November 15, 2011

100 Push-Ups Challenge

This is one of those things I've wanted to do for a long time, but can never seem to fit it into a training plan (or at least I just don't try hard enough). I often describe myself as a t-rex; all my strength is in my muscular legs while my arms remain scrawny and weak. The bigger goal with this is to incorporate more strength training into my routine as well as targeting the muscle groups that often get ignored in my regular activities (hello, arms and abs!). But for now, I'm keeping things simple with one of the most basic strength exercises out there (and perhaps one of the most dreaded), the push-up. I've been eyeing the 100 Push-Ups Challenge for a long time and figured that since I'm not currently following a specific training plan, now is the time to do it!

The program itself is pretty simple, the goal being to complete 100 push-ups (the real ones!) by the end of the 6 week duration. Why 100? Because it's totally badass to be able to spontaneously bust out 100 legit push-ups. One of the best parts of the program is that it's not time-intensive at all. There are 3 workouts a week, ranging from about 5-10 minutes in length. The build-up is also very gradual, with the workouts structured into short sets with breaks in between. Before starting the program, you perform an initial test to determine the maximum number of push-ups you can do. This number puts you in one of three categories that determines which workouts you follow each week. In my initial test I did 11 push-ups (this number may or may not have something to do with this), so I will be following column 2. The program also suggests doing the workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday so you have a rest day after each one and can recover over the weekend before starting a more challenging week.

So I kicked things off today with week 1, workout 1. The minute-long break between each set actually felt like more than I needed, but by the last set my arms were definitely shaking! I did manage to eek out 10 for the final "max" set. So far, it's definitely not too bad. But I did peak ahead to week 6 and was a little terrified to see sets of 20, 30+, back-to-back. But then again, by then I should have some killer guns so that should be a piece of cake ; )

Feel free to follow along! You can even print the entire plan and then follow directions to fold it into a handy little book. My plan is to post a brief recap on each Friday on the week's workout.

Has anybody tried or completed this program?Anybody else resemble a t-rex?


  1. I started the 100 Push-ups Challenge earlier this year but abandoned it. I used to be able to do tons of push-ups but now only do them very occasionally & also thought it would be a pretty cool party trick. I quit around week 3, just because at that point the sessions got more unpleasant than I was interested in. (Question: "Come on! How bad do you want it!" Answer: "Um, not this bad, actually.") But I've been thinking of trying again, maybe once my marathon is over. Hopefully you will have better luck! :)

  2. I've tried it in the past, but it started hurting the tendons in my shoulder and elbows and after a while the pain just wasn't worth it. If I were to build up to something like that again (as a goal...never been able to do it), it would be a six MONTH program...not six weeks.

  3. I commend you on doing the 100 push up challenge. I know I can't do 100 push ups like I used to. I'll have to think about working back up to it. Good luck!

  4. HAHAHA, I LOVE the T Rex comparison, that is so me!!!! I did a workout last offseason called Core Fusion and the "warm up" was a ton of push ups and I'd be laying on the floor dying before the class even got going! I have always wanted to do the push up challenge, maybe I'll join you! I have a lot of travel coming up and it's something you can do anywhere so I have no excuses. I'm impressed you can do 11, I'd be lucky to get 5 real ones out.

  5. I started this at one point and then for some reason just stopped doing it. But I think it totally works. Good luck!

  6. I used to be a real fitness fan and I've learned a lot of useful information about training plans, workouts and right nutrition on There was a number of articles about your endurance and muscle strength. I followed their tips and substantially improved my push-ups! Recommend this resource to all athletes.