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Monday, January 25, 2010

Limerick Summary Rain Delayed; Fitness Project Begun

It's been a pretty big weekend in golf. Martin Kaymer won the Abu Dhabi Golf Championship by one over Ian Poulter and two over Rory McIlroy. Perhaps more important than the money in the Race to Dubai were the world ranking points; Kaymer will probably jump all the way from #14 to #6 in the world, and Poulter (at #12) and McIlroy (at #10) will probably move up in the Top Ten also. Not bad! Also, the Champions Tour got off to a big start with Tom Watson and Fred Couples as the marquee pairing at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship. The two fought it out mano a mano down the stretch, until Watson birdied the final hole to win by one. On the back nine, Freddie shot 31, Tom shot 30. More good stuff.

But with the Hope Classic stretching into Monday, the Limerick Summary has been postponed till Tuesday. (For those of you keeping score, that's the first rain delayed limerick of the year.) So I thought I'd let you all know about a new fitness project I've started, since I'm trying to get back in shape like the rest of you and it's something you might be interested in.

Last year a new book came out called 7 Weeks to 100 Pushups, by Steve Speirs. All the reviews I've seen on the book have been pretty good and, since I've been really pushing the idea of building your workout from exercises you can do at home, I thought I'd check it out.

The most interesting thing about this program to me is its simplicity. The entire program is built around pushups... and not a variety of different pushups, either; just the plain old garden-variety military pushup. (There is a section detailing how different pushups focus on different parts of the body, but the main program uses just the one type.) There are 7 different workout programs in the book, and a simple fitness test that determines which program you should use. The test simply sees how many pushups (in strict form) you can do in a row.
  • 0: Preliminary program (4 weeks)
  • 1-3: Beginner 1 (10 weeks)
  • 4-6: Beginner 2 (10 weeks)
  • 7-12: Intermediate 1 (7 weeks)
  • 13-20: Intermediate 2 (7 weeks)
  • 21-25: Advanced 1 (7 weeks)
  • 26+: Advanced 2 (7 weeks)
I did 16, putting me on the Intermediate 2 plan. Using strict form for the pushups does affect how many you can do, as most people find Hindu pushups harder but I can do 20 of those without too much difficulty. (I might could have done 17 or 18 during the test if I had pushed a bit more, but I followed by own advice and stopped when I thought I had only one left in me.)

The Preliminary plan doesn't use regular pushups, but rather walks you through wall, counter, chair, and knee pushups to build your strength; you then take the fitness test again to see which workout you'll use. And, as you can see, the Beginner workouts take 10 weeks rather than 7. The workouts are set up to be challenging, but they have been adjusted for different fitness levels.

Unlike the easier daily workouts I prefer, this program is based on 3 workouts a week (M-W-F), with at least 48 hours between workouts. (Much like a weightlifting program.) That's because these are fairly heavy workouts, using 5 to 8 sets of pushups per workout with 60 seconds of rest between each. For example, my first workout in the program today is 6-8-6-6-7+. (And yes, that 7+ means you do as many as you can.) And you have charts, so you can keep up with how you're doing.

So this will be my main workout for the next couple of months, along with some aerobics. (According to Speirs, this program actually has some aerobic benefits of its own. The program reminds me of interval or circuit training.) I'll keep you updated on my progress, where I have problems, good and bad points I see in the program, etc. If the program works, it may be something some of you will want to consider; after all, the book retails for only $14.95 (I picked it up for around $11.) Given that you don't need anything else, that's cheap for a workout program.


  1. I am a horrible person because I owe you a guest post. Don't hate me because I'm overworked, forgive me because I'm nice!

  2. I figured you'd get it here. As you recall, we didn't set a particular day for it; we just agreed on sometime this week. No prob!