How to Reach 10,000 Push-Ups in One Year
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Over the past 3 months, I will have completed more than 3,225 push-ups. I have yet to miss a single day of finishing at least 30 push-ups in that same time frame.
Earlier this year I put in place some daily morning habits. One of those habits was to complete at least 30 push-ups, every single day, right after waking up in the morning. The only thing I do before I start my push-ups is to drink a 12 ounce glass of water (which was another daily morning habit).
My goal is to do quality push-ups that focus more on form rather than quantity. I think I have been successful thus far in my journey.
Not only did I set out to do these 30+ push-ups every morning, but I set a much bigger goal to complete at least 10,000 push-ups this year!
I have been referring to this as the 10,000 Push-Up Challenge.
Doing 10,000 push-ups in a year averages out to just over 27 per day … which is where the goal of 30 push-ups (per day) comes from. I figured why do just 27 push-ups per day, when I know I can round up and do at least 30.
Since we are about a quarter of the way through the year, I thought I would share my experience of how this challenge is going.
My Journey to 10,000 Push-Ups This Year
Why did I ever decide on doing 10,000 push-ups this year?
For one thing, I have been wanting to focus more on my upper body for some time now. Many years have gone by where I neglected working on my upper body strength. Instead of lifting or doing body weight exercises, I have spent most of my time doing cardio training.
There’s nothing wrong with cardio training, but I need diversity when it comes to exercise. And as I get older, I want to work all parts of my body … not just a few. So doing push-ups seemed like the logical choice.
I also believe in body weight exercises over lifting almost all of the time. So push-ups are seriously a perfect opportunity to build some upper body strength and get toned.
But why 10,000 push-ups in a single year?
Well … it sounded like an achievable number, assuming I could average at least 30 per day. I could have went higher, but I had never tried this many in a year … so it seemed like a logical place to start.
It’s also very convenient to do a couple sets of push-ups each morning before I start my day. I get up and do 3 sets of 10+ push-ups and then later mark the number down in my tracking spreadsheet.
I don’t need to drive to a gym or stress all day about when I can fit them into my schedule. Over time I plan to increase my reps and sets and maybe next year shoot for 15,000 to 20,000 push-ups!
Now let’s take a look at some specifics when it comes to my 10,000 push-up challenge after a quarter of the way through the year.
Push-Up Challenge Stats – One Quarter of the Way Through the Year
At the end of the first 3 months of the year, I have officially completed 3,228 push-ups. These are standard push-ups … nothing crazy yet. But I believe they were all done using proper form.
I can already tell a big difference in the tone of my upper body. Now I just need to focus a little bit more on my diet, so that I can really start to tone up.
The first couple of weeks (24 days in total) I did 3 sets of 10 push-ups for a total of 30. Then I bumped it up to 3 sets of 11, then 12, and 13, and finished off the last couple weeks with 3 sets of 14 push-ups.
Currently I am doing 42 push-ups per day and plan to bump it up to 15 very soon.
During the past 3 months, there were only 3 days were I almost missed my daily push-up routine. These 3 days were spent on a last minute family trip where I was completely out of my routine. Our family was staying in a hotel and each day I forgot about my push-up challenge until the evening and then quickly got my reps in.
Other than those three days, I think doing daily push-ups has become a simple part of my morning routine … almost like brushing my teeth.
When I wake up, it is just part of my day now and I don’t have to worry or stress about a thing.
Projections for the 10,000 Push-Up Challenge
At the current pace, I am on track for getting in 12,912 push-ups this year … which is almost 3,000 higher than my goal. That assumes I would repeat exactly what I did in the first 3 months of the year.
Looking back at my goals, I could have set a higher number to hit during the year … but I think 10,000 push-ups was a great place to start.
Assuming I begin doing 45 push-ups per day (at least) starting in month #4, I would actually be on track to do over 15,000 push-ups this year.
That would have been a better goal, but you never know what could happen. Fortunately, I haven’t had too much soreness from the track I am on. I wouldn’t have wanted to start out with too many push-ups and get injured.
Hopefully I stay healthy and can hit my target of completing at least 30 push-ups per day for the rest of the year.
The long-term goal of hitting 10,000 push-ups this year is also well within my reach.
Next year, I will set out to do 15,000 to 20,000 push-ups to up my game.
Positive Physical Changes from Doing Push-Ups
Since starting my push-up challenge over 3 months ago, I have noticed some nice physical changes in my body.
First, my chest is bigger as well as my biceps and triceps to a certain degree. Nothing like a body builder or anything like that … but a noticeable difference.
