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Ten Cent Tour and the Pushup

I love to work out on Saturday afternoons. There is a certain pace to the day; it is slower, more relaxed – very few interruptions and I have more time to work on whatever comes up.

I would describe today’s workout as smooth, well paced with overtones of wrist pain and a hint of endorphins…a good vintage but not a great one.  I thought it might be interesting to explain the workout in some detail.

I did 40 cycles (sets) on the two-minute mark.  Each cycle has four segments: exertion, up transition, aerobic and down transition.  The exertion segment is when I do the pushups, and in the aerobic, I peddle a recumbent bike. Some days I walk. The up and down transitions are used to center myself and to check on my thoughts and feelings.

My cycles went like this: 2×60, 2×50, 3×45, 3×40, 5×35, 11×30, 9×25 and 5×20 for 1305 pushups with the bike resistance set at 12. For instance, the first two sets I did were 60 pushups each, followed by two reps of fifty and so on.

I used an iPod I loaded with a MP3 file that signals me with a chirp when a cycle starts; otherwise I hear silence. This frees me to concentrate on other things besides the time.  When I hear the chirp, I get off the bike and ask myself two questions.  If the answers to them both are positive, I drop down and do the set.

My goal is to do a perfect pushup every rep and that is not a simple goal.  Depending on the intensity of the workout and number of the set, staying mindful to form and movement can be interesting…like when you run out of air.  After the exertion, I stand up, make a positive statement about the set and climb on for more biking.  All this happens within the two-minute cycle.

Before I start the workout, I warm up for 10 to 15 minutes and after and cool down for 10 minutes…workouts can be somewhat long but that is relative.

I have designed many different workouts, some focusing on strength and others that focus on endurance, but I have several rules I try to follow religiously.  First, I never push out one more rep at the expense of form.  If I run out of steam before the scheduled number of reps, I stop, take a few breaths and complete the set.

Secondly I do not do one pushup unless I am properly warmed up.  I hurt myself once showing off by doing 100 pushups, sort of on a dare.  My shoulder hurt me for six months…great lesson.

Lastly, I am very attentive to the process and when I notice something out of order, I back off.  I would list this as my greatest strength…paying attention to what is going on.

This is the ten cent tour.  The full Monte is something else…stay tuned.