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Physical fitness

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Matthew Bryson, Jul 1, 2003.

  1. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    Can anybody help settle a disagreement between myself and my roommate? It's regarding calisthenics - specifically push ups and sit ups. He says that a person would be better off to not do them every day because it doesn't allow the muscles time to repair themselves. He thinks every other day is just as good if not better. While I will agree that his theory holds true in reference to weight training, I believe simple calisthenic exercise to be low enough impact that doing push ups and sit ups every day is a good thing. My approach is to do as many reps of each as I reasonably can each day - right now that's 200 sit ups and 100 push ups per day (in sets - 40pu/100su/30pu/100su/30pu) He says I'm overdoing it, while I say I need to keep up the everyday pace and continue to add reps. Is there such a thing as overdoing it on calisthenics? I say no. Am I wrong?
  2. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Well I did weight training for a while. I made the most gains when I did each muscle group ONCE a week (I would work out 3-4 times a week however). Allowing your muscles time to fully recover is what actually makes you stronger since the act of weight lifting is actually tearing your muscles down.
  3. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    okay, but weight training aside - just push ups and sit ups - do the same rules apply?
  4. temp5897

    temp5897 Guest

    Well push ups can be pretty "strenuous" depending on how they are done. For those I definitely would not be doing them every night unless its a light workout.

    As far as situps I believe the stomach muscles recover fast enough to where you can be doing them pretty much every day. We use our abs a lot more than people realize so they tend to recover faster.
  5. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I did push-ups (a lot of them) everyday for 9 weeks in basic training. I got stronger and bigger.
  6. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    The abdominals can be trained daily if you are not adding weight to the exercise. In the gym it is common to see folks holding a weight plate or a dumbell to their chest or abdominal area to increase the intensity of whatever ab exercise they are doing. Others use ab machines at the gym that can provide a substantial weight workout.

    When ab exercises are that intense, they are like any other exercise done with weights and require a rest period of at least 48 hours before they are exercised again.

    By the way, some experts caution you not to do just ab exercises. If you build fabulous abs, but have not also strenghtened your lower and mid back, you can create back problems for yourself because of the imbalance of strength between your front and back musicles.

    More caveats: Some folks do literally hundreds of ab exercises a day, an endeavor that is needless. If ab exercises are done properly, with the correct intensity and form, then one need not do dozens and dozens of sets and reps. At any given time in the gym there is somebody doing abdominal exercises with very poor form. They can either injure themselves or get discouraged and give up because of the lack of results.

    Furthermore, all the ab exercises in the world will be for naught if one does not follow a diet that gives one low enough body fat for that greatly admired "six-pack" to show.

    If you do work out at a gym, look around at the folks with the abs you want. See if you can find out how they got those abs. My guess is they did not get those abs with ab exercises alone, but because of a full body approach to weight training, regular cardio and disciplined diet and nutrition.
  7. mikemulcahy


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Abyss
    Dr. Bop has spoken....I concur.

  8. Ben Mishler

    Ben Mishler

    Jan 22, 2003
    San Jose
    The general rule of thumb I use for pushups is I never do them when I am sore from the last work out. I do this just to be safe, since I do not have any particular goal with the exercise, other than general health. I only end up doing them about three times a week, as I am up to 253 (in increments of 22,21,20 and so on), and it is quite a workout . Doing that usually leaves me sore for a day or two, and once I feel recovered, I do them again. So far I haven't had any injuries, though I have been happy with the results.
  9. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    For a non-scientific stance - Everyone I know that works out every day, including myself at one stage, ends up burning out. They can sustain it for maybe a few months then crash & burn! I'm sorry but your roommate wins. Hope it wasn't a big bet......
  10. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Wow, that's really useful to know, Bop, thanks!

    Could you possibly elaborate on "the correct intensity and form" for ab exercises?

    And how many would you suggest doing?
  11. BigBohn


    Sep 29, 2001
    WPB, Florida
    Bop, eggcellent deduction! :D

    I regularly weight train and practice calisthenics as well, and I find that every person's body reacts differently. Personally, I find doing situps and such twice or three times a week opposed to every day gives me the results needed. I do not have the energy or strength left in me to do it back to back everyday. Yet some people I work out with do.

