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I’ve been following the exploits of superhuman Alicia Weber for a while now. I interviewed her back in 2009 (see Part 1 and Part 2). If you want to see what she can do with med ball pushups and set WRs, click here. Then I interviewed her again in 2010 (click here). Finally, there was her famous Jesse Owens impersonation of 6 World Records in 45 Minutes. Her website lists all her World Records and victories (article on May 24, 2011). The official World Record for Push-Ups (or press-ups) website is here.
Guest Post by Alicia Weber
This article is guest blogged by Alicia Weber, a Pushup World Record Holder and a degreed and certified fitness trainer of over 12 years. Alicia works with all ability levels and lifestyles and holds quarterly fitness challenge events for her clients. She teaches the ‘Weber Way to Wellness’ at AliciaWeber.com When someone asks, “What upper body exercise can I do to get results if I only have 5 minutes in a day to exercise?” I answer, “Do pushups! If you are a beginner, start with pushups from the wall. If you are intermediate to advanced stick to an elevated level or go straight to the floor.” Pushup training is phenomenal training as it works muscles from the wrists to neck and everything in between! From pectorals to triceps to anterior deltoids down to abdominals where the serratus anterior contracts during pushups to hold the scapula against the rib cage – these muscles can be more intensified depending on hand positions in pushups.
Today, we are looking at an intermediate to advanced pushup exerciser that’s looking to improve after scoring at least 20 reps in-a-row during a fitness test. They should strive to do 100 reps in-a-row, but first have a short-term goal of 50 reps in-a-row.
First, we will hear from one of my clients – a retired cop as to why it is important for police and anyone in the military especially to make it a goal to do 100 pushups in a row. Next, we will hear from another one of my clients that has the goal of 100 reps in-a-row and we will take a look at the workouts that have been increasing his reps. Finally, I will demonstrate 100 reps in-a-row of pushups and more!
Let’s hear it from retired Miami-Dade County Police Officer (who could do 100 reps-in-row of pushups) whose duties included, but were not limited to “Uniform Patrol in Carol City (now Miami Gardens) and Central, a Police Sniper SRT (SWAT) and a member of the Incident Containment Team at Miami Int’l Airport.” The retired police officer states, “I believe the following four incidents demonstrate mission related physical activities related to upper body strength and endurance.
1. A woman got her foot caught under a fence on the 8th floor of the parking garage at Miami Int’l Airport and was dangling over the side in a suicide attempt. I and other officers had to sprint up 7 flights of stairs and form a human chain and keep her from falling until other officers could drag her back up.
2. We were chasing 2 guys in a stolen truck when they bailed out and jumped into a canal with high metal walls. Neither one of them was a good swimmer. We formed a human chain and using their belts we were able to pull them out (admittedly this was not as satisfying as saving the woman on the parking garage). I never checked on the individuals involved, but I am sure they saw the ‘light’ and changed their life around (just kidding).
3. During a mini-riot in Carol City in the early 80’s I ended up on the bottom of a pile of unfriendly bodies on a hot humid night. Using upper body strength, I was able to get a little breathing room until I could weasel my way out.
4. During a narcotics and weapons raid, I became involved in the shoot out during which I was shot in the shoulder. I believe my mind-set and conditioning were responsible in me being able to effectively return fire. In the tactical arena of police work it only takes one mistake to turn a career into a tragedy.
If you were going to chop down a tree you would probably start sharpening your ax. Developing upper body strength is one way to start sharpening your ax.” The retired cop is now in the process of resetting his personal bests in pushups and expanding his physical fitness under my tutelage. Next, we will look at Clyde, a two time champion in my fitness challenge competitions! He is currently in the process of reaching the goal of 100 pushups in-a-row.
In his first fitness testing, he scored 23 reps in-a-row and he can now do at least 50 reps in-a-row. We will now interview him and see how training is going.
1. Why do you do push-up training over other forms of strength training? Clyde says, “You get maximum results doing push-ups. Push-ups hit many parts of the body. You can do push-ups anywhere. You can do them during commercials. Once you start doing them you’ll love the results.” 2. What are the best pushup routines that I have given you to do to increase your consecutive reps of push-ups?
I do several types of push-ups. I use “The Perfect Push-Up” most of the time.
One Set (No rest between sets, continuous)
- 10 – Close hand push-ups
- 10 – Spiderman push-ups, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO8j0QAfRN0
- 10 – Wide grip
- 5 second hold – Shoulder width push-ups
- Repeat set two more times (3 total)
One Set (No rest between exercises, continuous)
- 10 push-ups in 1 minute (Slower the better)
- 10 Spiderman push-ups, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO8j0QAfRN0
Doing “The Perfect Pushups” makes floor pushups feel easy.
3. Why is it important for you to do 100 reps in-a-row of push-ups? Clyde says, “I am 47 years old and work in an office. I spend my day breathing recycled air and sitting in front of a computer. I also have limited time to work out and to be honest, most nights, working out is the last thing I want to do. Going home, dinner, a glass or a bottle of wine with my wife, a little TV and I’m done. Alicia got me started on push-ups and I got addicted. I can not believe how much stronger and more cut I feel doing push-up workouts. I worked out on a regular basis when I was younger but I only lifted weights. I got bigger but I didn’t have the stamina that I have today. It seems that the more I do the more I want to be able to do. I don’t plan on beating any records except for the personal ones I set for myself. Being able to do several push-ups without passing out was my first success. Being able to do 100 push-ups without stopping takes me to a whole new level. How many can you do?” Clyde has competed in 3 of my fitness challenges so far and he is preparing for his 4th challenge competition where we cover the 5 areas of physical fitness and pushups are always part of the challenge! I will now demonstrate 100 pushups in-a-row showing the proper form. I will then teach an additional workout for the exerciser that has been able to do at least 50 reps of pushups in-a-row and is rearing to go for 100 reps in-a-row! I call the workout the “100 Rep Incremental Workout” Enjoy!
Alicia Weber teaches Pushups and flexes at the end (2 x 100 reps in-a-row)