Drop and give me 50!
This was going to be a post about Press Ups, and I’ll get to them, but as the title of this post came to me it triggered an entirely different thought process.
First lets take the press up. It is possibly the quintessential bodyweight exercise, we’ve all done them and some of us continue to do them, fewer do them right.
While there are hundreds of variations on the theme, the simple push up as also one of the best upper body and core strength exercise available, and for beaten up old fighters like myself they’re the closest I get to a bench press without reigniting old shoulder issues.
“But how do we do the push up then, and what’s this other thought you had?”
Ok, I hear you, get to the point.
Point 1 – How to do a push up, well if picture is worth a thousand words, a moving picture is worth many times that. In other words, here’s a video:
Point 2 – Drop and give me….how many?
I’ve seen “MMA coaches” insist that their trainees nock out sets of 50 reps. I’ve seen their students then perform any possible variation on the theme in order to hit this magic number. I’ve also heard many of them complaining of sore shoulders, necks and backs in the changing rooms.
The point I’m meandering towards is simple, focus on quality not quantity.
The students mentioned above, simply weren’t ready for such high reps and as such they let form slip, their shoulders raised and their head dropped, the lower back sagged as the abs gave way, all resulting in poor movement patterns and severly increasing the injury risk.
had they been told to AIM for 50 proper push ups, but to stop as soon as form slipped, i’m 100% positive every one of them would have gotten stronger, faster and been much less sore.
So rather than doing one set of 50 before you’re good and ready, why not break it down. Here’s a density program that I’ve mentioned before and laid out in the eBook, “One exercise fat loss & conditioning“, but tailored down for 50 push ups.
Workout 1: 10 sets of 5 reps = 50
Workout 2: 9 sets of 6 reps = 54
Workout 3: 8 sets of 7 = 56
Workout 4: 5 sets of 10 = 50
Workout 5: 4 sets of 12 = 48
Workout 6: 3 sets of 15 = 45
Workout 7: 3 sets of 17 = 51
Workout 8: 2 x 20, 1x 10 = 60
Workout 9: 2 sets of 25 = 50
Workout 10: 1 set of 50
Of course thats just an example, it may take more or less than 10 workouts, repeat a particular workout as many times as it takes to nail it, add in further steps between 9 and 10 if needed.
But always, always terminate a set the moment form slips. Master the movement and master your own body.
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