Try this 30-day beginner’s challenge.
I read recently (this article) about a study revealing that a person’s ability to do pushups (or not) is a sign of longevity.
Well, I’m screwed. I’ll be dead in a few days if my pushups strength is an accurate predictor of lifespan. Okay, maybe I’m being a BIT melodramatic and exaggerating things just a smidge. But seriously, this study got me thinking. If it’s true, I do have concerns because I’ve never had good upper body strength. I’ve never been able to whip out a set of full military-style pushups. I can do a few on my knees but my range of motion isn’t very good.
As a personal trainer, I work out regularly. But because I’ve always hated pushups (amazing how you hate something you’re not good at), I don’t practice them very often. And as the old saying goes, “Use it, or lose it!” So very true when it comes to pushups. I learned something amazing (being sarcastic here)—if you don’t actually DO pushups, you’ll never get stronger at them. Duh. Such an obvious thing, but sadly, I’d been ignoring my own advice. I make all of my clients do a form of pushups every workout, because it’s the best indicator of upper body strength. So why don’t I put myself through the same torture, other than the fact I’m not getting paid to torture myself?
That changes now. There are a bazillion pushups challenges online, and I’m sure many of them are awesome. But I wanted one that started at the level I am at right now. If you want to join me and build some serious upper body strength and possibly add years to your life, come along.
You can start at any level. To see where you should start, test yourself:
Against the wall. Is doing 10 pushups against the wall challenging, even just a little bit? Then start there.
Against a counter top or railing. Is doing 10 pushups against a counter top or railing challenge, even just a little? Then start with those.
On your knees. Is doing 10 pushups on your knees (full range of motion, lowering your chest until you’re about a fist width from the floor) challenging, even just a little? Then start with that.
On your toes (show off!). Is doing 10 regular pushups (full range of motion) challenging, even just a little? Then start with those.
Follow along for 30 days (see the graphic for details), then start over again at the next level.