We all know about the pushup- a simple, boring means of exercise from grade school gym class- we all want to do spinning classes, Olympic lifts, Powerlifting and Pilates!!
Well, I’m here to tell you that, unfortunately for marketing, (the same marketing that tells you that saturated fat is bad, high cholesterol needs lots of drugs to “solve” it, and that whole grains are wonderful)- that the same marketing has been done to pervert EXERCISE!
Real Food is perfect food- God made foods are ideal for us and our health! Duh!!
Grass fed meat, butter, free range eggs and pork, wild caught seafood, organic local veggies- ALL are vastly better for us than CAFO animals and eggs, pesticide riddled produce, and dairy that has been “processed” under extreme heat and deprived of its nutrients and enzymes...
BUT, REAL EXERCISE is in the same category!
The PUSHUP is the ULTIMATE EXERCISE!
Let me say that again: the pushup is the ULTIMATE EXERCISE!!
Better than p90X, better than Olympic, Power, or bodybuilding- better than spin classes, rock climbing, or Pilates- nothing is better for your health, physique, or your overall sound mind in a sound body than the simple PUSHUP!
Glad I got that out of my system.
Just like real food, the message has been lost because... there is nothing to sell!
Here is the real deal: just do pushups, twice per week!
This is like sprinting, with your upper body (your WHOLE upper body!) And the benefits are legion. Your rib cage and ALL of the muscles of your upper body, abs, and lower back all benefit. Your cardio and “wind” improve as much as if you were on some stupid cardio machine. AND your musculature develops in a totally natural and symetrical way, unlike weight lifting, which really does stimulate unnatural bulk and blockiness of the physique...
And so, for your fitness foundation, I, PaleoJay recommend:
Twice per week, do a pushup workout! Men AND women.
I do mine in front of the television... this is optional!
First, I do a set of virtual, dynamic, or self resisted exercises, which are basically a set of flexing my muscles, much as a bodybuilder would do, for repetitions... I cover all the muscles in the body, deliberately and completely focused. It feels great, and is the same thing that the ancient Greeks and Romans did to develop the physiques of the statues we still admire today.
THEN, on either Wednesday or Thursday, I do pushups:
I do have a set of Perfect Pushups, which I think are wonderful since you can both go deeper into the movement, and also since they rotate to make it safe for the elbows and shoulders. But, you can do it without just fine!
Do one set of pushups with your arms at shoulder, or medium width. If you can do 5; do 5- then next time, do 6...
Next, do one set at a wider grip- whatever you can do, but do NOT go to failure- just whatever you can manage to do that leaves a little effort “still in the tank”.
then, do a set with a NARROW grip- about 12 inches from palm to palm... this set will be less reps!
I like to do my pushups with my legs raised on the back of a couch, or other support, but whatever works for you at your current level is wonderful! It’s just gradual progression...
One note: for women especially, but anyone deconditioned:
If you can’t do pushups, (as many can’t nowadays)- just do negative pushups!
If you need to, leave your knees on the floor...
But, you can also do negative pushups, which are the BOMB!
For a negative pushup, you just get into the top position of the pushup, and then just slowly lower yourself into the bottom position! Repeat...
This simple strategy duplicates all of the results of a standard pushup- really!
I like to do this 2X per week- this gives ample recovery, and will quite simply do more for your body than hours and hours of the commonly marketed exercise systems (like crossfit, P90X, Olympic and Powerlifting) and all the other marketed and over-hyped exercise protocols I’ve heard about and seen advertised on informercials and misinformation on the internet; unfortunately even on Paleo Exercise podcasts...
I’m sorry this podcast is longer than I wanted, but I thought this information was incredibly important. EXERCISE is being made WAY overcomplicated!
The ancient Greeks, or Hellenes as they called themselves, were the start of so many things! The founders of modern medicine, the ideal of a sound mind in a sound body, the very notion of an ideal human form!!
AND WHAT THEY DID WAS PUSHUPS!
So go ahead- be an exercise Hippocrates! Do pushups!
Twice per week!!