The pushup was one of the most basic physical fitness tests back in elementary school and middle school. It is a good indicator of strength and horribly embarrassing if you have to do them in an exercise class and cannot keep up with everyone else. If you are looking to build your arm strength or increase the amount of pushups you can do, you may want to consider the One Hundred Push Ups program.
Pros and Cons of the “100 Pushups Program”: What is the One Hundred Push Ups Program?
The One Hundred Push Ups program has a very basic underlying idea: anyone can do 100 pushups. You can “easily” be on your way to doing 100 consecutive pushups by the end of 6 to 7 weeks by gradually increasing the amount of pushups you do every day. You start with the Initial Test which measures the amount of consecutive pushups you can do and tells you where to start the program. Once you receive your rank, that is the week number that you start at following the recommended reps and sets for your age group. Someone who can already do more pushups would start at a later week than someone like myself who cheated to get five on the initial test so I had to start on week one. If you cannot complete the required number of sets and reps for each workout of that week, you repeat it so in reality the program can take much longer than the projected 6-8 weeks. The program was created by Steve Speirs who has now also written a book based on the same idea called 7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups which is understandably more helpful than the free site. The book contains warm ups and additional workout information that is not featured on the website.
Pros and Cons of the “100 Pushups Program”: Pros
The program doesn’t require you to attend a gym. You do not need any fitness equipment for the One Hundred Push Ups Program. You don’t even have to become a member of their website or pay for it unless you decide to make a donation to their PayPal account on one of the links throughout their site. Even those of us hit hardest by the bad economy can complete this program.
You Can Do it Anywhere
Who cares if you are working late at the office, on vacation or a business trip, staying at your girlfriends house – you can’t make excuses for not completing the workout. It only takes 10 minutes, you are carrying the only exercise equipment you need with you already (yourself), and you don’t even need to change clothes. Their website even has a printable sheet which folds to wallet size that covers the entire six week program so you really would only need to visit their website once.
Minimal Time Commitment
Like I mentioned before, it’s only a ten minute workout and you only need to do it three times a week. Everyone should have at least 10 minutes to spare per day.
Increases Muscle Tone and Strength
Pushups work a lot of muscles such as your chest, forearms, biceps, triceps, shoulders, upper back, lower back, abs, and basically your entire body. They help tighten up jiggly arm fat so your clothes will look better on you.
Advice to Decrease Likelihood of Injury
There is advice on their What is a Push Up? Page about using good form and how to do “alternative” pushups if you aren’t strong enough to do regular push ups. Knowing the proper form will help keep you from hurting yourself and achieve the best results.
Pros and Cons of the “100 Pushups Program”: Cons
Extremely Difficult for Beginners
If you start the program and can’t already do very many pushups, it is very discouraging and intimidating seeing what you will be building up to. Beginners really need to start with “alternative” pushups or they probably will not make it through the first couple of weeks let alone the entire program.
Does Not Emphasize the Need for a Warm Up
The workout boasts a very short time commitment needed each day because you only have to work out 10 minutes. They do not mention a warm up which is necessary to keep pain to a minimum. Just do a little stretching and warm your arms around a little before you begin the workout or you’ll be paying for it until you have to do the next workout.
Does Not Emphasize Need for Additional Exercise
Yes, pushups do work a lot of muscles, but you need to work out more than a total of 30 minutes per week. You need to do some sort of cardio exercise a few times per week and not expect the One Hundred Pushup Program to work miracles to reshape your entire body.
Goal is Unrealistic for Many
Let’s face it; a girl like me will never do 100 consecutive pushups. If you start the program unable to do more than a handful of pushups, you will not be doing 100 pushups at the end of 6-7 weeks. When looking through the sister site Pushups Logger, you can get an idea of the drop out rate, many don’t make it past the first week and only about 5% make it till the end. Most of the users of the sister site were more at the 50-75 consecutive pushup range by the end of week 6, day 3. It gets you on your way to one hundred, but after 6 weeks of busting your butt thinking you are going to make it to 100, don’t be heartbroken because you are not the only one who fell short of your goal.
Pros and Cons of the “100 Pushups Program”: Verdict
While the goal of reaching 100 consecutive pushups by the end of this program is unrealistic, it is still worth it to do the program. Give it a try; any increase in strength is good. Even if this is the only exercise you get, going from nothing to doing pushups is a good start and may encourage you to spend more time working out and improving your health. The One Hundred Push Ups Program even has sister programs called Two Hundred Situps, Two Hundred Squats, and Twenty Five Pullups so if you the pushups challenge and loved it you can move on to those also.