It has been three weeks since I started the one hundred push ups training program, which is the halfway point. Here's an update on my progress and what I think so far.
Before beginning week three, I did as the site advised and peformed an exhaustion test — essentially a repeat of the initial test where you do as many push ups as possible before you can't do another rep.
I maxed out at a measly 14.
I was disappointed to have not progressed further. But, it was five more than my initial nine. Plus, I've been seeing a personal trainer for the past month and my muscles are generally taxed period.
Week Two Revisited
Unfortunately, the 14 count meant that I had to repeat the week two regimen for my actual week three. This time, though, I followed the maximum rep schedule (column three).
Now, having completed my third week, I am maxing out at 16 reps, which qualifies me to move on to the week three regimen next week (my actual week four). I'll be following the lowest repetition schedule (column one).
Thoughts on the Program
Regardless of my slower–than–I–would–prefer progress, I like this program. As I originally said, it is simple and requires nothing except a time commitment (aided by reminders I set up in my Google calendar).
Since starting, though, I've been feeling some strain in my wrists. I even had my chiropractor adjust both of them twice, which didn't seem to help.
Then Gryffyn commented about using barbells, so I gave that a shot. It actually helped with the wrist strain, but the pressure on my hands was uncomfortable and the form was slightly awkward. Still, with what appears to be reduced wrist strain, I'm not ready to give up on this approach quite yet.
In the same comment thread, Ian posted that he used Perfect Pushups. I, personally, can't speak to these, but the site says they help reduce joint strain. So, I may buy some of these if the wrist strain gets worse and/or I don't acclimate to the barbells.
I have had chronic lower back problems for years and with this program I occasionally feel some strain in my lower back. Most of the time, this just means focusing more on my form and keeping my core muscles engaged during the push ups.
I also find that following each set of push ups with back stretches on my exercise ball helps.
Two Thumbs Up
Other than those minor issues, I recommend this program. It is working. I can feel the muscle development and the increase in reps shows my increased muscle endurance.
I'm not entirely confident I'll actually get to 100 in six weeks, but I will get to 100 at some point. That is good enough for me.