My first 30 Day Project for the month of February has been to work my way up to doing 100 pushups in a single set. At the end of January, I did a test to find my baseline, my starting point. I could do 20 pushups, but there was no way 21 would happen.
My plan, based purely on the math, was to start from there, doing 5 sets in the morning and 5 more at night, adding a set number to each set every day. That lasted a day.
The problem with starting a new exercise routine at my max level and progressing from there is the pain. Holy wow, that hurt on the second day. I was doing sets of 5, then. Ow.
The new plan has worked much better. It is an aggressive, self-correcting progression that automatically correct for over-extending myself.
I do 5 sets. Each set is based on the maximum set in my previous session. My first set is half of my max. The next 3 sets are 3/4 of my max, and the final set ends when my abs are cramping and I want to cry, establishing my max for the next session. If I over-extended myself in the previous session, this set either shrinks or stays the same. If the final set stagnates for a couple of days, I take a day off to rest. When I come back, the sets improve drastically.
How well has this worked? Last night, at the halfway point for the month, I ended with a set of 75 pushups and noticable muscle growth. Next month, I’m doing situps and I will be using the same plan.
Plan #2 is also coming along well. Details in 2 weeks.