The world loves shiny packaging. People have forgotten to look for the real value of a product and can easily be deceived by glossy boxes with tits on them. The process is facilitated by the media which acts as a mediator between the man and the cosmos. Through manipulation of the five senses, we are blinded by commercial lighting and disinformation.
A simple example would be the action heroes from movies who get really muscular by doing only push-ups. The directors accomplish this effect by relying on shredded guys, which may or may not be natty, and a lot of editing. As a result, naive teenagers start obsessing over push-ups and embrace the idea that the exercise is the ultimate way to get ripped like their idols. Ironically, in many situations, push-ups may not even be a part of the actors’ actual training programs. The only one hurt in the end is the ignorant spectator who is misled into thinking that push-ups are an advanced exercise that could lead to otherworldly development.
It’s true that push-ups are a decent movement with many positive sides – they are kinder to your shoulder girdle than the bench press and allow you train everywhere. However, if you want them to be effective, you have to program them accordingly and switch to harder variations or add weight instead of chasing some arbitrary numbers like 100. Ultra-high reps are a good way to build endurance but are inefficient when your goal is to become stronger.
High rep push-ups are not going to make you stronger after a certain threshold is reached. Who is stronger? A man capable of 100 push-ups or the one doing 50? You don’t know because after a certain level repetitions are not an indicator of strength. Some people are better at high rep sets while others do well with low numbers. It depends mainly on your muscle fiber distribution, ability to overclock your CNS during heavy sets and training focus.
When I first started training I was often visiting a mainstream website which was occasionally showing the alleged workouts of Hollywood celebrities. The images and the words of the authors convinced me that by doing push-ups with different grips I could build a ton of muscle. Didn’t happen. Today, I know that the mainstream media rarely reveal the actual fundamental principles behind success.
You do many things in a day, a month, a year or ultimately your whole life. However, only a few of them actually make a difference. The rest is fluff that does not produce measurable progress even though it’s needed in some situations. The media and the economic system don’t want us to know about anything other than the fluff. Playing with the lazy and programmable human nature offers more benefits for corporations compared to telling the truth.
That’s why instead of showing us the true way to get stronger and leaner, the TV keeps on inserting shallow flesh-based images in humanoids’ heads. This results in false beliefs that often push you away from your real goals. A perfect example would be the machines designed to shape your midsection while you are watching your favorite movies.
I have nothing against the ability to do 100 push-ups. It will definitely improve your physical condition, but you have to realize what you are actually doing.
And by the way, you are not going to get shredded as a side effect because your diet is the most important factor when it comes to body fat reduction.
The actual benefits of 100 push-ups are:
improved work capacity of the anterior deltoids, triceps, chest, serratus anterior and core
hypertrophy (if you are untrained)
That’s it. I am sorry, but you are not going to become a ninja thanks to the mythical 100 push-ups in a row.
P.S. The post revealing the natural potential has been updated.
BRAVO! Great articles, one after another. The world is a “sparkly, magical, Disney-esque, illusion!” Jesus said – “Beware of men.” (Matthew 10:17). So true. I very much like your take on the perma-bulking crowd. I hate to break it to Rippetoe, but fat, slow, out of condition men are actually EASIER to kill!!! Ha!