Saturday, 03 March 2012 06:13

Brute upper body strength

Back when I was a kid in high school, I was one of the skinniest guys around. I wasn't much of an exercise fanatic back then - but something I've always wanted to have was a huge upper body. At that time, I had no idea about how to train the body, or what parts of the body are the most important to train - or anything like that, but all I knew is I wanted a huge, barrel chest along with arms to match. And mostly for the "look" - it's sad, but true, that most kids at their age don't have an inkling of what REAL strength can do for you.

When I first got into training, I started doing pushups on a regular basis. These didn't quite give me the results I wanted, but then I found out I wasn't doing them right - so I started doing them right, and started to see results. Fast forward a few years, and I'm doing like 250 pushups per workout - on a daily basis - which is not a bad number to  be cracking off daily. And I got more than the results I wanted from this routine - but, I still wasn't quite growing out of my shirts like I'd have liked to. I had a flat stomach, a strong chest - but my shoulders, while not under developed by any means, weren't bursing out of my shirts.

But, there was ONE thing lacking in my routine - and that was doing pushups from a handstand position; in other words, handstand pushups. 

Ever since I started doing this amazing exercise, I've never looked back. My upper body strength has skyrocketed - and my chest and shoulders have grown broader than ever before. I think I wrote to you a while back about having difficulty shopping for shirts? Well, that problem persists - we're never quite sure whether the shirt I buy today will fit me in a couple of month's time. Also, remember that I'm 31 years of age, and not exactly a spring chicken any longer. - but, I have a far stronger upper body than I've ever had before in my life.

And folks keep asking me if I go to the gym and lift weights - and my answer is always, NO. It's an honest answer - I don't lift weights, but remember that bodyweight exercises done correctly will give you even more "bang for the buck", and the example I've just given you is a case in point.

Remember that while handstand pushups are one of the best exercises you can do for the upper body, they are NOT for everyone. If you have wrist problems - work into these with caution, strengthen your wrists, or use pushup bars to do them. If you are currently unable to do more than 10 regular pushups in a row - then your probably NOT ready to start banging out handstand pushups. Trust me on this - I developed a nasty bone "spur" from doing these when I wasn't quite ready for it - which took a while to heal - so don't make the same mistake yourself.

I cover handstand pushups and other related exercises in Fast and Furious Fitness - you can get your copy here.

And last, but not least, remember that a BALANCED exercise routine is of utmost importance. You can do handstand pushups all day long, but you'd be well advised to mix in other things into your routine for best results. More on that later.

Ok, that's it for today. Have a great weekend, and if your training this weekend - make it a super one!

Best regards,


PS: If you have kids, make sure that they know that while academics is of utmost importance, physical exercise is equally important for overall development. Make sure they have access to the RIGHT training information - not the nonsense being pushed around in the bodybuilding magazines - most of that is as applicable to normal folks as a piegon landing on Mars. Fast and Furious Fitness would be a great place to start.