100 Push Up Challenge :: Week 1 Recap

by derek on July 24, 2008 · 38 comments

Last week the gauntlet was thrown down and I challenged all of you to join my friend Ryan and I in completing the 100 Push Up Challenge.
To stimulate the competition, I sweetened the pot by offering $25 cash and a variety of t-shirts to anyone that was willing to write a post about taking the challenge. So far there are only a handful of entries, meaning the odds of winning are pretty good.

Week One :: The Program

When first looking at the lineup of workouts for the initial week, I scoffed at the program and thought that this would be a piece of cake. In talking to Ryan, I know that I was not alone in that thinking.
As we both performed more than 10 push ups in our initial test, we are following the Level 3 workout which consists of the following:
Day One

  • 10 push ups followed by 60 seconds rest
  • 10 push ups followed by 60 seconds rest
  • 8 push ups followed by 60 seconds rest
  • 6 push ups followed by 60 seconds rest
  • Max (at least 7 push ups)

Day Two

  • 12 push ups followed by 90 seconds rest
  • 12 push ups followed by 90 seconds rest
  • 10 push ups followed by 90 seconds rest
  • 10 push ups followed by 90 seconds rest
  • Max (at least 10 push ups)

Day Three

  • 15 push ups followed by 120 seconds rest
  • 13 push ups followed by 120 seconds rest
  • 10 push ups followed by 120 seconds rest
  • 10 push ups followed by 120 seconds rest
  • Max (at least 15 push ups)

Reviewing the break down of workouts, you too might be thinking that this doesn’t seem like it would be a challenge.
Wrong!

Week One :: The Results

After performing the initial test last week and cranking out 27 push ups, there was a good deal of soreness the following day…err, two days. Unfortunately, that second day was when I decided to start the first workout and lets just say that it was a rather humbling experience.
The following day, clearly in a distorted state of mind, I then thought it would be a good idea to help my neighbor move 9 tons of rock from his front yard to his back yard as he built a koi pond worthy of a national park.
Monday was a day of rest and recuperation, even though I had originally planned to complete the second workout that night; which was completed on Tuesday night instead.
With my arms feeling like Jello, I am sitting here right now typing this post after completing the third workout. If it wasn’t so much effort to remove my hands from the keyboard, I would have ended this post about four paragraphs ago. The first few sets of Day Three felt easier, although by the fourth set the fatigue was setting in and I pushed the max set until my arms literally folded underneath me.

Week Two :: Looking Ahead

Knowing that the first week was more difficult than anticipated, Week Two looks like it will certainly present a challenge. Adding to the difficulty is the fact that there is an exhaustion test planned after completing the second week, which will provide an opportunity to see if there have been any gains made so far.
For those of you that accepted the challenge and have started the program with me, please share your thoughts on the first week in the comments below. If you’d prefer to share your recap on your blog, please come back and share a link to your recap so we can all follow along.
Ryan…care to let everyone know what you thought of the first week?

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Ryan July 24, 2008 at 10:10 pm

Well, I’m still a bit dizzy from the Day 3 reps, but I’ll try making sense…
For me, Day 2 was harder than Day 3, I think mostly b/c of the increased rest periods allowed between sets during the Day 3 routine. Also, my max number at the end of each day was the same for Days 1 and 2, and slightly higher for Day 3 (modest progress I suppose).
The trajectory at which this program is proceeding has me a bit worried. I guess to cross the 100 pushup mark in only 6 weeks this should be expected; however I’m skeptical after only one week (not a good sign!). I made the mistake of glancing ahead to weeks 3 and 4, and if I don’t start making bigger strides, it could get ugly!
I’m wondering what should be done if when one of the day’s reps can’t be completed successfully? I’m concerned for you of course Derek, not myself … 🙂

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derek July 25, 2008 at 10:26 am

While the program is intended to last six weeks, I remember reading that you can (and should) repeat certain weeks if you struggle to complete the assigned workout.

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Kelvin Kao@Puppet Kaos July 25, 2008 at 2:42 am

I’ve actually considered doing this as well. I’ll look into it some more. One thing that made me a little reluctant to train is the soreness that might come the next day. When I am sore, operating a puppet will become quite painful. But I’ll look into this some more.
Kelvin Kaos last blog post..Feist on Saseme Street

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derek July 25, 2008 at 10:28 am

While there was certainly some soreness after the initial test, I’ve found that as I move through each workout there is less soreness.

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Ling@Uptake July 25, 2008 at 6:01 am

I think what you two need is some motivation. How about we change the contest a bit, and set up a system where you earn something for every pushup you do.

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derek July 25, 2008 at 10:29 am

Is that an offer to sponsor the contest? 😉

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Nick@romandock dot com July 25, 2008 at 4:15 pm

If we’re getting sponsors and paid for it, count me in!

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Larry @ Commercial Lighting July 25, 2008 at 6:07 am

Right now I am up to 20 at a time. I am adding 2 push ups to me total everyday. Man am i sore!

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derek July 25, 2008 at 10:32 am

That is great. Are you following your own plan with one set per day and adding two reps each day?

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Larry @ Commercial Lighting July 25, 2008 at 10:58 am

Thats exactly right. Just adding to a day. So far so good. I did the same with jogging. Added one tenth of a mile extra a day with slight accelerations to quarter of a mile increases.

