For many years, I’ve been terrible at push ups. That wasn’t always the case, until about 6 or 7 years ago when I had a shoulder injury I couldn’t seem to get past. While they no longer aggravate my shoulder, I’ve stayed away from this simple fundamental exercise for no reason other than by taking many years off them, I became quite bad at them. A set of 10 is maximum effort and never mind being able to do 20 or 30 in a row.
Instead of practicing them and slowly building up my tolerance, I became someone who doesn’t do push ups anymore. I would occasionally do a few sets here and there, and every single time, proclaim that I need to spend more time doing them but not do any at all.
When the September Habit Challenge started, I knew that’s what I needed to work on. For the last 8 days, I’ve done 30 push ups everyday. After the first day, I thought I might need to lower the number to 20, or maybe only 15. It was hard, harder than I wanted it to be and felt they should be. I went slow, did small sets and spread them out throughout the whole afternoon. Same thing the next day. On the fourth day though, I cranked them out in two sets of 15!
The practicing everyday, or doing them frequently, has allowed me to adapt to doing push ups. They feel good on my shoulders, my range of motion is becoming better and I feel stronger doing them. Sometimes, when we want to get better at something, we need frequency in order to improve. When I was doing push ups once a week, I didn't see the progress like I am while doing them everyday.
When something is important to you, or you want to improve, add in some daily practice as a way to kickstart your improvement and build some momentum. As legendary strength coach, Dan John, says, if it’s important, do it everyday.