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One Hundred Push-Ups

One Hundred Push-Ups

by macdaddy on June 12, 2008 · 141 comments

I’ve always had a strange body. When I was in high school, I could lift tremendous weights with my lower body, but could barely bench press the bar. As I’ve grown older, my lower body strength has declined somewhat, but it’s always remained greater than it ought to be. Meanwhile, I was still barely able to bench press the bar.

Because of this, I’ve never been very good at push-ups. In fact, I’ve always been terrible. On March 14th of this year, on a whim, I tried to see how many push-ups I could do. I did three, and those were marginal. Today, however, I tried again. I did 12, and they had pretty good form. In fact, I probably could have done more — I stopped more for mental reasons than anything.

This tells me that my upper-body weight lifting sessions are paying off.

But I want to be able to do more push-ups. I’d love to be able to one hundred push-ups. Tonight via chat, my buddy Nickel pointed me to a site that may help me achieve that goal.

One Hundred Pushups is a site with a single purpose: train anyone to do one hundred pushups in just six weeks:

If you’re serious about increasing your strength, follow this six week training program and you’ll soon be on your way to completing 100 consecutive push ups! Think there’s no way you could do this? I think you can! All you need is a good plan, plenty of discipline and about 30 minutes a week to achieve this goal!

The One Hundred Pushups program requires participants to exercise three days a week for six weeks. Each day you perform five sets of push-ups, with a 60-120 second rest between each set. The number of pushups increase gradually until the final week, during which there’s a taper period (sort of like in marathon training). Then, a few days after completing week six, you go for the gold: one hundred push-ups.

one hundred pushups

I’m going to start this program on Monday. If things go well, then on July 28th I will perform one hundred push-ups. It seems unfathomable.

This may seem trivial, but it would be an enormous mental (and physical) victory for me to be able to do one hundred pushups. It’s right up there with completing a marathon. And while I’m skeptical that this goal can be accomplished, I’m willing to give it a shot.

Anyone want to join me?

{ 97 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Franz June 12, 2008 at 7:23 pm

I’m there!


2 Kanwal June 12, 2008 at 7:36 pm

Sign me up! Been following your blog since the beginning. Keep up the steady work!


3 Chelsey June 12, 2008 at 7:37 pm

I’m in!

I have a goal to lose 30 pounds by the end of this year, and I’m looking for “fun” ways to do it. This will be a great addition to my current workout program. Thanks for the info!


4 Jason June 12, 2008 at 7:39 pm

I’m in. Sounds like a great thing to be able to accomplish, and my get my upper body strength kicked off.


5 Jon Bohlinger June 12, 2008 at 8:04 pm

I’m in. I’ve been meaning to set a real, actual goal for fitness, and I think this is a great one. My start date is the 18th.


6 Leah June 12, 2008 at 8:26 pm

Awesome. I think I shall start next Monday in order to do weeks as real weeks.

Do you think it would be alright to start with modified “on the knee” pushups? I can’t really do a full pushup at all, so I think it might be good to do a few weeks at the modified level and then restart with full pushups.


7 The real Mr. Funk June 12, 2008 at 9:20 pm

Nice. I’ll have to get some of those wanky “pushup handles” and give it a shot. Should help build a bit more strength in my forearm (broke it good about a year ago and she ain’t been all the way right since).


8 Andrew is getting fit June 12, 2008 at 11:46 pm

I’m in!


9 Shauna June 13, 2008 at 2:21 am

Hi! I came here via Andrew and I’m in, baby!


10 Brad - former lurker June 13, 2008 at 3:22 am

I’m in.

I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while, never commented though. Planning on running the Marine Corps Marathon on October 26 – thanks for the inspiration.


11 grimsaburger June 13, 2008 at 3:55 am

I’d been doing free weights for a while and stopped, so count me in!


12 Karen Sugarpants June 13, 2008 at 4:16 am

I’m in!


