As a part of my Impossible List I have decided to undertake the 100 pushup challenge and complete it by 31st December, which gives me around 12 weeks to complete a 6 week challenge (incase life or other commitments get in the way).
Luckily, I am no stranger to pushups as I’ve been regularly doing them for the past two years as well as helping others learn to perform proper pushups in my personal and group training sessions. Infact my personal best was while doing a Step Into Life fitness evaluation and I managed to perform 63 pushups in 60 seconds and this was straight after a blistering 3km run in which I completed a personal best time. And yes, I felt like throwing up afterwards…
Things to know about pushups:
- Pushups are a wonderful upper body and core conditioning exercise, it’s not just ‘an arm excercise’.
- Pushups also utilise compound movements which mean they require a couple of muscle groups to work together giving you more bang for your buck muscle.
- Finally, they’re an awesome body weight exercise which means you don’t need any expensive, fancy ‘danoz-direct’ style gizmos, or a gym nearby. All you need is about 2 metres square of space. You can do them on your kitchen floor, you can do them in the park, or you can do them while waiting for a bus. I like to sneak in a couple of sets at morning recess!
Push-Up World Records
There are a great many push-up records in the “Guinness Book of World Records.”
Most push-ups in five minutes: 441, by Giuseppe Cusano in 2003
Most push-ups in 24 hours: 46,001, by Charles Servizio in 1993
Most nonstop push-ups: 10,507, by Minoru Yoshida in 1980
Most push-ups completed in a year: 1,500,230, by Paddy Doyle in 1989
Yeah, thanks guys for making my 63 pushups in 60 secs look so… damn… pitful… 😛
Here’s a video that really helps to explain how to do a proper pushup:
Main points to remember about doing a pushup:
- Align your body so your body is one straight line. Try not to sag in the middle or have your bum in the air (unless you’re doing Hindu pushups but thats another matter…)
- Hands should be slightly wider than shoulder width and as you lower yourself KEEP YOUR ELBOWS INNNN. Ahem. (Trainers peeve). Having elbows flared out puts undue stress on those joints which can lead to injury.
- Lower your body equally as in one movement, which is why this excercise is a great core body work out.
Holy crap are you doing a hand stand pushup??
There are DOZENS of variations of the humble pushup. You can make it as easy as you want e.g. Wall pushup anyone? or as hard as you want e.g. Holy crap are you doing a hand stand pushup??
Doing 100 pushups is not easy. But the great news is there are heaps of resources. The best FREE resource online is actually the site that made the challenge famous:
It’s got the whole 6 week program, a community to log in and share your progress, lots of information to help you along the way. Also there’s a wonderful one hundred pushups app (which is about $0.99 last time I checked) which lays out the whole challenge out for you including testing, exportable data, and rep by rep counts with recommended resting times.
For my first week of the push up challenge I made sure I did three things:
- When I did the initial pushup test I intentionally started with a low number something like 25 pushups. I wanted to take this slowly…
- I actually did each day consecutively because the initial test was low (the challenge recommends you take a days break in-between.) meh.
- I decreased the rest time depending if I was feeling strong. By default the app gives you 45 sec break.