Archive for the tag - push ups

Can You Get Fit Without a Gym?

Dear Davey,

I’m new to working out and want to build my muscles.

Here’s my question: Can I get fit without a gym? Thousands of years before gym existed, there were strong warriors and athletes. So is it possible to achieve a muscular build with just push-ups, pull-ups and so on?


Hey Tarooj,

Actually, gyms did exist in ancient times. The Greeks are credited with inventing gyms; they were state-of-the-art facilities in which their athletes trained for public games.

Having said that, there are many great exercises that require no gym equipment. These bodyweight exercises – combined with cardiovascular exercise – can yield some fantastic results for beginners and avid exercisers alike. In fact, my Jock Workout is an equipment-free workout that anyone can use at home. These bodyweight exercises are great for a lean, ripped and defined look.

However, bodyweight exercises do have their limitations. For one, building your muscles necessitates increasing the amount of resistance you’re working against. At a gym, for example, it’s very easy to progress to a heavier dumbbell. But with a push-up, you’re always working against your own body weight.

In other words, it’s harder to make the same gains with bodyweight exercises. If you want to add a serious amount of muscle to your frame, having access to equipment, dumbbells and barbells will result in faster, more efficient gains.

Since you’re new to working out, you’ll likely see some amazing gains doing bodyweight workouts. But, if you feel like you’ve reached a plateau, I’d recommend incorporating some dumbbell, barbell and equipment exercises into your workout. Many exercise enthusiasts – myself included – enjoy routines that include both bodyweight exercises and gym equipment.


How To Get Davey Wavey’s Chest.

It shouldn't be about creating Davey's chest so much as it should be about building the best version of your own!

A lot of people send me emails asking about my chest and the exercises that I use to build and maintain it. While I’m happy to share my chest routine, I don’t think it should be about trying to emulate my chest. I think it should be about creating a stronger, healthier chest for yourself. It’s about building your best chest – not mine.

Having said that, most people are surprised to find out that my chest workout is only 35 minutes long – and that I perform it only once or twice a week. I’m a huge fan of effective and efficient workouts. None of us – unless you’re training for the Olympics – need to be spending hours and hours at the gym. And in many cases, longer workouts can actually be detrimental.

At any rate, my typical chest workout consists of four basic exercises:

  • 4 sets of 8 reps on the flat bench press @ 185 lbs
  • 4 sets of 8 reps on the incline bench press @ 145 lbs
  • 4 sets of 8 reps on the decline bench press @ 165 lbs
  • 4 sets of 8 reps of 45 lb dumbbell pec flies

I use free weights since I have access to a gym, but many people – especially beginners – will see great results even if they start with body weight exercises like push-ups. In other words, you’ll need to modify my routine to make it your own.

Beyond doing effective exercises with good form, it’s important to remember a few things when aiming to build a bigger chest:

  1. Fatigue on last rep. Whatever weight you currently use, you should be fatigued after the last repetition. If you aim for 8 reps like myself, and if you want bigger muscles, then you should be unable to perform a 9th rep. If you can do a 9th rep, then you need to add more weight.
  2. Progression. In order to build bigger chest muscles, progressing to heavier levels of resistance is absolutely necessary. As your muscles build, you’ll have to increase the amount of resistance to maintain muscle failure on the last rep. You muscles only grow if they are forced to do so – and so progression is a requirement.
  3. Fuel your body with proper nutrition. Ensure that you are getting both protein and carbs after your workout – and that you are meeting your daily requirement of protein. Moreover, proper nutrition will support a lean body mass to help increase muscular definition. Do your best to eat like a caveman.
  4. Time. Allow yourself some time; Rome wasn’t built in a day. And it takes serious time and dedication to transform your body. But a year from now, you’ll be glad that you started today.

There’s really no magic to it. A stronger and healthier chest is just a matter of effective exercises combined with a little fitness know-how.

Can You Handle the “Ultimate” Push-up?

Here, an execiser performs a variation of the "ultimate" push-up by placing her feet on a bench.

I’m a big fan of push-ups. You can do them anywhere and they’re hugely effective. In fact, I love push-ups so much that I made a YouTube video with 17 variations.

But today, I discovered the ULTIMATE push-up; it builds strength, increases coordination and improves balance. It also totally kicked my butt – and I hope it kicks yours, too.

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Get into the starting push-up position while gripping a weight plate in each hand. I prefer using 10 lb weight plates.
  2. Brace your core and balance the free weight on its side (see the woman in the picture – though you won’t need to put your feet on a bench if you’re using small weights). You’re essentially balancing yourself on a weight plate.
  3. Hold this position for 30 – 60 seconds. It’s no small feat.
  4. Then, perform push-ups. Try for sets of 10 reps.

If it’s too hard to find your balance, you could use medicine balls instead of the weight plates. If it’s too easy, you can introduce some variations like lifting one leg at a time or using bigger weight plates and placing your feet on a bench.

Either way, it’s super challenging – and super effective. Enjoy!

17 Push-up Variations. [Video]

For the next three weeks, I’m taking a break from civilized life by living in the wilds of New Hampshire. And though I’ve been here less than 24-hours, I’ve already secured a vacation gym. Obsessions! Priorities!

Despite being in the middle of nowhere, I was able to find a small gym only 10 minutes from my treehouse (yes, I’m living in a treehouse). I had my first workout this morning, and I was surprised to discover that my new gym lacks a bench press. In fact, the gym has no equipment with barbells – and only a small selection of dumbbells.

What’s a fitness enthusiast to do? Fear not.

I’m accustomed to limited gym equipment. In fact, my university gym only had a handful of machines and treadmills – there was not a dumbbell, free weight or barbell to be found. And I survived thrived for 4 wonderful years.

As it turns out, unless you want to look like Arnold, you really don’t need a bunch of fancy equipment to stay healthy and fit. You may need a little innovation and creativity – but don’t let a lack of equipment hold you back. For the majority of Americans that don’t have a gym membership, this news is good news. But the “no gym? no problem!” reality also eliminates a series of powerful excuses:

  • I’m not going to workout because I don’t belong to a gym.
  • I’m not going to get in shape because there are no gyms nearby.
  • I’m not going to exercise because I can’t afford a gym.

As Wayne Dyer likes to say, “Excuses begone!” But I digress.

At any rate, here are 17 push-up variations for a crazy chest workout that requires no equipment or supplies:

Give these 17 variations a try and let me know what you think in the comments below!

Davey Wavey Spills the Beans: Chest Workout Secrets. [Video]

Okay – so it’s one of the most common questions that I get: “Davey Wavey, what do you do for your chest workout?” I decided it would be easiest to answer that question once and for all through a post on my Davey Wavey Fitness YouTube channel: