Monday, March 17, 2008

An Oldie but Goodie - the Push-Up

This article appeared in the New York Times on March 11, 2008.

What caught my eye:
"Based on national averages, a 40-year-old woman should be able to do 16 push-ups and a man the same age should be able to do 27. By the age of 60, those numbers drop to 17 for men and 6 for women."
What can we make of these numbers? How many honest pushups can you do?

I remember how we used to knock off insane numbers of pushups at the whims and fancies of instructors back in Basic Military Training. "Knock it down!" was probably the most oft-heard phrase during boot camp, and as soon as we heard the phrase pass the lips of whichever military superior we happened to be at the mercy of, we would fall to the ground and get ready to knock off a few dozen good ones. Except that they probably weren't "good ones" in that respect - speed and vigor in rattling off the reps seemed to count for far more than chest-to-deck, nose-to-ground, immaculate form. Well, I suppose they still met their purpose in being a form of physical heckling for our myriad incompetencies then!

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