Hi guys. I'm going to get right to the point. My name is Sam, and I just put myself through a fitness challenge: Complete 100 push-ups each day for 30 days. Yeah, I'm basically a super hero now (just without the cape).
A couple of my coworkers put themselves through the same challenge for a BuzzFeed video a few months ago, and after watching it, I knew I had to give it a try.
I'm already in pretty decent shape — I'm a competitive swimmer who hits the pool 4-6 times a week. But we live in an age where people feel the need to hit the flashiest, most expensive gyms or try out the trendiest boutique workout classes to stay in shape. And while I love SoulCycle as much as the next avocado toast-eating millennial, I wanted to know what would happen if I put myself through a fitness challenge that you could do anywhere. You don't need to pay $30 for a class or belong to a gym to do push-ups. You can do them literally ANY TIME, ANY PLACE, FOR FREE (which just means more money for avocado toast).
Would something as simple as 100 daily push-ups push me mentally, physically, and teach me something along the way? There was only one way to find out.
Before I got started, I had certified trainer Astrid Swan give me some tips and make sure my technique was up to snuff (the last thing I wanted was to end up embarrassed AND injured for a BuzzFeed post). Here's what she had to say about the push-up challenge.
So, despite EVERYTHING Astrid told me, my initial strategy was to get as many of the push-ups out of the way in the morning. It worked...for a little bit.
Midway through the challenge, I started to struggle. I was doing fewer and fewer of the push-ups early in the morning, and often was finding myself leaving a large portion of them for the end of my day.
One thing I'm proud of is I never, ever skipped a day.
I hit 100 push-ups EVERY day for the 30 days. I thought there might be one day where I slipped up in there, but I didn't. There were definitely points where I had more than half of my daily allotment left fairly late in the day, and that was rough. But even when I was at my most frustrated, I set mini-challenges for myself. If I did 10 more, I could check Instagram. If I did ANOTHER 10, I could have a piece of chocolate. Like any super hero, I also had an alter ego: there was the Push-Up Crusader and then the normal everyday citizen who just wanted to binge-watch Stranger Things. Luckily, they found common ground.