In the previous article we tackled how to do push-ups properly, the different kinds of push-ups, how to enjoy doing it, and its benefits. In this section, we move from the theory to the practice, I will review the potential issues we may encounter as well as future steps.
From the theory to the action
And finally, once we understand the theory, it is time to put it into practice. Doing one hundred push-ups was my ultimate goal, or in other words, I was gonna train my body to do from just one push-up to 100 consecutive reps. But that was quite a challenge for me because, by that time, I could only do a total of just one correctly and another half.
So I organized my goal into 100 push-ups routines that will take me 100 days. In other words, I set up a goal in which I will be adding 1 push-up extra every day. From there, it was a simple as counting: day 1: one push-up, day 2: 2 push-ups, day 3: three push-ups, and so on so forth till the very end of day 100 (3 months after) that I was actually able to do 100 correct push-up and I have been doing so till today. I can reassure you that gradually increasing reps every day was indeed doable. You should also alternate the 3 different kinds of push-ups during sessions so that by the end of your challenge you will be doing 34, 33, and 33, normal, wide and narrow push-ups, respectively.
There are different issues you may encounter when doing push-ups every day, same as any other exercise:
- Body adaptation: your body will no longer be challenged by this type of physical activity after a while (reaching a plateau). This may happen because muscles adapt and improve function when they are subjected to stress. So, to overcome this potential issue, it is important to continue the challenge and do never by any means quit. So, in the hypothetical case that you are reaching a plateau, just give your body enough time to adapt. Take one day off and try the next day. Ideally, you will be able to add 2 extra push-ups next time and catch up.
- Doing push-ups incorrectly: This is also very important as doing push-ups in an improper manner can lead to injury, such as lower back or shoulder injury manifested by pain.
- Difficulty: If push-ups are too difficult at first, try to modify the exercise or do it for a while on your knees or against a strong chair, or wall.
- Existent injury: If you have a former injury, get a medical opinion before starting with push-ups. Your physician may recommend you dolphin (to be done on your forearms instead of your hands) or knuckle push-ups as alternatives. As a general precaution, you should always consult a doctor before starting any new exercise routine.
- This is too easy: If you start in a better shape than I was and can do a few push-ups instead of just one or two, you will most likely reach the 100 push-ups goal much earlier. If this still sounds like way too easy for you, try to increase your daily goal of 1 extra push-up to 2 or 3 more push-ups every day.
What is next
Doing push-ups is a standard exercise for athletes and should be part of your training as well. But as you can imagine, since it only focuses on a few muscles, ideally you will need to complement it with other exercises targeting other muscles such as abs, and low body exercises. These abs and full-body workout routines can greatly complement your push-ups routine.