A Blog Not Limited

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Aug 27, 2008

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One Hundred Push Ups

As I posted previously, I'm doing the one hundred push ups challenge: a six-week program designed to get me able to do 100 consecutive push ups. I am now on my seventh week.

Practice Makes Perfect?

Yep, I've been doing the program for seven weeks, and I'm following the week five schedule for the second week in a row.

After I successfully completed the week four schedule, I did the advised exhaustion test to see how far I had come and to determine which column to follow in the week five schedule.

I was shocked and amazed, because I maxed at 33 reps. That was a great improvement over my previous exhaustion test where I maxed at 20, and a huge improvement over my starting point of nine.

With the 33 reps under my belt, I dove into the week five schedule — which was my actual sixth week doing the program, because I had repeated the week two schedule — and followed the program as outlined in column one.

That first day kicked my ass: 30 reps, followed by 24, 22, 20 and then 30+. But, thankfully, subsequent days were better, even though they had more sets than previous schedule. By the end of that week, I did another exhaustion test. Still maxed at 33 reps. Damn!

So, I'm doing the week five schedule again this week and hoping I can get past this plateau.

Not Even Slightly Discouraged

Despite having to repeat a few weeks over the course of this thrilling and exciting journey, I'm still extremely pleased with both this program and my progress.

Based on how this second go-round with week five is progressing, I have a feeling I may have to repeat it again. Well, they say third time's the charm, right?

I should note, though, I'm still having some pretty bad wrist strain. But I believe it is more than the push ups. I'm also kickboxing, which is taxing my wrists because I'm still learning the proper form for punches. But I'm working with my trainer to strengthen my wrists in hopes it gets better over time.

All in all, I'm still going strong with this program. It fits very easily into my schedule and it is working, albeit a bit slower than my impatient self would like.

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Greg's Gravatar

Greg opines:


Keep up the good work.  I just started week 6 yesterday.  Week 5 took some getting used to since I basically dropped the program to do other things for a week or two, but once I got back into it, it flew by and have been continuing the program without a break since the 24th.


I’ve been working out (biking 8 miles a day, running at least 2, the push ups, and misc other exercises as well as eating healthy and tracking it on The Daily Plate over at LiveStrong.com (fitness/food tracker), now if I could only get on a decent sleep schedule.

Emily's Gravatar

Emily opines:


@Greg - I’m envious of your progress, but I know I’ll get there at some point.

Do you find that the other exercise/activity you are doing helps, or does it slow your ability to increase max reps?

I’ve been thinking I might be going slower than I’d like because of muscle fatigue due to other exercise I’m doing. Doesn’t mean I’ll stop, just curious if that might be why it has been slower for me.

Good luck!

ERN's Gravatar

ERN opines:


you are one box-kickin’, up-pushin’ mama. right on sista.

Jason's Gravatar

Jason opines:


Excellent! I’m still stuck at week five. I have taken a month long “break” http://is.gd/20v2 . After reading your post, I need to start again.

Emily's Gravatar

Emily responds:


@Jason - Holy crap! Your first exhaustion test was 45, followed by 55. Crazy. Impressive.

Yeah, you should start again, you don’t have that far to go to get to 100.

Create Sean's Gravatar

Create Sean opines:


wow. I’ve never heard of this challenge. But it’s definitely the thing for me - a few weeks ago, I bought a chin-up bar and push-up handles and used them for about 3 days.

Definitely going to get on this.

Emily's Gravatar

Emily responds:


@Create Sean - Glad you’ve been inspired. Saw your first blog post about it. Best of luck to you!

Greg's Gravatar

Greg opines:


@Emily the free weight training probably doesn’t help the progress with the push ups go as fast as it would seem (at least when written down), but I don’t think there’s really any rush to see giant gains on paper anyway. 

You can see from the progress reports that the number of push ups that you are able to do when you started the program to the current date has gone up.  That’s the entire point.  Ideally this six week program is probably better suited towards people who don’t exercise as constantly as some of us.  Either way, any exercise is better than none at all.

Toby Comeaux's Gravatar

Toby Comeaux opines:


I have done week 5 three times and still can’t get to 46 push ups. Suggestions?

Emily's Gravatar

Emily responds:


@Toby - I would try doing pushups on a Bosu or wobble board. The extra muscles you will engage to maintain balance may help you get past 46

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