13 Karen Sugarpants June 13, 2008 at 4:17 am

And my right hand is fractured and very bruised btw, but I’m still in!


14 Stefan June 13, 2008 at 4:23 am

Hey J.D.,

what a tempting offer… hmm. Ok, Monday it is. Count me in!

I’ve done some push-ups at home for a while and managed to do around 20. I’m probably down to 10 right now. Though I’m not really buying to be able to do 100 in 6 weeks, I’ll give it a shot! Even if I’m only able to do 50 it will be amazing.

P.S. Since I’m thinking about getting one myself, I really would like to hear your oppinion about your Garmin GPS watch…


15 Maria June 13, 2008 at 4:44 am

Sounds great! I think I’ll be doing this on my “off days” from the Couch-to-5K training.


16 Cecily T June 13, 2008 at 4:50 am

I know what you mean about upper body strength, as a woman, mine’s not terrific, and I’ve got a weird shoulder as well that doesn’t help. One of the goals on my 101 list is to do 20 full form push-ups (not from my knees) and I’ve been making semi-steady progress on it using a method somewhat like this, although not so exact. It’s one of the few fitness things I can do easily with an 11-month old running around!


17 The Happy Rock June 13, 2008 at 4:54 am

I think I am in. I have a similar build to you, very strong and large legs, and a weaker and slender upper body. Although after some strength training a few years back, I could probably do about 20 push ups.

The only thing that scares me is that push-ups are so mentally grueling for some reason, but I will worry about that later.

Also, I might be able to entice my wife, but the 100 push ups site doesn’t differentiate between men and women which seemed a little weird.


18 Jodi June 13, 2008 at 4:58 am

Me too! I tried the initial test and only couldn’t even do one. :-/ I can’t imagine doing 100


19 jon June 13, 2008 at 5:19 am

i’m totally in too.


20 J.D. June 13, 2008 at 5:25 am

Okay, this is awesome. You guys rock. What I hope to do is post a reminder every day. I know for me that the most difficult part of this is going to be actually remembering to do the push-ups. On each M/W/F, I’ll post a short blurb where we can compare notes…


21 Flexo June 13, 2008 at 5:46 am

Count me in. I’ll start on Monday.


22 Guy June 13, 2008 at 5:51 am

JD: Count me in – initial test of 8. I’ll start on Monday as well. I hope you do another post at the end so we can all compare.

@Stefan: I have a Forerunner 305. I love it. I used to keep tracks of my runs in Excel, now my recording is automatic and I get more data; nice.


23 workout mommy June 13, 2008 at 6:13 am

what a great idea–count me in!


24 J.D. June 13, 2008 at 6:13 am


I’ll do a review of the Garmin GPS watch for next week. Before I injured myself, it was one of the next entries I was going to do. But since I haven’t actually been using it, I put that entry off….


25 Jeff June 13, 2008 at 6:20 am

JD.. I’m in, I read your PF blog but have just added this health blog to my reader.

27 initial pushups, thanks to the last 3 months of taekwondo training. :)


26 Bex June 13, 2008 at 6:33 am

I’m in! I’ve been trying to do pushups regularly but I haven’t gotten past 11, lol. I’m excited :D


27 Pablo June 13, 2008 at 6:50 am

Count me in, as well. Looks like you’ll have a lot of company.


28 WeightLadder June 13, 2008 at 6:54 am

Given my ankle (http://www.weightladder.com/2008/06/06/ruptured-peroneus-longus-tendon/) I will have to do knee pushups, but I am up for it… Even being able to do 100 knee push ups would seem like a great accomplishment… and probably let me start on the 3rd level for regular pushups once the ankle heals.


