December Challenge

Anyone following my blog must know by now that I love to give myself short-term personal challenges. They’re usually around fitness and nutrition, but sometimes they’re creative too. I like doing this, it gives you something to focus on outside of stressing over work or school, or sitting on the couch watching television. Finishing them means you get to celebrate personal victories more often–which is nice, especially since most personal victories are long drawn out processes that can cause you to lose motivation periodically (i.e. finishing a degree, getting a promotion, etc.)

This month’s challenge is a fitness challenge, which I’m already in the middle of. I always tell myself I wanted to have more upper body strength, and what better way than push ups. Most people do not, or cannot, do push ups–CORRECTLY. Especially women!! I mean there are, of course, a multitude of variations on the push up (wide-arm, diamond, elbows out, elbows in, dive bombers, one-armed…), but most of us aren’t doing any of them.

My formula for the month is: the Date x 10 = # reps. So Dec. 1 I did 10 reps, the next day 20 reps, and so on. My initial thoughts were to do push ups the entire month, but then you start getting into the teens (130, 140) and the twenties (250, 260) and then the month has 31 days. So I had to rethink this a little bit, not that I want to diminish my challenge, but I do want to be realistic about not wearing out one set of muscles.

So I added some other muscle group–large muscle groups to be specific/not-specific. The first ten days I’ve just done push ups per the formula above. And I will say by the 8th day, knocking out 25-30 push ups without a break became a piece of cake. But I think days 11-20 will be jump lunges to get my quads and glutes and days 21-30, different abdominal reps.  However, since I don’t want to quit push ups, and would like to one day be able to knock out 100 reps without quitting, I will do 100 reps in addition to the other exercises, every OTHER day, to give my arms a rest. Especially so I can move on to harder variations with legs inclined, in a hand stand, maybe one-armed.

Hopefully by Day 31, I can do 100 reps each of push ups, jump lunges, and sit ups without stopping during each exercise.

We shall see.