Saturday, January 31, 2009


Once we left Loma Linda, our days at the gym came to an end - no more weight lifting! Odel particularly misses the gym, but even I had realized that our usual exercise routine (walking 10,000 steps each day) doesn't do diddly for my upper body strength. So... what could we add to our lives that would improve our upper body strength without the need for special equipment? PUSHUPS!

That is the obvious answer, but I haven't done a pushup for many, many years (like, maybe way back in grade school, during Kennedy's physical fitness crusade?). As I was thinking about all of this, a casual conversation with a Boomer pointed me to a website devoted to pushups - particularly, to training any body (even mine) to be able to do 100 consecutive pushups. Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha! Are you kidding??

The website is onehundredpushups. I was hooked as soon as I read this, on the home page:

"If you're serious about increasing your strength, follow this six week training program and you'll soon be on your way to completing 100 consecutive push ups! Think there's no way you could do this? I think you can! All you need is a good plan, plenty of discipline and about 30 minutes a week to achive this goal!" Wow! Motivational, right? Or just crazy...

To kick off the program, you need to determine your starting point by doing as many pushups as you can. I got down on the rug in standard "mens' pushup position", prepared to do zero pushups. That is exactly the number I did. Started in UP position, lowered - collapsed? - to DOWN position, and stayed there, observing at close range the kitty litter on the the rug.

Okay, into "girls' pushup position". Once again, start UP, fall DOWN. Hmmmmm.... The next suggested position is with your hands on a low stool, then try a low table... I kept working my way up, ending with my hands on the comfortingly sturdy kitchen countertop, one step below the humbling "hands flat on the wall" position. Instead of the close-range study of floor level kitty litter, I examined countertop crumbs a nose-length away.

This oh-so-flattering photo shows my current level of upper body strength - I'm sure this barely fits into the category of "pushup". On the plus side, though, I was able to do 6 or 7 of these when I started - now, after two weeks, I am able to do 22 without stopping. Woo-hoo, you go, girl!

Odel, on the other hand, started with hands flat on the floor, able to do 21 "Mens" pushups without stopping (which meant he was able to bypass week one of the program and jump in at week two). After two weeks of effort, he has advanced to 40 pushups without stopping. He'll get to his 100 pushup goal in 6-8 weeks, while I will be able to make this program last a year, counter to bench to floor. :)

Walking, the old standby; hooping, the fun new cardio challenge, and the 100 Pushups program for upper body strength. It's the new, traveling gym.


  1. I like your push-ups! I prefer counter crumbs to kitty litter. I was able to do TEN as my baseline..........look out, I am right behind you!


  2. If you can do 22 "pushups" from the counter, have you tried doing any from the floor? I think you would be surprised. That sounds like something I would like to try, I know I'm as weak as a kitten on upper arm strength, not to mention flabby arm skin!

    Hugs, Sharon

  3. Hey, Sharon... When I can do 100 pushups on the counter, I'm going to try the floor pushups again. I'll probably have to start with "girls" pushups when I get down there, but we'll see. I have noticed that they do a lot for your "core", not just your arms, and I know I will engage different core muscles when I switch from counter to floor.

    I know what you mean about flabby upper arms, and I sure hope this helps. Riding in the car one day with the window down and my arm hanging out, I glanced in the side mirror and saw my arm flab actually ripple in the wind. ICK, ICK, ICK!

  4. You are SO inspiring, you've got me motivated to do 100 pushups. Thanks!

  5. What an awesome program and website! And you don't even have to join a gym to do it or buy equipment! yah!! Thanks so much for sharing!