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Brunehild

Problem with push-ups/rest days

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So I hope I searched enough and didn't miss it, but I couldn't find a discussion on this.

 

I recently started working out again (thanks, NF !) and I'm doing the female version of the bodyweight workout from the "you are your own gym"  book. I also took up MMA classes.

Now my problem is that I always read everywhere that you're supposed to give your muscles a rest day before exercising them again 48h later. However during MMA class we do lots of drills with push-ups, burpees, squats etc. And MMA classes are every day ! So how is it supposed to work ?

I don't go to MMA class every day (couldn't with my job anyway, plus right now it's just too much for a beginning), but even if I go less, I'm still supposed to have that rest day from the bodyweight workout every second day, and I don't have that if I'm going to MMA class. Should I do both on the same day ? What happens when I want to go to MMA class 2 days in a row ?

 

I kind of feel like I'm getting worse and worse at push-ups instead of getting better (hard to measure because during bodyweight training I'm still at incline push-ups, and during MMA class I don't count how many real push-ups I do and how many knee push-ups).

 

Sorry for the unorganized post, just goes to show how confused I am :-)

 

Please share your views/experience on this question !

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This is a good post.

 

Yea you!!!  Woot to MMA class!!!

 

First, if your classes are anything like mine, the pushups are suckage.  Ours are done super fast as a part of conditioning and the only way you'd be able to do decent ones is if you were doing plyometrics and even then, I kind of doubt it.  So ours turn out to be mostly half baked half pushups.  The goal is volume and speed.  Same with "situps" (which are really crunches), and bw squats. 

 

So now here goes my unorganized post:

 

1.  How often to you go to MMA and when do you do your body weight workout?  Body weight stuff is an AWESOME compliment to MMA. 

 

2.  I think of MMA as metabolic/conditioning (like running).  You will get some strength from it but not oodles.  You will improve in other areas though that body weight stuff won't help you with  - proprioception, endurance, etc.  If you are doing BJJ, you'll get some strength but it's really different.

 

For me, MMA is a compliment to my lifting.  I lift 3x week, I Muay Thai 3x week.  I am better for both.

 

So you have an AWESOME combo going on.  You will really do well with bw and MMA.  It's a perfect combo.  And is probably all you'll ever need.  Honestly.  (I lift b/c I like it not to develop MMA skills).

 

3.  You can, conceivably, go to MMA every day.  It's a whole body workout.  BUT I wouldn't advise it because it's still hard on your CNS and if you are new to BW stuff, so is that.  How new to exercise are you?  How new to MMA?  If you are newish, I'd highly recommend at least 2 rest days/week.  I like a CF type of plan for folks 2-3 days on, day off, 2 days on, day off, etc.  Just repeat that pattern.  I wouldn't do both workouts on the same day.  AND if you feel sore or whatever or tanked, take a day off.  This is really important and a lot of people on the forum ignore it.  don't b/c MMA is such a high endurance sport and you have to be careful, if you are having a seriously off day you won't make it through class. 

 

4.  You will not improve pushups in MMA.  Unless your coach is taking the time to do them slowly and coach your pushups, ain't gonna happen.  There is no way anyone will every improve form or strength in our pushups, crunches, or squats.  They are conditioning.  So that's how I approach them.  When my program/workout called for 30 pushups the other night, my goal was to do real, correct, wonderful pushups.  Not the silly ones I do in conditioning at MMA. 

 

5.  RE:  feeling worse about pushups - separate the two in your mind.  At MMA we do conditioning.  At home, I do pushups.  Get it?  Also, I'm not a fan of on your knees pushups for a variety of reasons.  And yeah, believe me, I know how hard real pushups are.  I prefer other "beginners" options.  This is, IMHO, the BEST push up progression program:  http://www.marksdailyapple.com/push-ups-the-perfect-primal-exercise/#axzz2UDEYQiIf

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Pushups shouldn't interfere with the "letting your muscles rest".  Targeting specific work areas like arms and legs and chest etc and doing really heavy lifting are what people mean by "taking time to let the muscles rest".

Resting a day in between pushups is like saying take a rest day after a nice long stroll.

 

I do pushups and pullups in between sets of my workouts to keep my heart rate up, and I do them every day.

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Hello there and thank you so much for your replies ! :-)

 

@cline :

your reply is very motivating and inspiring :-)

1) I try to do BW workout every other day at no particular hour, how often I go to MMA really depends on my roster (I'm cabin crew). Usually I'll be home for 1 or 2 days, and then away for a few days, but this month I've been away a lot. (Or sleeping) :-/

2) That's good to hear, because I've been kind of thinking that I should make time for interval traning, but I guess in a sense we already do that in MMA.

3) I used to do a type of Krav Maga adapted for the military police, but I broke my ACL and had to stop. When I took up exercising again at the beginning of the year I hadn't done anything in like 4 years, and even then I started by doing Zombies, Run! so you can say I'm new at everything ^^ The 2-3 days on, day off etc. plan sounds good and it would probably work better with my roster. Right now I'm still really sore after an MMA class, so going 2 days in a row is probably not the best idea (the day I broke my ACL I was feeling sick and took an Advil but then still went to the class. Stupid.)