    Just like some people are more susceptible to disease than others or some people have different hair colors than others, some people see growth and muscle development quicker than others. So in all fairness, YMMV.
  12. For just situps and pushups? Yeah, everyday is fine. Weight training is different, but for calisthenics I wouldn't worry about overtraining.

    Jared - Training each muscle once a week is fine for building muscle, but strength training is entirely different.

    Edit: Wow, I haven't posted here since April.
  13. Uhm...I did Judo on a very high level and was in the gym at least twice a weak following a heavy training program.
    I have thought fitness myself also and I can assure you that doing situps and pushups every day isn't bad for you.

    But when you start out with it, you start slowly with it.
    Like 5 pushup each morning and evening and 10 sit ups every morning and evening. This you will do for a week, than the next week you do 10 pushups and 15 situps.
    So you keep raising everything with 5.
    NO harm will be done with that.

  14. Tsal


    Jan 28, 2000
    Finland, EU
    I would say that you are slightly overdoing the workout - when it comes to large amount of something, it can get to sort of speed race.

    I think you would do better doing two or three slow (slower you go, more straining it gets) series of 15-20 pushups and situps every or every second day. Oh, and would add some kind of back excercise too.
  15. Matthew Bryson

    Matthew Bryson Guest

    Jul 30, 2001
    I would also like to have somebody elaberate on good form for sit-ups / other ab exorcises.
  16. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    From what I have heard, working out every day isn't harmful, but not as efficient as doing it once every few days.

    Situps and pushups are not weight training, but they are still resistance training, meaning you are working those muscles. The same concepts would apply.

    If you are going to work out every day, be very careful. I recently got tendinitis in my wrists from too much working out, so take it easy if you are feeling pain - it's your body's way of telling you to take a break!
  17. Melf


    Mar 20, 2003
    Starkville, MS
    Creepy-you have to be careful when doing any ab exercises because if you're not, you could end up using your Isozoaz(sp?) muscle in your back, which will cause bad back problems when you're older. I do crunches, which work just as well as situps but don't hurt your back at all.

    (This only works if you're tall, otherwise use a stool or something shorter than a chair). Take a folding chair and set it up. Put all of your calves on the seat of the chair. Bend your knees at anywhere from a 90 to 120 degree angle. I've found that the closer you get to 120, the more work it is on your abs(this could just be for me, though). Put your arms behind your head. Now, concentrate very hard on isolating your abs. Use them to slowly raise your head and shoulders about 3 or 4 inches off the ground. Make sure that you don't curl up anywhere at all. Keep yourself completely straight as if you were still laying down on the floor. Now hold it for 2 or 3 seconds and then slowly lower yourself back down. Repeat until you feel the burn;) And don't forget, if you can feel your back muscles at work, then stop and try again. It's very important not to use your back when exercising your abs.
  18. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    *Ting* ..... I've also found that you can become so obsessed with working out every day, that you power on despite injury or illness. That's bad....M'kay....
  19. I worked out damn near everyday for about 6 months, then I got hit with a pretty crippling cold/flu and couldn't even do a situp without getting dizzy for about two weeks. Slowly starting up again, but during the downtime I put on about 10 pounds, which makes re-starting even harder. Grr...
    I was definitely feeling burnt out if I worked out every day though. Doing it was tiring and depressing - I hated it. So now I'm taking it slower, and never work out more than 3 days in a row without a break. I've got plenty of time to get into shape, since I'm only 19, so there's no point in rushing things.
  20. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    You are referring to the iliopsoas muscles which form the hip flexors, including the ilacus and psoas major. Why these can be trouble makers is that if they are too tight, doing lots of abs exercises such as too many sit ups or improperly done crunches just makes them tighter. If they are too tight, they weaken the abdominals even further and can even pull the pelvis backward.

    That is why if one is determined to do a program of abdominal exericises, one must include a program of gentle stretches targeting the lower back. Such an approach avoids the situation in which weak abs and tight lower back muscles create the muscle imbalances that lead to chronic lower back pain.