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My Journey to 100 Pushups [Part 1]

Andy
July 16, 2020

Cover image by Lopez Robin.

So, I originally planned to get myself to 100 pushups in a row – as in, 100 pushups without a single break or pause. Spoiler alert: this experiment didn’t quite work out as planned, but I learned a hell of a lot – and I did make significant progress with my pushup count. I doubled my pushup count in 6 weeks, so that’s a pretty significant gain.

I’ve thrown this article together to hopefully inspire you to give it a go yourself; whether you want to hit 100 pushups, or just improve your current pushup total.

I’m calling this Part 1, as I may come back and have another attempt at getting to 100 pushups sometime in the future. It’s on my bucketlist, and definitely something I want to achieve before I die.


Introduction

Program I used:

100pushups.com

However, I’d recommend you use pretty much any other program, for reasons I’ll go into below. Other options are this one and this one (and there’s probably even more out there – do your own research).

What is the 100 Pushups Challenge?

The 100 Pushups Challenge is the goal you work towards during your training. There are three 100 Pushups Challenges, in increasing order of difficulty.

  • Foundation: Complete 100 pushups in 24 hours.
  • Intermediate: Complete 100 pushups in 5 minutes.
  • Advanced: Complete 100 consecutive pushups.

I wanted to get to the 3rd tier – being able to do 100 pushups in a row, without a break. I didn’t quite get there, but I made massive progress on my pushup total. So I’m pretty happy. For comparison, I started out only being able to do 15 pushups in a row – and by the end of the program I could do over 33. Good progress.

This training program takes quite a lot of effort and was a struggle some days. You should only do it yourself if you can definitely commit to it. By the time you’re halfway through the program you’ll have to do 6 sessions of sessions of pushups per day, spread across the day – it’s certainly a lot of time/effort. It was made a lot easier by the fact I work from home, but it wasn’t easy. You’ll have days where you’re tired as hell, days where you don’t want to do pushups – so it’ll definitely be a good test of your willpower/habit-building. I just told myself, “Shut up and do your pushups” and that seemed to do the trick.

I’ll also add the caveat: I was cutting weight (losing fat) pretty heavily during this program, and didn’t have a lot of energy most days. This is likely a huge reason my progress was slow. If you do the program and you’re not losing a lot of weight, your results should blow mine out of the water. Regardless – any progress is good progress.

I started this program 27th April 2020. It’s a 6 week program. The day before I started, I did a test to see what my max was – like I said, 15 pushups in a row.

Note: I was cutting (losing weight) pretty heavily during this entire program – I was awy way way below maintenance calories. So assuming you’re not losing weight during the program, your results will obviously be a lot better than mine (as you can see with my girlfriend’s results – she was only a little below maintenance calories during it).

I set reminders to go off in my phone throughout the day, to remind myself to do the pushups. I use the Loop Habit Tracker App (Android):

Post image

Week 1 (Start)

As I said, before starting the program I did a test of my maximum – 15 pushups was the result.

Week 1, the program I used started me off with:

Set 1 Early Morning:
– 7 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 7 pushups
Set 2 Midday:
– 7 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 7 pushups
Set 3 Afternoon:
– 7 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 7 pushups

The program started me out doing 6 total sets per day, doing about half of our max pushups every day (so I did 7 pushups x 6 sets). Those sets are spread out across the day in 3 separate sessions, so you have plenty of time to recover. They’re easy as hell – it never really feels like you’re doing much. (Which is the whole point of the program – it’s supposed to be incredibly easy the whole time as the volume gently ramps up without you realising).

At the end of the week, I did a test of my maximum and got: 19 pushups. An increase of 4 pushups; not bad when I was cutting fat at the same time.


Week 2

Set 1 Early Morning:
– 9 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 9 pushups
Set 2 Midday:
– 9 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 9 pushups
Set 3 Afternoon:
– 9 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 9 pushups
Set 4 Evening:
– 9 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 9 pushups

This week you start doing 8 total sets instead of 6, spread out across 4 sessions in the day. And slightly more reps – this time I had to do 9 pushups per set and my girlfriend had to do 11 per set. Still easy, and even though you have to do 4 sessions a day, they take 5 minutes so it’s no bother.

Test results at the end of week 2: 20 pushups.

Not great – only an increase of 1 more pushup. Don’t forget I was cutting (losing weight) though – so any increase is a good increase. After all, baby steps added up each day should be your focus.


Week 3

Set 1 Early Morning:
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups
Set 2 Late Morning:
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups
Set 3 Early Afternoon:
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups
Set 4 Late Afternoon:
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups
Set 5 Evening:
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups

This week you start doing 10 total sets instead of 8, spread out across 5 sessions in the day. And slightly more pushups per set.

Test results at the end of week 3: 22 pushups.

Not great – only an increase of 2 more pushups. Still losing weight, remember – so I’m ok with only 2 extra pushups while heavily cutting. After all, baby steps added up each day should be your focus.


