Posts Tagged pull ups

Here’s How Chris Ivey Trained To Do 103 Pushups in 2 Minutes To Earn First Place in His Navy Boot Camp Competition

After graduating high school in 2005, I gave college one semester and withdrew to join the Armed Forces. I had wanted to join the military since my early teens for personal satisfaction and to continue our family tradition. I went to a recruiting office and met with recruiters for the Marines and Navy. My mother begged me not to become a Marine, because of their tip-of-the-spear philosophy in war. Between how she felt and the encouragement of my cousin, who would end up enlisting with me, I ended up choosing to be a sailor instead of a soldier. It was mid-January ’06 when I signed my contract to leave for boot camp in early March; it gave me 2 1/2 months for training.

Chris Ivey showing his stuff—Spring 2009

Chris Ivey showing his stuff—Spring 2009

In high school I was active, athletic and weight-lifted frequently. However, since graduation I had rarely worked out. This meant I was going to start from scratch to become boot-camp ready. My plan of attack was to stick strictly to calisthenics; more specifically, running, pull-ups, sit-ups, push-ups and dips. The high frequency and lightweight exercises were going to keep me lean, strong and quick. Perfect for the functional strength I would need. Also, at 6’2 and 180 lbs, I was not trying to lose any weight. In fact, I was trying to gain 5-10 lbs.

I joined the local gym, even though I did not use the machines, and found a secluded corner to do my push-ups in. I had a basic principle to my workouts: max out every day. Where as some may say to themselves, “I have to only do 100 push-ups before I can get out of here today,” I never put limitations on my exercises and would just do as many reps as possible in my gym session. I started off by doing as many sets of 30 push-ups as I could. In the first several days of working out, my sets were adding up to between 90 and 120 push-ups. I was also doing sit-ups, pull-ups and chin-ups at this time. Sit-ups were between 100 and 150—a 100 set and a 50 set. I would rotate my pull-ups and chin-ups between wide-grip to normal chin-ups and normal pull-ups; all in sets of 10. They were adding up to 30-40 overall reps. After my routine I would run a mile on the treadmill to cool down.

Chris Ivey in boot camp—2006

Chris Ivey in boot camp—2006

The first two weeks were pretty brutal. I was working out 4-5 times a week and was constantly sore, but by the second week I was seeing gains. The lightweight and high repetition workouts were great for definition, which was becoming evident. Gaining weight was not happening easily, but I was at least maintaining well. I kept at my simple routine and philosophy of maxing out.

After the second week, reps increased rapidly across the board. By my fifth week I was up to 400-600 push-ups in a session. The reps had slightly evolved: I would warm up with sets of 50 until I had finished 150 total. I was rotating my push-ups between close-grip, normal and wide-grip. My pull-ups and chin-ups were totaling 90 and 120. Sit-ups were ranging from 200 to 300. In terms of running, my least favorite activity, I was still doing between just one and two miles for my cool down. It was around this time that I hit a plateau, and increases in reps became pretty much non-existent. By now I also had gained 5 lbs.

Before I knew it, I was catching a plane with my cousin—we ended up going through boot camp together—and two other local recruits to Great Lakes, Illinois for Navy boot camp. I was very fit by now, but still a little anxious about what was to come. After arriving, we were put into divisions. My division was #151, comprised of 40 girls and 40 guys. We also had a brother division with the same proportions of girls and guys. We split the bunkroom with the guys from the other division and did nearly everything together. Read the rest of this entry »

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And Even More Gym Records—701 Ball Crunches And 10+10 Pull Ups+Chin Ups

For the 9th time in a month, I exercised, 8 of the times in a gym. I had mentioned that I did 500 crunches and was told about a guy who does 1000. So I went to beat my record and did 150+150+200 crunches with legs on exercise ball and back on floor (60 seconds in between sets) and then a two minute break followed by 201 crunches—could have done more— with back on floor and smaller ball between knees in the air. I’m not rising up much, but I am tensing the abs, which are growing. This total for the ball is 701, compared to the earlier record on July 21st of 360!

