Wednesday, October 10, 2018

One-arm Push-ups!

They probably look more like Jack Palance than Rocky, but...

I recently started doing one-arm push-ups.  To be clear, I did not just rip through a set of ten or twenty one day.  In fact, I have yet to do that many.  However, I am progressing.  Here is what I did:
  • I occasionally did some standing in the kitchen with one arm on the counter, leaning at about 45 degrees.
  • One day I decided to attempt doing one on the floor...and failed.
  • Several days later I tried again and completed one on each side.
  • I then set a goal to complete three on each side.
  • A week or two later, I met that goal and set a goal of five each.
  • This morning, I completed six on the right and five on the left.
  • I am working toward eight each now.
Woo-hoo!  I would generally describe my upper body as being a weakness for me--it always has been--so this is a break-through, further enhanced by my age. Obviously, this is pretty cool for me, but why am I sharing?
  1. Push yourself!  Try something new!  You might surprise yourself.  This is how you become better than you were yesterday.
  2. Set a goal: it gives you a vision, an objective to work toward.
  3. Gradual progression:  just try to progress a little at a time and you will slowly improve.
  4. Now for a bit of science.  This little experience reinforced to me that we do not just train our muscles when we exercise, our musculoskeletal system; we are training our neuromusculoskeletal system.  This progression occurred too fast for me to build muscle and it is unlikely any significant metabolic changed occurred.  The improvement was most likely due to neurological changes: I learned, or more likely remembered, how to do the movement.  Essentially, my muscles (or muscle fibers) remembered when to turn on and in what sequence.  It is an example of motor learning or jogging motor memory.
Cool, huh?

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