Hundred Push Ups Challenge Fail

Rebecca was among the eagle-eyed folks who noticed I'd not mentioned the Hundred Push Ups Challenge (HPC) for almost… seven months!?

I failed, comrades. After doing Week Two six weeks in a row I chucked in the towel. The problem was the same one I mentioned in the last update: I didn't have "enough arms" to do the HPC three times a week as well as my weight training and kickboxing classes. We always do heaps of push ups at kickboxing and I hated looking pissweak in class because I'd fried my arms the night before doing the HPC. Kathryn nailed the feeling perfectly in the comments:

Yeah, got to save those arms. I hate it when you go to a class and it's like it's in a vacuum, no credit for the all the stuff you do outside of class!

But I've still made push up progress! I do most of my kickboxing class pushups on my toes coz the hard floor hurts my wimpy old knee. I do anywhere between 10-20 really good reps depending on conditions (energy level, wholesomeness of lunch, etc).

We do lots of torturous variations in class, such as wide, narrow, tricep, crucifix and clapping ones. You know where you lift your hands off the floor and clap like a seal? I cannot do those at all. I tried doing them kneeling on a mat, but instead of moving up and down I go backwards somehow, then I just flop like this:

Photo: D. Lewis

Meanwhile while I lay prone, the more advanced chicks in the team are doing push ups on their knuckles. They've got to toughen them up ready to BREAK BOARDS with their fists o' fury. Bloody hell. There is much to learn, grasshopper.

24 thoughts on “Hundred Push Ups Challenge Fail

  1. I just started the 100 pushups challenge today–max I can do is 4. I’ve also just started training for a 10 mile run, and I noticed during a run the day after I did the initial test that my upper body soreness seemed to make the run more difficult. Anyone have similar experience, or think that doing both at the same time is a bad idea?

  2. Remember: There is no failure, only feedback.

    You’ve already used the feedback to figure out that doing the pushup challenge was a stoopid idea, given your current sporting goals. See? You didn’t fail – it was just the wrong training regime for you right now.

    Re the clap pushups – if you want to work up to the real deal, try starting with your hands on a bench (or something solid), feet on the floor, so your body is on an incline. There’s a bit less gravity to fight that way. Gradually move onto lower surfaces till you’re on the floor. It might take a while, but it’s not a contest…

    Man, pushups on their knuckles? Those girls are hard-core.

  3. Dude, you are hardcore in my book. I can barely do 2 girlie pushups. I can’t imagine ever doing them on my toes!

  4. Pushups on knuckles – sounds hardcore!! I managed to do two pushups on my toes the other day and was pretty proud to do that! (There was a point where I could not do a single one from my toes). Think I’ll be sticking at doing the “ladies pushups” for a while longer.

    I had to laugh at your seal metaphor πŸ™‚

  5. Pushups on knuckles – sounds hardcore!! I managed to do two pushups on my toes the other day and was pretty proud to do that! (There was a point where I could not do a single one from my toes). Think I’ll be sticking at doing the “ladies pushups” for a while longer.

    I had to laugh at your seal metaphor πŸ™‚

  6. Funny, I was just thinking about (literally 2 minutes ago) how I posted the 100 push-ups link on my blog. I Failed too. I failed because I haven’t even looked at it since I linked to it:) Now I feel like I’ve been called out. I am going to look at it and get it started!

    Sidenote: Bought your book for my sister and she read it while working out! She LOVED it and has been very inspired. She just threw out 3 pairs of jeans she shrunk out of:) I’m so happy for her…thanks for being such a great inspiration!

  7. Breaking boards sounds awesome. Immediately want to do that!

    I worked with a guy who could do clap pushups. I used to make him do them sometimes for my own amusement πŸ˜›

  8. I really like idea of the 100 push-up challenge and I think its a great way of building upper body strength and aiming for a goal. I still have a link to the program on my site but much like you I found that I couldnt complete the program and still keep my other exercise and weight routines. It wasnt worth not being able to play tennis properly in order to complete the challenge so I had to give it up as well. I still want to complete it at some stage in the future though.

  9. Those clapping push ups are so intense, one day I hope to do that πŸ˜€

    Agreed, as well, that you’ve got to take time off of other activities to be able to do a challenge like the hundred push ups. I completed the challenge only when I wasn’t taking other fitness classes- its way too much, otherwise!

