Body weight exercises, reps

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DJDaddyK
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Body weight exercises, reps

Post by DJDaddyK » Mon May 15, 2006 1:41 pm

I recently decided to try some bodyweight exercises; for upper body I am supersetting pushups and supine rows (which I think of as "reverse pushups" - you can see them here is you dont know them http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Bac ... neRow.html ).
At any rate, I can do about 15 good pushups, but only about 6 good rows. I usually do 8-12 reps With free weights or machines). Should I be concerned about the (different) # of reps? Should I do more sets of rows to make up for the lower #? Also, how many reps are too many? ie Am I still getting benefit if I can do 25 pushups? 50? 100?
Thanks much,
Steve

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Post by GoLdeN M 07 » Mon May 15, 2006 2:03 pm

There are soooo many different variations on the pushup out there. Instead of doing regular do high rep hindu pushups and/or work up to handstand pushups. Hindu pushups work the entire chest area and also can increase ur upper body strength. Or do one legged hindu pushups with on leg on the ground.
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Post by strathmeyer » Mon May 15, 2006 2:28 pm

Do you ever do any back exercises with weights? I think you should be able to row more than you can press, so it seems like you have an imbalance which may happen in people who do 3-4 chest exercises and 1 or no back exercises. (Or who just do a lot of push-ups.)

Bodyweight exercises are just like anything else; doing a large number of reps is only going to build your endurance and not your strength or make you muscles bigger. What are your reasons for doing push ups and supine rows? Because you don't have access to weights? Just because you like them more?

Just do 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps like you normally would with weights. 15 or 20 reps might be ok. With both exercises you can always switch to doing them with just one hand.

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Post by DJDaddyK » Mon May 15, 2006 8:37 pm

I'm 47 now but I've lifted (mostly on machines) pretty much my whole life. I was always careful to balance my workouts and really didnt fall in love with any one exercise. I swam (free style and butterfly) in jr high and high school and so my chest muscles probably were fairly developed from that.

Unfortunately, for the last few years I suffered from chronic pain, so much so that I stopped all exercise (and consequently gained a lot of weight). Happily for me, the pain was *finally* diagnosed to be the result of sleep apnea (basically no deep sleep so minimal muscle recovery at night). With treatment I am gradually getting back to normal, and I can exercise again if I dont overdo it. The pain (when I had it) was mostly in my neck, shoulders and back, so its possible that I am just babying my back now and could do more reps.

Anyway, I've been reading up on body weight exercises and the benefits of integration vs isolation, and I've decided to focus mainly on free weight and body weight compound exercises (no bicep curls for this guy any more lol). I do supine rows because I don't much like the row machine at my gym and because the supine rows seem like an almost perfect match for push ups - ie the reverse motion which works the exact opposite muscles in a very similar way. I could of course do cable rows (which I have done many times in the past) or bent over rows (which I fear a bit because of past lower back problems), but for now I am trying the supines...

Steve

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Re: Body weight exercises, reps

Post by Stephen Johnson » Mon May 15, 2006 9:57 pm

DJDaddyK wrote:...I can do about 15 good pushups, but only about 6 good rows. I usually do 8-12 reps With free weights or machines). Should I be concerned about the (different) # of reps?
Yes. It indicates an imbalance of upper body pushing vs pulling power.
DJDaddyK wrote:Should I do more sets of rows to make up for the lower #?
Yes. If you practice the rows as assiduously as the pushups, the numbers should even out over time.
DJDaddyK wrote:Also, how many reps are too many? ie Am I still getting benefit if I can do 25 pushups? 50? 100?
After you can do 3 sets of 12-15 pushups, it becomes a muscular endurance exercise more than an exercise for muscular hypertrophy. But there is much benefit for upper body endurance, especially in sports.

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Post by DJDaddyK » Tue May 16, 2006 2:30 am

I dont buy that you should be able to do as many rows as pushups; have you tried these rows? They are hard! I asked a friend to try these and he couldnt do nearly as many rows as pushups either.

I couldn't find this exact stat but I did see that the US Air Force tests candidates with both pullups and pushups, and that the average man can do 10 pullups and 41 pushups. Yes pullups are harder because you have to support all your body weight, but that big difference seems to suggest that most men can push more than they can pull...

Steve

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Post by Ryan A » Tue May 16, 2006 2:48 am

Well certainly the average man can do more pushups than pullups.

(1) in a pushup you arent lifting your entire bodyweight so it is much easier.
If you instead loaded the bar with their bodyweight and had them bench it, I am sure you would get a number much closer to the number of pullups.

amuary

Post by amuary » Tue May 16, 2006 5:07 am

Most of my Excercise's are body wieght or oly wiehght. The biggest thing i noticed , is that its a matter of grip with Supine rows. For some reason i loose my grip on them , quicker then anyother excercise even chins. maybe thats the reason

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Post by Ironman » Tue May 16, 2006 9:04 am

Supine rows are dead simple, I can do even more of them then I can do pushups. I am pretty ballanced. I can flat bench about 10 lbs more then I can bent over row. If I compare my falt dumbbell press to my prone incline bench dumbbell row, it is dead even.

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Tue May 16, 2006 9:09 am

DJDaddyK wrote:I dont buy that you should be able to do as many rows as pushups; have you tried these rows? They are hard! I asked a friend to try these and he couldnt do nearly as many rows as pushups either
How many people train for rows with the same frequency and intensity that they train for push ups?

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Post by TimD » Tue May 16, 2006 11:21 am

I do Stephen, but it's only been recently, in the last 10 years or so. I've gone through different periods of trying this or that, and realized I'd been letting myself get way out of balance. My shoulders started aching, etc, s I just started focusing on total well being and total balance. Thats one of the reasons I sound like I'm up on a soap box when talking about keeping movements in an equal and opposite plane of motion.
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Post by MattZ » Tue May 16, 2006 11:44 am

Do you touch your chest to the floor when you do pushups? If not you're only doing partials, which are a lot easier.

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Post by Ironman » Tue May 16, 2006 1:09 pm

I just barley touch. I think 90 degree elbows is a better criteria. Smaller people are not really going to touch. Depends on your arms too.

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Post by TimD » Tue May 16, 2006 1:29 pm

I always use chairs so that I can get below the chest. Just something I got from the old Charles Atlas course years ago. I found that after doing these, whenever I had a PFT in school or the military, I could do pushups till the cows came home.
Tim

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Post by Stephen Johnson » Tue May 16, 2006 2:33 pm

Stephen Johnson wrote:How many people train for rows with the same frequency and intensity that they train for push ups?
TimD wrote:I do...
Same here. Although I overdid the bench press when I started out, my back has grown nicely since I exercised it seriously. In my gym, I see some people do nothing but bench presses and curls in their workouts.

I can do more bodyweight dips than pull ups, but I suspect that's because the range of motion for the dip is less than the pull-up

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