Upper Body Update (week 19)

For the past six weeks, I have building up the number of pushups I do each week somewhat aggressively. This week I did 140 pushups on 5 different days. The thing is it takes me about 25 minutes from start to finish to fit in all 140. I do a set and then take a two minute break before jumping in again.

What I plan on doing for at least the next few weeks is continue to do 140 pushups a day but work on consolidating them. Bigger sets. Less time between sets.

That’s the plan.


Upper Body Update (week 18)

I still couldn’t get to 40 pushups again today. Maybe I miscounted before!

I can’t be too disappointed though. Muscles are popping out all over my arms and it is the weirdest experience ever to look at your own arms and not recognize them. Yesterday I grabbed a potato at work and noticed a bump near my wrist. Is it a growth? A swelling? Nope, just a muscle.

I just assumed if I worked on my upper body, my biceps would get bigger but oddly that one of the only places that I don’t see a difference. All the change is in my hands and lower arms and triceps. Now, I should clarify that while I can see a huge difference in the contours of my arms, I doubt the change is visible to anyone else. I could care less, it is just fun to look at my arms and realize that, yup, I am getting stronger. It is for real.

Note: I won’t be including the planking chart anymore because planking has evolved into simply being two fifty second holds to give me a “rest” before going into the last set of pushups in my routine.


Upper Body Update (week 17)

I couldn’t quite make it all the way to forty this week. On pushup #38 I collapsed. Faceplant.

But thankfully I do have an excuse prepared. I wasn’t able to fit in my pushups on Sunday (the snooze button may have played a factor in my demise) so I did them yesterday, skipping my typical rest day. So this morning I was still a bit sore from Monday’s workout. See, a perfectly good excuse. Unfortunately, while excuses may help my pride a bit they do not help my muscles. Therefore, I resolve that the coming week will be a “no excuses or snooze buttons allowed” week.

Gary from PedalWORKS is inspiring me to add some single leg squats to my routine, but I am still working on getting the form right, which means I need to eliminate wobbling.

Another inspiring thing for me this week was reading about Darian Sperry. She is 5’1″, 20 years old and soooo insanely strong. If this gif doesn’t encourage me to keep working on building my strength, I don’t know what will.Darian Sperry 180 lb (81.65 kg) snatch - Imgur 20150331025057 2015033102522220150331024934

Upper Body Update (week 16)

It’s been four months since the beginning of my relationship with the living room floor. Sixteen weeks in and our relationship is stronger then ever. We spend a little more time in each others company every week.

Don’t tell the living room floor, but I am also developing odd feelings for the mirror in the bathroom. I keep staring at it and wondering how a routine so simple could give me such massive muscles. (Note: my muscles aren’t massive in any way, shape or form. But compared to what they used to be they seem massive to me.)

So there you have it, pushups are important but relationships are what really matter.


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.


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.


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.


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!


Upper Body Update (week 8)

I am calm. Nothing to see here.


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 6)

Ten Things That I Loved About My Day

1. The sunrise was breathtaking this morning.
2. I babysat my nephews and niece.
3. I sang silly songs for hours with above children.
4. My niece was super cuddly all morning.
5. I watched my brothers play basketball.
6. They won.
7. I saw a winter biker on our way to the game.
8. I spent time with my lovely mom.
9. I won a “bet” against my brother.
10. I get to snuggle with my little dogs.