Not everyone thinks of cats as being big helpers, but mine seems to very much enjoy helping me with my workouts — with push-ups especially:
And it actually makes a difference! At least, it feels like it makes a difference. Despite her affinity for cookies (among other things), she only weighs about nine percent as much as I do; yet, push-ups feel more than nine percent harder when she’s up there. Is that just my perception? Or is there something about how the weight is distributed that gives her contribution a disproportional effect?
I decided to investigate the matter, breaking it up into three key questions:
1. How much force is actually required to do a push-up?
2. How does the addition of a medium-sized feline passenger increase the required force?
3. How much does additional force change the difficulty of the exercise — or, relatedly, the number of push-ups that one should expect to be able to do?