The ability to do 100 push ups is a great bodyweight exercise goal that fits in nicely with any home workout routine and can be achieved by everyone who is willing to incorporate a good push up workout plan and some dedication into their regular training.
To help you with this aim I have put together a guide that gives advice on the 3 best methods of achieving this push up quest including a description of the pyramid system which is the method I used and which will enable most reasonably fit individuals who follow it to master 100 push ups in no more than six weeks.
The best thing about the 100 push ups challenge is that it does not require the super human strength or fitness of an elite athlete but still remains a fantastic achievement which will give you a great sense of pride once you have achieved.
How long it will take you to bang out 100 push ups depends on your present endurance and fitness levels but the majority of men under 30 and in reasonable condition should be able to master this challenge in 6 weeks and even many older or less fit individuals can accomplish it in 3 to 6 months.
However, it should be noted that a good strength to bodyweight ratio is crucial in challenges of this nature and you should not expect to knock out 100 press ups if you are very overweight. This doesn’t mean that you should not undertake the challenge it simply means that the best way forward would be to incorporate your 100 push up training in a overall weight loss plan and you will then have a goal to aim for in conjunction with your weight loss.
The press up technique
Just about everyone has an idea of how to do a press up but if you are unsure here is a quick description. Lie on the ground with your hands no more than shoulder width apart and as close to your chest as possible. Keep your elbows tucked in and then lower your body down by bending your arms at the elbows until your chest is an inch from the floor and then push back up to the starting position. Make sure you keep your body straight throughout the movement and do not stick your bum in the air or allow your lower back to sag.
The benefits of press ups.
As anyone who visits unique bodyweight exercises.com regularly will know, strength is built with exercises that keep to the 1-6 repetition range and a combination of muscle and strength is built with 6-12 repetitions. It therefore follows that doing 100 push ups in one set is not the best method for achieving either of these aims and if that is your goal you will be better off incorporating more demanding press ups such as the hip and planche versions into your training program.
However, 100 push ups does require a great deal of muscular endurance, cardio vascular fitness and above all core strength and these benefits alone are enough to undertake the training. If you also take into consideration the mental focus this challenge provides and the sense of accomplishment you have once you have succeed I am sure you can see why this is a great little challenge to go for.
The tempo of the press ups.
If you want to build strength and muscle the press up technique required is to slowly lower the body down until the chest is an inch from the floor and then pause for a second before pushing slowly back up to the starting position.
This technique is fine for strength and muscle building because the name of the game is to keep the number of repetitions low, however, the purpose of the 100 push ups challenge is to build muscular endurance, fitness and core strength and it is therefore neither practical or necessary to use such a slow tempo.
The best technique for this challenge is to do one press up immediately after another in a smooth, consistent and rapid pace with no pauses at all.
The extra rep method.
This is the most common method of achieving 100 push ups and is very simple to implement. First you need to establish the maximum number of push ups that you can do in one go and then all you do is increase this number by at least one repetition every time you train.
Therefore, if you practice your push up workouts 4 times per week you can improve your maximum number of repetitions by 4 per week which in itself is a good improvement but in my own experience the progress possible with this method can be even greater than this because in many training sessions you will be able to increase the number of repetitions by as many as 3 or 4 in one attempt especially if press ups have not been a part of your previous training.
The extra rep method is an effective way of dramatically increasing your maximum number of repetitions and has been used by many people to set fitness records including the God Father of press ups former world record holder Charles Linster.
The advantages of this method are that it requires no equipment and is simple to implement, the disadvantages are that it can be stressful both physically and mentally to have to beat your previous record every time you do your push up workout and if your maximum number of repetitions is low when you first undertake the challenge getting to 100 reps can seem like a steep mountain to climb.
The incline method.
The incline method of achieving 100 push ups enables most reasonably fit people to do 100 repetitions from the very first workout because it involves doing the push ups on an incline which in turn makes them considerably easier.
For this method the best way forward would be to do your first 100 push ups against a wall and then progress by moving further from the wall and then using lower platforms so that you are doing the 100 push ups from a height that decrease at about 12 inches on a weekly basis. This technique can be very effective and is the method I used to master the full abs rollout.
The advantage of the incline method is that it enables most people to do 100 push ups from the very first workout and therefore prepares you both physically and psychologically to what is involved in the task. The disadvantage is that it can be difficult to find stable platforms that allow controlled progress although tables and chairs are two examples of what can be used.
An example of how to use the incline method
The pyramid system.
The third and in my opinion best method of building up to 100 push ups quickly is the pyramid system. This method is another one that will allow most reasonably fit people to do 100 repetitions from the very first push up workout by using a restricted range of motion to make each repetition easier.
To do the pyramid system you do your first set of 100 press ups by only pushing your chest up from the floor 2 inches and then returning back down and repeating. After 2 or 3 workouts of 100 reps in this range of motion to allow your body to adapt you increase the distance of your press ups by pushing up from the floor to a height of 6 inches. Then week by week you increase the height until you can eventually do 100 push ups with a full range of movement lowering your chest to the floor and then pushing back up so that your arms are locked.
The advantages of the pyramid system are that it allows most people to do 100 reps from the first workout, it doesn’t require any equipment and it has an easy method of increasing to the next stage of the progression. However, the main advantage of this method and what makes it the most effective push up workout plan to achieve 100 repetitions quickly is that the first stages of the program involve the most demanding parts of the press up i.e. the six inches from the floor. Therefore, the week by week increases in height are always easier which is the opposite of the incline method were each decrease makes the press up more difficult.
The first stage of the pyramid system
Another progresion of the pyramid system
The press up and its many variations can be used to build strength, muscle and fitness and is considered by many experts to be the king of all bodyweight exercises. These benefits are also why it is the cornerstone of all military training courses and why it pays to include this exercise in your training routine.
The 100 push ups challenge is a great goal to aim for and the training for this will not only dramatically increase your fitness but also give you new focus and a sense of accomplishment once you have succeeded.
Although my personal preference is the pyramid system, the extra rep and incline method are two other very effective ways to get to 100 push ups quickly and all three methods will allow many people to build up to 100 push ups within six weeks. For those who are less fit or overweight the push up challenge can still be a very worth while goal to aim for even if it takes a while longer to achieve. After all the harder the work the sweeter the victory or to quote Thomas Foxwell Buxton
“With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable”.