Get down and give me…..a rude shock !

So, last week i had a rude shock when i got down there and attempted to crank out some sets of simple press-ups , push-ups to some.

In week 2 of my January health reset my plan was to continue with the several days of fasting, 3 this week, and add in some longer and harder exercise – in brief either 2 sessions out hiking while carrying a heavier load and then an increasing number of press-ups each day with a target of getting back to 100 a day again.

The first day wasn’t so bad when i came straight in from having ‘rucked’ a load of fresh cut firewood home and when all i had to do was get down and crank out a set of 10 or, if i couldn’t get to 10 in one set then just to get 10 done. Well, i’m not sure how i got 10 done and they wouldn’t have passed muster with any PTI as my form was awful – wobbly abs, back all over the place and a very shaky top half. Day 2, which called for 2 sets of 10 or a total of 20 was if anything worse but the crisis point came on day 3 when i just managed to get the first 2 sets done but then collapsed into a jelly like mass on the kitchen floor when my abs just wouldn’t have it – i could feel my lower abdominal muscles (what muscles ?) actually trembling and the only way i could get another 10 done was one and two at a time and even then only by really taking a deep breath and tightening up my whole core first.

Iv’e never been a press-up superstar, at least not in terms of doing loads in one go ; i think the most i have ever done as a single push was just over 30 even when i was doing 200 in a day. The last time i tried to do a press-up self challenge was only a couple of years back and then it took me just a week from a bare zero to get up to 100 a day with no limit on time taken or how many i had to do in each set. After a few weeks i gradually narrowed it down such that i could crank out my hundred in just 4 sets and that felt hard enough to be worthwhile ; i was aiming , ambitiously, for either 200 a week again which iv’e only ever done once or at least a thousand in one week… it seems that i’m struggling to do a single good one or a shaky set of 10 in poor form.

Maybe i’m weird…..i don’t know of any other 63 year old blokes who do any press-ups at all but then again i don’t know many other 60+ year old men and none who take any exercise other than walking the dog or going for a bike ride and as for getting under a bar and pushing some weights i’m the only one i know daft enough……i haven’t started doing squats and stuff yet, that’s on my menu for next month and i wonder just how bad it could be.

Now, i know the theory here……that we men have maximum muscle mass at the end of our teens and then we start to lose muscle mass at about 1% a year unless we do something about it ; me, iv’e had several periods in my life when i have trained for something – usually my climbing, with some degree of seriousness and in fact i would say that the fittest iv’e ever been was in my early 50’s when i learnt free weights and combined those with running……and ‘rucking’ heavy loads of firewood up and out of the valley where we lived then. Today, ‘rucking’ feels hard work again and i think it’s supposed to except that i now carry easier loads and i avoid the harder slopes – still, i managed to get a good hundred kilograms of wet firewood home in that first week.

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