Recently I was challenged by a client to complete 100 push-ups a day for 14 days. The beauty of my job as an online fitness coach truly shines through when, after months ( and sometimes years ) of challenging and motivating an individual, they return the favour by challenging me, keeping me accountable and taking me back to the reasons why I became a fitness coach over a decade ago.
100 push-ups a day i thought. Sounds easy. No worries, I thought to myself. I’ve been actively fit over the last decade spending countless hours each day in the gym, hiking all over the world and enjoying outdoor sports regularly. Over the decade, I've never actually had a plan that says I must complete 100+ reps of any one exercise.
THE CHALLENGE BEGINS
I started the challenge on the 29th April 2020 and was excited to bang out my first ton. 5 sets of 20 with minimum rest - It was tough without much rest but relatively quick. I sent through my video to my client and then questioned how I can take this challenge to the next level.
I decided to do different variations of push-ups each day and increase the reps to 33/34 per set. This would mean reducing my sets from 5 to 3 and although it would be tougher, I could get it done quicker.
My variations included tricep push-ups, decline push-ups, gymnastic ring push-ups, 1 leg push-ups and overall about a dozen variations to play around with.
HOW IT CHANGED MY MINDSET
I live in Thailand and along with many parts of the World, we were in lock-down over this period of time meaning no gyms, minimal outside physical contact with friends and solo training sessions. I’d already spent the last month training at my residence for an hour a day on average but could feel myself slipping into my comfort zone and taking the far too occasional rest day in the lead up to this challenge.
The first change I noticed from this challenge was my mindset. Day 4 or 5- My body is sore from lifting chunks of concrete I've been using as weights. Mentally i’m telling myself rest day, rest day. BUT I still had my 100 push-ups to bang out. This was a commitment that I had promised to a client so there was zero chance I wasn't going to complete them.
I went up to the rooftop and started my push-ups. As soon as I completed my 100 I thought OK, what's next? I’m going to keep training now that I've started! I went on to complete a full gymnastic ring workout over the next hour and trained as hard as ever before.
After the workout i thought to myself, wow this is an insane motivation tool. This is keeping me accountable, motivated and dedicated to my training. I need to tell others!
DAY 14 -THE DECISION
14 days flew by, each and every day my 100 push-ups were completed in a different variation and I could feel myself getting stronger through the chest, shoulders and triceps. The motivation and accountability I had gained over these 14 days was amazing. I decided that it couldn’t end here. Why not double it? I thought to myself.
The decision was made. 28 days would be my new benchmark. I needed a new challenge to throw into it so I decided to complete 100 push-ups in a minimal amount of sets.
I’m not one to cheat myself so each push-up must have my chest touching the floor otherwise it doesn’t count. More often than not, I was able to push the first 50 out. Fatigue would then hit and unless I wanted to wait 5-10 minutes to recover, I would only be able to get 35-40 on the second set. However on two occasions, I was able to complete two sets of 50 - Something I hadn’t been able to do since I was about 18 years old.
2800 PUSH-UPS LATER
28 days and 2800 push-ups complete. Some days were harder than others. There were days where my motivation was low and my body was sore. Days where my push-up alarm would go off and I would let out a big ahhhhhhh mannnn! But it was totally worth it!
Overall this challenge gave me consistency, motivation, accountability and purpose.
I gained strength mentally and physically and now have a much better understanding of the battles that some of my online clients go through.
If you’re in need of motivation, accountability and consistency then i’d highly recommend giving this 14 day challenge a go. You’d be surprised how quick the 14 days pass by and what you will gain from the experience.
If you complete the challenge, please drop a comment below and help inspire others to join.
I’ve attached a video demonstrating some of the different push-up variations I used during this challenge.
Have fun and enjoy the journey.