Headstone says..."Yeah, but he couldn't do a push up"

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Embarrassing, but true. The quick stats: 60 year old male, 6' 1". Starting weight 238.5 (12-7-12). BF=30% (holy ****!). Started weights and resistance training (a band).
Switched to Tapout 1-26-13, starting weight 230, BF=30%. I work out at least 30 minutes x 6 days. I am a fat old guy, you can say it, it's okay. My goal weight is 200. Other than being fat, I have no medical issues, except perhaps I am OCD.

BMR- 2018
TDEE- 3125
25% Cut= TDEE 2344
Current weight- 226 (2-17-13: I'm working in Korea, hence the time difference)

I can't do a regular plank position push up. I try, but I just can't do it. I can do knee push ups, (please ladies keep the laughter to a minimum). Anytime the instructor (Mike) starts a push up related move, I substitute it for some upper body with the resistance band (I use a high resistance band) or I do ab/core exercises. The question is simple. What exercises can I perform to increase whatever muscles groups I need to execute a few freakin' push ups?
All advise is welcome. If anyone sees something wrong with the stats, let me hear it. I don't have time to jack around. I don't want my headstone to say, "Yeah, but he could't do a push up..."
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Replies

  • SJ46
    SJ46 Posts: 407 Member
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    More pushups! Play around with your body position - width of hands, width of feet,. If you have to do them on your knees then do them that way but practice a lot. Try elevating your hands on something the height of a coffee table, on a stair, or two stairs up.
  • SJ46
    SJ46 Posts: 407 Member
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    Perhaps you should try this challenge: www.hundredpushups.com/
  • obsidiandream
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    Excellent suggestions, I will start them today- thanks.
  • SJ46
    SJ46 Posts: 407 Member
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    Good luck and come back to this thread to let us know how you're doing!
  • Azdak
    Azdak Posts: 8,281 Member
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    I have a lot of people do pushups and I notice a similar issue that may or may not be relevant.

    A lot of people let their shoulders push back and even in or up when they are lowering themselves. As a result, they end up doing much of the work with their shoulders. You need to keep the shoulders in a fixed position and let the pecs do the work. Use the same hand position and form that you would for a bench press. And only go a little past 90 degrees with your elbows.
  • Coquette6
    Coquette6 Posts: 158 Member
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    I like the method in NROLW (it's probably elsewhere too, but that's where I found it!). Start with your hands on a higher object. Table, chair, bench, etc. The higher the object, the more weight will be transferred to your feet. When you're comfortable doing push-ups at one height, look for a lower height. That will put more weight on your arms. Eventually, as your upper body strength increases, you can go right to a plank position push-up on the floor.
  • Lleldiranne
    Lleldiranne Posts: 5,516 Member
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    I remember a trainer saying that the muscles worked in a knees ("girlie") pushup aren't the same as a "real" pushup. Her advice was to start at the top of the pushup position and hold it. Then, start going down just a little bit and back up. Stretch yourself to go down a little farther. Be ready to fail. Every time you push yourself to the point of muscle fatigue/"failure" you are building strength. Keep at it. Keep going a little deeper, even if you only push up half the way you went down before you fall.

    And don't forget the importance of keeping your core (esp abs) tight. It will help protect your back and will make the pushing easier. Also remember to breathe. Sounds silly, but think about it when you push up because a lot of people hold their breath, which is counterproductive!
  • mom2handh1975
    mom2handh1975 Posts: 224 Member
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    Just keep working on it! My girlfriends and I started an kickboxing/MMA class in October. I could do 10 "modified" (also known as knee) push-ups. My friend could do 3. Last Sunday we did 500 modified push-ups. Yes, 500!!! We do some regular push-ups now, too. Just keep working on them. Do planks and other core-strengthening exercises regularly and you WILL be able to do it. Just keep trying. You CAN do it!!! :happy:
  • marekdds
    marekdds Posts: 2,215 Member
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    Can't help you with your problem, I can only do girlie ones. I love your attitude and sense of humor. I am sure you will get it.
  • jimmie65
    jimmie65 Posts: 655 Member
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    Some good advice given. Try doing some push-ups even against a wall or on a table, as well as the holds and negatives (where you just lower yourself). Mix these up with lots of knee push-ups and you'll get there.
  • obsidiandream
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    Makes sense, thank you
  • Starla_
    Starla_ Posts: 349
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    I always had issues with knee pushups, they would hurt my knees way too much but when it came to standard pushups I had troubles getting more than one out. I got told to start doing pushups on the kitchen bench, when they got really easy I moved to the coffee table, and then I moved to the floor and had no dramas doing pushups. So start high and move lower as you get stronger and if you do this in conjunction with the hundred pushups program you will be doing standard pushups before you know it.
  • obsidiandream
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    Yeah, good advise. I appreciate all you good people helping out a derelict old guy. I will master the *kitten* push up.
  • DaniH826
    DaniH826 Posts: 1,335 Member
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    Don't feel bad, I've never been able to do a push up, ever. It's not even on my to-do list, but props to you for trying. :flowerforyou:
  • kdeaux1959
    kdeaux1959 Posts: 2,675 Member
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    Bench press may help build arm and chest strength... Push ups also require some core strength so planks will help. Try a little elevation on the upper body and then lower to horizontal... These ideas may help. Best wishes on making your journey complete.
  • Pinkigloopyxie
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    I can't even do a knee pushup. Also, those are awkward as all heck and hurt my knees something fierce. I don't understand how it's easier.

    I just started with planks. Again, planks from the knee hurt like heck and I have no idea how they are easier. So I will just struggle through normal planks until I can do actual pushups. Some day I will do 100 in a row one morning.
  • obsidiandream
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    The collective input from you guys is invaluable. When I see a 42 year old mom on the Tapout DVD's doing push ups of unimaginable combination and variation it pisses me off, but inspires me. I will do the 100 push up workout and all of the other body strengthening routines.
    So if you are walking down the street a few months from now and see a moderately attractive old guy doing push ups at the bus stop, it will be me. "Mommy why is that old person doing push ups near the gutter"? "Because he can".
  • SJ46
    SJ46 Posts: 407 Member
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    "Because he can."

    I love it!
  • tiffanyheth
    tiffanyheth Posts: 510 Member
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gCH-4cusBqo

    This guy has lost incredible amount of weight using P90X and does these tutorials on difficult fitness "moves"...he also has a video on pullups. Just copy and past that above link into your address bar to watch!
  • irishguns
    irishguns Posts: 53 Member
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    I can't do a regular push up either. The advice I got was to do them at an angle first, for example lean against your counter top or something similar where your body is at like a 45 degree angle. Start there and build up to doing the full plank ones.