Your gym has 100 pieces of equipment, but can you handle the push up test?

Most gyms, mine included, give you access to all the cardio and strength machines and free weights you could ever want. But, if we’ve got access to all this stuff and we use it, why is it that we still have trouble doing push ups?

One of the most important pieces of equipment you have access to is your own body. So, let’s make sure you can move it effectively. Martin Rooney, CSCS, a very well respected strength coach, has devised the Three Minute Push Up Challenge. Give this a try and see how you do:

The Test

Do as many pushups as you can in 3 minutes.

Rules

1. Rest whenever you want, but the clock keeps running.

2. For a rep to count, you must maintain perfect form: elbows locked at the top, chest 2 inches above the floor at the bottom, hips not sagging, and knees not touching the floor.

3. Pace yourself however you’d like, but it’s best not to rush, Rooney says. Take a 15-second break once you slow down after you begin to tire. Then take longer breaks as you become more tired, he says. Never push yourself to total failure.

Here’s how to score your results:

  • <55 push-ups - Below average
  • 55-74 push-ups – Average
  • 75-99 push-ups – Good
  • 100-110 push-ups – Excellent
  • 111 or more – Extraordinary

Try the test and leave a comment below to let me know how you did and what your plans are to improve your results.

Looking for a TRX Certified Trainer? Look no further!

TRX - Get With The Movement!
TRX - Get With The Movement!

If you’ve never tried TRX Suspension Training, you’ve been missing out on a great full body workout. I’ve written about the benefits of full body exercise. I’ve talked about the advantages of standing up to exercise. I’ve talked about teaching your body to work together as a system vs. isolating specific muscles. I hope you’re listening.

The TRX gives you an opportunity to do all of those things with only one piece of equipment that can be used almost anywhere. The result: you get a great workout in a shorter period of time.

If you would like to experience TRX from a TRX Certified Trainer, and get one of the best workouts you’ve ever had, give me a call.

This might make you 41% more likely to become obese

Cold water
Cold water
Food is fuel. What we get out of our bodies is directly related to what we put in our bodies. Garbage in = garbage out.

Eat that sugary snack cake that you picked up in the checkout line at the gas station and you will have wasted 500 calories. There’s nothing in there that will do you any good. No muscle building proteins. No complex carbs to keep you fueled. No healthy fats keep testosterone levels up. Just simple sugars that will spike your insulin levels and shut off the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel.

The same holds true for what we drink. One huge source of empty calories that many people have a hard time giving up is soda. Most people who think they’ve given up soda do so by switching to the “healthier” diet soda. As if a diet soda has fewer chemicals.

I ran across a University of Texas study recently about diet soda’s impact on weight loss. The study followed 1,177 diet soda drinkers who were either normal or just overweight, but not obese. “On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese,” said Sharon Fowler, M.P.H., faculty associate in the division of clinical epidemiology in the Health Science Center’s department of medicine.

Those aren’t very good odds, as far as I’m concerned.

If that’s not enough, the study goes on to present an additional finding. The more diet soda that a participant drank, the higher their incidence of weight gain. Those who drank the most soda gained the most weight. A direct correlation between drinking soda and gaining weight.

There are many theories on why this is the case. A couple of the most common include:

  • By drinking diet soda you’re tricking yourself into believing that this is a healthier option and that you deserve to eat more of other foods to balance things out. How many times have you heard or seen someone order a salad and drown it in dressing? When you’ve loaded it down with high-octane creamy dressing, it ceases to be a healthy choice. That one calorie diet drink suddenly turned into a few hundred wasted calories. Good job!
  • The diet soda tricks the mind into thinking it’s getting the sugar it desires and you create a negative hormone response. The body becomes confused and shuts off the fat burning mechanisms and increases cravings for sweets.

So, what should you do instead?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and again, and again. WATER.

Not flavored water.
Not sports drink.
Not coffee (after all it’s water based, right? Sorry, it doesn’t count)

Plain old cold water. That’s right, its boring. But would you rather be a little boring or a lot heavier?