One hundred goals.

Definitely not football !

100 press-ups a day.

100 squats a week.

100 chin-ups a month.

Real time : it’s February 2020 and i’m a month into my ketogenic diet experiment with which i’m just starting to introduce ‘proper’ exercise.   What i mean by ‘proper’ exercise is the deliberate movements, reps and sets, with free weights, body weight exercises and boots on the ground outside of my daily routine of work around the place.  I do say that a hard day’s work is better in some ways than a few sets of squats and chin’s but it’s harder to quantify firewood moved, cement mixed and branches stuffed down the raging maw of an industrial chipper !.

February then, and iv’e just come to the end of my heavy work cycle around the place over the last 4 months : we’ve completed a major strip-out and remake of the gardens, taken down and chipped the invasive Leylandii, just finished the cement work of the back drain and the new fence posts and today i built my scrap wood squat cage. In the gardens there are hundreds of spring bulbs poking through the leaf mulch from my new winter’s planting so instead of work on the site my new daily routine is an hour’s walk up through the woodland and around the back lanes and then whatever ‘exercise’ i’m doing that day…..that breaks down into daily, weekly and monthly goals thus :


My daily dozen as i think the USMC call it is based on just one movement ; the press-up or push-up as our American friends would call it.  My goal is simple : one hundred a day in any way i can.      At first i could usually crank out ten at a time so i started with ten sets of ten, that’s gradually changing such that the first ten feels like a warm up now and i often do 10 + 10 and sometimes 10 + 10 + 10 in short order.  My goal this month is to do the hundred in as few sets as possible : i did at one time get that down to 3 sets but at that time i was cranking out at least 200 every day when i worked.    Next month’s goal will be to improve the quality and maybe start doing them ‘on the bleep’ which is harder.


In week 3 of my new regime i started to re-introduce squats into my routine.  For the first week i just heaved my olympic barbell up and over my head into the classic rear squat position and did a few sets to see how much range of movement i would get on my knee replacement.  I won’t claim that my squats are either clean, good form or ‘ass to grass’ as i’m the wrong shape (far too long limbed) for really good squatting but a start is a start.

This week i completed my scrap wood squat cage and moved it around to the back deck where i tend to do most of my press-ups under the utility area roof.  I also have my pull-up bar there so the combination of deck, bar and cage forms my outside gym. So far i’m only working with a lightly loaded bar ; just 30 kg this week, but i did lose a lot of muscle mass from my quads and calves after the knee replacement so, once again, it’s a start. In a couple of weeks i’ll have to add some lower safety rails as i add some weight but for now the main thing is that i can rack and un-rack the bar without having to do an overhead press first…..than can come later.


In the last couple of weeks iv’e taken to doing a pull-up on the bar which i fastened to the front cross beam of my outside utility area.  I was very surprised that i could heave my weight up to the bar at least once and maybe once or twice : i never was particularly good at pull-ups, apparently because iv’e got very long arms for my height.  Interestingly a former Royal Marine i trained alongside said that they consider it harder for long limbed people to do lots of pull-ups because the range of movement is so much longer….anyway that’s my excuse …..the real reason i can’t do many is that i’m a fat git and i should be able to crank out more reps once iv’e lost more weight and of course as i get stronger again.

So, my monthly goal is around 3,0000 push-ups, 400 weighted squats and 100 body weight pull-ups.   On top of that i’m out on the trail just about every day, i suppose that i should measure that and make a goal of so many miles or so much time with boots on the ground but to be quite honest i just like going for a walk !


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