29 Stefan June 13, 2008 at 7:22 am


I’m looking forward to reading about it :-)


30 Elaine June 13, 2008 at 7:28 am

I’m a notorious blog lurker (I’ve been around since the beginning of this blog and I love GetRichSlowly), but I’m intrigued by this challenge so I’m in too! I’m hoping that by actually commenting for once I’ll stick with this. I also have a mental block toward and true loathing for push ups. Maybe that’s why I want to try this so much, so that I can prove to myself that can do it anyway. Thanks for inspiring me! :)


31 Leslie June 13, 2008 at 8:42 am

So…I sort of skimmed this post because I hate push ups. Then I noticed how many comments there were so I read the comments then went back and re-read the post. Full form push ups are very hard for me but I can do a fair number of them on my knees (20 + most days). So…I am in too. Maybe this will get me over the transition from bent knee to full form. I will tell my hubby about this too and see if I can get him on board…


32 carrie June 13, 2008 at 8:51 am

I’m in too!


33 Peter June 13, 2008 at 9:24 am

I was actually planning to start this Monday before I saw your post. Don’t remember how I cam across the site, but count me in. (Sadly, I’m just barely at level 2 right now so I’ll be starting slowly.)


34 Jake June 13, 2008 at 9:29 am

Count me in as well, starting the 18th. M, W, F.

My test involved 10 push-ups, although I probably could’ve eeked out a shakey 11th. I’ll stick with the #10


35 Driver B June 13, 2008 at 9:53 am

I’m in and hoping to get my husband along for the ride.

I recently started my getting fit slowly by riding my new folding bike to work (well, bike, train, bike) three times/week. This will be a great way to build some upper body strength.

Thanks JD!


36 Brandon June 13, 2008 at 11:14 am

I’m in – and I told the idea to a few coworkers and now there are about 10 of us that are going to do the workouts on our lunch break, and then on July 28th, we’re reserving a conference room and seeing who can do the most!

Thanks for the idea!


37 Garrison June 13, 2008 at 12:46 pm

I’m in with everybody. I have a slight head start in the pushup department due to being in the military and having to be able to meet minimum requirements in pushups. Currently I can do around 55-58 pushups in 1 min but I’d love to have motivation to work to 100 pushups (slow quality ones instead of airforce speed or nothing push ups).

So good luck to all and remember Friday is a pushup day.


38 Anca June 13, 2008 at 12:54 pm

I’m in and excited. This looks so doable.


39 gizmogirl June 13, 2008 at 1:39 pm

I’ve been following this blog for a while… love how honest you are with successes and struggles. I am totally in on the 100 pushups – in fact I started Wednesday and today did Day 2 (56 pushups in total).

As a point to the other women here – 7 weeks ago I started in a military-type training class at my gym. I struggled mightily to finish 5 poor-form pushups… 6 weeks after that for the post-test, I completed 20 with decent form… and if I can get there – any one of y’all can too!


40 Pplukas June 13, 2008 at 1:55 pm

I’m in as well!!


41 Pplukas June 13, 2008 at 2:19 pm

Hi again:

Actually I’m thinking if I try the same program with abs… alternating days… I could kill two birds with one stone…


42 Nottheangel June 13, 2008 at 2:44 pm

I’m in. I’m the perfect test subject really for the method since I can do exactly 1 push-up. (and that barely).

Looking forward to see if it will work, I’d love to be able to do 100 push-ups.


43 Steve June 13, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Just added you to the “Challenge List” -


Good luck with the push up program!


If anyone else would like to be listed, just send an email to the address on the Challenge page….


44 Susan June 13, 2008 at 5:18 pm

Good luck with this! Looking forward to hearing when you reach your goal!


45 Metroknow - AlmostFit.com June 13, 2008 at 8:43 pm

Count me in – between getting up early and having just quit my job, I should have the time now. . . :)


46 Pam June 14, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Push ups certainly aren’t my favorite thing, but WTH – I’m in! After that I might have to go for the one arm push-up thing, too! I hit 25 for my trial (that last one was iffy), but after reading up on “good-form” I realize I bend my elbows out instead of back so I may have to have a re-do! ;)


47 Paul June 14, 2008 at 6:26 pm

At first I was just thinking, “Wow, these people are lame,” because of how few push-ups you can do. Then I looked at the chart and realized that you must all be really old (the lowest age category is “less than 40″). Hmm, no wonder. Good luck to you all.


