Friday, August 2, 2013

Resurecting Push-up Cocktails

Prior to letting one of Florida's better orthopedic surgeons do his best on my knee, I had to change up how I worked out my body with a useless leg.  If you've never done anything to injure your leg in a manner that prohibits carrying around weight, you cannot comprehend how bad this sucks for training.  It's not just the fact that you can't (shouldn't...) do leg training.  It also severely inhibits exercise selection because you are also limited by the lack of ability to set up your exercises.  So, it brings any former BW-only trainer far closer to their roots. 

In other words, this wasn't a tremendous problem for me.  I knew I could find ways to train around this.  I just had to reactivate this part of my brain. 

I've discussed this in a past entry:  some people who work out too often with lots of stuff, just the way they like it, pigeon-holing themselves with their training.  If you want to make 72.35% of gym rats wet their pants, cry like babies, and go into bizzare siezures, just take away their bench and watch the ensuing hilarity. 

When it came to my chest workouts, I took another track.  Of all the body parts that will make you look ridiculous for falling in love with one movement to train it, it's got to be the chest.  The pecs can move in so many directions and at so many angles that it's just flat-out stupid or lazy to rely on one movement for training.  Consequently, training the chest with one movement is also incomplete.  You're better off with a few different movements. 

Remember the time crunch thing?  Regardless of whether or not I am in a hurry or not, I still like to do a lot of work in less time.  I don't like resting much when I train.  So, when I tore my ACL, I gravitated to combining differing chest movements in one set.  That way I could satisfy the whole, "different angles, different ways," thing. 

The first combo that I started doing was combining BW flyes with push-ups on my suspension rig.  Both of these were done slowly and going as deep as possible, especially the push-up at the bottom.   By the end of this set, I usually feel like my pectoral muscles are going to tear off my breast plate and run away to find some easier, functional training.  The less-obvious benefit to this set is the ab training.  By the end of the set, it's hard to hold my midsection in place.  Of course, I had to do this all on one foot.  That added to the fun. 

The second combo that I picked up after not doing for a long time was what I loosely called clock push-ups.  I start out by doing some wide, wider than shoulder-width, hand stance push-ups.  Then, I walk my hands to the right three paces the the right (or left, doesn't matter), keep my feet in place, and do another set of hands-shoulder width apart.  Repeat the hand-walking and finish up with hands together.  As the hands get closer together, the range increases, making the push-ups harder as you get further into the set.  This really slashes down on how many push-ups you can do. 

Before I did both of these, I usually threw in some dips on the suspension rig.  I did these for no other reason than I'm humiliated by how much I suck at them.  As an added bonus, it's yet another direction to hit the chest. 

I've read a fair amount of BW training resources.  Blending together two different movements into the same set doesn't come up very often.  That's a mistake we don't have to make.   There are no rule that say that we have to do the same movement in the same set.  So, feel free to change it up. 

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