My own June fitness challenge – push ups. And a basic template to create an exercise plan

It’s ridiculous. Almost 3 years into fitness and I still can’t do a push up. Sometimes I can do them with my knees down, but I’m still far away from the real thing. My upper body strength improved loads since I started, but there’s always room for more. You know what they say – it’s a journey, never a destination.

Tomorrow’s the first day of the month. I have a few things on my to do list, but I’m going to add some focused push up training. And no, that doesn’t mean I’m going to do push ups every day. I mean, I would, but I can’t even do one at the moment. The push up is the goal and I need to train the muscles that will get me there. With the equipment I have at home, the visits to the gym should be optional.

The push up is a bodyweight exercise, and though it looks simple, there are many muscles involved – not only in the movement itself, but in keeping you in a stable position.

Picture from http://www.zentofitness.com/change-up-the-push-up-and-turn-up-your-results/

Main muscles used:

  • Chest
  • Deltoids
  • Triceps

Helper muscles:

  • Abs
  • Upper back
  • Biceps
  • Quadriceps

Sounds like a total body workout, right? Let’s see a few exercises that I’m going to include in my workout plan for next month. Some exercises will target specific muscles, some will target most of them. Click their links to see how to do them.

How to create a workout plan to train for push ups.

How to create a workout plan

Schedule

It’s your decision how many times a week you want to exercise. If you want to exercise every day, pick different muscles on different days as they need 48 hours to repair. If you want to do full body workouts, only exercise every other day. Or do a mix depending on your week’s availability.

Start

Write down your starting point. Do a test workout to see what weights are appropriate for each exercise and how your goal exercise looks now. Out of 12 reps, the last 3 should be really hard. The last one should be barely possible. And even on the first reps you should feel something, this is not cardio, you shouldn’t breeze through it.

Create your workouts

Pick from the list of available exercises. I will make them up as I go and post either pictures or small videos. Pick exercises according to the muscle groups you want to train. All muscle groups should be trained at least twice a week. I’m going to opt for 3 sets of 12 reps for each exercise.

Check progress

Do an assessment every 10 days or so. Can you increase the weight next time you do an exercise? Has your push up improved?

Rest

Take appropriate rest days – see advice in the schedule section.

Fuel

Exercise and bad diet don’t match. If you want your body to evolve you have to give it what it needs. Carbs from whole grains and vegetables, fats from nuts / seeds / avocados, and healthy sources of protein (for us vegans those are beans, lentils, mylks, soya). You can supplement your protein intake with powders (I can recommend OMNI Superfood and Arbonne Vanilla, my 2 current favourites). Have a diverse diet so you can get all vitamins from food.

Optional – Find a workout partner

For me, that’s you. Being able to share publicly keeps me on track. Find someone to exercise with, meet at the gym or park or at home, but push each other and get it done!

Stay tuned on Facebook and Instagram for the workouts. What’s your push ups situation?

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