100 Push Up Challenge

Thank you all so much for the encouragement and support from Friday’s post about my brother’s death.  It means more to me then you may ever know.  I had a blast over the weekend celebrating my brother’s life by getting splattered with paint at The Color Run in New Orleans.  I’ll have a full recap on it next week but here’s at least a bit of a teaser shot for you. 🙂

Looks fun, right? Well, it was!! I’m still finding random splotches of blue on me….

Onto the the heart of the post….If you are even a part time peruser of my blog than you know that it’s no secret I have basically 0% upper body strength.  And I’m not being modest; although, I wish I was.

As a runner, obviously, most of my energy is focused on my lower body but by doing this, I’m totally cheating myself out of the benefits that upper body strength can bring to the table.   Not only does have a svelte upper body look great but it also increases endurance in running.  Think about it this way, the faster and longer you can swing your arms while running, the faster and longer you can run.  During marathon training when I was doing 8 miles of speed work, I would feel every bit of those miles the next day in my traps and deltoids.

Now that I’ve started training for my second marathon, I want to make sure to address this deficiency.  And, I’m not going to lie, I kind of really want that svelte look I mentioned earlier.

I said svelte, not stacked, Arnold!

Several times throughout this past year I’ve gone to the gym and lifted weights only to find myself stopping after a few workouts for whatever excuse I could concoct.  I have the type of personality that responds really well to structure like training plans and challenges (like my no sugar detox which ends today) so when I found  100 Push Ups, I was pretty stoked.  Plus I can do it right in the comfort of my own home….in my PJs. They even have an app for your smart phone (their website’s pretty simplistic but the app is better).

If you’re wondering why I would rather do push ups instead of targeted weight training at the gym, the answer is simple: push ups are one of the most effective upper body exercises you can do.  Pushups work numerous muscle groups simultaneously and you’re already equipped with everything you need to do them – no fancy gym equipment required!

All the muscle groups worked by pushups.

The 100 Push Up Challenge is a 6 week program that is supposed to take about 30 minutes a week.  30 minutes…I think I can handle that.  It starts with an initial assessment and then works on increasing the amount of push ups you can do.  I was only able to do 10 ‘good form’ pushups so that’s my starting point.  Meh, there’s only one way to go and that’s up, right? Realistically, do I believe that I’ll be able to bang out 100 push ups at the end of 6 weeks? No.  But, if I can even get to 50 consecutive push ups, I’ll be completely satisfied.

I started the challenge last week and let me tell you, my arms have never felt like jello this much!  Saturday was the end of week one and I had to do 42 good-form pushups.  Yowza!  At least the program has you do a rep/rest pattern. To give you an idea, the break down of Saturday’s program went like this: 8 pushups/rest 120 second, 10 pushups/rest, 7 pushups/rest, 7 pushups/rest, and finally 10 pushups….Done, son.  I’ll give updates on my progress periodically over the next 6 weeks and hopefully I’ll have a great before and after picture to share. So here’s the before picture….GULP!

No filter used; just a bad self-timer. Can you spot the photo bomber?

Question:  Do you do any weights workouts to compliment your lifestyle?

30 thoughts on “100 Push Up Challenge

  1. Hi lady! Love that tu tu!!! I used to never do any weights or strength then I totally changed my tune! I now love it and realize how much stronger I’ve become!! Have a super day!

  2. You’re so cute, Gina! Love the flexing pic!
    This is an awesome idea.. and I give major kudos to anyone who plans on doing this program. I cannot do 100 pushups. I can’t even do 50 pushups. lol.. I may consider this challenge..!
    This month, my boyfriend and his best friend/workout partner have decided to do their own push-up challenege. But it’s like day 1 = 5 pushups, day 2 = 10 pushups, and add 5 everyday. It’s total throughout the day and they don’t need to be done at once, but he’s kinda feeling the pain now after having to do nearly 100 pushups a day now.. ahh… forget that 🙂

    • 🙂 I should call it my anti-flexing picture. I swear I really am flexing you just can’t see any difference… *Fingers Crossed* for a much better after picture! I am not a fan of pushups but I like the structure of this program and the fact that I can do it at home (i.e. no excuses). I bet your BF’s upper body is hating him right now. That’s a whole lot of pushups by the end of the month!

