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How to decimate the 100 pushups challenge!


If you’re reading this and thinking “Whoa! 100 Pushups? No way I can do that!”, then you need to know that the world record for the most number of non-stop pushups is held by Minoru Yoshida of Japan and the record stands at 10507! 100 pushups is just a tenth of that! Inspired to get your hands dirty? Let’s get started.

Determine your current limit

The first thing you need to know before you get started is the number of pushups that you’re able  to do now at this point. If you haven’t ever trained to do pushups, your number could be anywhere between 5 and 10. After that you’ll probably breathe heavily and fall down flat on your stomach. Before you get down on the floor, let’s teach you the proper technique. It might help you reach that 11th pushup for your starting count!

Rules for proper pushup

The palms must be at shoulder-width. The body must remain straight throughout, i.e., no bending at knees or waist. The body must be lowered until at least a 90 degree-angle is attained at the elbow and the body is parallel to the ground. The body must then be raised until the arms are straight. This equals one push-up. All pushups should be made on a hard surface.

Framing the ETA

If you’re able to achieve anywhere between 5 and 10 pushups, your ideal goal period should be 6 to 10 weeks after which you’ll be able to get close to 100 pushups in your attempts. This is assuming that you adhere to the following program.

Isolated muscle training

Pushups work out a variety of muscle groups both in the front and back of the body and in the arms. They are the pectorals, deltoids and triceps muscle groups respectively. It doesn’t take more than simple logic to realize that with stronger pectorals, deltoids and triceps you’ll be able to do more pushups. You should also know that the reverse is also true: persistent pushups practiced everyday will also improve the strength and endurance of the above mentioned muscle groups.

It helps a lot to work out one muscle group at a time rather than having to work out all three of them simultaneously. This is because when you do a lot of pushups, all the muscles involved require oxygen and your reserve of oxygen quickly empties and you won’t be able to work them out for long. This is why you fall down, breathless, after you do a significant amount of pushups. Here’s where isolated muscle training comes into the picture. Isolated exercises mean that you work out just one muscle, often using just weights or dumbbells. You can find how you can do isolated work outs for specific muscle groups in the resources section at the end of this article.

Do not stop at isolated exercises. In order to increase your endurance, you also need to do compound exercises that involve your chest and triceps. Compound exercises, as you can guess by the name, are workouts that involve multiple muscle groups so that you can get used to using your muscles together, as you will when performing pushups. Compound workouts use up a lot of calories and thus help in fat burning. This indirectly helps in increasing your pushup numbers since it will be easier to push up a lighter body.

It is important to work out both the back and front of your body and not leave any area unexercised. This is to prevent imbalance in muscle growth which could lead to discomfort. It is also important to work out not just your upper body but also your legs because you don’t want your body to have a strong build with a weak foundation.


Isolated and compound workouts must be done with significant intervals between them to allow your muscles to rest. It is good to do intensive workouts 3 or 4 times a week. On the days that you don’t work out intensively, you should test your pushup limit. It is important to have a significant interval between the intensive workout and your pushup test to factor in the muscle fatigue that the intensive workout will cause.

Stop working out if you’re experiencing severe pain or feel that your muscles are over-worked.

Proper diet & sleep

If you’re unable to improve on your numbers it might be because of improper diet and/or sleep i.e. ruling out inherent health problems in your arms or bones. Also if you’re unable to pinpoint a particular reason for your lack of improvement in performance, you should consult a doctor to see what might be causing it.

Diet is very important if you want to achieve any performance related goal. After all, you are literally what you eat. It is important to have sufficient protein intake and avoid carbohydrate-rich foods.