Last month, I attempted a thirty-day push-up challenge. It started with five push-ups and ended with fifty, following a two day on, one day off schedule. I missed two days, but I was able to catch up by using the off day. Five varieties of push-ups were involved. I was able to complete all of the reps, although I always had to drop down to my knees after two diamond push-ups.
It was a fun challenge and easy to fit into a busy schedule. It only took me 3:11 to complete all fifty push-ups. At the end of the month, I re-tested myself to see how many standard push-ups I could do before failure. I went from being able to do 29 before the challenge to 33 after. I had been hoping for larger gains, but that’s still a 13.8% improvement. I think the biggest thing I took away from the challenge is that it’s not too hard to fit a little extra strength work in and I plan on doing so.
It seems I can’t turn around these days without hearing about some sort of fitness or diet challenge. 90 days, 30 days, planks, squats, shake-drinking, clean-eating, detoxing, boxing… While I am not a fan of quick-fixes or fads, short-term goals like these can help provide focus that translates into long-term habits (I think my next challenge needs to be going for a whole paragraph without using a hyphen!). Still, none of these challenges piqued my interest.
I had seen seen the site http://www.hundredpushups.com before, but I think I would be as challenged mentally as physically to complete it. Honestly, my mind tends to get bored with the exercise before my body gives out. Then I found this push-up challenge. You build to 50 push-ups, but five different variations are involved. That should help with the mental aspect. Plus, the variations are more challenging that the straight-up variety.
I did the first day today, which consisted of one rep of each kind. It went easily except for the diamond push-up; I barely completed the single rep. I will probably need to do kneesies on that one as the challenge progresses. I also conducted a baseline test to see how many straight push-ups I could do before failure (29). It will be interesting to see what that number is at the end of the month. Hello, September. I am prepared to PUSH myself.
Will all of these push-ups make me into a Mean Girl?
As an aside, my friends at http://weshallhavepie.com/ have started their own September Skinny Jeans Challenge. Hop on over to their site if you’d like some ideas on healthy eating (A hyphen-free paragraph! Oh, wait… Crud.).
Do you have any September goals?