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The strength to carry the weight of the world

February 1, 2012

I’ll admit it, I am the first person to tell you that my arms are weak as HELL. At the gym in the weights section, my legs can press 800 lbs. easily with as many sets as you may want. Sit ups? I can STILL do the 7 Minute Abs videos. Hell, after two years of yoga I am fairly flexible as well. But ask me to do ten push ups?  im a quivering mass after like five of them. And a pull-up is right out.

It’s frustrating. I can’t massage my hubby the way I would like because my arms tire out after ten minutes. As my children grow, they get heavier and heavier, and I want to carry their weight just a bit longer.  Hell, my arm strength directly effects my job: if you are transferring a 200 lb. man from a bed to  a wheelchair, you certainly need some upper body strength.

I became inspired by the defiant athlete over at  Live Once Juicy’s Defiant Athlete Project, which includes her ongoing travails on the Couch to Marathon Transformation. I don’t want to run a marathon, however. I just want more upper body strength. So I went a looking and I found this: 100 days to 100 push ups.

I did the initial test and, oh my goodness, it was bad, but not nearly as bad as I thought. Now, granted I’m doing a 100 day run of modified girly push ups (aka knee push ups), and then another round of training to get to 100 REAL push ups. I managed seven push-ups before giving up. The hubby managed three.

The training looks simple enough: you do five sets three times a week with 60 seconds in between. There is a training log and everything to help mark your progress. So, I throw down the gauntlet dear readers: come and join me.

Fuck diets, fuck calories, fuck burning fat. Fuck those neigh-sayers who tell us we are weak and worthless. We are talking pure functional strength in measurable terms. Do this initial test. Post your results. I’ll be checking in with re-test results in two weeks (in addition to my usual bi-weekly rantings) just to see the progress.

Let’s see how strong we can get; strong enough to carry the weight of the world if need be.

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2012 10:33 am

    Hi Erilyn,

    Great post, I’m into week three of this program (since I don’t use a lot of arm strength for dance). Rock on!

    ~Ragen

    • February 1, 2012 10:52 am

      i think that is where i got the bookmark to the program…i supposed i should give credit where credit is due. so here it is officially: because of Regan i found this program! (sorry i didn’t remember where i had found it when writing the blogpost..)

  2. Cathy S. permalink
    February 1, 2012 2:19 pm

    I’m doing this too. I’ve been at it for 3 weeks (Ragen inspired me). I use an app for my Droid and it’s pretty cool. I did 11 knee push ups in the initial test. Today I tested myself again to see how I’m doing and I did 20. I was hoping for a better result but I can see that my upper body strength needs some work, plus–I did 8 more! So I continue on.

  3. February 1, 2012 7:43 pm

    >.> I may or may not be game. Poke me in a week? lol

  4. Byrd permalink
    February 9, 2012 10:30 am

    The lack of proper information about healthful diet and exercise methods on this blog is appalling.

    “100 days to 100 push ups” represents no kind of serious or healthful exercise regimen. Overexercising a single set of muscles, without any consideration to form or recovery, will in the best possible case produce lopsided results, and in the worst case will cause you injury.

    If you wish to start exercising, please get yourself to a qualified personal trainer who can show you some proper exercise methods for your current weight and body type.

    • February 9, 2012 10:52 am

      Byrd,
      Nobody is saying that this is what is needed to be healthy. This is a personal challenge that erylin has set for herself in addition to her existing workout regimen. Our health recommendations in terms of exercise come from the American College of Sports Medicine: 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous per week, plus strength training 2-3 times per week.

      There are others as well, such as flexibility and neuromotor exercise, but primarily we focus on the aerobic and resistance aspects. Please don’t pass judgment before you get the full picture.

      Peace,
      Shannon

    • Cathy S. permalink
      February 9, 2012 10:56 am

      What makes you think no one is considering proper form and recovery? Or that we’re over-exercising one set of muscles and doing nothing else? I think you’re making assumptions with no basis in fact. I do (with good form, as I have been exercising for years) push-ups, squats, and crunches, with at least one day of rest in between; I have also done and will rotate in various other body weight activities and other weight-bearing activities. On non-strength training days I do various cardio exercises. Did you not see where erylin lists the other exercises she does? Did you not notice that danceswithfat, well, dances? Please do not make the assumption that we don’t have any idea how to exercise just because we’re fat.

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