Back when I was 11 years old, I would go to the library a lot on Sundays to read. It was free, and my dad rather I do that than hang out with the wrong crowd.
This particular Sunday, I saw a Sports Illustrated article on Herschel Walker, the Georgia Bulldogs running back. I love bulldogs, I was crazy about Football, watched college games every weekend, and read anything I could get my hands on about Football.
Herschel Walker really stuck out to me as he was touted the best college running back at the time. A track star en route to winning the Heisman trophy for the best college Football player, a bobsledder, sprinter, and mixed martial artist later in his career.
What caught my eye was that he did push-ups & situps every day. 3,500 push-ups, 3,500 sit-ups total per day, every day.
He did this from public school all the way to college. It stuck with me so much that I decided from that day on I will do push-ups every day.
I started out with 100 a day at 11 years old until I got to 2,000 per day by the time I was 15 years old.
My friends thought I was crazy, but I got strong and conditioned.
To this day, this foundation has never left me. It gives me the base for a stronger bench, but more importantly, it transferred into all the sports I was playing, and stresses of daily life in a neighborhood where physical prowess can save your or a life.
Why am I on this subject about push-ups? Because I know that foundation is not in the kids I see today.
Ever since Maria Subban pushed me to work with younger kids because she sees the detrimental bullshit that the kids are going through nowadays, I finally realized why.
In the last 3 years that my team and I have been working with younger athletes as young as 8 years old, one thing that stands out to me is that fundamentals of strength are not taught or preached anymore.
These young kids 8-13 years old coming to us, can’t even do 10 proper push-ups. And it’s not just them, it’s their teammates, it’s their classmates, it’s their parents too. That is crazy.
And it is my social responsibility to ensure no kids should be at risk of injuries as they progress in athletics. Kids must learn at an early age to move and control their own body weight. Push-ups, chin-ups, situps are a great way to build that base.
People are more discouraged nowadays when they can’t accomplish what others are doing, but we fail to realize that it took years. If I looked at Hershel back then and saw him do 3,500, I’m not going to believe I can do 3,500 to start. Nor was I thinking that I could in 3 years. It’s progression, and it’s this journey that in our current world of instant gratification that we give up in our minds before we even start.
So how do you build up?
Start with doing 50 a day. 25 in the morning and 25 at night. You can do 5 sets of 5 reps. Build that to 100, then 150 then 200 a day. Try to add 20 reps total (10 in the morning, 10 at night) a day every week you progress.
I did this every day, but you can start with 3x a week. Starting is the hardest, and I promise if you keep it up, go one day a time, over time in 6-10 weeks, you’re going not believe how far you’ve gotten.