4) What you're saying about conditioning etc. makes a lot of sense. And that's how the guys are so quick with the push-ups etc., I always thought they were just sloppy, but you're right it's simply not the same goals and mindset.

5) It helps to think of it as 2 different things. And I've always hated knee push-ups as well, actually I never used to do those, but the last 2 times I went to MMA I couldn't find a place to do incline push-ups (and didn't want to do wall push-ups) so I was feeling desperate... Thanks for the link though !

 

@lucidzfl :

I realise that you don't need a rest day after push-ups, because for you they're really easy and would go in the conditioning category like the ones we do in MMA class. However for me they're still hard and are one of the 4 exercises in my BW programme, which clearly states that I should take a rest day after. I don't need a rest day after doing wall push-ups. If you were to train only with bodyweight, you would need to find a harder version of push-ups to get a real workout.

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Unfortunately no one can really give you an answer to this.  You are going to have to listen to your body and rest when needed.

 

It's a common problem for people who are new to martial arts or really any physical activity to do too much too soon, burn out and then quit.  No one wants you to quit so keep at it but please be sensible.  If you are feeling tired, sore and simply worn out, take a break.  And don't feel guilty about taking a break either.  As you get more experienced you will learn when you need a break and when you can push through another session.

 

It's normally suggested to wait 48 hours being strength sessions for each body part.  Non-strength sessions or more conditioning (more endurance focused) you do not need to wait as long presuming you aren't going close to exhaustion.  MMA classes should be not bringing you to do this point so they should be  OK in include between your strength workouts.

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Ok thank you for that, it's good to hear that I have to ease back into it and not just force myself through at full speed from the beginning no matter what (which I always tend to think I should be doing, despite numerous times where I clearly shouldn't have). I'll up the frequency once it becomes easier.

shiggles, like cline you also think I shouldn't do BW workout and MMA on the same day then ?

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Shingles reminds me of this that happened during our beginner classes at MMA:

An advanced coach was teaching one night and he gave a really tough lecture on not overdoing it or working out 7 days a week. He ended with "I'm a pro fighter and I don't workout 7 days a week unless its right before my fight."

Don't push it. Why would you?

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I've done lots boxing and Muay Thai training. They are generally male-centric classes and the fast push ups are a warm up for the fit guys. Even though I'm pretty strong, say 15 full push ups is a strength major work out for me not a warm up.

So, save your good, controlled push ups for days you are strength training. In class, fake it or do what you need to do for it to be a warm up rather than killing you before you've even got into the fun stuff. Push ups on knees,don't go full depth etc. I bet if you look around, half the guys are doing crappy push ups to.

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Good story :-) and humbling reminder that for a beginner the body can only take so much.

Right? I have so much respect for him saying that.

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@sydneyanaconda :

All true, including the guys' crappy push-ups. I hadn't made the difference in my mind between real push-ups / abs / whatever, and the so-called same done only for heart rate. Now thanks to you all I understand it's not the same purpose and thus shouldn't be approached in the same way.

 

@cline :

It's nice to train with people like that :-)

 

 

Thanks everyone for taking the time to reply it's a huge help :-)

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Wow, Cline, that link about pushups is totally AWESOME! Love that.  I've been doing about half that stuff most of my workout life and didn't realize how it all fit together.  Thanks for posting that, it should be a sticky somewhere in NF.

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Hey I do 50 sets of 20 push-ups these days to warm up these days. Used to be 150 sets of 20 reps. I do it on my knuckles but, on one day i'll do it with my knuckles turned out and then the next day i'll do it with the knuckles turned in again and again and again and again. So maybe vary the push-ups if you're doing them everyday to build different muscles like one day open hand, next day knuckle . 

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I have no serious striking background, but I am retired army and I can talk about pushups, even for females. Females don't get to do "girly pushups" in the Army, and I knew many that could knock out sixty or so in two minutes. The deficit in upper body strength is somewhat compensated by lack of upper body mass. Chicks can do pushups (eventually).

1. I went from doing 17 in two minutes to 80 in two minutes during basic training...and we never had a rest day from push ups. After a while, pushups become like running, situps, etc.. in that you can knock out hundreds spread out through a day.

2. You will eventually learn to "spring" (and you can do this even if your are doing a correct military pushup) where you muscles are engaged just long enough to spring you back up, exploding at the bottom just before you start to come back up keeps you from staying engaged the entire time. Same thing with situps, explode at the bottom just before your back hits the ground then spring back up.

3. If you watch cross fitters do pull-ups, they do something completely different that a normal, slow, deliberate pull-up.

4. At some point, this will be a different experience than a slow "bench-press the earth" type exercise. Alternatively, you can eliminate pushups from your BW routine.

5. But All in all, I understand what you are talking about when it comes to MMA (especially grappling) and strength training. I could do cardio 3 times a day and it would not effect my combatives training, but I still can't seem to get my strength training timed with my grappling without getting injured during grappling.

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