A Blog Not Limited

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Nine the Hard Way

Jul 07, 2008

Published in

I stumbled across one hundred push ups a few weeks ago and decided to start the program this week.

One Hundred Push Ups

Before starting, I did the initial test and discovered I could only do nine push ups … yeah, nine. I kinda feel pathetic, but nine is my lucky number, so perhaps it is meant to be.


Well, I've been looking to expand my exercise/fitness regimen lately, and this is a simple program. All you need is yourself and a commitment.

Plus, how cool would it be to be able to do 100 push ups? Regular push ups, no less; not the lame "girl" push ups.

Easy on the Eyes

I also was drawn to the site's design. No, it doesn't even come close to having valid or semantic markup. But it is a solid, clean design with a nice Flash enhancement in the upper right corner.

So, even if you don't want to be able to do 100 push ups, go check out the site for its simple and effective presentation.

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Jen's Gravatar

Jen opines:


I could only do 3, which is not my lucky number and rather a pathetic showing.

David's Gravatar

David opines:


29 and we’re going to the gun show!

I’m reading this at a coffeeshop and just went to the men’s room and did my push ups next to a running toilet. 

Thanks for the inspiration!

Emily's Gravatar

Emily responds:


@Jen - Well, there should be some formula to “handicap” those who still aren’t getting more than 3 hours of sleep a night.

@David - Okay Jondreau, you kicked my ass. But, let’s talk again in six weeks.

Ian's Gravatar

Ian opines:


Ok, I gotta try this now. I’ll give my arms a rest from my last workout and will give it a go. 29 seems really good for continuous pushups! I doubt I’d do it on a public restroom floor though. *vomit*

Gryffyn's Gravatar

Gryffyn opines:


Wow.. in a men’s room?  Guess that’s more incentive to push, n’est pas?

When I’m not half dead, I’ll give this a try.  I used to work out a good bit, but have gained about 50lbs since then.  100 pushups was part of a regular workout (along with pullups and some other random stuff).  I’m wondering how much the extra weight and the time away from real exercise will affect my pushupability (tm).

Gryffyn's Gravatar

Gryffyn opines:


Ok.. pre-breakfast this morning, I managed 30 pushups.  Had to top 29 :)  Might have had another couple in me, but pretty much at my limit there.

If you want to work a few extra muscles, try doing the tripod thing.. cross one foot over the other, so only one foot is on the ground.

Ian's Gravatar

Ian opines:


Ok. I finally had to try it. I’ve been a total slacker for the past week and haven’t been to the gym at all.

I gave it a go using these funny swivel thingies that help my wrists called Perfect PushUps. I was able to get 35 before completely collapsing. I’m still breathing heavy too. Man, that was tough.

I know already I’ll be sore tomorrow from these…

Gryffyn's Gravatar

Gryffyn opines:


Wow.. you got to the gym and still could only do 35?  Do you work your arms and pecs at all?  Just wondering. :)  Some people just do cardio or whatever.  Wondering what your normal regimen is.

Ian's Gravatar

Ian opines:


Hehe… I was pretty much waiting for that, Trevor. I work out with weights for bodybuilding. This means that I’m going for whatever exhausts as many muscle fibers as possible, regardless of the total amount of resistance. I care more about what really blasts my muscles and makes me sore for days than how many plates are on the bar.

I knew going into this that I’d never even get 50 push ups in a row. Reason? There’s no way in hell I would expect to have that much energy. When I’m doing exercises at the gym, the maximum repetitions I do per working set is 12-15… with most heavy sets sending at 6-8. Powerlifters do even less reps and more weight, getting down to that 1 rep maximum.

I believe the key to the 100 push ups idea is muscle conditioning. Just like the average Joe can’t just go run a marathon… he must train for it… your muscles are the same. You have to train your chest, anterior deltoids and triceps for far greater repetitions. I also believe that once you’re able to do 100 push ups with this program, your chest development will not be especially strong (I don’t think you’ll be able to bench 405lbs) nor large (you’re not going to have another 3” around your chest) because you’ll be training specific muscle fibers for endurance.

Anyway… I was curious how much force my hands exerted on the ground when in the push-up position to gauge the resistance. I tested using my digital scale here at the house. At a weight of 220lbs, my hands put 148lbs on the scale. This works out to 67% of my body weight at my current weight distribution.

35 straight reps of 148lbs isn’t too shabby in my book. ;-)

Gryffyn's Gravatar

Gryffyn opines:


Hah.. I knew I should have rephrased that..  When people say certain words, they tend to be in a certain tone.  The words I wrote tend to be in a “how much do you suck?” tone.  But that’s not what I meant. Although it’s good for a lighthearted jab. :)

Anyway, you’re right. Not too shabby, and yes, you train for endurance. Although I don’t think endurance and strength are mutually exclusive.

I just figured if you were going to the gym, working your arms and chest, that you’d have some level of endurance beyond my non-exercising ass.  But I think your muscles stay conditioned, to some degree, for ages after you stop working out, regardless of the fat surrounding them hah.

I do remember reading about “guy pushups” versus “girl pushups” and the body weight percentage you’re pushing.  I still like the legs crossed/tripod method to work a few more body muscles, but I assume it’s the same body percentage as a regular “guy pushup”.

The Perfect Pushup thing looks interesting, but not sure I’m ready for spring for another workout gadget.  You can also use a couple of barbells (no twisting motion) if you don’t like the palms-flat thing.

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Emily Lewis

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I'm a freelance web designer of the standardista variety, which means I get excited about things like valid POSH, microformats and accessibility. I ply my trade from my one-person design studio in Albuquerque, New Mexico 87106 USA.

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