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Sunday, January 2, 2011

January 2, 2011 Workout

The three judges from The Sing Off

Spent a lovely afternoon hanging out at a friend's house today.  We watched recorded episodes of an entertaining reality series called The Sing Off.

Since my friends have two young kids, their living room has interlocking cushioned mats for kids: a convenient surface for some bodyweight resistance training.  As we watched the different groups competing, I decided to do a quick workout. As I had done some ab work that left me with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) for several days, I decided today would be "push up day".  All push ups were performed until the chest was just off the floor.
  • 50 regular push ups
  • 30 elevated feet push ups (raised my feet on the sofa)
  • 20 elevated wide arm push ups (chest, triceps)
  • 25 dive bomber push ups (triceps)
  • 25 reverse dive bomber push ups (triceps)
  • 20 diamond push ups (thumbs touching). This murders the triceps.
  • 10 push ups with my 51 lb. daughter lying on my back
  • 20 situps (compared to the push ups, this was easy)

Quick Summary
Doing push ups until the muscles burn is a convenient and safe way to improve strength and muscle endurance.

More Details
I like doing weight resistance as it is a form of anaerobic exercise which utilizes glycogen in the muscle and stimulates lactic acid. Taxing the muscle enough to feel the burn and performing sub-maximal load repetitions to failure produces sarcoplasmic hypertrophy.  Over time, this increases the amount of mitochondria in cells which in turn increase the enzymes which are involved in glycolytic and oxidative pathways.  In addition to strength gains over sedentary behaviour, this improves muscle endurance.

Click for larger image

I don't pursue maximal-load weight resistance training as I am not looking to bulk up.  Since my goals are first and foremost, safety (prevention of injury); and secondarily preservation of lean muscle mass, a sub-maximal load with repetitions to failure is sufficient to reach my objectives.


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