Sunday, February 08, 2009

Better or Worse

Imagine, for a moment, you're on a diet. Which is worse for the diet, bourbon or malt balls? (Does it depend on the type of diet?)

I like to think I'm a reasonably reasonable person. But about some things, I'm not. And, pathetically, I recognize that I'm not, but it doesn't help me be more reasonable, really. I can make up totally BS reasons, knowing they're BS, and really, knowing the real reasons, which aren't reasonable at all, and which are too stupid to admit to.

Sometimes, I feel like my body betrays me (or betrays itself, myself?). Lately, that's been mostly about the whole being middle-aged thing, which always ties in nicely with the unreasonable things. But not only.

A while back, I read about a program to help people get fit with push ups. They're good for core strength and upper body strength, and both would be good for my biking (and other things, too). So, finally, a couple weeks ago I started the program. I'm in such bad upper-body shape though, that I couldn't do a push up. I couldn't even do a push up from my knees. Nope, I had to start by using my futon frame (about four inches off the ground) and my knees. So double whuss push ups, you understand. And on the initial test, I could do three. Double whuss push ups and only three.

After the first week, I was able to switch to doing knee push ups, so that was an improvement.

So I did my end of the second week test, and in order to move up to the week three schedule, I'm supposed to be able to do at least 16 push ups at a time. I can't.

So I have to repeat week 2. I managed 11 knee push ups for the test, which is a big improvement over the pre-test, but, still, I'm disappointed in myself. And I still can't do a single regular push up.


  1. Even if you still can't do a single regular push up, you're becoming stronger. That's what matters in the long run!

  2. It was so long before I was able to do regular pushups! One thing that might help you is just planking for a while. You know, getting in the "up" part of the pushup position and hanging out there as long as you can...

  3. Hey, that's fantastic! You're progressing really quickly. I was never much of a push up person and then got a workout plan from a friend who is in the military. It's amazing how, if you just stick with it, you can become a push-up machine. You'll get there :).

  4. You went from being unable to do one knee push up to being able to do eleven? That is real progress!

  5. Yes, this is great progress. I can't do regular pushups, even when I'm fit and going to the gym and all. I think part of it is fear of falling on my face.

    But you know, we progress more slowly as we get older. It's not a race! (And it's an interesting website!)

  6. Push ups are hard! Don't forget that! And are you following a regimen specifically for women? Women have their center of gravity in a different spot than men and also don't tend to have the same upper body strength, so don't go comparing yourself to a push-up regimen designed for men.

    PS I was kinda halfway intrigued by those pushup holders on the late night infomercials ... they have swinging handles so that you don't put as much stress on your wrists.

  7. I think it's possible for people to be fit and strong in really different ways. Heck, you do wonders with biking and skiing, so something's working. I can play tennis and bike and row and do all kinds of things for hours, but I can't run to save my life... I keep trying to build up to running like you're building up to pushups, but I'm barely up to being able to super-slow-jog half a mile. Maybe everybody just has their weak spots.

  8. What Sisyphus said. I am young and fit and relatively light, and it took me YEARS of strength training to be able to do push-ups. I was bench pressing 40 kg (88 pounds) before I could do a real push-up. But the good news is, once I could do one, I progressed to three within a few days, and to 10 within 6 months. (I know that sounds slow, but considering it took 3 years to get to doing 1, six months for another 9 is fast!)