What Does Not Kill You Makes you Stronger

February 6, 2020
I hate push ups and it did not kill me.

We have all heard the saying what does not kill you can only make you stronger. I love this idea when it comes to fitness and it is most likely true.

One of my fellow basketballers is going to be heading into the Navy soon. This got me wondering what a Navy physical fitness test may entail. I had the idea of making a video with some of the guys and see how we would all stack up (without training) in a fitness test. Most of us play basketball two or three times a week and we appear to be in good shape. A few of the guys say that they work out often and or hit the weight room.

I am ashamed to admit this, I cannot do very many push ups. It is somewhat sad and really sort of pathetic. I have never been able to do push ups and I can’t touch my toes either. My body is a temple and this fine god like figure is not suited for push ups. Ol’ String Bean over here has much less strength than he knew. The experience has been humbling to say the least.

Push yourself to do exercises you hate. Your body will love you for it.

In speaking with the others at the gym and having a good laugh at my expense, I decided it was time to try and teach my body how to do push ups. Now, I am going to need to train fairly consistently and it is my understanding that body weight exercises can be done everyday and in large quantities if desired and if your ability allows. Below is a map of the most recent workout I did. Don’t worry, the description will be short and sweet as I am guessing most people will be familiar with the exercises and since I am not a physical trainer, I will not go into depth with all the reasons these exercises are good and whatever else. This also leads to a disclaimer: Please consult with your primary care physician before starting an exercise routine.

The Workout:

First, I started with the jump rope. Jumping rope is generally my go to when it comes to warming up. They are relatively inexpensive and can be a great tool to elevate your heart rate. There plenty for sale if you do not have one laying around somewhere and and can find one here. I tend to start off with 100-150 skips at a slow to moderate pace. After feeling loose, stretching is always a good idea. Today, after warming up the workout was 10 push ups, a rest by doing another 100 with the jump rope and then repeat. I did 5 sets. Total was jumping rope 500 times and 50 push ups. I have to say, I am really sore from the push ups.

The second part of the workout led to the weight room. Time was a factor here so I did not get the best burn and today was more of a maintenance day since I had played basketball in the morning. Romanian deadlifts were up next. If you aren’t sure what those are, a quick google search will tell you how to do them. I use a Smith Machine as I have no spotter or weight bar. Body weight squats were done during the recovery time from the Romanian deadlifts. Three sets of ten sufficed for today on both of these exercises.

Cool down was last as always and I had around 10 minutes before I needed to be finished with my thirty minute lunch break. I hopped on the rowing machine for a few minutes at a light pace and then used a foam roller and stretched. This concluded the workout.

Final Thoughts: It didn’t kill me.

The takeaway from today is that even though I am sore and will be for a few days, tackling an exercise that I do not normally do is going to be a good thing. Push ups are the worst along with burpees and pull ups. I dislike doing them which means I need to do more of them. It will feel nice to be sore and know that I worked on a muscle that has been neglected.

Our bodies compensate in weird ways when we have an imbalance. Strength and conditioning will definitely lead to feeling better and having less aches and pains. I have been focusing mostly on lower body movements therefore, I have neglected my upper body. My body needs balance and life needs balance. When it comes to working out, what does not kill you can only make you stronger. Push yourself to do exercises that you hate. Your body will love you for it.

-Adam