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20 Pull-Ups/100 Push-Ups Challenge: Week 1

[Update 2] Had some mixed results yesterday. Pull-ups went pretty well. The program called for 5 sets: 1 pull-up/1 pull-up/1 negative*/1 pull-up/1 negative. Actually managed to do it all, with a total of 3 pull-ups which is already better than the one I could do before.

Push-ups didn't go as well. The program called for 5 sets: 12/10/7/7/9. I managed to do the 12, the 10, then kind of fell apart, and was only able to do 4/4/4 for the remaining sets. The app I'm using gave me a pop up message saying that if I struggled I should repeat that days workout on my next workout day. You hit a button to schedule the repeated workout. The app is really nicely designed. But, I'm already behind and I wonder if I should have started on the lower tier program.

*A "negative" pull-up is used in this program for people that start out not being able to do pull-ups or only a very few. Basically, you take a step stool and use it to put yourself up at the bar with your chin level with the bar, and then you lower yourself down as SLOWLY as you can. It's a way to build strength in those muscles even for people that aren't able to do a pull-up. I've heard that power weight lifters also do "negatives" when they try extreme weights.

[Update 1] Day one went pretty well...got through my routines...day two tomorrow! Thanks to everyone that comment and the encouragement. BTW, the picture above is sort of messed up and I didn't notice, I had just Google image searched "pull-ups." But since a couple of people asked, I am doing pull-ups, not chin-ups – with my palms facing away from me.

[Original Post]

Hey everyone, just to warn you, this has nothing to do with video games. I figure that it's my blog and I'll blog if I want to. So, to that end, I've decided to challenge myself to see if I can train to do 20 pull-ups and 100 push-ups.

These two challenges have been pretty popular over the past few years. There are a few websites based around each of these training programs. Based on what I've seen, most of them are running identical or slight variations on the same program. For the 100 push-ups part of my training, I'm actually using this Android app, which gets good review and seems pretty well designed. For the pull-ups portion, I'm using the website The Twenty Pull-Ups Challenge. They actually have a pdf of their training plan that you can print off. Get it here.

I don't really know why I'm doing this, other than I really want to be able to do pull-ups like Will Smith in I Am Legend. Seems like a good goal of basic fitness. I also always sucked on the pull-ups part of the Presidential Fitness Tests we did in elementary and middle school. I've always been a little better on push-ups but I suppose that's true for everyone, since it's a much easier exercise.

Before starting each program, you're supposed to test yourself by doing your max amount of pull-ups and push-ups. My "max amount" of pull-ups was…one (lol). For the push-ups, I did 13. I felt like I could have done a few more, but the app told me that it's very important to only do the number of push-ups you can perform with PERFECT form. I stopped at 13 because I could feel myself starting to compromise my form.

Not going to do much else in terms of exercise while I'm other than riding my bicycle to work, which I usually do Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I'll be doing the push-up/pull-up training on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. One good thing is that it's really easy to fit into your schedule, it's just generally just a few sets and doesn't seem to take much longer than 10 or 15 minutes.

In terms of diet, I'm not doing anything special except really trying to cut out going to fast food restaurants like Wendy's, etc (I LOVE Wendy's). The only thing I'm really adding is taking protein powder after I work out, which has been recommended a lot of places online.

So, if you read this, thanks. Feel free to join me if you want. To be honest, I'm mostly just writing this blog in an attempt to keep myself on track. Now that I've written it online, I hope I'll feel more of a responsibility to keep up on schedule.

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