Almost Cried at the Gym

Because, despite my best efforts, I utterly failed to do a single push up.

So I had to do the one they used to call the "girl pushup" when I was a kid, the one on your knees. I've always extremely resented that it was called that and that it was offered only to the girls like we were weaker and inferior. I always refused to take the easy options offered to the girls for gym exercises in school.

And now I don't have a choice. I'm physically too weak and too heavy to push myself up.

It's weird how my brain has latched onto these old things from my childhood and left them as benchmarks for my entire life. Even though my trainer pointed out there's actually an easier pushup and what I did was a solid medium and not bad for someone who never does pushups...

I feel like I failed.

Building self esteem sucks. I feel like I've come a long way and then the slightest tap cracks the whole thing and it turns out I built it out of egg shells and crackers.

I'm OK, just frustrated.


  • pizzafruit
    pizzafruit Posts: 317 Member
    You tried and that's what matters. :)
  • s131951
    s131951 Posts: 3,776 Member
    I"m sure you could get there. Maybe start benching with some light weights to gradually build up to it.
  • lx1x
    lx1x Posts: 38,308 Member
    1. Congratulations on doing it anyway.
    2. Stop calling them "girl pushups." They're *modified* pushups for those who are unable to the the traditional version for whatever reason. I don't do "boy" pushups. I just do pushups, and I do whatever pushup I have to in order to meet my goals.
    3. Which brings us back to #1. Congratulations on doing it anyway.

    I have a bum knee and a cranky left rotator cuff, so I'm temporarily doing modified pushups using stairs instead of my knees. We will get better at this together and someday we'll be totally done with tyrannosaurus arms. *roars and crushes a car*

    #2 is spot on.. I have lower back issues.. when I restarted training.. had to do it on my knees until i get used to it again.

    Op.. is it upper body strength or holding the form?

    Start building up your core first then upper body muscles.. Push ups will be easy by then.
  • RepsnSets
    RepsnSets Posts: 805 Member
    You can actually become stronger pushing up from the knees. Once you build your strength you can do full push ups from there. I started from lying face down on the floor and pushing upwards onto my toes. Try that too :)
  • knightreader
    knightreader Posts: 813 Member
    I started with wall push ups, bc I couldn't do regular ones and due to surgeries, cant kneel. You are moving forward and that's what is important!
  • 88olds
    88olds Posts: 4,462 Member
    You can do this. Work your way up. Use the wall, kitchen counter, a chair or the bench at the gym to start on an incline. Do dumbbell presses. When you get to 1 real push up, keep doing the modifications in addition to the real thing to build up your numbers.

    Weight training is a great teacher of incrementalism. Hang in. You’ll see.
  • koalathebear
    koalathebear Posts: 236 Member
    I know it's frustrating and disheartening but please don't let it get you down.

    I have been going to the gym since January this year and can plank for 2.5 minutes now but still do push ups on my knees. Some people in the group can't do them at all and do them against the wall. I will never be able to do a chin up. We just find the exercises that work for us... I don't like running and won't ever do it - hasn't stopped me losing weight and getting healthier though.

    My challenge is the ab wheel. I always face plant when doing it. My core is strongish because I can plank and do Russian twists... But I have to keep working on the damned ab wheel !!

  • sweetbe44
    sweetbe44 Posts: 195 Member
    Pushups are friggin hard! I’ve been going to the gym 3 times a week with a personal trainer for over a year and I’m still not doing full regular push ups. I’ve been doing them at gradually lower and lower inclines and also do negative pushups on the floor where I just do the lowering part over and over again, but I’ll eventually get there and I’m sure you will too if you keep at it.
  • AliNouveau
    AliNouveau Posts: 36,287 Member
    Push ups are really hard.
    You will get there. You don't expect to go to the gym and curl 50 lb dumbbells. It takes work. As do pus ups. Keep working on them and one day you'll get a full one on your toes
  • Shortgirlrunning
    Shortgirlrunning Posts: 1,020 Member
    Push ups are hard. I can’t do them. I do wall push ups. You do what you can to build up to your goal. It’s really not a big deal, lots of people can’t do push-ups, especially at the start of their fitness journey. No shame in it.
  • Push ups are hard for women. I have been trying for 5 years to do them. I can do all of 5 now.

    I think they are like any other exercise they need tons of practice to improve.
    I still can’t do one pull up. I’ll get there.

    Life can suck sometimes.
  • Katmary71
    Katmary71 Posts: 6,522 Member
    Pushups aren't easy! A lot of people start with wall pushups instead of knee pushups. You're still relatively new to the gym. Keep doing knee pushups and strengthening your arms! I can lift a lot with my legs but it's taking forever to graduate from the "wussy" silver dumbbells I use for arms. I'm finally at the heaviest of them and am hoping to graduate from them before the end of the year!