Wednesday, May 28, 2008

What about doing PushUps from your Knees?

Alden Mills here, the creator of the Perfect Pushup. Let me be the first to tell you that more than your fair share of military fellas pump out plenty of pushups from their knees -- so in short -- DEFINITELY use the PERFECT PUSHUP from your knees if you start to get tired.

For some reason folks think that the moment you can't do a "full-body" pushup that the exercise is over - COMPLETELY ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY FALSE! Guys ~ Gals - you're just getting warmed up!! From your knees is where you can truly exhaust the muscles in your upper body - think negatives on a bench press - you can do negatives on the PERFECT PUSHUP too - that is lowering yourself slowly to the ground....add and make it work! ;-))

I use the PERFECT PUSHUP everyday and always end up on my knees to complete my workout. Now, you might not be able to do a full pushup right now, but as you get stronger, you can start doing "negatives" -- lowering yourself slowly to the floor in the full-body position (try a 5 second lower), then go to your knees ... whatever you do DON'T get frustrated, you're doing PERFECT PUSHUPs! They are much harder, but much better for you! Enjoy getting stronger!




Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Memorial Day and the Naval Special Warfare Foundation

Teammates, with Memorial Day weekend coming up, I thought it would be a good time to introduce you to one of the more important links on the CHARLIE MIKE blog:

Naval Special Warfare – NSW – is Navy speak for Navy SEALs and all those that support the SEAL teams and boat units. The NSW Foundation is the non-profit that supports the SEAL families in time of need…and lately, the SEAL families have unfortunately needed a lot.

I was first introduced to the foundation when a friend, SEAL classmate and teammate, Mark Frietag, was involved in a training accident. While he and his teammates were practicing Close Quarter Combat in a “kill house” (a structure designed with bullet proof walls so SEALs can practice live fire drills in confined areas to simulate hostage rescue or bad-guy hunting), Mark was struck by a bullet that somehow weaved its way through the bulletproof wall, Mark’s body armor, and his rib cage. The bullet came to rest in Mark’s spinal column and left him paralyzed from the waist down. Though there’s some financial assistance the military offers its vets, it’s not nearly enough to cover all the expenses of this kind of challenge (note, I don’t call it a disability – knowing Mark’s can-do attitude from training, he doesn’t think of it as a disability – it’s a challenge which can be overcome!). Enter NSW Foundation: they helped Mark and his family outfit his house with wheelchair access, get the best equipment for his challenge and assist with a transition to the civilian sector.

This example is the just the tip of the iceberg on what the NSW Foundation has done and does for its family of NSW teammates that it serves. Lately, NSW Foundation has been busier than ever helping the NSW family cope with life altering injuries and loss. Most folks don’t know what SEALs do when on a mission – and that’s the way it should be - but everyone should know what the NSW Foundation does to help those after the mission. The Perfect Pushup team feels so strongly about the importance of the NSW Foundation that we donate a portion of the sale of each of our products to the NSW Foundation.

So this Memorial Day, as you take a moment to thank our troops for all they have done and are doing, don’t forget about thanking the organizations like the NSW Foundation whose mission is helping those after their mission is over.


Thursday, May 15, 2008

How Do I Figure Out My Fitness Level?

Question: Steve from Tucson, AZ asked, "How do I figure out my fitness level when I first start using the Perfect Pushup?

Answer: Great question! Begin the entire program by determining your fitness level with a one set MAX. This means, using the PPU in Regular Position, do as many pushups as you can. Next move to the schedule to see what you need to do each day. The first day shows as you noted:

MAX Regular
1 Wide
1 Close

To conduct a one set Max - simply position your arms in the REGULAR Position - that is hands should be one hand width wider than your shoulders. Get into the pushup positions (see the Perfect Pushup checklist on the calendar or Power 10 workout cards for proper form). Now, push out as many Perfect Pushups as you can while rotating through the pushup movement - hands should rotate out on the way down, and rotate in on the way up. The moment you start losing your form STOP doing pushups and record the number you did.

Let's assume you were able to do 12 Perfect Pushups - 12 is your One Set Max. Now, take your one set max (12) and round to the nearest 10 - in this case 12 is closer to 10 than it is 20, so use 10 as your one set max fitness level on the PERFCT PUSHUP workout chart or Power 10 workout cards. Locate the "10" row on the workout chart and read from left to right to understand the number of reps required for each position - REGULAR, WIDE, and CLOSE.

In the case of the 10 row - REGULAR, WIDE, and CLOSE repetitions are: 8,6,4,2 - this means do 8 reps,followed by 6 reps, followed by 4 reps, followed by 2 reps in two minutes. Go to your knees if you have to, but do your ABSOLUTE best to complete all the reps in one two minute time period. Depending on your pace during the two minute drill - assuming you have time - you can drop to your knees and shake out your arms for a few seconds before attacking the next set of reps. Remember, you don't have to do all three two minute drills back to back - you can space them out throughout the day.