My wife was the first to notice (other than myself) the physical changes. It was about 1.5 months in that she asked if I had been doing push-ups or something … because my chest looked bigger.
Little did she know was that I do my morning push-ups while she is still in bed.
I’ve also seen a slight bit of toning going on in my stomach/core area which I attribute to the push-ups. I really need to focus now on cleaning up my diet leading up to the summer months and pool season. Maybe I will get the six pack after all … I just had to wait until I was 45 instead of 25.
The first 30+ days of my push-up challenge, I did a good job with my diet … as our family was on the Whole30. But that unexpected trip I mentioned earlier set me back on unhealthy eating and I need to focus once again on diet.
I’m looking forward to seeing my results after an entire year of doing push-ups!
Positive Mental Changes from Doing Push-Ups
Not only have I seen some nice physical changes to my body from this push-up challenge, I am in a better place mentally.
Almost all of my life (except for now), I have lacked upper body strength. And while I have never been embarrassed of my lack of strength … mentally I have had some struggles.
For example, when it comes to picking up heavy objects around my house or even back in high school when I would lift weights … I would convince myself that I couldn’t lift something.
Mentally … I would tell myself I was weak and couldn’t lift things.
I also hated doing push-ups … just hated them with a passion. When playing on my high school sports teams, I would despise the time in our workouts that would include push-ups. Or any type of strength building exercise.
On the flip side, I would enjoy the cardio and running portions of the exercising. That’s probably why I spent years and years of doing cardio after high school but never focused on lifting or body weight exercises.
Now that I have started doing daily sets of push-ups, my mindset has changed a lot when it comes to my strength.
I won’t ever be a body builder or anything like that, but I do have more confidence now when it comes to lifting things.
And I also have a better self-image of me because I can physically feel better and am starting to tone up.
I am actually surprised at this … but I am happier with the mental changes I have gained from this push-up challenge compared to the physical changes.
Other Benefits of Doing a Push-Up Challenge
One thing I didn’t expect from starting my push-up challenge was the impacts it would have with my other family members.
My wife for example has started noticing the positive physical changes to my body. This has motivated her to doing a push-up challenge all on her own. Except she had to outdo me and start at 50+ push-ups per day!
And my older son, who runs on his high school track team, is now challenging me to see who can do more push-ups each day. He already does a bunch of core exercises and push-ups during his practice and is pushing me to do more. Every day he has to tell me how many more push-ups he did compared to my total.
My younger son (who is built like me) has never liked doing push-ups either. Nor does he have a lot of upper body strength. He has started doing push-ups most days all on his own … because he see’s the rest of his family doing them.
And while I am not a big fan of kids lifting weights … I see no harm in doing push-ups.
So without really even noticing … I have made a positive healthy impact on several of my family members by taking action and starting my push-up challenge.
Several of my family members are now motivated in doing their own challenge and taking healthy steps to a better life.
What’s Next With the Push-Up Challenge?
As I previously noted … my plan is to continue with my 10,000 push-up challenge for the remainder of the year … just 9 more months.
If all goes well, I will likely hit 15,000 push-ups this year! And my plan is to try and shoot for 20,000 push-ups next year.
I want to keep that positive momentum going one day at a time!
Challenging Myself in Other Areas of Life
Because this small daily habit (30 or more push-ups) doesn’t take much time, is easy to complete, and will show long term results … I have been thinking about adding a few other physical challenges to my daily routine.
I’ve wanted to work more on my core … so I will likely start a plank challenge. I don’t have all the details just yet, but it is in the works.
And I have been considering doing a squat challenge to work my legs.
My plan is to really focus on small but frequent tasks that will improve my life over a longer period of time. In this case, I am only mentioning physical daily habits … but I have also extended this to other areas of my life.
At the beginning of the year, I decided to delete the Facebook app from my phone. I am trying to limit the amount of time I spend on social media and any type of electronics.
Just in the past week, my wife and I completely stopped watching television shows. The only exception was a movie we watched one evening.
What did we spend our time on instead? We did more with our kids and each other. And we both did more reading.
While it may not seem obvious that giving up social media or watching television can improve your health … I would argue that it is.
Making small changes to our lives with these daily habits (like giving up television) has allowed us the time and freedom to focus on our health.
And it has freed up time to work on our relationships with other family members, friends, and neighbors.
Completing 10,000 push-ups in a single year may (or may not) seem like a big accomplishment. I think it is certainly a great accomplishment that will have physical benefits.
But even more … I think it has changed how I live my day as well as my family. It has motivated me to challenge myself in other areas of my life and make me a better person both physically and mentally.
So now I will ask you – What are you going to challenge yourself to this year?