I can recall more than a few instances where I've had to cancel my scheduled workout - either cancel it, or abruptly terminate it due to pressing reasons. Now I'm not saying I enjoy this, but hey, thats life - things that are out of our control happen sometimes, and there's not much we can do about it.
And it happens to all of us - and to the best of us as well. I'm sure even the most determined and disciplined amongst us will recall a time when we just HAD to skip our scheduled workouts - even if we didn't want to - just because we were in a situation that demanded it.
Now, does being in such a situation mean you can't get your exercise in for the day? Well, not really - not if your determined enough - you might not be able to get your full routine in, but there's always ways to fit in mini-workouts that are pretty demanding in and of themselves, and that will give you pretty good results if done regularly.
And what do I mean by mini-workouts?
Well, I mean ultra short, intense workouts - so short that you may not even want to classify them as workouts - more like BURSTS of energy. These "workouts" may not last more than a minute at a time, and whats better, you don't need to schedule a time for them either - you just fit them in as and when you can during the course of your day.
I often don't have time these days to complete my entire routine (and as I posted earlier, I don't even have access to a chinning bar at this point in time, so I'm unable to practice one of my all time favorite exercises as well) - so I improvise during the course of my day. I'm currently living on the fourth floor of a building, and in my case, improvisation equates to taking the stairs EACH time I enter my front door. This means I'm either running, or climbing the stairs at a brisk pace at least four to five times DAILY - more than a lot of times if I'm going out a lot.
Sure - I could take the elevator - and folks stare at me in a strange manner when I'm sprinting up the stairs in full formal attire (on my lunch break!) - but it's worth it - I get a fantastic little mini-workout in that makes me feel good for hours afterward. And whats more, this sort of things burns a ton of calories as well, so your getting in that "cardio" your doctor is always talking about.
I did a similar thing a few years back when I used to take the subway to work - I used to make it a point to sprint the stairs up to ground level (or those from the ground level to higher levels - this subway was above ground in parts) EACH time I took the subway. I did this on my rest days (when I didn't exercise in the morning) and I did them on the days when I did exercise - and I did them on the way back from work as well. And in ALL cases, these little mini-workouts recharged my batteries for the next couple of hours. Thats like 1 minute of exercise, maybe 2 at most vs a couple of hours of "feel good" later. Now I don't know about you, but that sounds like a pretty decent trade-off to me!
So that's one example - my example. And just so you know, climbing stairs is a fantastic exercise - second only to climbing HILLS on a regular basis - which I classify as one of my #1 workouts that I've ever done. The health benefits you receive from this type of exercise are second to NONE - and you'll soon see what I mean if you incorporate something similar into your routine.
And stair climbing, although a great exercise, is by no means the only thing you can do to fit in a mini-workout during the course of your day. You can pump out a set of 20 pushups whenever you have time, or you could offer to help your neighbor move the heavy stuff into his van on moving day (and I've done this sort of thing before - more in a later post!). You can do burpees, or you can simply walk down to the nearby store instead of plonking your rear end down on the car seat. It's really all up to YOU - but when there's a will, there's always a way!
So, that's the mini-workout concept. Give it a shot, and let me know how it goes for you!
PS: There are many, many simple exercises that you can do for a mini-workout - for more, read Fast and Furious Fitness. I can't guarantee there'll be no stares, but I CAN guarantee great results if practiced regularly!
PS#2: To those that are training this weekend - make it an AWESOME one!
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.
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!
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.