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Sunday, February 7, 2010

7 Weeks to 100 Pushups: Week 2

This is my second update on my progress trying to follow the workout in Steve Speirs's book 7 Weeks to 100 Pushups. As with last week's report, I've listed the workout schedule for each day, followed by what I actually did. (The "R" stands for Ruthless Golf.)

We got snowed in last weekend, so my week has included shoveling... especially Sunday afternoon. When I got up Monday morning I felt a little tired, though nowhere near as much as I did last week. Monday's workout went like this:

M: 9 - 11 - 9 - 9 - 12+
R: 9 - 11 - 9 - 9 - 7

At a total of 45 pushups, that was only one more than I managed on Friday. The big news was that I finally made it through the fourth set. Again, my arms gave out during the last set, but there was no burning in my muscles or anything; I just ran out of energy and my muscles were tired. I still had shoveling to do, so this may be a tough week. Still, making it through the fourth set is a major achievement.

After the workout I shoveled snow again on Monday, felt ok both Tuesday and Wednesday morning, but had troubles with the midweek workout:

W: 10 - 12 - 10 - 10 - 13+
R: 10 - 12 - 10 - 8 - 5

As you can see, I hit the wall again in the fourth set. I wasn't straining here; I just got about halfway up and couldn't go any farther. In fact, I rested a few seconds and tried to do a sixth set, but still couldn't do any more. I made it to 45 pushups - the same number as Monday - but I need to find a way to break this barrier. As one experiment, I did some Hindu pushups later that night to try and push my muscles a bit farther while I still had time for them to recover before the next workout. I could only do 2 sets of 12, but figured that should be enough to see if it helps.

On both Thursday and Friday morning I woke up with my chest and shoulders feeling more tired than usual, so I guess that was from the extra Hindu pushups. (Again, I want you to understand that, while I've been tired several mornings during the program so far, I haven't hurt.) And it was late Friday night before I was able to do the workout.

F: 11 - 13 - 11 - 11 - 14+
R: 11 -13 - 11 - 11 - 6

Again, I didn't make it anywhere close to finishing that last set, but I also did 52 pushups - a notable increase over the first two days this week. Then, after several minutes' rest, I did another set of regular pushups; I managed 15 that time, which beat the final set requirement. Then I waited another few minutes, and managed 11 more. It seems pretty clear that my strength is improving; my muscles just aren't recovering fast enough between sets.

At least, not yet. If I do better in Monday's workout, it seems equally clear that I may just need to add an extra set or two to help me improve quicker. (Never thought I'd hear myself say that! The program looked hard enough to begin with.) I suppose I could just wait a few minutes between the last two sets, but that seems like cheating to me. Obviously the strength is there, or I wouldn't be able to do more sets just a few minutes later; I need to push myself a little, so my muscles will learn to recover faster. I'll try testing this theory next week.

So now it's Saturday night. I woke up really tired this morning - the most tired I've been since last Thursday, when I woke up feeling like dead weight. The difference this time, besides not being as dramatic as it was last week, is that my upper body felt tired all over, not just my shoulders and arms. I suspect it was because I had to do the workout much later Friday, only a couple of hours before I went to bed, so I didn't really have any time to recuperate. I feel fine now, but I may feel tired when I get up Sunday morning; I'll just have to see.

Anyway, that's my second week on the program. I'm a little disappointed that I'm still struggling to make the numbers in the last couple of sets each workout. Still, it's been a while since I tried doing anything like this - as I said, I'm a little out of shape right now - and since I'm making progress without hurting any, I won't complain too much.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sorry for the mess-up, Macon. The listing I put up on the Some Useful Post Series page had an error in the urls for weeks 3-7. It's fixed now.

    Thanks for letting me know.