Pull-ups and Push-ups

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Jazztonight
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Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

Post by Jazztonight » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:30 pm

OP here.

When it comes to exercise and workouts, every once in a while we fall off the wagon. Or we go on an extended trip. Or we just get lazy, and stop working out. But hopefully, at some point we realize we just have to get back on the horse. And if you're self-motivated, you really don't have to go to a gym.

In addition, your home bodyweight workout does not have to be complicated. Really.

Just choose 4 (or 5) exercises you want to include in your workout. Be sure you include a push, a pull, a legs, and a core exercise (or combination moves). Mine are Pull-ups, Squats, Push-ups, and Planks. Yours can include crunches, leg-lifts, lunges, box-jumps, wall-pushes, Burpees, and/or any kind of dumbbell work, e.g. curls, flys, triceps extensions, whatever.

After you've decided on what you want to do, then decide on how many reps and how many sets you want to do. Start off small; you don't want to hurt yourself or get discouraged. You can increase the number of sets and reps as you progress. Period. Easy peasy.

If you want or need a "personal trainer" app, use it. I like the Tabata Pro timer app. (It's on my iPhone.)

Because of my recent journey, I haven't worked out for 5 months. So two weeks ago I set the Tabata Pro timer for 6 cycles (this is called "work" on the app) of 30 seconds each (I'll explain the 6 cycles later), with 10 seconds of "rest" between each cycle. I indicated that I wanted 5 "Tabatas" (these are the sets). I set a "Recover" time of 1 minute (this is the time between sets).

If I push the start button, about 30 minutes later my workout is finished. Is a 30 minute workout 3 times a week too much to ask of ourselves?

Now, why 6 cycles? These are the number of "activities" I do. When I started 2 weeks ago, my 6 cycles consisted of (1) 2 pull-ups; (2) 10 squats; (3) 10 pushups; (4) 30 seconds of front plank; (5) 30 seconds of right side-plank; (6) 30 seconds of left side-plank.

This past week I increased my pull-ups reps to 3. Next week I'll increase the number of reps to 4, etc., until I'm back up to 5 sets of 10 pull-ups, which is my maintenance goal.

One more thing: To my mind, maintaining a fitness regimen is no different than maintaining an investment plan. How many times have we heard that we should "Set it and forget it"?

So...just go to your room, do your 30 minute workout, and get on with your life!
Last edited by Jazztonight on Sun Jul 08, 2018 10:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

c.coyle
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Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

Post by c.coyle » Sun Jul 08, 2018 6:44 am

Like Boglehead investing, it's pretty straightforward. Risk v. reward, and time horizon.

Body weight, free weights, machines are all different forms of the same thing - resistance training. You are lengthening or contracting muscles under load. Body weight exercises are limited by you-know-what, so they can only get you so strong or maintain a certain level of strength. There is nothing wrong with that.

But, if you want to get stronger than body weight exercises will allow, or maintain a level of strength greater than they will maintain, you need to lift additional weight.

At some age we all start losing muscle mass and bone density. The best we can hope to do is slow this process down as much as possible. That's where "weight lifting" becomes superior to body weight exercises, because it can reduce the rate of loss {EDIT: more than bodyweight exercises].

And this: Your muscles don't get bigger and stronger when you lift. They get bigger and stronger when you rest, after lifting. Overtraining is counter productive. At 64, I'm down to twice a week.
Last edited by c.coyle on Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:55 am, edited 1 time in total.

bondsr4me
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Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

Post by bondsr4me » Sun Jul 08, 2018 7:06 am

I do 140/150 pushups 3-4 times/wk. I start with 2 sets of 25; then 2 sets of 30; and then one set of 30 or 40 if I can.

On my “off day” I lift some light weights; dumbbells of 20/lbs and 8/lbs. I usually do 4 different workouts of 8 reps.

I do yoga M-W-F (my “off day”).

I also play racquetball on Tuesday noon and then golf (9 holes) later in the afternoon.

I have to be careful tho; I have had 2 surgeries on shoulder (rotator).

I also had a dislocated shoulder because of an incompetent chiropractor; that hurt like hell.

I also bike or kayak on Sunday morning.

I intend to go down kicking and screaming all the way.

Have a great Sunday!

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LadyGeek
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Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:14 pm

After my 1st workout, I have revised my plan. Strength training is now every other day of (M-W-F):
  • 5 minute elliptical warmup
  • 3 circuits of:
    • 20 bodyweight squats
    • 10 push ups
    • 10 walking lunges
    • 10 pullups
    • 10 dumbbell rows
    • 60 S plank
  • stretch, hang on pullup bar
Alternating with interval training on my elliptical (T-Th-Sat):
  • Five minute warmup, then repeat intervals of:
    • 30 S increase, 2 min recovery for a total of 20 min
For pullups and pushups, I'm going to failure and cheating my technique to do the needed reps. I couldn't reach the max reps for pullups, even after cheating and doing negatives. Pullups went from 10 (all negatives) to 8 to 5. I'm reluctant to reduce my target reps because I want to do my maximum effort every set - which is going to failure.

