Weightlifting & Exercise/Push-up troubles


QUESTION: Hey Karen, so I'm an incoming, college freshman as well as an army ROTC cadet.  As you can guess, I've been working very hard this summer to get in shape for ROTC. My sit-ups and running are coming along great (in fact I just got a 12:44 two mile, besting the PT high score by 16 seconds), push-ups on the other hand aren't going as great. I've been doing them since about may and I am currently on my second attempt at the popular 100 push-up challenge 6 week, 3 days a week, workout. Im almost positive I've hit a very tough plateau as I've been on week 6 for about 4 weeks now, unable to complete each days workout completely. In fact, it seems it's almost getting harder. A perfect score in the army is 72 push-ups and I'm struggling to get 60 even after more than a summers worth of work.  Also I leave for school in a week but would really appreciate some sort of plateau busting workout or any tips to help further prepare me for this year.  Thanks alot!!

ANSWER: Spencer,
What exactly is your workout?  That will help me make suggestions.  Sorry it took me so long.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Well each week it follows a pattern of Monday - 5 sets, each having a high number of reps, then Wednesday is 9 sets with lower reps, Friday mimicking Wednesday save for higher reps in each of the 9 sets. At first I was stuck in Mondays workout, so I did that for about two weeks until I could get it then I had to do the same process for the "Wednesday" workout and now I'm stuck on the "Friday workout". This week I tried to follow a workout more like a "Monday", meaning low sets but high reps thinking it will switch things up a bit and allow me to complete the workout given for Fridays. I'm sorry if this was all confusing, you can see the workout online at hundredpushups.com
Thanks, and you weren't late at all!

What exercises are you doing? Are you working chest alone? How many body parts, what specific exercises.  For example

Monday. 3 sets of each exercise with heavy weights. 10 reps.
Chest press
Pec dec
Tricep work
Back rows

Do you lift AND DO PUSH UPS?

That's what I need to understand.  

Weightlifting & Exercise

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Karen Fili Sullivan


Get on the inside track with Karen and her daily advice. http://karenfilisullivan.com. Or on FacebookLIKE us at ZWL - Zen of Whole Living I have more than 30 years experience and can help with lifting technique, muscle recovery, weight loss, body building and powerlifting. I've been certified by AFPA as a Personal Trainer and 12 years ago acquired a second certification from the same agency as a Post Rehabilitative Exercise Specialist. Any recommendations or advice rendered are based on fitness information as specified by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Fitness Professionals and Associates. Follow my Blog on http://karenfilisullivan.com


Almost 25 years coaching and training. Wow! I feel old. Before that I was a competitive bodybuilder and powerlifter (ask my Chiropractor -- he can tell you). I have trained kids ages 12 to 89. From sports specific training to stroke rehabilitation. I love helping people move more gracefully, powerfully and safely.

A few.

Published in Spring of 2013 The Zen of Weight Loss: A Mindful, Livable Approach to Fitness Get your copy at Square Market. https://squareup.com/market/body-restoration-by-karen/zen-of-weight-loss-in-mo

English with a Journalism concentration was my college education. My training has been with my mentor, Jack Michaels, ACSM and professor at the College of William and Mary. My certifications are with the American Fitness Professionals and Associates. AFPA. I hold a certification as a Personal Trainer and a Post Rehabilitation Exercise Expert (Isn't that a mouthful?l). My continuing education requirements have been fulfilled at a number of organizations and are monitored by AFPA. I keep my Red Cross CPR and First Aid current.

Awards and Honors

Past/Present Clients
Clients include athletes training for marathons, mountain climbing and general weight loss. In addition I have clients troubled with COPD, Fibromyalgia, and Parkinsons as well as stroke rehab. She was the Strength and Conditioning coach for Williamsburg Aquatic Club, a USA Swim Team, in Williamsburg, Virginia for 3 years.   Karen is presently working at Main Street Gym in Historic St. Charles, Missouri where she teaches Pilates and continues her work with clients. Her training reaches across the country with her long distance Body Restoration eTraining. Her dedication to fitness reaches into the nutritional supplementation with Shaklee products. She only works with clients who add nutritional supplementation to their training. Read more of her story on www.shaklee.net/BodyRestoration

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.