Thursday, May 19, 2011

Push-up Cocktails

So, I'm still laying down with ice all over my left side and doped up on Vicodin in an attempt to control the pain from this bout of shingles. All the while, I'm thinking about all of the things I should be doing, such as planting all of the fruit bushes that came in the mail this week and installing my new hard water softener. I'm also thinking about the things that I could be doing, things that I enjoy, such as push-up cocktails.

That's a good name for them since I can't drink cocktails while on Vicodin (or, SHOULDN'T drink. The thought has crossed my mind!) and I can't do push-ups since holding an electric toothbrush can cause pain if I hold it too long. Plus, a well-made cocktail always takes a couple of simple ingredients and makes them into something really awesome, far more awesome than the individual ingredients could ever dream of being.

I don't claim to come up with a lot of the ideas that I write about here and I'm not going to claim credit for this one either. Matt Furey gave me this idea a long time ago. Yeah, Matt overcharges for the information that he provides but still, he does give out some sound advice. Taking similar push-ups and doing them in a single set was definitely one of them.

My favorite cocktail starts with the wide hand-stance, normal, and diamond push-ups, in that order. 10-20 reps is all that's needed. I just go from one to the next, without stopping. Or, I'll do one set, walk my with my hands three steps over while keeping my feet in place. The former works the shoulders a lot more. The latter, which I've dubbed clock push-ups, hits the abs more.

My second choice cocktail comes from all of the (pointless) arguments that pop up on forums. Every once in a while, the dive-bomber vs. hindu push-up is one of those sticking points. The reason why people debate which is better than the other eludes me and frankly, why not do both? Alternate between them in the same set, doing 10 hindus and then 10 dive bombers, working up to 40 to 60 push-ups. This is an awesome combination of mobility and strength all in one set of push-ups.

Now, how do you use these push-up cocktails? Well, I promised RJ in SAC that I'd plug kettlebells more often and here's a golden opportunity. When I drove to and from California, I was partial to doing some KB snatches followed immediately by a set of clock push-ups. 4 or 5 rounds of that was enough to shake off any lethargic feelings left in my body from being stuck behind the wheel of a truck for 11 hours. I've kept the kettlebell-push-up cocktail thing going by doing some heavy lateral swings(34 seconds in) followed by a dive-bomber/hindu push-up set. Once again, 4 or 5 rounds of that will get your attention.

I love them both. I'd be doing either of these workouts right now, if I only I had a healthy body that would cooperate...


bosox143 said...

Very cool site. There's nothing like using your body weight as a method of resistance training....just you and gravity!!!

I will be checking back often.

What are your thoughts on supplements? I take Catalyst ( and Nighttime Recovery (

I am in the 3rd week of a "homebrew" P90X and 1 on 1 with Tony Horton vols. 1 & 2 exercise routine. see it here:

Let me know what you think.

Riles said...

What would you consider a good ratio of regular bodyweight pushups to pullups to be? I was thinking 6:1 was probably not bad but im not sure, just wanted your opinion.

Justin_PS said...

Bosox, thank you for your compliments. I certainly try my damnest. Good luck with your P90X work. As for my thoughts on supplements...

Riles, I've never considered approaching push-ups or pull-ups from a ratio perspective. I don't do push-ups in that kind of volume in relation to pullups though. Most of the time, it's pretty much 1:1.

I don't fall into the typical cals-in-high-volume training methodology.

Anonymous said...

hey dude,
nice work and I do share your vision as well, though I'm more oriented on bodyweight strength training than resistance as my long term goal is the iron cross.
I think you should take some time to dig on how gymnasts train, it's worth the effort.
congrats, Alberto.

Justin_PS said...

Hey, good to hear from you, Alberto!

Please, I've got so many things that I want to work on already! ;)

What have you been working on lately?

alberto said...

thanks for the nice welcome justin, I recently nailed no kipping muscleups and L-sit on rings, I'm now halfway to full back lever. I started 8 months ago capable of doing just 6 pullups and no, I haven't lift a single dumbell. I want to attain few strength gymnastic skills like front lever, ring handstandpushups, planche and iron cross. I guess it will take me few more years I should be there by my 40th birthday!!

alberto said...

hahaha... your reply sounded as if you knew me already even if it was my first post on your blog. Sorry for the misunderstanding, I'm a different alberto, I'm omonymus with the guy who previosly posted and we're both italian!! I found his posts just after searching for my name on your blog. hahaha... what a coincidence. My previous reply will sound to you like "uhhh??? who's this guy coming out of the blue??"

Justin_PS said...


tabata timer said...

Nice site. You really show that people dont always need weights to get in good shape!