After that record, I did a few machines and went to the chin up bar, where I bested my previous record of 10 pull ups + 8 chin ups by doing 10+10. Felt great.

Don’t know where this strength is coming from. Maybe it is inspired by the Chris Ivey push up story that I just received…

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More Gym Records—500 Crunches and 11 Chin Ups

Went to the gym today–the 7th time in the month–and there was another exercise hour at home. So I might make 9 sessions this month! Set two new records today: did 300 bicycle crunches–this was three sets of 100 each (up from 290 in four sets!). Then I did 200 crunches using the exercise ball for my legs with back on the floor (up from 150).

After that, another record, sort of: did 11 chin ups followed in five minutes by just 6 pull ups. Previous record is 10+8…maybe it still stands if I look at the totals. But 11 is 10% better than 10, and I am a bit closer to my goal of 25. Sure have to gut out the last two.

Not pleased with the minimal growth of my lats. May have to change the routine more. But the abs are appearing. One gym rat said he sees his abs best when brushing his teeth. Maybe that is where I take the next photo.

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Exercise Report—Two New Records: 300 Normal Crunches; 10+6 Chin Ups+Pull Ups

Practiced squash today at the prep school courts of the club I just joined. Such an exhausting sport. I love it. What a workout. Too tired to look at local fireworks.

Last night at the gym late—done at 9pm. Two new personal bests: 300 crunches (3 sets of 100 each) with the exercise ball (not the bicycle-type crunches, which are much harder) and 10 chin ups followed by 6 pull ups (increased from 10 + 4 1/2). On June 16 I was at 135 crunches with the exercise ball. That’s progress to me. I am loving the chinning bar. I want to move along it like a ninja.

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Exercise Report

Yesterday I did 48 push ups (10 breaths) then 12 more (then 10 breaths) then 9 more…and the phone rang. So 69, a current record.

At the gym I did 200 bicycle crunches (3 sets) (new record) and also 10 pull ups (another record–up from 8) followed by 6½ chin ups. Some progress. And that is 7 visits to the gym this month. I am thinking and feeling that twice a week is not enough.

Still can’t figure out how to flex my abs. What is my problem?

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Some Gym Progress and Tennis Movement Way Backwards

Played tennis again this week and went to the gym twice. The good news is that I did 150 bicycle crunches (3 sets of 50) and then today actually had some sets of 60 ab crunches on the exercise ball.

On the chinning bar, I did 8 pull ups, when I did those first—and then just 6 chin ups—and today I did 10 chin ups—when I did those first—followed after a break by just 4½ pull ups. These are new records for me. Both days I did the usual stretches and various machines and some free weights. And here is another accomplished set of abs for inspiration:

ryan reynolds must work out a lot

ryan reynolds must work out a lot

After Tuesday’s terrible tennis, I hit with my son for an hour on Wednesday, and was pretty consistent. I was raring to go Thursday, but played poorly yet again. Serve no good, forehands too long, awful. After the doubles losses, I played singles with one of the guys, took a 5-1 lead and then lost lost lost until we were at 6-6. Then I blew the tie breaker 2-7. What was that all about? Just a normal slump?

I was attempting a different serve, a spin serve. I was trying a different toss. That may have messed me up, along with being tired from so much activity (four hours on Tuesday, 2 hours on Wednesday). But that doesn’t excuse all the other poor shots.

I practiced alone for an hour and did great. Then I picked up a hitting partner who was more powerful than any of the guys I played doubles with, and I was stroking fantastically. I can’t explain it…other than recalling those famous words about how one should play the game as relaxedly as when one is practicing.

Tomorrow I will play squash at my friend’s court–first games in ages. Can’t wait to see how I do, now that I can hit the ball so much better and have worked at volleys, rail shots and service returns.

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Can You Work Out Well At Home? I Can’t.

May 24, 2009

Well I did NOT make it to the gym yesterday. But I did work out at home, but with lots of interruptions and distractions. Hard to focus. Think I need the gym to concentrate. Read the rest of this entry »

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