Who's Counting?

A gadget to perfect your at-home workouts

The Perfect Counter

courtesy Perfect Pullup

What makes a perfect push-up? Depends on how many people are watching. But at least one company thinks they have the answer, and named their company accordingly. The Perfect Pushup has been selling its namesake device for several years: two rotating hand grips that allow a more biomechanically natural exercise. The only problem was that founder Alden Mills (a former Navy SEAL) didn't count on people like us.

Adding a ball bearing to a push-up doesn't stop us from grunting like crazy while bending at the knees. But with a stupidly simple Perfect Counter (you'll notice a theme to the company's names), even our push-ups got a little closer to perfect.

The Perfect Counter ($19.95) does just that, and it does it as advertised. A flexible rubber base holds a soft foam unit. As a minimal amount of pressure is applied to the foam unit, the digital display registers your rep -- and don't think you need to press dead center. A timer can be started at anywhere from two minutes to 99 minutes in 10-second increments. The counter won't detect a baggy shirt flopping down, but it will give you credit without having to slam down on it. Cheaters can still choose to place the counter beneath their beer belly instead of between their hands, but overall the five-inch-high device serves as an effective lie detector. The flexible nature of the base ensures there won't be any major injuries should you foolishly attempt the SEAL workouts provided online and flop flat.

While the Perfect Counter would work with other exercises, we're glad it's not compatible with the new Perfect Pullup device. Can't test it very well if it only needs to count to three.