I didn't feel so bad after the 1st circuit, but the 3rd time's the charm and I could barely move after I was done. This is where attitude helps. I don't look at how much I left to do. I watch TV (or stream something) and concentrate on my technique.

I'm not discouraged at all. In fact, I'm encouraged to keep going and try harder. The effects of the workout (once I recovered) were noticeable. My posture improved. I simply felt stronger and had more stamina.

As for the interval training, my elliptical can't change the resistance fast enough to keep pace with the 30 S intervals. I do what I can by adjusting the pace.
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T-Wrench
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Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

Post by T-Wrench » Tue Jul 10, 2018 12:41 pm

Will do good wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 7:20 pm
I have been doing Mark Lauren body weight training for 5+ years.
+1 for Mark. I call him Mark the Malevolent but his workouts have worked the best for me. Doing one-armed push-ups thanks to his routines, but working on doing better pull-ups.

randomguy
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Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

Post by randomguy » Tue Jul 10, 2018 1:00 pm

LadyGeek wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:14 pm

For pullups and pushups, I'm going to failure and cheating my technique to do the needed reps. I couldn't reach the max reps for pullups, even after cheating and doing negatives. Pullups went from 10 (all negatives) to 8 to 5. I'm reluctant to reduce my target reps because I want to do my maximum effort every set - which is going to failure.
I don't know how you are cheating with technique for pull ups but I found a band (first google hit https://www.rubberbanditz.com/info-cent ... -up-bands/ . Seems very expensive for a rubber band but they do demonstrate how to use them) was the way to go when I was starting out. You can still use good technique (we can debate if kipping and the like are good or bad. They do target different muscles) and see progression.

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LadyGeek
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Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:23 pm

Thanks! That's a good idea, but I don't need a band (it might help others, though). My cheating technique is to jump up part-way and then pull myself up until my chin is over the bar. Then, I release slowly. To me, that's a negative pushup.

I'll first try to do a "real" pull-up to get an idea of where I'm at.

The last time I was in shape, I could do 5 "real" pushups. My best ever was 10, so I know what to shoot for.

=======
A "negative" exercise is one where the stress is placed on the relaxation part of the motion. For example, contract on a count of 1, 2. Relax on a count of 1, 2, 3, 4. The slow release does most of the workout. It's an effective way to build yourself up.

Nearly all of my exercises were negative when I had my Bowflex.

(If I'm wrong, feel free to correct me.)
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GeraniumLover
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Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

Post by GeraniumLover » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:35 pm

If you're short on time, a quick workout that is hard to beat is 7 minutes of burpees - just do as many as you can.

lostdog
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Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

Post by lostdog » Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:15 pm

Elsebet wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:08 pm
Found this thread via the Powerlifting thread. Any other Bogleheads still doing bodyweight fitness?

I have been doing Reddit's /r/bodyweightfitness Recommended Routine for close to a year now.

My progress:

All planks/holds i can hold for 60 seconds
I added the "Alphabet" to my bodyline section for abs, google it if needed

Dips - I am still in the first Support Hold Progressoin. Some days I can hold for 60 seconds straight but most days I hold for 30, take a ~5 second rest, and hold for 30 more. I use two tall chairs! I have a lot of trouble keeping a good breath while doing these.

Squats/Step ups - I vary which one I do, but these were always pretty easy for me as my legs are strong, it's my upper body that is very weak (female) - can easily do 8x3 and often do more

L-sit: I am still on the one leg supported progression, I cannot imagine myself ever doing a real L sit, just seems impossible. I also just noticed this is no longer on the recommended routine and was replaced with Skin the cat progression, will have to check that out.

Handstand: I am on the "wall handstand" progression and am still keeping one foot on the wall. I can see myself getting a real handstand someday but at present I am too frightened to push off the wall.

Pushups: this is where I've made a lot of progress. I am now doing incline pushups but am getting close to doing "real" ones

Rows: I just got rings recently and have them on my pullup bar, I can do incline rows and am working my way to horizontal ones.

Pull-up: I just got a bar a few weeks ago and am still just hanging on it for 15-30 seconds for now. I may try negatives soon. The first few weeks I was holding the bar incorrectly and got bad calluses, I googled this issue and found a lot of help and changed my grip. Unfortunately that grip is much weaker so I'm working that up first.

After nearly a year my arms are very noticeably more toned but my weight has held steady. I could probably be losing weight if I was more careful with my portions and went back on calorie counting. I notice I crave eggs, nuts, and olive oil more than I did before I started working out.
How often do you do the squats? every day? every other day? I am the opposite. My upper body is strong but my legs are weaker. Do you add weights to the squats?
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LadyGeek
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Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:17 pm

^^^ Based on my experience, get your form down first. Then, worry about adding weights. I'm doing likewise for my upper body (pull-ups).

