Video Demonstrating Dive Bomber Push-ups
I know a lot of people struggle with push-ups. There are, of course, lots of ways to train your body to perform push-ups. Most people tend to focus on volume: Do more push-ups more frequently. This does work to some degree. I remember when I would just keep doing push-ups all day long, whenever I had a free moment. Just drop and do 10-20 quick push-ups. By the end of the day, I had done anywhere between 150 to 250 push-ups. It certainly helps.
But, my real breakthrough in push-ups came when I started experimenting with isometric push-ups. You’ll find a lot of variations of what people mean by isometric push-ups, but it basically involves doing push-ups very slowly and holding your body at different points in the range of motion. It creates constant tension in the muscles and builds up incredible strength. For mine, I started out with a goal of a 1-minute push-up: Take 30 secs to slowly lower yourself to the bottom of the push-up (do not rest on the floor) and then take 30 secs to push yourself slowly back up to the top of the push-up. Then I worked up to 2-min push-ups. A full minute to slowly lower down and another minute to slowly push back up.
It has been a couple of months since I finished the Tough Mudder NorCal 2011 event in Squaw Valley, CA near Lake Tahoe. I’ve had some time to think about that day, the obstacles that I faced, and the overall experience. All in all, it went very well. I had a great time and, to be honest, it wasn’t that hard for me. That’s a good thing. That means that my training worked and preparation paid off. That doesn’t mean that it was easy. By no means was it easy! It was definitely a test of your strength, endurance, teamwork, and your willpower to continue despite fatigue, hunger, pain, and extreme discomfort. For example, I don’t think there is any way to really be ready to enjoy the icy cold water of the Chernobyl Jacuzzi and the Underwater Tunnels obstacles, unless you’re a member of the Polar Bear Club and get off on that type of thing. I hate being cold, so I was careful about the gear I chose to wear that day (Read more about my Head-to-Toe Gear here).
I’m still ramping up my training for the Tough Mudder event in NorCal this September. I’m wearing my Vibram FiveFingers much more regularly and did another 4 mile trail run in a pair of the KSOs. You may recall that I did buy a pair of the KSO Treks earlier and did a trail run in them as well. The fit was a bit too large. They felt fine for walking around, but my smaller toes kept slipping out of their pockets as I started running harder and climbing. So, I bought a size smaller of the KSOs, which are a bit different (better for water, thinner sole). Now my big toe is a bit cramped. Guess I have weird toes.
Dear readers, I would like to hear from you! What do you think are the best bodyweight exercises? In the poll below, select the one bodyweight exercise that you think is the best or write in your own answer. If you could only do one bodyweight exercise, what would it be?
I totally spanked “Cindy” yesterday at CrossFit. It was my best performance with her ever! It is a 20 minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 5 Pull-ups, 10 Push-ups, and 15 Air Squats. Breaking the pull-ups into sets of 5 like that made it feel pretty easy and I switched my grip so that I was alternating pull-ups and chin-ups. Funny how squats start to feel like a break when you do them right after push-ups.
I actually like all of the exercises that we did for our CrossFit workout of the day today (WOD): Push-ups, Chin-ups, and Dips. I’ve been practicing the kipping pull-up and chin-up, so it was a good day to put it to the test. This WOD is a great way to work on your chest, triceps, and biceps. The chin-ups, in particular, also help you perform better on rope climbing.
Today we did the “Trevor” workout in CrossFit. The first time I did this I was in a team of 3, which was pretty darn hard. Today I had a team of 5, which wasn’t bad at all. So, yeah, we won. 😉