Friday, August 29, 2008

Can pushups, pullups and dips develop muscle?

A few days ago Charlie Mike reader Luciano asked if he could replace weight training with pushups, dips, and pullups and what kind of muscle gain could he expect?

Yes, pushups/pull-ups/dips and other bodyweight training exercises do develop muscle tissue. How much muscle tissue you develop is tied to how much resistance you give the muscles you’re training. For example, let’s say your one set max of pushups is 10; if you were to do one set of 10 pushups every other day of pushups, you’ll have a different growth curve of muscle development than if you were to do 5 sets of 10 pushups every other day. If you’re after bigger muscles you need to load up your muscles – that is do pushups or pullups to complete exhaustion – then drop to your knees on pushups or lower the Perfect Pullup bar and keep the workout going until you are absolutely spent on your sets. Follow the Perfect Pushup workout plan that comes with the Perfect Pushup or try something even simpler: 1000 pushups and 250 pullups a week – get’em anyway you can – JUST DO IT!

One more thing, don’t forget that muscles need protein – I’m not a dietician, but monitor your diet – watch what you eat. When I want to get Ripped, I reduce sugar and white carbohydrates (bread/potatoes, etc) and up my veggies and protein intake – eat smaller meals more often and always have water with each meal – try to have your first meal right after you workout in the morning (first set of pushups) and last meal 3 hours before you go to bed – don’t go longer than 3 hrs between meals.

Let me know how it goes and keep those questions coming – CHARLIE MIKE!


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Keeping Fitness Simple on the Road

One more shot from the USS Hornet shoot.

The point is – keep it simple and focus on just pushups while you travel – you’ll be amazed at what it does for your strength, muscle tone, core and cardio conditioning. (Once you realize that you don’t need lots of room or equipment to get a workout – you’ll be amazed at the opportunities that present themselves for working out on the road). I could list literally hundreds of creative on the road workout programs, but at the end of the day, more important than the program is your Fire in the Gut to take control of your body on the road. Once you’ve locked the little demon of excuses away – drop down and do 20 pushups to congratulate yourself, because you’ve just taken control of your body’s destiny…and trust me, the path from there is only more exciting – you’ll see, I promise.

Check back in – let me know about your success – and stay tuned for a whole new set of workouts (and videos!) coming to the site. Take a look at the Perfect Pushup Mobile commercial on Directv sports stations or on own website.

Stay Fired UP!


Thursday, August 14, 2008

Getting Ripped on the Road

Lots of questions come in regarding how to get in shape while traveling. I never thought much about it in SEAL Team, because our workouts were so engrained in us that it was like brushing our teeth – it didn’t matter where we were we always did workout. Whether hanging out on the tarmac in the Azores while waiting for our C-5 ride or in mission prep mode in Sarajevo – we did a workout daily – period.

So before you go down the natural excuse list of “I don’t have workout clothes” or the “gym at this hotel sucks” or “it’s raining outside" (never a good excuse) or whatever the little demon inside your head conjures up to convince you to hit the couch instead of Firing Up your weapon’s platform (SEAL speak for your body) – understand this: you ARE in control of your body – you just need to flick the switch in your brain and get your gut Fired UP. Once you’ve decided that you’re ready to be the master and commander of your ship – then try these simple but very effective workouts (I used these to get ready for the Hornet filming since I was traveling with family up until the day prior to the shoot).

Pushup Day: 400 pushups in one day – that’s it. I used the Perfect Pushup Mobile but you don’t have to – just drop and give yourself honest pushups sets throughout the day – in my case I paced it at 20 sets of 20 reps – and alternated between regular, close, and wide positions. Once you get comfortable with 400/day – try to ramp to 1000/day – that’s what Herschel Walker was doing in his Heisman Trophy winning days (he claims to have used no weights in his earlier training days – just bodyweight exercises). If 400 sounds too much – then start at 100. Here’s a rule of thumb that I use – do your max number of pushups – in my case it was 40 that morning – then multiply by 10 and that’s the total I did for the day. As you progress, keep re-multiplying and challenging yourself with bigger pushup numbers.

Check back in – let me know about your success – and stay tuned for a whole new set of workouts (and videos!) coming soon. In the meantime, check out our new Mobile Unit TV commercial on the site.

Stay Fired UP!


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday

I am going to start this guest blog with a question I received after my post on Charlie Mike last month (02JUL08)

Dear Mr. Rancich,

I was wondering if you could share any of your tips on how to never quit when your mind and body are both exhausted.

Also, I lost my best buddy who was also my brother. I was wondering if you could share anything about your perspective after losing a close buddy.

So, first one first: my tips for how to never quit when your mind and your body are both exhausted. So everyone knows that Hell Week is five days of grueling-well-hell. But here is the thing about Hell Week---everyone knows that it is a finite evolution, they can't kill you and, perhaps most importantly, that other people have made it through. Exhaustion is not a good place to be, so I try and avoid it. I do that by setting priorities and trying to pace myself. But even then, sometimes I find myself in an exhausting situation, at which time I decide whether or not it is more important to continue or to get rest---if it is truly more important to keep going then that knowledge is what keeps me going. Now, that said, there is a difference between "stopping" and quitting. Stopping is a decision to take a pause, to rebuild and regenerate, and I think it is vitally important. So, I keep going by assessing the situation and determining the best course of action. Once I have picked the best course of action it no longer makes any sense to quit---as that would not be the best course of action, even if I might have to stop at some point to rejuvenate.

But your second question suggests that you are talking of a bigger emotion, so without reading too far into it, my answer is really rather simple: I owe it to them to live well and succeed. I never forget that. I have certainly occasionally wished it was me instead of them; I have certainly felt "survivor's guilt"; I have certainly cursed some of them for the decisions that they made---but in the end I know in my heart that they did not die so that I would be miserable and watch my dreams fade in my despair. No, they died so that I could succeed---and to do anything less is simply unfair to them.

So, not so much "Hooyah and exercise" advice this post---well, unless you read it closely. Think about your life and think about the people you owe and what they want for you---then develop the best course of action to achieve the life you want. Once it is truly the best course of action, it makes no logical sense to quit or let yourself down. ___________________________________________________

Lt. Commander Thomas Rancich, US Navy SEAL (Ret.) is the co-founder of VRHabilis, a disabled veteran-owned small business with the broad vision of increasing career opportunities for disabled veterans in construction and related fields. Rancich and co-founder Elliott Adler are developing an enhanced remote controlled capability for land clearance and target placement. With this device, a disabled vet working from a pickup could be fully operational. VRHabilis, which stands for Veteran Run Work (Latin derivative), is pioneering the concept of using adaptive technology to bridge the gap between industrial and medical technology ... because the highly trained, motivated and adaptable veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are not looking for hand outs but rather the opportunity to reintegrate into the work force.

Through his consulting firm, Off-Shore Consulting, Tom provides professional advice on leadership, team building, program development and strategic vision.

Alden Mills and Tom Rancich served together in the Teams. Tom has been a guest blogger and “on-line” coach for the Perfect Pushup team many times over the past few years: this is his second guest blog on Charlie Mike.