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I would like to check the validity of this advice.


Big Red

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A few years back I used to exercise regularly and at one point someone had told me that Marines and Seals had a routine where they did 200+ pushups every day for 10 days straight and then didn't exercise at all for 3 days, then repeat.  Is this real? or is it better to do something like that every other day for healing purposes? 

 

I don't remember who told me that, it was several years ago, but I do know that I did that for a while and was doing between 200 and 300 pushups a day and while I was getting stronger, I was never really losing weight but that was mainly because I ate like shit.  I am going to start doing the beginner body weight workout (Its been 2-3 years since I worked out at all so I am going to see where I stand with the beginner one first)  and was curious if I could add the pushups daily in addition to the workout circuit every other day? or should I pick one or the other? or is the whole do it 10 days straight a bad idea and I should ignore it haha?  Thanks. 

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It's probably not true.  Marines focus more on pullups.  SEAL team members would think that 200 pushups in a day IS a day of no exercise.  Pushups by themselves are not a comprehensive fitness plan either.

 

Whether you should do it or not depends on your goals.  What are your goals? 

 

If you are trying to lose weight, then no, pushups won't really help you.

If you are trying to get stronger, then no, 200 pushups a day won't really help you.

If you are trying to do lots of pushups (for a fitness test or something) then yes, this is a decent plan.  This will get you high endurance, but it won't build strength.  200 pushups in a row is a bit like a marathon- difficult for most, achievable with some training, but not really all that useful. 

 

If you want to lose fat, control what you eat.

If you want to build muscle, you need a strength-based program.

 

As far as the 10 days on, 3 days off, that is up to you and your recovery.  As a beginner you might be able to work out every single day for a month or three, depending on what you are doing, the intensity, and your recovery.  Odds are you'll be better off with a less ambitious plan that you will stick with.

Searching the world for a cure for my wanderlust.

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I would leave the pushup thing, I agree with others, find a starting training plan and if you want to do some pushups as part of it (you can use pushups as part of interval training, not my speed, but I have seen it used), but find the basic strength training plan and follow it, you can always add reps or weight to the basic plan if you feel it isn't intense enough.

 

As far as lowering body fat, most of that is going to be diet, and I would suggest, based on my own experience, taking it easy there, too. Fat loss is going to be mostly about nutrition, you don't do it by exercise alone. Drop or eliminate your sugar intake, try to minimize simple carbs like grains, rice, starches while eating a lot more vegetables, and make sure to eat lean protein, those things will go a long way towards reaching your goal. A high protein, high vegetable diet will help you shed the fat while building muscle, I was skeptical, been doing this since september, following two different courses of body weight strength training, and it has worked, I am seeing muscle definition I never saw in my life, and the fat is literally being replaced with muscle,which is cool.....I have been frustrated, as I noted in another post, that my weight isn't going down, but I really now can see why, I am not doing aerobics and losing muscle weight, I seem to be gaining muscle and tone:). If you do try the nutrition stuff, don't buy into the crap that fats are a no no, healthy fats like nuts, coconut oil, fish oils and the like are essential, too, they make a big difference.

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Yea I am on the right track as far as diet, I have been 100% paleo for the past 30 days and don't intend on changing that any time soon, I have already seen improvement and weight loss.  The exercise is my next step, I don't really care about the push ups, I mean I will do them but it doesn't need to be what I do, I just wanted to check with some people that know what they are doing before going off of an old memory of what a random person told me haha.  

 

So I guess then my question is, is the beginner body weight exercise good for where I want to go or should I focus on a different exercise type?  I have an eliptical in the house that I can and will use, but I don't like to run so I am not going to go out running lol.  

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Yea I am on the right track as far as diet, I have been 100% paleo for the past 30 days and don't intend on changing that any time soon, I have already seen improvement and weight loss.  The exercise is my next step, I don't really care about the push ups, I mean I will do them but it doesn't need to be what I do, I just wanted to check with some people that know what they are doing before going off of an old memory of what a random person told me haha.  

 

So I guess then my question is, is the beginner body weight exercise good for where I want to go or should I focus on a different exercise type?  I have an eliptical in the house that I can and will use, but I don't like to run so I am not going to go out running lol.  

The beginner bodyweight plan is pretty good.  It'll do you well for a while for building basic strength.  At a certain point you will have to move to something else, but it's a good start. 

 

If you don't like going out running, at least consider going outside to sprint.  Exercise machines like treadmills and ellipticals don't really mimic the real thing all that well.  The body mechanics of moving on an elliptical are not the same as moving outside, especially when you consider the forces involved (moving forwards vs. moving your legs in an elliptical).  There are amazing benefits to sprinting, from speed and power to endurance to growth hormones.  They should be a high priority in any overall fitness plan.

Searching the world for a cure for my wanderlust.

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