Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

1,000 Push-ups

Posted February 17, 2010

I woke up with a wild notion last week. While rolling out of bed I thought: "I'd like to do 1,000 push-ups this week."

High school basketball coach Martin Champion had more than a great name. He had great advice. He told me that I if ran and did push-ups every week I would stay in good shape. Coach Champion called the push-up the "miracle exercise." That's because it works out a myriad of muscles including biceps, triceps and forearms. Push-ups are also great for the chest, upper back and shoulders.

But 1,000 a week? Well, I love challenges and I had to give it a try. I'd been frustrated with my inability to shed some holiday pounds. So I hit the floor in our playroom during a televised basketball game. I sometimes get worked up during those games so push-ups were a good release of energy. I was able to knock out 40 push-ups during commercial breaks. By the end of the game I had logged 200. The next day I managed to perform 100 push-ups despite a few aches. My daily totals for the remainder of the week were: 200, 100, 200, 0 and 200. So I made it!

This week I've decided to expand my goal and add 1,000 abdominal exercises. Trainer Tara Wind at Lifetime Fitness has prescribed an interesting blend of exercises to prevent boredom and back problems. As a goal oriented person I am really enjoying the journey.

What is your favorite exercise? How is your fitness program going? Please share your stories.


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  • CestLaVie Feb 18, 2010

    knm: your training sounds admirable. I'm too old to do that intensity of time & speed, but I do what I can at my age (66).

  • CestLaVie Feb 18, 2010

    I started an expanded food & fitness program the first of the year & so far, so good as I'm still sticking with it.

    I was vegetarian; now I'm vegan. That helps the weight slide off & makes me stronger physically, internally. No caffeine or sugar helps a lot too.

    I've always walked, anywhere I get the chance. Now, I walk in the AM at work & after work on my treadmill at home. But, I've increased the time & speed at home, since I have more time then. Plus I now have a DVD that I follow for 30 mins of weight training (mostly upper body) every other day. Last week, I added a rebounder at home, which I jump on all the time, especially when I'm watching the evening news. It's said that 5 mins (I think!) of rebounding is comparable to running a mile.

    Staying focused on this routine is sometimes hard, but the results are so satisfying.

  • bleslie Feb 17, 2010

    knm - a leather hole punch is a nice problem to have. Thanks for sharing the secrets to your new found success.

  • robster Feb 17, 2010

    Hey, Bill

    This is a good idea. I started doing them again also; I did them a lot in the army,and I must say that they're the perfect strengthening exercise, and they're very, very safe. To avoid boredom later after you've become buff and strong:), try a variety, i.e., wide-arm push-up's, diamond push-up's (your trainer can explain these), one-armed, clap your hands, etc...can't go wrong with these...good luck!:)

  • LawsOfPhysicsTrumpManMadeLaws Feb 17, 2010

    High intensity interval training works best for me. I just got aware of it in mid-December on some weight loss forums online.

    I warm up 5 minutes at 3.8mph walk on the treadmill, run at 7 mph for 1 minute, walk at 4 mph for 3 minutes, and repeat the 7mph-4mph steps 5 times, then cool down for 5 minutes at about 2-3 mph. I do this 5 times a week, and do some resistance exercises 3 times a week.

    Net result is that my waist size has gone down to 34 inches from 36, and some noticeable firmness in shoulder/arm muscles. I had to buy a leather hole punch at Sears to punch some extra holes in my belts to tighten them so they would continue holding my pants up.

  • Garnerwolf1 Feb 17, 2010

    One thing I've always heard is that your back should be as strong as your front. The reality however is just the opposite. There are many that can drop down and do 10 pushups. There aren't many however that can also do 10 chinups and fewer still that can do 10 pullups. Some say this is because Americans only work the muscles they can see. Whatever the reason, try it! You'll probably find you're much stronger on the pushup.

  • bleslie Feb 17, 2010

    batesmaureen - thanks and good luck on that half marathon. Looks like some decent weather for running this weekend.

  • running girl Feb 17, 2010

    I am currently training for my first half marathon. I have grown to love running. It is amazing what the body can do. Running is a lot of mind over matter. Your body is constantly saying you can't do it but your mind has the ability to overpower it and say yes you can. Good luck with your push up goal.

  • bleslie Feb 17, 2010

    Garnerwolf - My son has a pull-up bar on his door. I'll give it a try. mdoodle - good luck on your gym visit! not home yet - what a story you have! Keep up the great work!

  • not home yet Feb 17, 2010

    I am currently with a group going through P90X. It's a total body workout. We do quite a few push ups too. The best and also the hardest thing I do for my cardio workout is plyometrics. Nothing like jumping for 45 minutes to an hour with a few 30 second breaks. I still think pushups is the best strenghth exercise I do. It's always difficult to keep weight off because I have fat guy inside fighting to get out!
    Not willing to go back to the 348 pounds I was in 1999. Struggling to maintain my current weight of 220.




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Bill Leslie