If your legs are weak, then use a chair for balance. Try your best and go to failure. After a while (a week or so), you should be stronger and able to work without the chair.

====================
On a related point: Mind and body work together. Building strength will put you in a better state of mind and bring confidence. I have the confidence to publicly say that I'm not doing as well as I'd like.

To new investors reading this thread: This is no different than asking for investing advice and not understand what we're saying. There is absolutely no shame in asking a member to explain what's going on. We are more than happy to repeat / retry as many times as it takes so you get the help you need.

I'm getting extra help (and very good suggestions, thanks) because I've stated my situation.
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Elsebet
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Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

Post by Elsebet » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:34 pm

lostdog wrote:
Tue Jul 10, 2018 4:15 pm
How often do you do the squats? every day? every other day? I am the opposite. My upper body is strong but my legs are weaker. Do you add weights to the squats?
I do squats 3x per week as part of my normal total body workout, sometimes I substitute step-ups instead which are a higher progression. Personally while step-ups are fine I still like the basic squat for an all-around leg workout.

I should probably start using some weight for my squats since I can do 3x10 or more easily. However I agree with LadyGeek, start with no weights.

This might help you, it is the squat progression from /r/bodyweightfitness.

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LadyGeek
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Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

Post by LadyGeek » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:39 pm

After my last workout, I wasn't going to failure on my set of 20 body squats (x3 circuits). It seemed too easy.

Since I have my gallon sand-filled milk jug (13 lbs), I just added it to my workout. I don't quite go to failure, but it made a big difference in the effort. Also, holding the weight close-in actually made it easier for me to maintain my form.

Technically, this is a Goblet Squat as noted by randomguy in Re: Older Women Lifting Weights. He has some good suggestions on when you should / should not add weight.

===================
I should also mention that the workout floor needs to be right. I was covering my hardwood floor with towels to soften the impact. Those towels move under stress, which is not a good idea. The tiny movement causes your to body spend effort to counteract the slipping.

I found some rubber-backed mats instead (what you would use for a bathroom floor). They don't move at all and provide a comfortable surface for pushups and planks. I think it made a big difference in my workout and kept my form solid.

BTW, I have settled in at 5 negative pull-ups over 3 circuits. It's better to get 5 consistent good ones (maximum effort, but still cheating) than be inconsistent. I'll be able to judge my progress better.
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Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

Post by Finridge » Thu Jul 12, 2018 8:32 pm

Not "cheap" but one of the best purchases I've made... They have different models, some heavier and some lighter. (Lighter = less expensive.)

A set of these and a pull-up bar - that is all you need.
|
https://www.amazon.com/PowerBlock-Elite ... 377&sr=8-2

http://www.powerblock.com/prod_homeuse_u70stage2.php

Park these puppies next to your desk... Do sets in between browsing the Boglehead forums. No more trips to the gym.

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Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Jul 12, 2018 10:40 pm

Thanks for the suggestion. I recommend a careful review before deciding on this product. There are competitors, such as Bowflex; each has its own tradeoffs. Consider if you really need a full stack for what you're doing.

I found a youtube video showing actual use: Bowflex vs PowerBlocks Dumbbells Ultimate Review! - YouTube

Also: Bowflex dumbells 552 AND 1090 Selecttech dumbbell Review P90X
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Re: Pull-ups and Push-ups

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:11 pm

Taking advantage of an opportunity to be near a sporting goods store (Dick's), I found 3 brands available to try in-person. Trying the weights in-person made all the difference. They had PowerBlocks, Bowflex, and Core Blocks (?).

The PowerBlocks were a good design, but I couldn't deal with the 5 lb increment and sliding that plastic retainer in / out of the block all the time.

The Bowflex SelectTech 552 fit my hands and seemed right. It was very easy to use and the longer bar length did not get in the way of anything. I liked the easy dial-it-in increments of 2.5 lbs (5 lbs after 25 lbs). The maximum of 50 lbs is more than enough for me.

The Core Blocks (?) adjusted the resistance by twisting a plastic collar with the center bar grip. I don't know how that could possible work under stress, as you're constantly putting a twisting force on the bar. It was cheaper than the other 2, but I didn't have much confidence in the design.

I came home with the Bowflex dumbbells. My squat, lunge, and dumbbell row now use dumbbells. It was far too easy to adjust the weight for each exercise - perhaps easier than when I had my Bowflex resistance machine.

I am truly going to failure for my exercises now. The allure for strength training is strong. Having these dumbbells satisfies this need. It's everything I can do with weights, but without access to a barbell. (Except for heavy dead lifts.)

The manual which came with the dumbbells has a comprehensive list of exercises to follow. I don't see how having individual dumbbells could be used at home unless you have a rack of equipment.

Caution: The box is 117 lbs. Take this into consideration if you are picking this up at a store (literally). Transport could be concern. Be very sure to follow the unpacking instructions (set the box upright, the instructions are at the top). Alternatively, Bowflex is offering free shipping on their website. The price seems to be $299 everywhere - including Bowflex.
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