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6 weeks to One Hundred Pushups

by on October 24, 2008

I found this pushup program back in August and decided to give it a try. It “promises” that in 6 weeks anyone can be up to 100 consecutive pushups without stopping. I’ve followed the program to the tee but haven’t been able to get past week 3. Looking for an alternative, I got to thinking…

Being able do 100 pushups consecutively is not as well suited for karate conditioning as being able to do, say, 25 pushups as quickly as possible. Shooting for this goal instead would give the trainee prolonged, explosive muscle control as well as strength. All training, no matter the sport or art, must find a balance between speed and strength. Some people are able to achieve great strength at high speed. Others, great speed at the expense of strength. Then there is the link between the two: with great speed comes greater strength (sounds like a cliche comic book quote). This is not quite the case; in reality its a greater energy that’s generated, but that’s a topic for other articles.

Being able to do 100 pushups will definitely give you a lot of muscle endurance and in time, great strength (e.g. if you put weights around your mid-section for instance). But with all that muscle mass, your techniques are guarenteed to slow down. What we want instead is explosion of force. So try for fewer pushups as fast as possible.

From → training

6 Comments
  1. hmmm a very interesting conclusion… and valid. I was planning to give this a try myself just never got around to it, but i feel that i would probably have gotten as far as you hahaha…

    got me to thinking myself, would that strong shoulders /arms really be worth it for karate? might it not be better to go for 100 situps under the theory that we use the muscles in the waist/hip area for power generation more so than the other muscle groups…

    the idea being, of course, that have huge shoulders and arms will benefit you nothing if you still have a weak core…

  2. These two don’t have to be mutually exclusive. I don’t see why we can’t have strong shoulders and arms for creating sharp techniques and stability in blocks, etc., while still having a strong core. I’d tend to agree that a core strength improves overall performance more than strong arms or shoulders would.

    I’m researching some push-up programs that might be better suited to karate than the one I’ve mentioned above. We’ll see what turns up.

  3. by all means, a body equally strong in all areas would be the best, i just meant that an imbalance would not be of much use.

  4. kaywex permalink

    I bet both your wives would love it if you had a strong upper, which would be the result of doing 100 pushups consecutively…

  5. I realized after some more research that saying increased mass is guaranteed to slow down your actions is not true. Its not true because its not guaranteed. It might slow them, but some increase in mass can be compensated by an increase in force generated by the body.

    Actually, increased muscle mass will result in a heightened force-generating potential meaning the acceleration of the punch may remain about the same, but now you’re propelling a heavier object at the same speed as you were before. The result? Likely to be more energy transfer to the target, making the breaking of that target easier, no?

    Seems I still have a lot of study to do on this topic. I need a rapid-capture video camera to do some of the study empirically. Anyone have one they want to lend? 😉

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