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Dr. Morehouse: What He Really Meant
 
 
John Peterson John Peterson is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 14,294
07-09-2020, 02:47 PM
 
Hello Everyone,

A man that has read several of the archived posts on our forum has contacted me about something that he read in the book "Total Fitness in 30 Minutes a Week" by Leonard Gross and Dr. Lawrence E. Morehouse.

The book he referenced is more than forty-five years old and yet it is as current today as it was when it was written.

Anyway, I was asked about Dr. Morehouse's recommendation on the Push-Up exercise and how in order to increase resistance he stated that one should continue to elevate one's feet until ultimately you'd be in a handstand position.

As I was talking to this man, I told him that even though I have not referenced that book in a very long while that that was NOT what Dr. Morehouse really taught but that he was just giving an example of how one could make an exercise more difficult. HOWEVER, since I had many discussions with Dr. Morehouse, I can tell you that he was more than aware that if you change the angle of any given exercise you are also changing the muscles brought into play. So the bottom line is that if you are trying to enhance strength at a given angle you will not do so by changing the angle. This is where you need to use a little logic and common sense. For instance, if you like the effects you are getting from the Standard Atlas Push-up this is where you can either increase repetitions or start training at a much slower tempo and really feel the muscles contracting with each and every repetition or you can increase resistance by using a lightweight vest and cutting your repetitions way back and rebuild to the reps you were at before the weight vest. For example, if you had worked up to sets of 50 repetitions with the Atlas Push-Up you might add 10 pounds to a weight vest and start again from 25 reps per set and build back up to 50 reps a set at which time you can add more weight and continue your progression. Granted 10 pounds doesn't sound like much at all but when you're doing high volume exercise it adds up quickly so don't be surprised that it would take you many weeks to build back to 50 rep sets.

The real take away is to realize that the angles you exercise your muscles at will have a different result than other angles. For example: if you are doing a Living Strength Push-Up with the feet elevated to 36" and your hands on 12" boxes that are 21" apart you have a 24" drop between the height of the feet and the height of your hands. If you were to have your feet elevated to 24" and your hands at 12" you'd be changing the effect on the muscles used considerably and the same is true if you had hands and feet all elevated at 12" at which time you would be doing the same exercise as a standard push-up on the floor with the exception that you could achieve a considerable stretch that could not be achieved with a standard floor push-up.

---John Peterson
 
 
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