For some reason, humans always try to make things way more complicated than they actually are. In reality, some things are just plain simple.
I get asked this question frequently by gym members and by the parents of athletes I train:
- What types of exercises should be performed at home, on days in between their sessions, to further strength development?
The answer is very, VERY simple. So simple, in fact, that most of you (99%) already know the answer. You were taught the solution in elementary school gym class at a very young age.
The answer is so obvious, it will make you want to kick yourself.
Solution: Do Your Push-ups!
The push-up is such a common exercise that it often gets overlooked completely. Maybe it’s because they are so basic, people fail to understand just how powerful they can actually be. Truthfully, the push-up is one for the best bodyweight exercises known to man when it comes to developing both upper-body strength and core stability.
Adding them into your daily routine is a piece of cake, because push-ups can be performed anywhere, at any time. You can be at work and still get a set in between meetings. You can easily squeeze some quality reps in between episodes of your favorite Netflix show, or while you’re in the Fortnite lobby waiting for your next game to start.
It’s seriously as simple as making the decision to include push-ups as part of your daily routine. Trust me, you will be extremely happy with the results if you perform them daily.
Start with a manageable DAILY GOAL
Don’t bite off more than you can chew on the first day. Start with a small number that you are sure you can manage fairly easily (4 or 5 sets). Depending on your current strength levels, this number can vary. Here’s a very simple way to help you figure out your daily starting goal:
- Perform a set of Push-ups to FAILURE
- Round that number UP to the closest multiple of 5 (ex: if you did 22, count it as 25)
- Multiply that number by 4
- Use that total number as your DAILY GOAL
After you have found your total daily goal number, stick to it, and make sure you are hitting that number of reps each day. It really helps if you tell people about your new challenge. Better yet, ask someone to join in on the challenge, that way you can hold each other accountable.
Whatever method works for you, just make sure that you are committed 100% to this new challenge. NO EXCUSES!
After a week, add to the Daily Goal
With each new week, you will be getting stronger naturally, as a result of your consistency. You’ll find that you are performing higher rep sets with greater ease. This means your body is becoming acclimated to the amount of push-ups, so it’s time to add more reps to the daily goal.
Don’t add more than you can handle. In fact, the number should be so minuscule that you don’t even really notice. (Maybe add 25 or so) This way, it’s not a shock to the habit you are trying to build. If you add too many into the routine at once, you will burn out and fail to establish the habit for the long-term.
Give it a shot
I could sit here and ramble on about the benefits of push-ups until my fingers bleed, but you’re not going to believe me until you actually try out the challenge.
The absolute key is CONSISTENCY. If you take the time to establish this small habit daily, you will be handsomely rewarded with amazing results.