A Message to the Genius Who Invented the Push-up

Starting position, front leaning rest..1, 2, 3…49, 50.. (put@#$%#na!!!)

PFT INSTRUCTOR (Captain No Count):

No count! No count! Minus TEN!

Ranger Perots (thinking deeply):

OMG! WTF is wrong with my push-up?! What’s wrong with this guy?

Whew! Sounds familiar to you? Yeah! Probably, you can relate to me if you’ve taken your Physical Fitness Test (PFT) at Training and Doctrines Command (TRADOC) at Fort Magsaysay, Nueva Ecija. Fortunately, I passed the PFT during the Infantry Officers Advance Course without any retakes. I survived the fury of Captain Sanamagan Mr. No Count! BTW, do you have any idea who invented the push-up?

Origin of Push-up

military push-upThere’s no clear origin of this popular exercise. The closest origin I know is that push-up believed to be originated from the classic Hindu Yoga exercises specifically from the difficult Yoga push-up called Chaturanga. Like the regular push-up, it focuses on the development primarily on pectorals and triceps. It was widely used in the ancient military as an essential combat conditioning exercise. Today, there are several variations of push-ups and the one that we’re required to perform is the full push-up. However, there are instances that we can also perform wide push-up especially those people who have longer upper extremities. Diskarte ba tawag dun? Aside from that, there’s also a possibility that Captain Sanamagan’s ancestors invented the push-up. Go ahead Sir!

The Importance of Push Up

Reception rites

For me, push-up or press-up is one of my most favorite military exercises. It’s not really hard compared to other exercises of the Army Dozen. It looks so simple but it can totally drain your strength. Also, it is very indispensable for combat soldiers to develop their upper body in order to perform their job. When I was assigned at Aurora Province somewhere in Sierra Madre, the terrain is truly unforgiving. Soldiers should be physically fit in order to traverse those killer mountains. You can feel the agony of your muscles when you are clutching the vines or tree roots surrounding the cliff so that you won’t fall several hundred meters from above. Can you imagine the hardships of the automatic rifleman or the machine gunner? Kung nahihirapan ako, how much more yung nagdadala ng M60 machine gun with ammo links on his body including his jungle pack?

The Strength of Upper Body is Crucial

Minsan, pagbaba namin ng bangin eh biglang nalaglag ang isang malaking bato na sinlaki ng isang malaking refrigerator which was accidentally natapakan ng tropa sa taas. Kaming nasa ibaba, nakakapit lang kami sa mga ugat ng puno na nakausli sa cliff wall. The troops above immediately shouted, “BATO! BATO!”, when I looked up, I saw that big nasty rock is falling directly at me. In a split of a second, I released my grip from the vine and let my body fall down. It was like in the movies, the nasty stone was an inch away from my head as it fell down. Luckily, I was able to hold another vine several feet from my original position. I was carrying a 40-kilo jungle pack with M16 and a bandoleer. The radioman and machine gunner beside me said, “Swerte nyo sir, kung hindi kayo nagpatihulog siguradong patay kayo”.

Finally, I think the vine was not solely the reason why I was able to save myself but it was my body conditioning during training. May pakinabang talaga ang pagpapalakas and I told myself at that moment, I will always love doing push-ups. Captain Sanamagan is a necessary evil after all. No Pain, No Gain! No count?! Bring it on! Kaya nga may retake, Sir!

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