Week 4

Set 1 Early Morning:
– 9 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 9 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 9 pushups
Set 2 Late Morning:
– 9 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 9 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 9 pushups
Set 3 Early Afternoon:
– 9 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 9 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 9 pushups
Set 4 Late Afternoon:
– 9 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 9 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 9 pushups
Set 5 Evening:
– 9 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 9 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 9 pushups

This week it made me do 15 total sets instead of 10, spread out across 5 sessions in the day. This week it made me do slightly less pushups per set, but it works out to be a lot more pushups in total because of all the extra sets.

So each set is easier; there’s just more of them.

Test results at the end of week 4: 23 pushups.

Not great – only an increase of 1 more pushup. Still losing weight, remember – so I’m ok with only 1 extra pushup while heavily cutting. After all, baby steps added up each day should be your focus.


Week 5

Set 1 Early Morning:
– 11 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 11 pushups
Set 2 Late Morning:
– 11 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 11 pushups
Set 3 Early Afternoon:
– 11 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 11 pushups
Set 4 Late Afternoon:
– 11 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 11 pushups
Set 5 Evening:
– 11 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 11 pushups
Set 6 Right Before Bed:
– 11 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 11 pushups

This week it made me do 12 total sets instead of 15, spread out across 6 sessions in the day (so, 2 sets per session). It actually ends up being slightly less total pushups each day vs the previous week; I guess it’s now trying to train how many sessions I can do in a day (6 sessions instead of 5).

Test results at the end of week 5: 25 pushups.

Still cutting weight, remember.


Week 6

Set 1 Early Morning:
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups
Set 2 Late Morning:
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups
Set 3 Early Afternoon:
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups
Set 4 Late Afternoon:
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups
Set 5 Evening:
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups
Set 6 Right Before Bed:
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 10 pushups

This week it made me do 18 total sets instead of 12, spread out across 6 sessions in the day (so, 3 sets per session). A lot more pushups in total which is awesome.

Test results at the end of week 6: 28 pushups.

Still cutting weight, remember.


Week 7

Ok, quick intermission: Here’s the point where I completely and utterly disagreed with the program. It wanted me to do the exact same routine as I did last week – same number of pushups per set (10 per set), same number of sets (3 per session), same number of sessions (6 sessions).

No, fuck that. I’m here to progress – and I’ve already been feeling like this program isn’t pushing me much at all. It’s way too easy, and I could have made way more progress if it’d pushed me. So I’ve modified it this week to ignore what it’s telling me – I’m doing 15 pushups per set, not 10.

Set 1 Early Morning:
– 15 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 15 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 15 pushups
Set 2 Late Morning:
– 15 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 15 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 15 pushups
Set 3 Early Afternoon:
– 15 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 15 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 15 pushups
Set 4 Late Afternoon:
– 15 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 15 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 15 pushups
Set 5 Evening:
– 15 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 15 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 15 pushups
Set 6 Right Before Bed:
– 15 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 15 pushups (rest 5 min)
– 15 pushups

So now I’m doing 270 total pushups in the day (instead of 180).

Test results at the end of week 6: 31 pushups.

Still cutting weight, remember.


Final Test:

I then took a couple days off to rest, and then did a final test. I got 34 pushups as my final amount.

So an overall increase of 19 pushups, while also cutting weight. Decent.


Thoughts on the Program

I really didn’t like the program I chose, for a variety of reasons. Above all else, it just wasn’t intense enoguh, and it clearly slowed my progress. At no point did I ever feel like I was really being pushed or challenged, and I think that was reflected in the fact my pushups only went up very slowly. I’d suggest finding your own program – either this one or this one. (I haven’t done those myself so I don’t know how good they are; but they’re bound to be better than the one I did).

The program’s website also sucks; it doesn’t let you go forward/backward at all, or repeat a day. So if you miss a day, you’re screwed – there’s no way to tell the program you want to go back one day. So basically, you can never have a single day off or you’re screwed.

Due to the way the website works, you also have to stick with the same device you first used to access the website. ie, if you start the program on your phone, you can ONLY keep viewing the program on your phone. It saves your progress to the device you’re on (via cookies), so if you then want to switch to your PC, it counts you as a new user and it’ll make you restart the program. Again, there’s no forward button either, so you can’t even skip to where you were up to.

If I do this 100 pushups challenge again, I’ll come up with my own system (instead of relying on a website) – and will likely add more pushups per set. Eg if it tells me to do 10 pushups per set, I’ll really do 15. etc. Most days I left a LOT in the tank – I never once got out of breath or tired or broke a sweat.

But, all-in-all, an interesting experiment. I doubled my pushup total, which was cool. I’ll likely revist again in the future.

If you take the 100 pushups challenge yourself, drop a comment below and tell me when you start it!


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Post Information
Title My Journey to 100 Pushups [Part 1]
Author Andy
Date July 16, 2020 10:02 AM UTC (2 years ago)
Blog Kill Your Inner Loser
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/blog/Kill-Your-Inner-Loser/my-journey-to-100-pushups-part-1.34200
https://theredarchive.com/blog/34200
Original Link https://killyourinnerloser.com/100-pushups-part-1/
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