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Please help me devise a fitness regimen

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  • Please help me devise a fitness regimen

    For the month of May, I'm trying to progress toward my one hundred push-ups goal (, but I cannot complete even one push-up. I'm trying to devise a set of exercises to help me make some progress, as simply struggling to complete one push-up, resting, then struggling again doesn't feel like any kind of progress to me. For the record, I'm a 54-yr old female, 215 pounds, I walk a lot and do heavy yard yark, but I'm obviously in very poor shape.

    I found the list of muscles used in push-ups here:
    -Pectoralis Major
    -Serratus Anterior

    I own a set of 5-lb dumbbells but I don't have a weight bench. I could probably rig something up that would work like one, though. I found this set of 5-lb weight exercises that appear to work all the push-up muscles:

    Does anyone know of a better set of clearly-illustrated exercises for a beginner? Any advice for me? My goal is to increase my strength and fitness and also move forward on my one hundred push-up challenge.

    I also have the red SPRI resistance band shown here: and I found a really great set of illustrated exercises here:

    Is this the right set of resistance exercises for me? Should I do both complete sets of the dumbbell and resistance bands on the same day? Choose one? Alternate? Should I have alternate rest days i.e. do the dumbbells one day, rest a day, do the resistance bands, rest a day, dumbbells, rest, bands, etc?

    I'd like to settle into a routine that I can learn and do well at least for the month of May. After one month, I can analyze my progress and switch the routine if that's appropriate.

    I know there are a lot of real experts on this board, so I would be extremely grateful for your input as I begin this new phase of the Primal Blueprint. I'm open to all recommendations and advice.

  • #2
    Particularly for women, core work is essential for push-ups since we're carrying more of our weight in the hips. When you're in the push-up position, your hip weight can certainly make it hard to keep form. I would definitely be doing plank exercises; basically, hold your body rigid off the floor while only your forearms and feet touch the ground. Start with as small of intervals as you need (maybe just 15 seconds) then work up to 60, 90 seconds, etc. Also, there are side planks as well.

    But, for your push-up strength, "girl" push-ups are a great way to start to build strength and couple it with plank work. Or, alternatively, do push-ups off an elevated surface. Start with a higher surface, say, the edge of a counter (to be clear, your hands are on the counter, not your feet) then move to a lower surface once that gets easier (say, a sofa). Personally, I would use all three components (plank, "girl" push-ups and elevated surface) to build up strength.

    Hope this helps.... I've got long, lanky arms and am very generous in the hips but I've been able to knock out 50 push-ups at a time.
    Because if you didn't know, of that is life made: only of moments; Don't lose the now.


    • #3
      Thanks, say_rahhh, for the planks suggestion. I just watched a bunch of YouTube plank videos and certainly agree that adding this to the regimen will be extremely helpful.