Like a Bat Out of Hell – aka My Heart After Some Press Ups

Submitted by Jon on Thu, 13/12/2007 – 10:21pm

Bad weather stopped play. Last night I got in my car and started driving towards my kick-boxing / kung-fu club, but quickly realised that a freezing fog had engulfed most of Essex, and decided that it would be prudent to turn the car around and drive back home. I was feeling tired, and did not really want to be driving around in freezing fog. So Wednesday was an impromptu rest night.

This evening I was reading about bodyweight exercises, and remembered that at the beginning of the year (before I started this blog) I attempted a 100 push-up a day challenge. All it consisted of was doing 100 push ups a day. Any type of push up, in any number of sets. I never completed the challenge that I set myself, I forget why. I did do 100 press ups one day though, in several sets.

When I last did these press ups, my upper arms really bulked up quite quickly, and I have since lost this muscle, so I am keen to get it back.

This evening I leapt to my new challenge. I put the kettle on, and did 15 press-ups. Then I poured my tea and started making a tuna and mayo sandwich, and then did another 10 press ups. These were hard. I am overweight and pretty weak on top, but I did ensure that these were full press-ups, with chest to floor each time. I finished making my sandwich, and then did another 20 quicker, without such good form, press ups. These were a killer. As soon as I finished I dragged myself to the sofa and slumped down, and waited for my heart to stop screaming at me. It was at this point that I was reminded of Meat Loaf’s song Bat Out of Hell.

Lessons learnt today:

1. I really need to get fit!
2. I need to improve upper body strength
3. Until I can easily do 100 press ups, press ups are a good exercise, no matter what other people say.

I think that if your upper body is relatively strong, and you are very slim, then press ups are not much of a challenge. But if you are a classic overweight endomorph like me, press ups are hard work, and can be an effective way to build muscle and strength in the chest, arms and back.

I plan to mix up the press ups a little, and do sets of Chinese press-ups (the ones we do in Chow Gar kung-fu classes), standard press ups and close grip press ups. One thing I need to decide on, is am I calling them press ups or push ups?

I am currently trying to follow some push up advice.

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