48 Leslie June 15, 2008 at 5:58 am

OK…this is sad. I did convince my husband to do this too so we took the initial test today. He did 40…I did three (and the last one was iffy). I guess I have a lot farther to go than he does.


49 rachel June 15, 2008 at 6:35 am

Considering this challenge. I’ve already got a large goal for Oct. 4th. which is the St. George Marathon.


50 Hannah June 15, 2008 at 12:20 pm

I linked over from Workout Mommy- I am in!


51 Peter June 16, 2008 at 9:08 am

Just went through the first set. Too telling on how out of shape I am. :(

Wednesday == more push-ups.


52 NCN June 16, 2008 at 5:32 pm


I’m in! I’ll checkout the site and see how many I can do… Rock on!


53 Sean June 16, 2008 at 5:51 pm

Same boat here, upper body vs. lower body… I’m in!


54 COD June 16, 2008 at 6:43 pm

I’m in. This will work nicely with the couch to 5K running plan. I’m on week two of it.


55 Will June 16, 2008 at 6:48 pm

I’m in too. Just did day one. Thanks for the motivation!


56 KMFPL June 16, 2008 at 8:17 pm

J.D.: Thanks for linking to this from GRS! My wife and I are in! Good luck to us all!


57 Ross June 16, 2008 at 9:31 pm

I’m in, trying to get my wife to join also. Just did the initial test and got to 55, im thinking I’ll set a goal of 150!


58 robin June 17, 2008 at 3:28 am

God. OK, I think I can.


59 Nedsferatu June 17, 2008 at 6:10 am

I just quit smoking and have been looking for something to kick-start exercising. This would be a huge win for me. I’m a tall and thin guy and never had much in the way of muscles. I’d love to overcome my fear/loathing of push ups.


60 Pete @ biblemoneymatters June 17, 2008 at 7:05 am

I’m in! I did my initial test last night, and whoa was that humbling!

Starting my first set tonight. Wish me luck!

Posting about the challenge tomorrow!


61 Mel June 17, 2008 at 7:51 am

OK – I’m 51; I walk 30 minutes 4 to 5 days a week and I need a little something else to help me out. I am in!


62 Steve June 17, 2008 at 7:55 am

Sounds like everyone’s having fun! Keep up the great work….

Also, just a reminder, send me an email if you’d like to be listed on the “hundred push ups challenge page”:


Keep on pushing,



63 A Lil' Irish Lass June 17, 2008 at 8:54 am

I’m coming to you via GetRichSlowly.com, which I’ve been reading for months. Excellent job with both blogs – it’s a pleasure reading you and I always look forward to seeing you pop up in my Google Reader.

I’m down for great push-up challenge! Though I work out 4-5 times a week and have really good upper body strength, I can’t do push-ups to save my life. Like you said, it would be a huge mental boost to be able to accomplish 100.


64 mbhunter June 17, 2008 at 9:57 pm

I’m in! I did the initial test and managed eight.


65 Razz June 18, 2008 at 6:22 am

I’m in! I’ve never managed a single push up in my life – and would be incredibly happy to do ten, let alone 100. Will give this my best shot over the next six weeks!


66 Duff June 18, 2008 at 8:53 pm

I’m in! I’ve actually tried to get to 100 before by getting to 500 pushups in one day. I got to 500 after a grueling month, and 37 was my best set.

But that was a while ago. I tested myself tonight and did 18, not quite to failure but close.

Here goes nothing…


67 Peter Ubriaco June 20, 2008 at 9:34 am

I’m with you, brother. I saw the same site and it inspired me too. I did the initial test and the day 1 work out. I’m already sore, LOL, but in a good way, so I guess that means it’s working!


68 der Flo June 22, 2008 at 1:21 am

Germany needs to push it as well. I am in there and wondering how well I will be doing. Anyway, posting this simple workout plan on a special website is a pretty cool idea. I hope it spreads around the world and gains momentum. Push it, baby.


