We’re always looking for new and interesting ways to push our readers, and this is yet another method to challenge yourself both physically and mentally. Unlike other challenges, this isn’t really a work out, per se. The Great Push Up Challenge is something we put together as a means to help increase everyone’s ability across all facets of exercise. Whether you start small and end up big or start big and go bigger, it doesn’t matter. Mastering the push up and using this challenge to push yourself is something everyone stands to benefit from.
Why a Challenge?
A bit cliche, but true statement nonetheless; your mind will quit a thousand times before your body will. Doesn’t matter if you’re brand new to fitness or a seasoned vet; overcoming mental fatigue is the greatest obstacle you’ll face when working to reach your goals. It’s way too easy to skip a workout, quit before your last rep, or cut that HIIT cardio session just a little short because you convinced yourself you’ve already done enough. Speaking from experience, the internal battle that wages during a workout can be quite intense, and winning that struggle is often what separates the extremely successful from the semi-successful.
Challenges, in a variety of forms, will help you build the mental strength necessary. It’s a misconception that becoming one of those extremely fit and healthy people is all about physical strength, or what you see on the outside. The outside is simply a byproduct of what’s going on upstairs. Exercising your mind and training it to be disciplined and persistent is MORE important than all the squats, bench presses, and hours of cardio in the world. Until you develop that mental toughness and determination, you’ll perpetually live on the roller coaster of motivation; always taking one step forward and one step back.
This is why well-crafted challenges are so beneficial. You may not think they are much, but accepting them for what they are, striving to meet the goals laid out, and pushing until you do is the perfect mental component to your physical exercise training. That being said, this push up challenge is the perfect complement to any fitness plan you’re currently on. Like I said above, don’t look at this like it’s a work out plan. It’s a mental AND strength CHALLENGE. Once you really get into this, you’ll see how mental this becomes, and how much you start benefitting from it when accept it head on. The days where you don’t want to go to the gym, when you want to quit early, and when that Big Mac clouds your judgement will become fewer and fewer, until they cease to exist. That is the power that continued mental training can have on you, should you choose to accept it.
Why the Push Up?
Before we get into the challenge, let’s discuss WHY we’re using push ups. First off, push ups are a tremendous gauge and test of your total body conditioning. Push ups are a great way to tax the muscles in your…
- Lower Body
You’ll have a hard time finding an exercise that will hit so many muscle groups as effectively as a perfect form push up. Along that line, push ups demand strict form to unleash all of their benefits. Check out the image below to get a good idea of what the start and stop positions should look like for a perfect push up. Keep in mind, you’ll want a straight back, hips up, elbows in.
Want to perform better on military press? Push ups will help. Want to bench more? Push ups will help. Tighter abs? Push ups have you covered. Have a weak lower back? Push ups will help improve it. The physical benefits you’ll receive by accepting this challenge are too many to be denied.
I Can’t Do a Push Up
Can’t even do one push up? Don’t worry, I’ve worked with MANY people over the years who’ve struggled to complete just one push up with proper form. I’ve found a pretty awesome solution which has helped virtually every single person develop the strength to go from being able to complete zilch to ten perfect push ups in less than a month. Here’s how it works…
Alternate between a push up from your knees and holding a plank for 10 seconds. Go back and forth until you complete 20 of each. Continue this format, increasing the reps by 10-20% each week. When you’re ready, start doing your push ups without the knees. When you feel weak, go back to the knees. Shoot for 3-4 times a week, and by the end of the month, you should find you’ve developed the strength necessary to complete the perfect push up, no knees required.
The Great Push Up Challenge
So, you’re ready for the challenge? Before you get started, make sure you’re fully committed to sticking with this. Again, this is not going to take the place of your workouts nor should it interfere with anything you’re doing. This is simply an add-on that will benefit you mentally and physically, in ways you never thought possible.
This challenge isn’t complex, but don’t mistake it’s simplicity for ease.
- For women: Your goal is to complete 50 perfect push ups, without stopping.
- For men: Your goal is to complete 100 perfect push ups, without stopping.
That’s it. Nothing else involved. In theory, seems pretty easy doesn’t it?
How You’re Going to Accomplish This Goal
Some pointers and guidelines that should help keep you on track.
- You need to attempt the challenge 2 times per week.
- Increase the number of perfect push ups performed by at least ONE each time, even if you have to stop and rest.
- Chart your progress and hold yourself accountable.
I’ve been attempting The Great Push Up Challenge myself for the past three months. I started at a high fitness level and am currently at 92 push ups continuous. Success is close. That said, I’ve seen people starting far less in shape than myself conquer this goal in less time. Whether it takes you two months or two years, the important thing is sticking with your self-imposed challenge. The transformation your body is going to undergo as you compete against yourself will be nothing less than amazing. Almost ALL of your exercises will increase in strength, your form will begin to improve, you’ll look and feel fit and healthy. Your mental toughness, determination, and motivation will all soar by leaps and bounds.
Despite the simplistic nature of this challenge, there are few things I have encountered in my many years in fitness that have made such a tremendous impact on my own health and mental discipline. I challenge all of your to accept this challenge and incorporate it into whatever you’re currently doing.
Feel free to update us on how you’re doing and/or ask for help if needed. Feel free to reach out to us on the blog or Twitter – be sure to use #thegreatpushupchallenge in your posts!