Join The 100 Pushups Challenge

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What is the 100 Pushups Challenge?

The 100 Pushups Challenge is a 45-day pushup training program designed to rapidly progress your pushups and overall fitness. The program takes 30 minutes per week. But do not mistake brevity for easy. This is a tough challenge.

Even if you can't do one stinking pushup, we've got your back. There's a plan specifically for that scenario. Equally, the more pushups you can currently do, the more advanced and gruelling the plan.

There are three challenges depending on your level.

What Is The 100 Pushups Challenge? 3 Levels of Difficulty

Each challenge builds on the previous one. Do not start Pro until you have completed Expert. Do not start Expert until you have completed Foundation.

Challenge Guidelines

Foundation Challenge: 100 Pushups In 24 Hours

  • Work up to completing 100 total pushups over the course of a day.
  • Use as many sets as you need.
  • Spreading out the sets equally throughout the day maximizes recovery time.
  • A common strategy is one set of ten reps per hour for ten hours, done on your least busy day of the week.
  • The Foundation Challenge builds up the necessary endurance for the Expert Challenge. Do not move on to the Expert Challenge until you have completed the Foundation Challenge.

Expert Challenge: 100 Pushups In 5 Minutes Or Under

  • A big step up from the Foundation Challenge. You need to be committed and consistent in order to complete the Expert Challenge.
  • You will have enough time to take a few strategic rests during your attempt. Use them wisely!
  • You need to average one pushup every three seconds in order to beat the time limit.

Pro Challenge: 100 Consecutive Pushups

  • The ultimate challenge. Lesser mortals will have to kneel before you and pray to the Pushups God.
  • You must remain in the pushup position throughout. That means no standing up and no resting on your knees for a breather.
  • You must not rest at the top of the pushup position for more than 10 seconds on any rep.
  • You must complete the set in five minutes or under.

Getting Started

Equipment you will need

Just yourself. No extra equipment is needed. That is the beauty of pushups.

How to refine your technique

You are going to learn the in's and out's of optimal pushups technique in the coming weeks. It is useful to be able to see your technique for visual feedback. A full-length closet mirror is perfect for this. But so too is simply recording a video on your phone. Either way will help you progress more quickly and safely. Often what you THINK your technique is, is not the reality. Visual feedback is important.

How many pushups can you currently do?

Determine your baseline level by seeing how many consecutive pullups you can currently do. This will determine the intensity of your training program below. These should be full body pushups, i.e. no kneeling pushups. End the attempt when you either fail to complete the last pushup, or if you take more than 5 seconds rest at the top of the movement. Do not worry too much about technique at this stage, the goal here is to gauge your current level.

Pushup Technique

A picture says a thousand words, and once you know what to look for, you'll immediately become an expert in pushup technique.

Here's the secret to assessing pushups technique...

Take any photo of a pushup (side-view) and flip it on its side so that it now looks like a standing position (nose in front of a wall).

Then ask - "On a scale of 1-10, if they were walking down the street with this posture, how normal would they look?"

The higher the number, the better the pushup.

Standing posture and pushup posture should be identical, the only difference is that one is vertical and one is horizontal.

Let's look at a few examples:

Perfect pushup technique is the same as good standing posture. Perfect pushup technique does not involve letting your bum stick out. Look down at the floor with a neutral spin while doing pushups. Good pushup technique by a woman. Bad pushup technique.

Arm position

If you flew a drone right over the top of somebody doing a pushup, the ideal shape you'd want to see is an arrow. The arms sweep back to 45° relative to the body. What you wouldn't want to see is a T-shape, with the arms coming straight out perpendicular from the body

Good pushup technique involves having your arms at 45 degress to your body to achieve a stable shoulder position.

Why is the arrow shape optimal?

  • It puts the shoulder in a stable position, so less chance of injury.
  • It requires more muscle activation in the pecs and triceps, so your muscles work harder.

Why do so many people adopt the T-position?

Because it makes the movement easier. People gravitate to the technique that allows them to perform the most number of reps.

Unfortunately:

  • It puts much more stress on the shoulder joint. Google the term 'shoulder impingement'.
  • It feels easier because your ligaments and bony bits act like a trampoline in the bottom position of the pushup. Because your shoulders' range of motion is more limited in this position, the ligaments and tendons absorb the downwards energy and take the strain of your muscles.
  • Your muscles don't get enough of a workout, and your ligaments, tendons and joint capsules get too much of a workout.