The goal of the training is to be able to do 100 consecutive push ups without a break by the end of 6 weeks. The last time I did the training, I only made it through week 3, at which point I could knock out about 20 push ups without stopping, which was, in itself, a HUGE improvement over my previous state of not being able to do 10 modified (knee) push ups!!
But you can’t just jump right into this training, and this shouldn’t be the only training that you do on any given day. The training is meant to be done 3x per week, just like the C25K program. Before you begin, you have to do a push ups trial, to see where in the program to begin, since we’re all created differently.
The trial is simple: do as many good-form push ups as you can: no cheating, and no being dishonest with yourself. Then take that number and look at the Week 1 chart, to see which column you’ll be following.
The first time I did the challenge, I was in the first column (this is like the ‘beginner’ column), because I could only knock out 4 or 5 good push ups. This time around, thanks to 2 weeks of the Pinterest workout, I did 14 push ups, which puts me in the third (advanced) column. I’m marginally pissed about that, because it means that my workouts will immediately be challenging. I shouldn’t be pissed about that, but I’m definitely expecting a hard workout.
And I’m planning to get through more than the third week!
Something that needs to be noted about this training is that along the way, you take what are called ‘exhaustion tests’ in order to track your progress. The test will help you figure out which column you’ll follow in the next two weeks. Also, there’s NOTHING WRONG with having to repeat weeks! I repeated week 3 twice before getting distracted with school.
Week 1, Day 1 — here we go! Again.
I started this challenge twice before. The first time, I was barely able to do 2 push ups. Feel free to read that last sentence again. I really struggled and it was disheartening, to say the least.
I was 6mo postpartum and my core muscles were nowhere near up to par. Having a baby tears your abs apart, literally. They stretch and create a space to make room for the baby to grow and afterward, you have to work to get them back to normal — much less strong again.
Planks are a great exercise for postpartum women, but so are push ups. The thing that makes push ups a little more difficult is the extra weight you’re carrying around combined with weak core muscles. It’s very important to be aware of your form during these exercises or you can really hurt yourself.
The first two attempts at the 100 push ups challenge were done in the modified form … on my knees, or what many refer to as “girl push ups.” I don’t use that terminology because it has a negative connotation as if girls can’t do regular good form push ups.
Prior to my pregnancy, I could do at least 10 push ups with no problem whatsoever, so to go from that to barely being able to do 2 was a major disappointment. When I did my trial, I was able to do 4 good form push ups before I felt like I was going to die. And, you know what? I’m ok with that.
That means I’ll be training in Column 1 and tonight was my Day 1. I did a total of 13 good form push ups. Yay for me! I know this is going to help me build my arm and core muscles, making me stronger. I am determined to finish this challenge so I can finally do a chin up! But also for myself so that I can get back to being able to do push ups without flinching. I’ve got my work cut out for me!
This whole process … being pregnant, watching my body grow, delivering a baby, watching my body shrink, being more aware of my body has given me a deeper respect for my body and my physical capabilities. I owe it to myself to make it as strong as I possibly can.
On to week 1, day 2…