Upper Body Update (week 13)

My muscles felt mildly achy most of the week (maybe my immune system is fighting something, I don’t know) so while I did maintain, I didn’t break any new ground.

I have been thinking about the relationship between my physical strength and mental strength. In the beginning, four pushups were the max of my muscles’ ability, there was no going beyond that, I would simply collapse. Mentally it was not a challenge though, I was able to make myself go to the point of exhaustion every time.

Today I did a set of thirty pushups and it was almost the opposite. When I had completed thirty pushups, enough to maintain last week’s numbers, my brain stopped me, “Alright, you did what you needed to do, you weren’t feeling 100% this week anyway, just be happy that you reached thirty.” So I let my knees hit the floor and that set was over.

But the funny thing I had not done my best, speaking from a physical standpoint. My muscles were capable of more. I could have pushed on. I hadn’t reached my collapsing point. I have realized that the number of pushups I accomplished the week before is a double-edged sword.

On one hand it is good because it challenges me to maintain or go slightly above the previous week’s number.

But on the other hand? It gives my brain a stopping point that my muscles may be able to go beyond.

So my goal for this week is to ignore the numbers and just go all out.

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Upper Body Update (week 12)

I can’t believe it has been three months since I started trying to strengthen my upper body. It has been so simple, just a few minutes of intense effort every day and the results have been worth it. I can do thirty pushups in a row! It is awesome knowing that I am in the best shape I have ever been in my life and I am only getting stronger.

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Upper Body Update (week 11)

I didn’t feel like pushing myself this week, so I just maintained last week’s numbers. Last Tuesday I had to dig deep to get up to 23 pushups in a row and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to duplicate that today, but I was able to reach 23 and even add 4 to that number. It is awesome to feel myself growing stronger week by week.

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Upper Body Update (week 10)

I have officially joined the ranks of sickos. Yay for stomach bugs! There goes my plans for babysitting for the day…

I didn’t eat much at work yesterday and when I got home I put up my commuting post, walked to church for worship practice and then didn’t get back until 7:30 pm. I was starving! But eating didn’t make my stomach feel better and it wasn’t long before I made a trip to the bathroom. I went to bed soon after and had to make several more emergency bathroom visits during the night.

Now I am really, really, really, hungry, but I can tell my stomach hasn’t calmed down enough to accept food yet.

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Upper Body Update (week 9)

This week I started the one hundred pushup program and my shoulders are super sore! I nearly doubled the amount of pushups I did last week and maintained my planking time.

This coming week I am supposed to do 215 pushups spread out over 3 workouts. But last week, Busy Cyclist, reminded me that what I was doing was working so maybe I should just stick with that instead of following a strict program. (And he also gave me some great ideas for switching up my pushup routine.)

I am one of those people that once my mind gets dead set on something, I will make it happen no matter what. I can say I am determined to do something but it isn’t until that moment that I firmly choose in my mind that there are no other options that I become laser-focused.

I was about to set my laser-focus on accomplishing one hundred pushups in 7 weeks, but the wisdom from Busy Cyclist shook me awake. Yes, my eventual goal is to be able to do 100 consecutive pushups, but I don’t think pushing myself to accomplish that goal in 7 weeks is a good fit for me.

I have seen a huge improvement in upper body strength in the past month, but that came through consistently doing pushups and planks at my own pace. I may use the program to guide me somewhat but I do want to be kind to my body and let it take all the time it needs to be strong enough to reach my goal.

I am going to focus on planking this week and give my shoulders a bit of a break, they deserve it!

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Upper Body Update (week 8)

I am calm. Nothing to see here.

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How does that even work? Did my body really get that much stronger in one week, or am I just getting better at pushing myself farther? Either way, I’ll take it!

I think I am going to try the 7 week “one hundred pushups” program. Whether it takes me 7 weeks or more, I am becoming determined to be able to do 100 pushups in a row.

Eight weeks ago, I said this.

“When starting out a fitness program, it is generally advisable to set goals, right? Ha. Bri doesn’t set fitness goals. Bri used to, but Bri doesn’t anymore. It is a long story.

I am just going to do something to build my upper body strength 3 times a week. That is extent of my training plan. We will see how this goes.”

I had no idea.

Upper Body Update (week 7)

Guess what? I can do twelve pushups. In a row. Without face planting. I was not expecting that at all. I was pushing myself to do eight or nine in a row this week but I can do twelve! This is way too exciting!

Twelve pushups may be a measly amount to many people but not long ago, I wasn’t able to do a single pushup. Seven weeks ago I could barely push through four. It will be interesting to see what happens in the coming week. Maybe I have stumbled upon a Fibonacci sequence-type thing and next week I will be able to do nineteen pushups in a row. Or maybe the number will plateau for a few weeks.

I don’t really care because I can do twelve pushups. Ha!

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