Simple enough right? Maybe not. Thanks to a post from my friend Luau at Run Luau Run I found an interesting website dedicated to the idea of being able to do 100 pushups. I looked at the site, and I wondered if this was something I could do. I know in the past I have been able to, but I have not focused on my strength training as much as I should, so I thought this could be an interesting project for me.
As much as I am a runner, I am also a strength training enthusiast. I have been a personal trainer for 14 years and spent a lot of that time focused on the weights. At one time I measured in at 5’10”, 196lbs, and 8% body fat. I had decided to gain the size and muscle because my running days were behind me with my knee falling apart after injury. During that time 100 pushups was actually a fairly easy task for me. Fast forward to today. I have spent the better part of the last year and a half working on getting smaller and leaner to better suit my life as a runner. As many of you have found out through this site, I am once again able to run without pain, so the heavier body had to go. To be quite honest it was uncomfortable carrying around all that muscle on my frame. My frame is built for running not body building, so I backed off the weights this year.
I’ve backed so far off that I’ve gone months without touching a weight at times to allow my muscles to atrophy and allow me to get lighter. The plan has worked very well, and I’ve been happy with the results I’ve had in my running times. The problem is that I have also watched all my “pretty” muscles go away. I am still a muscular guy but nowhere near what I had grown accustomed to, so it’s time to go to work. It’s time to reshape and redefine but in a way that is better suited to help make me a better runner.
I have been thinking about this for a couple of weeks now as I have been working on my plan for this period of reshaping and retraining my body. Enter the 100 pushups plan. This is a site that started out as a simple to follow plan to be able to complete 100 pushups. It’s actually a pretty difficult thing to do if you’re not out there doing pushups all the time. The pushup is one of the oldest and most basic forms of resistance training out there, and even today it’s thought of as one of the best. They have always been a staple of my programming, both for me and for my clients.
The plan spans 6 weeks, begins with an initial max pushup test, and concludes with the same test to failure. It gives a great description and video examples of a proper pushup so you know exactly how to do them correctly. There is also a list of alternative types of pushups for those of you who may not be able to do a full pushup just yet so you aren’t left out. I looked the entire thing over, and I decided this was the perfect challenge for me to have fun with while I get back into the mindset of resistance training for endurance more than size.
This site has been so successful it has spawned a book that is widely available at most major bookstores and encompasses more than just the site has to offer. Also if you’re into this kind of thing, there’s an app for that. That’s right you can download an iPhone app to help you keep track of your workouts and even use the built in rest timer. There are also plans on the site for squats, pull ups, and sit-ups. I am thinking about doing them all based on how I like the pushup plan.
I got overexcited today and did the day one workout without doing the initial test so I will have to give myself a day to rest and go back so I have a baseline to compare to. I also decided to just start at the very beginning even though it recommends I start around week three based on my current abilities. I want to try the whole thing and figure that it can’t hurt to just start from the designed day 1.
So wish me luck, and if you’re looking for a boost to your routine, want some beefed up pecs, or just something different to do I recommend you look up the 100 pushups plan!