Post back to me on your progress!


Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thanks Mom!

Every Mother’s Day I call my Mom from wherever I am in the world and say “Thanks Mom”. Not just because of all the sacrifices she made for me and my brother over the years (she made a lot, and put up with even more because I wasn’t the most obedient kid), I say “thanks Mom” because she played a pivotal part in a decision that forever changed the outcome of my life – here’s the story in a nutshell: In the spring of 1981, I was 12, and was sick all the time. Like most kids who grew up in a four season state like Massachusetts, getting outside was the key to any kid’s sanity after being cooped up for four-plus winter months. The only problem with spring time for me was I always seemed to get sick more than any of the other kids – and most of the time my colds turned into a lung infection of either Bronchitis or Pneumonia, which sucked. So my Mom started taking me to doctors outside our small town until we met this one doctor at a very large hospital in Worcester, MA that I shall never forget – Dr. Z. He examined my lungs then made me do a series of breathing tests into machines that analyzed my lung capacity. After examining my results, the doc turns to my Mom and says: “Your son has asthma, he needs to have a less active lifestyle to lead a healthy life.” He then hands her two prescriptions and walks out.

I stood there and looked at my Mom with a “what did he say” look, and I watched her eyelids narrow – like she was getting pissed (I knew those signals quite well by that age!) and she turned to look me right in the eyes and said: “No one is ever going to tell you what you can or can’t do – you understand?”

That one sentence changed my life. The following years weren’t a bed of roses, I had more than my fair share of lung infections, all the while I took that damn doctor’s meds because we thought it might just help…turns out, SECOND PHASE of BUD/S was the only medicine I needed – that’s another story – but it’s what finally made me say good-bye to over ten years of inhalers and pills. Over the years I’ve done my best to live the spirit of that sentence; I’ve always tried to pass along the spirit to SEAL wannabes or would-be entrepreneurs and it certainly gets passed along to my three sons (sometimes to the chagrin of their mother!). The point is, you’re the master and commander of your ship – it’s your call what you do with your body and how you do it; and once you figure that out and you’ll learn that you’ll be able to control more of your life than you might first thought possible – don’t let ANYONE tell you what you can or can’t do.

So this Mother’s Day don’t pass up the opportunity say thanks to your Mom – chances are she’s made a real impact on your life – mine did - I know what I’ll be saying to her this Sunday.


Top of the Perfect Pushup Food Chain - on to Second Phase!

Alex – BRAVO ZULU! That’s Navy speak for OUT-STAND-ING-JOB! Very very few folks have confided in me that they’ve reached the top of the Perfect Pushup food chain – nice work! Now that you’ve mastered FIRST PHASE, it’s time to introduce you to SECOND PHASE – we call it the 300 club – and the challenge is to see how few sets it will take you to get 300 pushups in 5 minutes. The best I’ve ever seen in SEAL Team is 2 sets, but mind you this was WITHOUT Perfect Pushups!

Now, to train for this you need to improve your muscular endurance (you’re going to have several dates with the Lactic Acid Queen – get used to dating the bitch!) while increasing your high repetition strength. Do this, try adding a weight vest to your current routines – don’t go too heavy, try 10 lbs at first – also, try doing a series of 30 pushups every minute for ten minutes. As you get stronger, ramp up the number of pushups while reducing the time – e.g. 40 pushups at 8 minutes, 50 pushups at 6 minutes, etc. Love the Froggy spirit you have – Remember: THE ONLY EASY DAY WAS YESTERDAY!


P.S. I absolutely agree with “Hot” – go check out – he’s one of my best swim-buddies and he’s one helluva of a trainer and coach!

Doing Chair Dips with the Perfect Pushup

Hot, you beat me to the punch! Dips was on the plan for June, but since you asked … AFFIRMATIVE – YOU CAN DO CHAIR DIPS with the Perfect Pushup and here’s how – I’m going to write the instructions out - I’ll have my web-team post photos of Perfect Pushup Chair Dips.

Dip Instructions:

1. Start by finding two STABLE chairs.

2. Place Perfect Pushups on the chairs in such a way that the width of the Perfect Pushups match your shoulder width – too wide and you’ll be placing undue strain on your elbows.

3. SLOWLY add your bodyweight to the Perfect Pushups to test the stability of the handles on the chairs (and to make sure the chairs are firmly fixed to the floor).

4. Stretch your legs out in front of you at angle with your heels touching the floor and your hands gripping the Perfect Pushups – palms facing backwards (behind you – that is if someone were standing behind you they would be able to see your palms).

5. Pull your navel to your spine and slowly lower yourself to the floor while your hands rotate 90 degrees to the point where your palms are now facing either side of your rib cage – lower yourself to the point where your elbows are forming 90 degree angles.

6. Press up from the down position exhaling as you come back to the start position while rotating your hands back to the same position as you started (palms facing behind you).

7. Get Fired UP and try to knockout 3 sets of 10 reps – as you get stronger go up in increments of 10!