  3. I heart strength training! I do push-ups on the bosu ball and do decline, incline…so many variations! I love kipping pull-ups too! Get it girl! I’ve realized my upper body carries me when my lower isn’t cutting it in a run for sure

  4. Gina, you are *such* a rockstar! Can’t wait to read about race!

    I have negative feelings associated with pushups because of basketball: whenever the entire time didn’t finish our sprints in time, we had to do pushups, so I definitely saw them as a punishment. After my bball days, I avoided them for several years. However, over time, I realized that the exercises I avoid–like pushups and planks–are probably the ones I need to do regularly, so I do pushups now on my strength training days. I usually shoot for 50, but it took me a while to work up to that value; when I started, I could barely do 10 consecutively! I wouldn’t say I “love” them, but like you wrote, they are a really good body-weight exercise you can do anywhere. You will own this challenge! 🙂

    • I only feel like a rockstar when I look like a smurf – lol!!

      That really sucks about your coach. Not only do punitive measures like that instill a loathing for an exercise but it also can pit teammates against each other. I would have hated to be the girl that made everyone do pushups… That’s awesome that you can do 50! I really hope that I’m able to get to that level. Tri’s are another {secret} reason I want to increase upper body strength. I know that if I really want to be serious about doing my first tri next year, upper body is an major area of weakness.

  5. I am still new to incorporating strength training into my workouts. Over the past two months, I HAD to do so with PT and needed something to fille the void of no running. I am soooo happy I did! I really don’t think running my half yesterday would have been remotely possible without it. Today, I am feeling it in my back. Again- pointing out I need more core/strength/upper body work! This challenge sounds right up my alley as push ups are the one exercise I can do so very few of 😦

  6. LOL, your post made me laugh. “Although I’m not being modest, but I wish I was”. I actually have no lower body strength if that even makes sense. Since I swam for so long, I think I just have a naturally built up back and shoulder and arms area. Never legs.

    • That’s crazy you have “no” lower body strength; you’re a wicked fast runnah!! Reason number 127 why Gina needs to up the anty on strength training. I want to get into tri’s next year and the swimming freaks me out. Strength training is me stepping a bit closer to that goal.

  7. I only do push ups, planks, various ab work! I’ve weight trained over the years but always found couldn’t maintain it… Life gets in the way, ha ha. But like you said, you can do this at home! Go girl!

    • I’ve seen your #plankaday times, you have some fantastic core muscles built up. Not to mention you’re super speedy (hello 21 min 5k!) so I’m sure you have at least a good bit of upper body. You’re awesome, chica! 🙂

  8. I also have very little upper-body strength. One of my jobs in college was doing distribution for the student newspaper, and I had to carry stacks of papers around campus. My arms got stronger with that, but I’m still weak. I might do this challenge once I get my new phone. The dumbbells might not cut it fully.

    • You should totally do the challenge with me, Amanda! You don’t need to have it on your phone; the app isn’t really worth $1.99, I just feel it gives me a bit more structure. I bet your shoulders got a workout from toting the papers around campus.

  9. He he what cute pic of you flexing! You go girl! I reckon you will be pumping out 50 push ups on those machines in no time!

    The colour run looks AWESOME!

    Ny upper body training is minimal 😦 I should totally check out this 100 pushups challenge!!!

    • Thanks, love! I’m a horrible picture taker so that’s about as good as it gets. The Color Run was amazing, I had a blast becoming a walking rainbow!! 🙂 If you’re interested in increasing your upper body strength, you should definitely look into this.

  10. Lol! Your comment makes a lot of sense now. And push-ups are great – I do them too :-). Definitely helpful. I have a LOT of reading to catch up on – marathon number 2, for starters!

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