Accept the Challenge!

“Start with 100 push-ups per day.”

That was a little over a month ago.  The question was what can I do to get stronger?  I will admit I did not think 100 push-ups would be much of a challenge.  However, numbers add up and I don’t want to spend my whole day doing push-ups (i.e. less rest).  I will admit that first week I did at least 25 reps a day on my knees.  I started with 5 sets of 20 and moved into 4 sets of 25.  Now I can do them all on my toes and I am increasing the rep speed and looking into new and interesting ways to make them challenging:  plyometric, feet elevated, add a resistance band!  I don’t do them on my knuckles, but I focus on pressing through my index fingers, this way most of the force is from my chest, the area in which I am trying to increase strength.

During the process of 100 push-ups per day, one of my girlfriends invited me to do a Spartan Obstacle Race with her and a group of our friends.  I have seen pictures of that race; those people always look exceptionally happy and thrilled to be wading through the mud, jumping over fire and hauling boulders up steep slopes.  (Since you are reading, I will help you out, that was 100% sarcasm right there.)  Naturally, I said yes.  Since the race is in July I have 6 months to prepare, with a little wiggle room.  My biggest concern is actually climbing the rope, primarily because I don’t know how to do that.  I know there is at least one technique for that, so here I come YouTube.  Also, I feel like I need some upper body and grip strength.  Doing 100 push-ups per day is definitely going to help with my chest strength, but I need to balance out and work on my back and grip, so I decided to add 30 pull-ups per day to my list.

You say:  “30 is not a very large number”.  And I agree, however, I presently can do 0 pull-ups.  I could already do at least 1 push-up.  My starting goal is to be able to do 10 chin-ups, 10 pull-ups and 10 hammer/parallel grip without an assist.  Ahhh, about the assist, let me explain the marvelous invention I discovered.  Essentially I invested in a giant rubber band.  I loop the band over the bar and put one knee into the band loop and it offsets about half my bodyweight.  Yes you read that correctly, half, I am a complete weakling (but not for long!!!).  Even with this massive offset, at most I can do 4 of each style at a time.  The plan is to get to 10 at a time then decrease the band intensity, until I no longer need the assist. Ideally before July.

This is not a new years resolution; I may have mentioned before that I don’t put much stock in those, and they don’t work for me.  However signing up for an event I know is going to test me and grow me is the way I like to make change.  Remember, if it was easy everyone would do it, therefore making it not worth anything. (I know even free stuff has a cost, but that is a totally different soapbox).  In different words, I wanted to be stronger so I started doing 100 push-ups daily, as that has gotten routine, I have started mixing it up with different hand positions and push up styles, FUN!!!  My friend said let’s do this race that will test us; I said “bring it!”

Force yourself to make the changes you seek AND absolutely fake it until you make it.  Put it on the line.  Seek out failure, because if you always know you will succeed, there is no risk and you are not pushing yourself hard enough.  Dare to try something new, you just may discover your new favorite activity.

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