The 100 Push-up Year (~ish)

It was easy for me to remember, since it happened during last year’s National Championship game, but I started on what I had discovered was the 100 Push-up Challenge, where I had to do 100 push-ups a day for 30 straight days.  It seemed attainable enough, and I’m always game for ways to improve my physical well-being in simple and cost-efficient ways.

In short, I succeeded in doing 100 push-ups in 30 days, realized some physical shortcomings in how sore I got from the start but then finding some marginal gains throughout the month, and I was pretty pleased by the free gainz gotten from what was basically a fairly basic exercise regimen for a month.

Naturally as the creature of habit that I am, I decided to why stop at 30 days, and just soldered on to see if I could make it an entire year of doing 100 push-ups every single day.  The last thing I wanted to do was to stop cold turkey, and if I ever decided to pick it up again, end up being sore as shit all over again, so why put myself in a position for that to ever be the case?

So, one year later, and I can successfully say that I did my 100 push-ups (almost) every single day.  I unfortunately have to add that almost, because there were some days in which I slipped up and simply forgot to do them, or worse off, I started doing them, but then didn’t finish all 100, to which I still count as a loss.

The funny thing is, even in the hectic period that was the birth of my child, I still did my 100 push-ups, on the cold hard floor of the hospital in the recovery room of my wife.  Newborn baby or not, I was still determined to not let the challenge rest, as long as I could still remember to do it.  It wasn’t until after the baby was home, and then I was adapting to the brave new world of being a new father, working from home, and staying there because of coronavirus, did I have the occasional slip-up and simply forget and fail to do my push-ups.

  • Statistically, my first slip-up happened on March 13, 60 days after starting 100 push-ups a day
  • The longest continuous stretch of push-ups was 132 days, starting on May 23, and ending on October 3
  • On November 5 and 6 were the only consecutive days in which I failed, and worse off, both were days in which I did 60 push-ups earlier in the day, but then forgot to the remaining 40 later on

Overall, I had nine days in which I failed to do 100 push-ups, so in the grand spectrum of the year, I had a winning percentage of .975 which is pretty outstanding, but in the grand spectrum of high-expectations Asian father, it was still pretty unacceptable to have anything short of 100%.

For the first few months, I alternated between doing flat palm push-ups and dumbbell push-ups, but eventually I scrapped the dumbbell ones, because I didn’t feel they were giving me enough variation and I thought they were easier than flat palm, and frankly to me easy = less effective.

Throughout the year, I’d also change my intervals periodically, going from 34, 34, 33 to 50, 50, and every few days do like 10 sets of 10, or four sets of 25.  But towards the end, and up to the last few days, I’ve been doing 70 and 30, just to really push myself by doing 70 in a row, which never ever really got easy at any point.

Frankly, doing 100 push-ups a day was never easy, and if it wasn’t physically tiring, it was just a pain in the ass to do on some days in which I just didn’t feel like doing them.  But what really got me through it a lot of the times why I’m using the image above, was I’d think about that scene in Unbreakable Kimmy Schimdt, where she talks about how anyone can endure anything for ten seconds, and tell myself that anyone can endure ten push-ups, so when I’d count my push-ups, I’d do loops of ten, while mentally keeping track of how many tens I’d do before stopping.

Some days it worked better than others.

Ultimately, what I had hoped was that this would be a great exercise to do to supplement my gym routine, but seeing as how I have not been to the gym since March 10, 2020, I have no real idea how the physical results have been.  I’ve lost weight despite not at all dieting throughout the year, which means I’ve lost muscle mass, which is obvious because some of the shirts that were flatteringly snug in the arms aren’t even close anymore.  Frankly, the push-ups have been the only thing that have probably kept my arms from atrophying entirely over the year, and I impatiently wait the day in which I can actually go back to a gym and lift some weights again.

Either way, (almost) one entire year of doing push-ups every single day.  Not sure how this would have transpired if we weren’t in a pandemic, and my days probably would have had a lot more variables and outside-the-home happenings, but regardless, I succeeded in doing push-ups every single day at a 97% clip.  Not too bad, and one of the few things that’s kept me relatively physically active.

And for lack of wanting to regress, I’ll probably keep going, as best as I can.

Leave a Reply