I started the Hundred Pushups and Two-Hundred Situps (technically, crunches) programs a while back. Although it took a couple of attempts, I finally “finished” them — that is, I got up past 100 pushups and 200 situps. I love that the iPhone apps count individual sets for you and times your breaks between sets. When the count gets up to fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, I sometimes lose track of which -ty I’m on during the break, so I occasionally lose or gain multiples of ten in my count. Blame short attention span or short-term memory or …I forget. As I said, the iPhone does a great job of counting. Unfortunately, the iPhone apps do not have many options once you run off the end of the lesson plan. You can repeat the last day, you could awkwardly reset to a particular day, or you could not use it. At the difficulty level I was on, the last day was much more than 100/200 and I wanted to get as close to those counts as possible because my hope is to expand from 3 days per week to 5. Resetting the apps to a particular day was way more complicated than it should have been. Given lack of options, I opted for not using the apps and doing things by hand.
(I’m actually trying to maintain at least 100 of each most weekdays)
After a few days of disorganized tally-marks, I decided to make a Hipster PDA template to make marking things a bit more standardized, normalized, and readable between sets. Although the template prints 4 index cards to a page, I didn’t actually cut them apart. I just cut off the margins and folded it in quarters.
An unexpected benefit of doing it by hand is that I can interleave sets. With the iPhone apps, I’d launch the pushup app, do a set, wait two or three minutes to rest those muscles, do another set, etc. I would then do the same thing with the push-up app. When counting by hand, I can do a set of sit-ups during the pushup cooldown time, and vice-versa, because it is working a different muscle group. The practical upshot is that the whole exercise routine takes about half as long.