Sunday, August 21, 2011

The push up test

Once upon a time in the U.S. Army, I could execute 54-56 push-ups inside two minutes. It wasn't super easy, but I could do it pretty much at-will.

The 2 minute push-up test is one of the several mandatory fitness tests the U.S. Army qualifies you with. I don't remember precisely, but I think I needed to be able to perform 48 push-ups inside 2 minutes as my minimum-standard qualification. If you fail this test, you are on your way to a bad discharge. After developing a bit in basic training, I was never in danger of failing this test.

Looking back on my life, the days when I exited Basic Training and AIT were probably my absolute best days [in terms of physical fitness]. Those were far from my absolute best days, but they were the best in terms of fitness. I weighed in at 192 pounds at that stage. That is technically considered over-weight by U.S. Army BMI standards, but the tape and pinch tests indicated that I was fine. I passed all standards for Army fitness at that time.

Everything old is new again. Lately, I have found myself approaching 192 pounds once again. I am just 19.15 pounds away from that weight. I have lost 51.676 pounds of pure fat in just 14 weeks. That is an average of 3.691143 pounds of pure fat per week.

Statistically, this seems to suggest that those 19.15 pounds will be gone in just 5.1881 weeks. That is 5 weeks, 1 day, 7 hours, 31 minutes. This means I should reach 192 on Sunday September 25th, 2011, around 7:31 AM... or something like that. For what it is worth, Body Fat Percentage will still be around 24% at that time. That is barely inside the moderate-risk standards.

Libra season should be pretty sweet. I find Libra women charming and delightful. I don't know if we could make a go of it, but Sirus 1.1 says I have blistering scores versus the girls next door.

But I digress...

I have been casting about for new fitness goals to conquer. You have to have a goal, and you have to have a plan to reach that goal. The workout will languish without that goal. The reason powerlifters compete is that the competition is a driving force. Knowing what your opponent can do and knowing what you need to do to beat him becomes an all-consuming driving force in training.

The goal drives you onward to better things.

I have been thinking that revival of the push up test might be the best way to drive on towards better fitness. Being able to do 60 push ups inside 2 minutes on September 25th would be a hell of a thing, now wouldn't it? How many guys at 45 can do what they did at 22? How many guys at 45 can do more than they could at 22? It's a nice way to prove that I've got my groove back.

There is more. The push-up test accords well with ROM philosophy. We're talking about brief, timed, high-intensity, mid-resistance exercise, centering resistance around the concept of ideal body weight. As I approach my ideal body weight, the push-up test looks better and better as a ROM sort of thing to do. I should take advantage of this moment.

Using a simple egg-timer, I should be able to benchmark the test. Of course, I will have to count reps myself. It would be better if someone held a click counter and bench-marked me. Perhaps I can talk somebody at work into running the test on me every other day. Naturally, you can't have everything.

I have to say, the ROM is doing absolutely wonderful things for me right now. It is the power gear in my workout. I strongly recommend it.