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How To Get Better At Pushups

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[caption id="attachment_3540" align="aligncenter" width="800"]See, it's so easy! Just be a professional fitness model! See, it's so easy! Just be a professional fitness model![/caption] Pushups are a frustrating exercise for many people. We’ve been conditioned by elite atheles to think that we should be able to bang out 20 or 30 with no problem, so when we struggle to do ten, five, or even one, it’s disheartening. And if you’re not good at pushups trying to get better at them is no fun. “You’re right Ken,” you say now, “It’s hopeless. I’ll just keep doing modified pushups from my knees, which you assured me are just as good.” Well hang on! That’s not what I’m saying. While many things in life ARE hopeless, pushups are not one of them. In fact it’s probably one of the easiest things to get better at. You merely have to have a process that’s going to work not just physically but mentally. Often the challenge at getting better at something, especially a physical move like pushups, is the frustration of not being good at it. If pushups are a struggle then it’s hard not to feel weak every time you do them, and while I could be a hard-ass and say suck it up until you get better, realistically why would you do something that makes you feel bad about yourself? So the key is to find a method that makes you feel successful. So here’s the method: You’re going to do 10 sets of pushups a day. “But Ken, that’s way too much!” you probably aren’t saying because you’re so hardcore. The key is to make each set fairly easy. First you need to know your max pushups. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but let’s say your max is somewhere between 11 and 13. Once you’ve established that, you’ll divide that number by two, and then maybe even round down a bit to get the number of pushups in your set. So if your max is 13, you’ll pick six – or even five – as your number for the set. The goal is to get a number of pushups that you can do without too much struggle. If your max is three, then maybe you’ll just do one pushup per set. Remember the key is to have a set where you’ll be successful every time. Once you’ve got that, just do it 10 times a day. Because it’s a number you can do easily it shouldn’t be a problem to bang out a set on your way to the kitchen, or coming back from the bathroom. One set when you wake up and another before you go to work. Bookend your lunches with them. You might have to set some reminders on your phone, but as long as you spread them out throughout the day you’ll easily finish them. Do be careful about forgetting. A few years ago I was doing this process and I found myself at a Karaoke bar at night suddenly remembering I had seven more sets to do. I ended up having to go to the bathroom a lot to put paper towels down on the floor and get a set in. It was a clean, single-occupancy bathroom so it wasn’t too bad, but it wasn’t the ideal situation either. Regardless I finished my sets, and that’s the important part of the program. If you do 10 sets of pushups a day – even relatively easy sets with low reps – you’ll be amazed at how quickly you get better at them. You’ll probably be some nice physique changes as well, but you don’t care about that, right?

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