Continuing a fitness regime at home during lockdown was, shall we say, a struggle.
Not having the luxury of a fully kitted out home gym, much of the workout was limited to dumbells, kettlebells and body weight workout.
Now, don’t get me wrong, working out at home isn’t impossible. I encouraged this very thing in this post back in March. However, it can get a little repetitive and so I wanted to set myself a challenge.
As I’ve said before, 28 day challenges are good for health and fitness related goals and this was a great way to switch things up
Increase the number of press ups that could be done in one session.
Start with a one set maximum number of reps, multiplied by 4 and increase to 5 times when that is achieved. Continue increasing to 6, 7 etc.
- Aim to get to the total in as few sets as possible.
- Rest between sets but not too long.
- Keep rest periods consistent.
It’s actually quite interesting how difficult it is to move your own body weight. You’d think that it would be easy, right? But gravity is a big part of this.
So my initial max was 10 reps. Okay, so not the biggest number but I was doing full press ups, not knees, and my nose touched the floor on the down motion (no, not just because of it’s size). Check out this video for an example. No, it’s not me, ha ha!
On the first day, I did about 6 sets, the number of reps reducing each time, to get to 40 overall. In a couple of weeks I found that I could easily get to 10 reps for 4 sets, so then I upped to 50.
Over the four weeks, I worked up to being able to do 4 sets of 15 reps to get to 60, and beyond that I have been able to get to 100 reps in a session. (well, the gym was still shut so may as well keep going). As well as doing this challenge, I was also doing my yoga and other free weight exercises on the other days. You can download my example training week here.
I was doing the challenge twice a week so as not to overload the wrists and over train the chest muscles. There is no evidence to suggest that press ups everyday is a bad thing, but in these numbers it is better to allow the muscle to recover. I’ll let you make up your own mind on that.
I enjoyed this challenge and was pleased with the progress I made. It really works your core, too, if you are doing full push ups and so I saw some benefit from that over the period.
If you plan on doing something similar and are thinking of continuing it beyond a four week period, it is worth also incorporating different types of press ups, such as lifting one leg on the down movement, or elevating both feet so that the work is focused more on the upper chest.
Always listen to your own body – if it starts to hurt, stop doing it.
Do you like 28 (or maybe 30) day challenges? What have you tried out? Did you bin it or schedule it after the trial period? Share in the comments below.
Grab your own 28 Day Challenge Template at the link below.
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Until next time, remember, if the excess baggage is weighing you down, you can always leave it in lost luggage.