Crackle Crackle!

That’s the sound my left knee makes. I’m assuming that’s not a good thing.

I worry it’s the result of a sparring match in karate class last week. I went in for a kick to my opponent’s ribs, and he raised his knee to block. The top of my shin, about an inch or so below the knee, connected hard with his knee and it’s been hurting ever since. The only external sign of injury is a small red mark, but I’m sure there’s a nice bruise deep inside and I’m wondering if that’s what’s lead to the problem in the knee. No pain (yet), just noise. I’m taking a break from the running as a result, as the last thing I need is to aggravate the problem.

Meantime, I’m going to try the One Hundred Push-Ups program. I’ve improved my push-ups quite a bit since starting karate, and the program suggests I start at Week 3. Cut the program from six weeks to four? I can deal with that. It’ll be fun to see if I can make the same gains.

I’ve learned push-ups are important to my karate as well. There’s a physical requirement to making black belt in my style, Shuri-ryu, and my school tests prospective black belts on six exercises: jump rope, push-ups, sit-ups, two dumbbell exercises, and front kicks. They want black belts to hit 45 consecutive push-ups.

I’m getting there, as I’m now able to hit at least 30 consistently. It’d be nice to blow that number out of the water, though. While a black belt does not have to hit 45 push-ups, my understanding is if you can’t, it counts against you in your overall score. This means your kata, techniques, written test, and so on, all have to be just that much better to make up for any physical deficiencies. My black belt test is at least a couple of years off, so it makes sense to start now.

Not to mention that it’s just good for me, period.

Then there’s sit-ups. Black belts are shooting for 75. I don’t do as bad at sit-ups as one might expect given my size, but I’m certainly not going to hit 75 any time soon. I wondered if there was a similar program for sit-ups, looked through the site’s links, and found Two Hundred Sit-Ups. Then I clicked the link and learned it’s actually two hundred crunches. Swell. Somehow I can actually execute more of what most people think of as a sit-up than I can a crunch; the middle of my abs gives out before my hips and lower abs so. And neither are comfortable as I near my limit.

I must be a masochist. But again, it’s good for me. If I keep at ’em, maybe this belly will be less in the way and I can execute them better.

The real question is whether to keep these programs separate or execute them together. I’ll have to give that some thought. Meanwhile, if anyone out there has tried them together, I’d love to hear about it. Official initial test will be this weekend. First workout will be Monday.

Incidentally, this summer when I get sick of working upper body, I can move on to Two Hundred Squats. Woo!

About Mike Oliveri

Mike Oliveri is a writer, martial artist, cigar aficionado, motorcyclist, and family man, but not necessarily in that order. He is currently hard at work on the werewolf noir series The Pack for Evileye Books.

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  1. Noah L says:

    Sorry to hear about the knee, but good luck on the Pushup program! I did the One Hundred Pushups plan for a while, but I started on Week 2 and made it four weeks. I tell you what, though, I wouldn’t do it after doing a lot of situps, though. I had to do what Sensei Ramon here in AZ called “The 300”, which was 100 pushups, 100 situps, and 100 burpees. You need your abs to keep your body supported during pushups, and after 100 of them, it was awfully hard to keep my belly off the ground while doing the burpees :P

    • Mike says:

      The abs are what I’m sweating, especially the way my crunches go. That tears it: I’ll start with push-ups and do some crunches on the side until I’m ready to tackle the 200 program.

  2. paul stanley says:

    You can do it. I trained in Shuri-Ryu for several years. We got to the point of timing the physicaL not just doing them. We got them done well under an hour. Remember, transcend your ability and find a dedicated workout partner. Good luck.

  3. Mike says:

    Thanks, Paul. I’ve actually made a bit of progress since then, and the knee has healed up nicely, so things are on the right track. Looking at ikkyu sometime this year, so I’ve got some time to keep at it before I need to sweat a black belt test!