Disclaimer: Captain DIY is not, nor has ever been, a fitness/health professional. He just likes working out and sharing stuff he has learned. As with literally anything anyone has ever said, take this advice at your own risk and listen to your body!
Hi there, kids! It’s time for another installment of the Fit to FI series, and this one is a great one! We have talked a little bit about pushup accessories in the past; now it’s time to dig into the main event.
The Current Routine
In addition to my normal strength-training program that I am currently running (we’ll get into that another time) I have recently decided to add a challenge for myself: do 100 pushups per day for 30 days.
Now, I don’t mean every once in a while drop down and give me twenty, I mean at some point in the day get down on the ground and bang out 100 pushups as quickly as possible while maintaining proper form. Speaking of which, let’s get into that for a bit.
Most people, by which I mean most people who don’t regularly do pushups, will prepare themselves for a pushup by getting themselves into plank position, then dropping their body down and awkwardly pressing themselves up with arms at a 90 degree angle coming out from their body.
This arm angle puts a lot of undue stress on the anterior deltoid (the front shoulder muscle) and will almost definitely lead to shoulder issues.
We want to be able to do many, many excellent chesticle-building pushups over the course of our lives, so keeping proper form is essential. Here’s how to do a proper pushup:
- Get yourself into Full Plank Position with your hands lined up under your shoulders just slightly wider than shoulder width
- Slowly lower yourself until your nose is about to touch the ground, while maintaining a stiff, straight body. Keep your elbows tucked into your sides and imagine your hands twisting outward.
- Focus your mind on contracting your chest muscles as you push the ground away from you. Make sure those elbows stay as tight to your side as possible!
- Repeat until everyone around you is afraid of your Adonis-like physique.
That Was Too Hard!
Ok, not everyone has the strength to perform a full proper pushup. Don’t feel bad, everyone starts at the beginning. Anyone who tries to shame you is just feeling insecure.
If you are unable to follow the above steps, simply place your knees on the ground. Instead of resting on your hands and toes, you’ll be greatly reducing the size of the lever (you) by resting on your hands and knees. Remember, keep your back and thighs in a straight line!
Once you are able to perform ten knee pushups, give a toes pushup a try. I bet you’ll be surprised!
OK, But 100 Per Day? Everyday?!
Yep, that’s right. Let me tell you why.
I started this ridiculousness ten days ago. On Day 1 it took me nine minutes and forty seconds to complete all 100. This morning it took me five minutes and fifty seconds.
Not only do I get a great sense of satisfaction from these daily gains, I have also noticed my numbers going up on my big lifts.
I had Bench Press Day a few days ago, and what felt like a mountain on top of me last time was easy this time.
Yesterday the sets of pull-ups I had prescribed, that had previously given me trouble, were crushed without issue.
I’ve always been weak with dips, and the last time I did them a couple of days ago they felt like child’s play.
I have also noticed my chest and arms getting a little bit bigger. Not bad for ten days’ work!
Only 100? That’s Way Too Easy!
I’m sure there are some of you out there for whom 100 pushups is a warmup set. No problem, the beauty of pushups is they can be tailored to suit your ability and needs. No need to build a home gym for this one, folks!
My plan, and I think this may work for those of you who are beyond me, is to start adding weight once I am able to complete all 100 in under five minutes. I’ll start by adding five pounds, and once I get that under five minutes I’ll add five more. If that’s still too easy for you, have someone put some 45-pound plates on your back, or use an exercise band for more tension.
A Few Pointers
This can be very taxing on your body, so make sure you take the time to take care of yourself while you are in the throes of this challenge. I start every pushup session by rolling out my shoulders and back with a lacrosse ball, and I take about ten minutes every evening for some deep static stretching.
I also, truth be told, skipped a day. This was Bench Press Day, and I didn’t want to go into my iron pump already fatigued. Remember: listen to your body! If something isn’t feeling right, take some time to assess your body and make adjustments as needed.
So that’s it. Give the 100 for 30 challenge a try, and you might just find yourself getting even more awesome! Just when you thought there wasn’t any room for improvement!