a peek inside the fishbowl

14 Jan, 2008

care to test your strength?

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Misc. life

I’m reading a couple books in the popular “YOU” series, specifically, “YOU: the owner’s manual” and “YOU: on a diet”. I borrowed them from the library.

Have you read either of these? The writing is a little too Looneyspoons for my liking (if you catch my drift), but I will admit that the style (as looney as it is) makes the information more digestible than mashed bananas on a warm plate – thus easy to read.


What I do like about them is that they go into the science behind health, nutrition and weight (or as they put it) waist-management.

There’s a chapter in one of these books (I can’t find it now) in which the authors talk about upper body strength. Apparently, woman my age (35) should be able to do 45 push-ups. That’s FOURTY FIVE push-ups – albeit of the girly knee-on-the-floor variety… but STILL. Fourty five!

I thought I was in pretty good shape. I’ve been going to gym 5x week! I tried doing 45, but struggled to get to 40. In fact, by #38 I was a heap of soggy jello, ready to collapse. But I pushed myself to 40 and did it.

I tried it on three separate occasions. I can only do 40, but I will continue to try to reach 45. That’s my goal.

But I want to know, how many can you do? G’wan. I dare you to drop and try 45. Come back and tell me how you did. 

15 Responses to "care to test your strength?"

1 | DaniGirl

January 14th, 2008 at 10:25 am


I’ve never read any weight-loss book, but I picked up You On a Diet this time last year and really liked it. As you said, a little simple and silly, but I credit that bit about the science and biology of how we process what we eat with the 10 lbs I managed to lose before I found out I was pregnant. I’ve recommended it to a handful of people, and will go back to my copy for a refresher, one of these months!

2 | DaniGirl

January 14th, 2008 at 10:26 am


P.S. 45 push-ups? Youch! I can do about half that, if nobody is watching my form too closely!

3 | Vicki

January 14th, 2008 at 12:27 pm


I really like the YOU books, and am slowly going thru YOU on a diet. I actually like the writing, it’s silly enough to keep me interested, with lots of facts about the inner workings about my body that I am ashamed to admit, I never knew. As for the 45 sit ups….fuggetabout it!!

4 | mel

January 14th, 2008 at 1:16 pm


Ummm… eight? (And I’m 29!)

5 | Jen_nifer

January 14th, 2008 at 2:13 pm


I started going to the gym again in June. I started with girly push-ups. Once I got to 10 I started with regular “manly” push-ups.

I haven’t been to the gym in the month, and did 8 manly push-ups today. 45 girly push-ups does sound like a healthy number. I’m working my way to 10 manly ones, and if I get to 20 I’ll feel like a super hero!

I would try the girly ones now, but I’m afraid of the reaction to exercising in my cubicle. :)

6 | Kim

January 14th, 2008 at 2:36 pm


lol. I can push out about 5. maybe.

I too have been intrigued by the You series. I watched the two tv programs and am currently listening to the You: Staying Young audiobook on my ipod. They are quirky but I love them!

No more Hydrogenated oils!


7 | juls

January 14th, 2008 at 8:17 pm


15. How embarrassing. And I am a new mom carrying around a 22lb 8 month old. You’d think I would have arms of steal. Now I really know how out of shape I am. Sigh…

8 | Javamom

January 14th, 2008 at 8:57 pm


I’m like juls except mine are 2 years and 3 months…lifting either is sometimes causing me some tingling in my arms. A sign of not enough upper arm strength??

I hate pushups. Even the girly ones. But then, I’m not going to Jamaica…

Happy vacation!

9 | Julie

January 15th, 2008 at 9:07 am


I got to 22… what a joke! How many sit ups are you supposed to be able to do?

10 | andrea

January 15th, 2008 at 2:06 pm


I can’t find the passage but I don’t think they said anything about sit-ups. (I don’t even want to think about THAT.)

I just re-did my pushups, and I did 45! Yay me! The trick is to go as fast as you can before your body realizes it’s in pain. ;)

11 | mel

January 15th, 2008 at 6:46 pm


Okay, now I can get to 12 using the “go as fast as you can” trick… but in my defence, I shoveled snow twice today!

Now it’s on. I’m going to keep working at this one.

12 | Bushidoka

January 18th, 2008 at 12:41 pm


How many is a 40 year old man supposed to be able to do?

13 | andrea

January 18th, 2008 at 1:26 pm


I found the passage:

“To gauge upper-body muscular stamina, do the push-up test (men in standard form; women can do it with knees on the floor). A thirty-year-old man should be able to do at least thirty-five (five less every decade after that, until he reaches seventy). A thirty-year-old woman should be able to do fourty-five with knees on floor (five less every decade after until she reaches eighty.)

There’s another POV about this here. Check it.

14 | scatteredmom

January 19th, 2008 at 1:48 am



I don’t know if I can do FIVE.

It’s an old (cough cough) shoulder injury. Yep..that’s the story…and I’m sticking to it!

No really, I did injure my shoulder and it’s taken a long time to get it sort of okay, but 45 push ups would kill me. I’ll try for 20.

15 | Lindsay

February 17th, 2008 at 4:09 pm


Well, I got to about 9 doing manly pushups and then I started doing the girly ones and I got to about 30-38 or so.

But still, I’m only 13…

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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