About six months ago I started doing the One Hundred Pushups and Two Hundred Situps training plans. (The situp name is a bit of a misnomer, in that they’re really curl-ups or crunches since actual “situps” — the type most of us learned as kids — are not all that great for your body.) Although I started on paper, I quickly found that the iPhone apps were much more useful than I originally suspected. I thought they were just to keep track of your day-to-day logs. Where the apps really excel is during the exercising itself. They keep track of what set you are on (you do 5 sets of varying numbers of situps/pushups) as well as timing your delay between sets.
I kept this up until I had what I thought was a freaky medical occurrence. At a time pretty far into the training (I had exceeded 100 pushups each day, but was just barely 50% of the way into the 200 situp routine), my chest unexpectedly “popped” — loudly and painfully. That caused me to back off for several weeks to a month. It actually turned out to be something relatively minor — not common, but also not uncommon. For some people, the cartilage connection between the sternum and the collarbone is looser than other peoples’. It basically meant my chest popped in much the same way you’d crack a knuckle or that your knee can occasionally pop when standing up. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but between the yoga I have done for years and the pushups, it loosened the muscles and opened things up enough to cause that surprising pop. I now get that pop once every day or two, but without the pain or surprise. It’s just the way my body works now. It’s more loose and things shift around and pop.
I recently restarted the pushup/situp routine. Although I am still using the iPhone apps, I am no longer using them to spam Facebook and/or Twitter with my daily reports. This blog post will act as my one-time spam letting friends and family know that I’m back on the routine (and encouraging all of you to give it a try, too!). The pushups seem easier this time around, but those curls are still as difficult as ever.