69 Teena in Toronto June 22, 2008 at 3:35 pm

I just joined one hundred push ups yesterday! Good luck!


70 emma June 23, 2008 at 3:01 pm

Keep up the good work! I’m 15 on the 13th of July and I’m going cross-country skiing in easter, if anyone has any tips about how to get super fit without straining myself or causing injury i would be very greatful if you’d pass them on to me :D my email is: emma_leslie@hotmail.co.uk


71 Maggie June 24, 2008 at 3:45 pm

Thanks for posting about this challenge. I confess that I actually am NOT one of those women who have problems with push ups (4 years in the U.S. Army yo!) but this is a great supplemental workout to what I am doing anyway.

It will be fun to see if I can beat my current max of 81 after 6 weeks.


72 djf June 29, 2008 at 2:39 pm

They changed the program in the last couple of days. I am so pissed off. This has confused me completely. For one, I can’t remember exactly what week I was on anymore because they changed everything around, and two, even if I did, now the program is different so it wouldn’t make any difference! I invested two weeks of my life into this program and I refuse to start over. I quit. I thought I could do it but now by uploading a completely new program they’ve messed things up. Erg.

They could at least have a link to the old one for those of us who were in the middle of the program!


73 steve June 29, 2008 at 4:24 pm

Changed the program? How so?


74 djf July 2, 2008 at 5:21 am

Not so much changed actually as completely redid. They redid everything, from the time to wait between sets, from the number of push-ups in each set, to the number of push-ups per column after each exhaustion test, etc. This would be fine if I were just starting out but since I was in middle of the old program which is no longer there it’s just annoying and frustrating. For them to just turn things around on me and everyone else who was in the middle of the program is wrong.


75 Andy July 7, 2008 at 3:38 pm

Not doing the program – I can do the pushups. But I remember when I couldn’t – so I salute you guys (and gals!)

If I can offer some pushup tips that work for me:

1) assuming that your hands are flat on the floor, try driving through the floor with the heels of your palms – really use all your energy and concentration to try and push the heels of your palms through the floor. Of course you can’t do that – but the opposite reaction of that force will force your body up away from the floor – try it!

2) this is what broke through the barrier for me – mentally, try not to think of this as a chest/arms exercise, but rather make it all about your shoulder blades and back. Make your back rigid as possible and concentrate on keeping your shoulder blades in a fixed position and deriving your energy through them – your chest and arms are merely ancillary to your rigid back – for some reason this absolutely works!



76 Doc July 9, 2008 at 12:14 pm

Hi All!

I am in! Been looking for a fun, regimented way to get back into shape and stop making excuses! I started on Monday with my initial test and Week 1 Day 1 workouts. I must say I am still extremely sore 2 days later, but I’m already at 38 push-ups, so relatively speaking I’m well on my way. Really like the positive attitude and re-inforcement on this blog. Best of luck to everyone attempting to do this…Don’t ever give up!

Good Luck & Thanks,



77 BM July 14, 2008 at 4:28 am

I am so out of shape, that it took me 2 weeks to finish the first week of the plan, But I have never felt so good physically in my life. The last time i did this number of pushups a day was when i was a teenager.


78 Eric July 14, 2008 at 10:28 pm

I just finished week 2 of the challenge. I was able to do 9 more push ups during the exhaustion test than I did the first week!

Good luck to everyone doing the challenge.


79 Present and accounted July 29, 2008 at 4:16 am

I started the challenge last friday repeated day one on monday nand now its carry on forward. my max no. of pushups is about 20 so a bit to go to 100. My thoughts on this are even if i dont make 100 my progress will be significant I hope:)


80 Fun Husband August 10, 2008 at 6:10 pm

I have been reading that 100 pushup website and I honestly thought about trying it. I just dont think it would work in that short of a time.

I may be able to get to 100 push ups, but the likely time frame would be more than a year of doing push ups.