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Charlie on PA Tpk@Nobody asked me, but... July 25, 2008 at 6:17 am

I completed week 1 as well, and am doing pretty well. My max sets were 30/25/27. I am looking forward to hitting the goal in just about 5 weeks.
Admittedly, part of my encouragement comes from wanting to impress my martial arts instructor, but that’s only sauce for this goose.
Charlie on PA Tpks last blog post..Challenge: end of week one

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derek July 25, 2008 at 10:41 am

Great recap! It looks like you are making some nice progress. Can your martial arts instructor complete 100 consecutive push ups?

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Charlie on PA Tpk@Nobody asked me, but... July 25, 2008 at 11:10 am

Can your martial arts instructor complete 100 consecutive push ups?
Indeed he can; he’s a 46 year old 6th Dan (6th degree Black Belt), and he has demonstrated doing 100 push-ups more than once.

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derek July 25, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Impressive – here is to your efforts so you can impress your instructor in a few weeks!

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Andrea July 25, 2008 at 7:49 am

I think you are doing great, derek. keep up the good work!

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derek July 25, 2008 at 10:34 am

Thanks…now, if I remember correctly you said that the first time you tried this you were able to do 100 push ups. That is quite impressive and I think that I speak for everyone in saying we want to see that! When can we find it on YouTube?

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Andrea July 25, 2008 at 9:14 pm

YouTube..hmm…i dont know about that. Maybe i will do a video post about it!

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Dave July 25, 2008 at 8:13 am

I haven’t posted about it, but I also started the program after reading your post. I started a bit late, so my 3rd workout day is today.
I also semi-cheated as I never did the initial test, but I knew it was at least enough to get do the higher end of the tests…but I’m probably right around where you started, maybe even worse lol.
First two days have been ok, I feel great the day after, because I feel sore on my back, chest, and arms…feels like I did a good workout 🙂
We’ll see what week 2 brings.

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derek July 25, 2008 at 10:35 am

That is great to hear Dave. While I like having a benchmark of when I started with the initial test, you make a good point about knowing that you could do enough to be in the most challenging column on the workout.

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MarketingDeviant July 25, 2008 at 8:44 am

I haven’t done push ups in a while… I’m afraid doing this would make me sore for a whole week! Nice push up challenge to look a little buff during the summer 😀

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derek July 25, 2008 at 10:37 am

Lol, I’m going to need a lot more than a push up challenge to look buff during the summer. While you probably would be pretty sore that first week, eventually it gets better and actually feels good.

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Nicole Price July 25, 2008 at 9:03 am

As you well know, I am just a cheerleader here. So, here is cheering all of you up to get going more. You are doing alright so far!

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Nicole Price July 25, 2008 at 9:06 am

Incidentally Derek, you never did respond to my suggestion for handicapping the ladies!
Nicole Prices last blog post..Green Gifts

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derek July 25, 2008 at 10:38 am

Thanks for the encouragement! BTW, the program does account for people that cannot do a standard push up and mentions that you are welcome to complete alternative forms of push ups.
Regardless of the form of push up, I think it is important just to try and challenge yourself.

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Nicole Price July 26, 2008 at 8:44 am

Agreed. Actually, I have been trying but without much enthusiasm! I somehow just cannot get it into my head that this can be for girls too!

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JB July 25, 2008 at 10:49 am

This is interesting! I’m going to book-mark your post and try this when I get home later today! Thanks for sharing!

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derek July 25, 2008 at 5:06 pm

You’re welcome and I look forward to hearing from you once you give it a try!

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Steve@Free iPods July 25, 2008 at 2:46 pm

What is your ultimate aim Derek, to put on a bit of mass or tone and shed a few pounds?

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derek July 25, 2008 at 5:09 pm

With this push up program, my only real aim is to accomplish the goal of performing 100 consecutive push ups. However, I think this will be the motivation that I have been lacking to get serious about lifting weights again.

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Nick@romandock dot com July 25, 2008 at 4:19 pm

I keep meaning to post on this, but I’m thinking about making it a video post….if you get what I mean. Darn procrastination 😛

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Andrea July 25, 2008 at 9:11 pm

Procrastinators UNITE!!….tomorrow…..

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Steve@weight loss weapons July 26, 2008 at 10:17 pm

Hey Derek,
I have been doing the 100 push up challenge for 4 weeks now and I’ve been making some good progress. My max is 73 now so I’m getting really close.
The only problem is I’m doing this on top of P90X now. I hope I don’t over do it.
Good luck with the challenge, it’s tough but you’ll see some pretty good strength gains.
I guess I’m too late to win your contest eh? 🙂

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derek July 27, 2008 at 12:23 am

That is great progress. I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the P90X program as I had actually looked into that not too long ago.
BTW, you can still join the contest as long as you follow the rule of writing a post about participating in the challenge and linking back to my contest post.

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Justin@Airsoft Guns July 27, 2008 at 9:38 am

You’re doing a really great job so far. When I get back from the trip I’m on now, I want to start doing this. It seems like a really great way to improve strength.

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Joe July 28, 2008 at 7:56 am

This is really cool. I wish I would have seen this post earlier so I could have participated. Keep up the good work.

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derek July 28, 2008 at 9:25 am

There is still time to participate!

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Steve@Free iPods July 28, 2008 at 3:11 pm

Three weeks until I go away on holiday..
Four weeks until I am 40….
How many pounds will I shed if I do the push up plan in the meantime?

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hariman October 18, 2008 at 8:50 am

Martial arts is the way of life.
harimans last blog post..ninjutsu Shinobi: Winds of the 34th Generation

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