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Old November 20th 08, 06:42 PM posted to,,
Steve Freides
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Posts: 2,029
Default How often should i do pushups and squats?

"Chris Malcolm" wrote in message
In Jim Janney wrote:

Hello. How often should I do pushups and squats? I'm a thin guy; I
don't intend to lose weight. I don't want to use equipment, I need
calisthenic exercises I can do anywhere. I want to do them to ward
against stiffness, and also to keep a toned body without getting
bulked up. Should I do them: twice a day, once a day, every other

I also intend to the do bicycle crunches. How often should I do

You can do bodyweight exercises every day if you like. The reason is
that after you get strong enough to do ten to twenty repetitions
you're primarily training endurance rather than strength. Strength
training generally requires more recovery time than endurance

Unless like me you're no longer young and start doing that from a
position of long term unfitness and only at first able to a very few
of the exercise. I did that, and developed muscular strength so much
faster than tendon and joint strength that by the time I'd got up to
ten I'd seriously knackered joints and tendons. It took me over a year
to recover. As a result of that experience I'd advise not doing any
the next day if it hurts a bit, and waiting until the soreness has
gone before resuming the exercise.

I now do them nearly every day without problems, but it took a long
time to get up to that level of robustness in all the musculature
tendons and joints involved.

There are other approaches which I advocate - use a moderately heavy
weight and don't do high reps. The addition of muscle tension,
especially in people who don't have a high skill level in a particular
movement, can actually make it safer - the muscle tension will tight up
the joints. I know this might sound counterintuitive but don't assume
that your year got you stronger connective tissue - it may simply be
that your skill at performing the exercise improved so that the load
actually goes where it's supposed to.

For example, a 5-rep set with a 10-rep max will, IMHO, work a lot better
for more people new to lifting than will a high rep daily calesthenics
routine. The right amount of resistance can effectively enforce good