The body is just not built to gain strength that fast.


81 Greg August 14, 2008 at 11:21 am

Good to see other people doing the challenge.

Here’s my progress. I’ve been stuck on week 5 due to time constraints, an almost non existent sleep schedule, and just plain being tired from biking and running.



82 Nathan McGee August 28, 2008 at 10:14 am

Yeah, I got stuck on week 3. Kept on doing the day over and eventually got through it!

I’m sure I’ll get stuck again… but now at least I know I can get through it! :) .


83 Ppluk August 28, 2008 at 11:17 am

I got stuck on week 3 as well. I’m planning on starting again from week one…


84 Tommy September 5, 2008 at 3:34 pm

for those interested in the 100 push-ups challenge, you might also be interested in the 100 push-ups in 100 seconds challenge: http://www.parttimepersonaltrainer.com/2008/09/05/100-push-ups-in-100-seconds-challenge/


85 Cian November 11, 2008 at 11:00 pm

I got stuck on Day 1 week four. So I switched to a slight incline and went back to week one. My upper body is much better but I am STILL stuck at week 4. However when I give myself even a 10 secon break I can usually get 5 more int.

10 seconds for 5 pushups is not bad. I can do that about 4 times.

Fuck it, if I cant do 100. I am sooooo much better off now, regardless. so its all good!.

ooooh one thing. My new body has thrown my already garbage golf swing into the toilet.


86 Farz February 18, 2009 at 12:05 pm

I’m in. got thru the initial test, not expecting much but I think there is truth to the approach. I will shoot for 100 pushups, if I think I will fail, or think that will come short, THAT’s exactly what will happen… It’s all about That First Minute . . .


87 Miranda May 2, 2009 at 6:22 am

So simple but so great. I’m in!


88 frank chavez December 15, 2009 at 10:46 am

I need to get back in shape.


89 Lanine Bradley March 12, 2010 at 5:55 pm

I’m at 12- seems kinda stupid to be so low but everyone has to start somewhere.


90 Jameson April 23, 2010 at 7:37 pm

IÂ’m in! IÂ’ve actually tried to get to 100 before by getting to 500 pushups in one day. I got to 500 after a grueling month, and 37 was my best set.

But that was a while ago. I tested myself tonight and did 18, not quite to failure but close.


91 Chris Watson July 8, 2010 at 7:52 am

Good luck, i am on week 2 of the challenge


92 Jeff | Motivationed July 21, 2010 at 11:06 am

I am about ready to do the test after week 4 to see where I am at. I feel strong but those last sets of 40 are tough… I need to work these in earlier in the day for sure.


93 David Harms September 5, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Modified Push Ups -As I read your blog post, I couldnÂ’t help but think of the Push Up Bench as the most effective way for people who struggle with push ups , to be able to do them correctly (with full range of motion). Most modified push ups make them easier but only allow one or two variations. The Push Up Bench has 11 different levels to work through on the way to a full push up.


94 Tino July 13, 2011 at 1:35 am

So if this 100 push-ups for six weeks and 3 days a week so if so do I do 3 days a week. Yes or no. E-mail


95 Mike October 10, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I started this two days ago and I’m getting murdered (figuratively) by this routine! I’m so out of shape. I managed 10 pushups in my initial test. I haven’t been able to fully complete all of the pushups in the fifth set (let alone the sixth set where I give out around three pushups! Pathetic). I’m thinking I will just do the Day 1 workout until I can successfully complete all of the minimum pushups in each set and then progress from there.

Make sure you use the Pushups Logger at http://www.pushupslogger.com to keep track! It’s a great resource.


96 Sam February 14, 2012 at 8:43 pm

What I did was have my friend push me down lightly every time I went up everyday for 2 weeks now I can do 138 consecutive good pushups keep up the good work :-)


97 ghostoftango March 16, 2012 at 10:25 pm

i can do 60+ at the initial diagnostic (19 years old). what week should i start in on?


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