If there’s one thing I hate about “fitness speak” (These are the soft, stupid, undisciplined things that people say about exercise) it’s the phrase ‘I’ve got a love/hate relationship with…’ You don’t have a love/hate relationship with burpees or scones or squats, you simply love indulgence and hate discipline. While I’m putting people down, I’m undisciplined with calisthenics and I hate my current level.
I can do a great deal of repetitions, enough to look good without weights. But this isn’t about looking good, or getting to a certain point and stopping. This is about being super-human, and being a super human. That’s going to take a level of strength that regular humans, even ones who exercise regularly simply never have the discipline to build. So one of my goals will be to build it.
Then I found out about this:
I was looking up books on Amazon.com about body weight exercises and supposedly this is one of the better books. What I found after it arrived is that Paul Wade and I share some core view about fitness. The fitness industry is out to build dependence on “extras.” Weights do more harm than good. Progress is progressive. But in terms of calisthenics, I thought there would be no way I would have to start at the first steps of the program being that I can do most of the step five exercises. Then the most basic of exercises brought me back to reality…
The Wall Pushup
You see, each of the core movements in this program: Pushups, Pullups, Leg Raises, Squats, Bridges, and Handstand Pushups have progressions. The initial progression of pushups are wall pusups: feet arms-length from the wall, three sets of fifty. The book says to build up to the three sets of fifty and that this number indicates that you can progress to the next level. One set of fifty made me feel like my arms were on fire, the second set was a lactic acid fiesta, the third was numb, but I made it. The other step one exercises, Shoulder Stand squats ( upside down air squats in a yoga shoulder stand), Knee tucks (think of bench crunches), Half-Bridges (think “bridge pose’ in yoga), static headstand, were much more terrible and the only easy one was the back exercise, Verical Pulls (think the exact opposite of the wall pushup).
Here’s how that workout looked:
This workout was far more challenging than I expected and I’m giving myself a week to actually complete it, as some of the exercises are more difficult than others. It was humbling and made me quite excited about what the future of this program will be. I’ll be spending this first week perfecting these movements and building toward consistently executing the progression standards here in the above picture. Doing headstands every day is also going to improve my yoga practice and eliminate my difficulties with inversions.