Back in the day, when I was working on getting my pull-up numbers up from a somewhat “measly” 25, albeit 25 PERFECT pull-ups per workout, there was something I was missing.
There was something I was missing despite having years of training experience before this – – and despite “knowing” what I was missing from a theoretical standpoint.
As they say, the school of hard knocks is really the one way you learn life lessons – and workout lessons, for that matter- that you never forget – and that STAY with you your entire life, and BENEFIT you!
I think it was around the 45-50 pull-up mark that I was at that stage, and I was nigh stuck.
That’s right – stuck. No matter what I did, I could not get past this sticking point.
I tried it all. Doing pull-ups before my hill climbs. Doing ’em after. Dedicating entire days to just pull-ups. And so forth.
While all of that helped, nothing really worked – until one fine day it struck me.
“Hey, why not do some pushups and see how it goes“, the inner voice inside of me urged me.
While it seemed like a good idea initially, my conscious mind rejected it.
“Pah! Pushups! Those are easy – and you’re the guy that’s written books on doing pull-ups, and … ”
But yet, the inner voice was insistent, and before I knew it, I was down on the ground doing pushups.
Just good ole’s traditional pushups with arms held close to the lats (another clue right there!).
I think I started out with the intention of doing 50 and calling it a day and going back to pull-ups. After all, I had been doing pushups for years, albeit not for the past few months, and …
… imagine what a surprise it was when let alone 50 – or 20 – even 15 regular pushups felt like a CHORE!
As I got into position and the legs locked in, something felt different.
My abs were being worked in a way they hadn’t been for ages – despite doing tons of pull-ups daily. My shoulders were getting the workout of their lives (as I progressed on to 50) – and as I moved back to pull-ups, I was amazed at how easy it was to smash past the barrier there too!
As I incorporated different types of pushups back into my routine – I was nigh amazed at how quickly I improved at pull-ups and while I’ve written about this extensively in the past (i.e. how you need to get better at pushups FIRST before trying to do pull-ups) – it’s oft ignored – unfortunately.
That was the point I made a massive change to my now famous “Pull-ups – from DUD to STUD within a matter of WEEKS” manual. I updated the book to include not only my own personal experiences – but also the supplementary exercises you need to get good at – darn good at – before you can even dream of taking your pull-ups to the next level, my friend.
But there’s more to the story.
Back to that “fateful” day – after I got home, I noticed a curious sort of “deep” throbbing soreness in my lower lats and the serratus anterior region (for those not in the know, thats the muscle around your armpits – or part of it, at any rate).
I did not think much of it, but the next day, I was amazed to notice I could barely lift my arms up to take a shower – or put on my shirt!!
All this happening to the guy who wrote a book on pull-ups, and who did them regularly. All this to a guy who did plenty of pushups before in the past. All this to me, I thought, and all from three “torturous” sets of 15 pushups????
And that was when it hit me – more than it ever had before – like a ton of bricks to say the least, and I’ve never since ignored pushups in my workout – not for one single day.
Pushups work the entire body in a way it cannot be worked via other exercises, my friend.
The pushing motion strengthens your entire core and ABS in a way no other exercise can, and your legs and feet are strengthened immensely as well from not only this pushing motion – but the STABILIZING motion required on some of the pushups I teach.
Believe me, if you really squeeze your thighs during a pushup workout, you’ll end up being sore in your thighs the next day!
And the lats get worked heavily too during pushups – as is evidenced by what I experienced.
YES, the lats are used in pushing movements as well! Too many people are under the misconception that lats are only used for pulling.
No – they’re not. Even if you’re grunting out sets of bench presses (something you should NOT be doing if you’re in the least bit interested in a healthy upper body) galore – strengthen your lats – and push from the lats – and you’ll see how quickly your bench improves.
Ditto for pushups. Strengthen the triceps and chest (and entire upper body) by doing pushups, and THAT is the one hidden key you need in terms of improvement in pull-ups – and increased strength throughout the entire body.
And those of you that don’t believe me – and never do pushups claiming they’re too easy – well – join the military – or become a boxer – or so forth – and then tell me.
These magnificent athletes do plenty of exercises, but ONE exercise is the mainstay of their routine – that being pushups. From Herschel Walker to the Great Gama to the Marines of today, they all do pushups – and tons and tons of them at that.
And one can’t argue with their results methinks!
Still don’t believe me? Still think pushups are “childs play”?
Well, get down and give me a 100 right now, my friend – all in proper form. Tell me how you feel thereafter – and if you haven’t worked out in a while, tell me how you feel TOMORROW.
And THEN tell me pushups are child’s play, hehe.
Ok, my friend. That’s it for today.
I’ll be back later with MORE!
P.S. – If you’re serious about fitness in any way, shape or form – then make your mind up NOW to get good at pushups – REAL good. Grab the System right now, and get cranking on the routines that will build a new you almost overnight – – http://0excusesfitness.com/0excusesfitnessystem/