you focus even more on breathing and form (and this is fine provided you dont DWADLE).
Do more "supersets" - I did a LOT of these today - perhaps thats another reason my forearms BE TOAST. MY!
And many other things.
You'll find above all youll get a great, great workout in without very many reps at all, and thats the key - and what I want to pass on in today's email.
Since I have - thats that!
Be sure and pick up the best course ever on pushups out there TODAY - Pushup Central.
And thats that friend. Back soon.