Shock your system to gain strength and muscle
Ten days ago I stared a seven day push up routine that was suppose to add one inch to my chest. I found the this routine over at the office escapee blog. I was suspicious that this routine would only help a person gain enough muscle to add an inch if they were new to working out. I have been lifting consistently for the past three and a half years, so I doubted that in one week could make so much progress.
Day one is a work day, you do as many push ups as you can do as soon as you wake up. This will be considered you day one max. Every two hours you will do 50% as many push ups as you did during the set two hours earlier until you have done five sets of push ups. No matter how many push ups you started with, do at least 5 push ups per set. Try to eat more food then you would normally eat on the hard days, be sure to have plenty of protein so you can build the muscle.
8 am – 50 push ups
10 am – 25 push ups
12 pm – 13 push ups
2 pm – 7 push ups
4 pm – 5 push ups
During day two you will have a rest day in which you do 50% of day 1 max when you wake up and then again two hours later. The next day you will do another work day and do as many push ups as you can do, similar to day 1. Continues alternating between work days and rest days until you have finished seven days.
When I started I had a 39 inch chest. A few days before I started I was only able to do two reps of bench press at 255 pounds. During day one I was able to do 65 push ups for the first set. During the test set I would use not perfect form so I could get more reps in. In each progressive set I would use better form so I would still challenge myself. Looking back I probably should have done perfect form for every set. By day seven my max number of pushups had grown to 100.
After I finished the seven day routine my chest measured 40 inches, so I was successful in adding an inch in size. Today I did chest for the first time since finishing the pushup routine and I was able to do 5 reps of 255 lbs. on the bench. I think if I had tried I might have been able to do 6. Not only was I able to bulk up but I also gained useful strength.
Sometimes in order to continue making gains, you need to shock your system and try something new. Doing a ton of low weight high rep push ups qualified as something new that my body wasn’t used to. This routine reminds me of the crazy Russian push up routine I read about a while back and never got around to trying. It is able to build strength because it stimulates your muscles to expand their capillaries so your muscles can get enough blood flow. I think I will give the crazy Russian routine a try in a few months and see if it helps me make even more gains. While I was doing this pushup routine I did not weight lift for chest or triceps but I did still lift for back, biceps and shoulders.