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Exercise & Fitness Message Board

Exercise & Fitness Board Index

Your body will quickly adjust to a pushups only "weight training" routine and gains will slow down to a crawl. And by doing the same thing over and over you could risk straining the muscles and then be out of action for weeks. I've done weights since 1968, mostly for track and field at first, then for general conditioning and health. There's probably a ton of information online readily available on how to organize and conduct varying routines. Your diet is critical as well along with getting proper rest and sleep. I tried to make gains in my teens while eating junk food and found that I crawled to a stop by junior year in high school. You can't build muscle eating cookies and cake. I was also doing the same basic routines over and over. That's not the way to get it done. There are alot of advanced routines out there today including plyometrics. Again, just do a little research or buy a couple of exercise books. There are many different ways to get results but all are built on the same principles.

Rather than jush push ups I would look into doing parallel bar dips, pull ups, rows, leg squats/splits/extensions, crunches, etc. To gain strength you need to lift somewhat heavy in the 8 to 12 rep range. Dropping those reps lower for a short period can vary the intensity as well, just as moving up to 15-20 reps would tend to improve tendon strength and cardio. Mixing things up properly is the key. To do sets of 20 pushups means a slight incline. But to do 3-6 reps you might have to do a fairly steep decline or have your wife or girlfriend place 25 lbs on your back. Sounds odd, but you have to improvise. Most guys looking to add strength will do with weights or machines so that changing resistance is simple. Without weights you have to think outside the box...but no so far that you hurt yourself. Work new changes in gradually.

Waiting minutes before your next set just reduces the overall benefit of stacking one set upon another, even if you can lift more. Doing complimentary exercises immediately after each other (super sets) is another technique to speed results. Super setting a chest exercise with say a leg exercise is a way to keep things in a cardio mode and still push the body. Doing negative reps (ie only lowering a weight after you can't raise it anymore) is another way to add quality to the workout. When I can't do any more bar dips, I then lower myself an additional 6-10 times to further stress the muscle. Or you can help yourself up with your legs a bit to knock out another 2-3 normal reps. I've also been known to tie 10-25 lbs to myself and do less reps. Don't just do the same motion with the same weight every time, week after week. In this case your weight is "bodyweight" and the angle of incline you're working at. Changing your routine every month or so will prevent plateauing.

My current routine involves 2 to 4 excercises per day, and 2-3X per week. I cannot recover properly doing w/o 1-2 days rest. My exercises include bar dips done between some counter tops, pushups (flat, inclined, or declined), reverse dips between bench and chair, leg extensions, leg curls, 3 different types of crunches, etc. I also use a barbell and some dumbbells. But with a little imagination you can probably find a way to do anything you want w/o a barbell. For me, I have enough variation that I work my chest/back/shoulders in each workout but in much different ways. I only do the pushups once per week. The next time it will be with dumbell flys and a dumbbell pullover, and the next time with the bar dips. I like the bar dips because they don't stress my shoulder joints quite as much as the push ups do. And dumbbell bench presses also stress them a lot less. The workouts don't need to last much longer than 20-30 min to get results. I think a lot of people don't get good gains because they overtrain, eat improperly, and get inadequate rest. Ex-pro running back Herschel Walker claims to stay incredibly fit and strong by doing only push ups, inverted wall dips, situps, and cardio. He does over 1,000 pushups every day. Don't know how he does it but it works for him. But getting a pair of dumbbells will give you a lot more variability. Most of us can't get the results that Herschel Walker does, nor do we have his genetic gifts.

If you dig in you'll get the results. Training smart and intense even in 15 min workouts will get you better results than toiling for an hour doing it all wrong. But first you have to figure out what's right. It's a process. Good luck.

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