Unable to keep up with his usual level of training due to lockdown, fitness YouTuber Travis S has spent the last 30 days perfecting his technique on 2 bodyweight moves that can be easily performed at home, by cranking out 100 pushups and 100 pullups every day.
“It was going to be 100 pushups per day, but it ended up being more just because the chest exercises I have access to are limited,” he says. “I will say, I’ve got a lot better at pushups and pullups, both from a form standpoint as well as efficiency.” While he thinks that pushups are an accessible form of at-home bodyweight exercise, he adds that doing 100 pullup reps every day might not be achievable for a beginner. “Make your goal specific to you if it’s something you want to try out,” he says.
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Travis does the pushups and pullups on top of his regular 5 to 6 workouts per week, in addition to maintaining a consistent diet of around 2,500 calories per day.
Breaking the 100 reps down into 10 sets of 10 throughout the day had a twofold benefit; not only did it make the physical challenge more achievable, but it also gave structure to Travis’ daily routine while working from home in lockdown. “It gave me a tangible goal and it kept me motivated,” he says. “Knowing that I had to do 100 reps of pushups and pullups every single day, it really helped me stay on track, because for me, working out at home is pretty foreign, so I needed something to keep me in line when it comes to my training.”
He adds, however, that kind of challenge, where you’re performing the same pattern of exercise every single day, can take a physical toll. “The tightness in your joints, and the aches and pains you will experience, mostly from doing the same movement rep after rep, day after day,” he says. “Of course, you never want to set yourself up for an injury. My lats are always tight, and it will take 2 to 3 sets for them to loosen up… obviously I also do my band stretches on top of that.”
On day 1, doing 10 sets of reps was challenging, but his endurance improves over the month. “Now, as long as my lats are warmed up, I can do 10, 15, 20 pullups without any issue,” he says. “That movement pattern is ingrained in my mind.”
There isn’t much of a visible difference by the end of the 30 days: Travis hasn’t put on much in the way of muscle, which makes sense given that he wasn’t working out to the same intensity as he was pre-quarantine. And as he points out, that there’s not much opportunity for progressive overload in a challenge like this one:
“I was sticking to the same rep scheme every day,” he says. “I was still getting in movement over time, which is obviously going to be beneficial, just for your body in general and for maintaining strength, but if you want to increase your strength and really start to see some differences in your physique, you really want to focus on adding more weight and reps.”
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