  10. I’m about to start week 2 for the third week in a row and I’m still only doing the girly variation. I dream about doing push-ups on my toes, you are my hero!

    Screw the hundred push ups, you’re working towards breaking boards for crap’s sake, that is like, super tough.

  11. Dh and I have been considering trying the 100 Push-Up Challenge. Several female friends of mine have actually increased their bust sizes by doing the challenge! I am finding that, with my weight loss (80+ pounds now), my boobs are shrinking! So on to the challenge for me! LOL!

  12. Not knowing about this challenge I thought I would do some exercises in the morning and of course push ups was part of the program. Well I hit a little road block…

    I got into position and was about to let my self down to the floor when I realized that my arms where not strong enough and I could not move.

    But this challenge has interested me so I will give it ago…. some time… maybe soon…

  13. Oh man, the Pushups. I tried this in November/December – and actually got up to week 5. Well, that is, after three goes at week 4 I felt ready to start week 5.

    But I couldn’t do it. I set out to do Week five, Day 1, did about four push ups, and just thought, screw this… and that was me, given up! After all that effort. But the thought of all those extra sets just made me want to weep, and so I just quit. Oh well!

    And I completely understand about not being able to do any in class – I wanted to wear a t-shirt explaining why!

  14. Eurkk! Craig has been trying to get me to do this 100 push ups challenge but even the thought of it oevrwhelms me. I can’t even do one push up and have zero upper body stregth.

    If only laughing increased your upper body strength, then this post would have me able to do push ups nae bother!

  15. I failed at this too. I got up to 45 in a row and then during week 6 realized a) how long I would have to do this friggin challenge 3 days a week before I could do 100 in a row and b) I needed to save my arms for other stuff too and it was taking too long out of my strength training time. So I now can do 3 sets of 22 (building back up slowly) real from the toes pushups and I’m pretty happy with that.

  16. It’s nice to know I’m not alone-I said in the comments on your original post that I was in for this challenge, and didn’t even make it to week 3! I’m totally impressed with 10-20 “real” (as in on your toes) push-ups! At my strongest, I was doing about 7-you are hard-core (forget about the clapping knuckles girls!)

  17. I do pushups on my knuckels. But NOT because I’m hardcore but because my stupid wrists wont bend the way they should in order to do pushups like normal people. (Well… they bend but on a bad day they will not do it without making me scream in pain. Stupid, stupid wrists.)

  18. I hurt my shoulder doing pushups on the arm of the futon, so I stopped the challenge till it healed…now I’m about to start again using the kitchen counter. My goal is either 100 incline pushups, or just ONE really good floor from-the-toes one.

    Rock on you martial arts queen!

  19. Hello Shauna!

    I’m on week two of the One Hundred Push Up Challenge… and I probably would have quit by now (had I not made the decision to switch to modified push ups) i.e. “girly” push-ups on my knees πŸ™‚

    Anyway, I think 10-20 push-ups on your toes is really good… and kickboxing definitely gives you a good arm/shoulder workout!

    By the way, I just discovered your blog today and I think it’s great!


  20. Ha! I failed as soon as I said I would do it. I try to do too much and it’s not that I failed really, it’s just that it was impractical/unrealistic to fit into my life at that point. We definitely need to look at everything we are already doing before we take on board a new challenge. It’s just too exciting though when a new challenge comes along. Can’t we just do everything and be super women!!

  21. What I did to help me do pushups is simply break them down to 20 every hour, and then 25 every hour and then….

    At my peak, I could do 50 an hour and would have 400 pushup days. I’d do them everywhere – the dojo bathroom, the park – even at the Railroad Train Museum at PA (and yes, I immortalized how I embarrassed my children with the ending picture at this post ).

    I’ve just started getting back into upper body work, so will start again at a Very Low Amount.


  22. No shame there…and congrats in joining me in dropoutville! I did this challenge for about 10 weeks. I worked and sweated and grunted and labored. I got up to 160 pushups, but in sets. The program wanted me to do 100 without stopping. I could do about 35. Finally I gave up too.

  23. I so remember taking a fitness strength training class when I was 28 and the other girls were 19. I could do any push ups you wanted me to do…I had a two year old and a four year old. But the sit ups shamed me since all my muscles were cut during c-sections. Those younger girls couldn’t do a push up at all.Kids are grown now so I suppose as the grandkids come, my push up abilities will be returning. Tee hee.

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