Push-Up Project

How this all started is a bit foggy, but the challenge was laid down my brother Joe: as many push-ups as you can in three minutes. It sounds pretty straight forward but it’s incredibly frustrating.

Right now I can knock out at least 60-65 push ups in a row, so to think about the fact that I have three minutes had me fantasizing about cranking out way more than that. Whoa…not so fast.

There’s a lot more to it, a strategy that’s needed. It’s three minutes total, and not something like three minutes of rest. What’s needed is a plan to maximize rest and minimize fatigue. Are you better off ripping them off until you can’t go any further then taking as much rest as possible in one “long” break before going all-in again? Does it make more sense to bang out micro sets and take lots of little rest stops?

I first attempted this back in the fall (maybe?) and sent my total to my two brothers with shame. I had only hit 92 or 93 and felt pathetic about it. Turns out I won the challenge and reign supreme amongst my kin…woohoo! Or, my family is shamefully weak. I hope it’s the former and not the latter.

Facing a bleak stretch of training where goals and motivation seem to be hard to come by, I needed something to help get the engines going again. Maybe the push up challenge will help launch me into a new routine.

Here’s Day One of my five day Push Up Project:

Monday, February 11th – Without giving it much thought I found myself hammering away. There was no strategy to this session. I felt surprisingly strong when I hit 40 in the first set and thought it best to rest while I was ahead. The rest didn’t help much and I struggled for the remainder of the time. To put it in perspective, I got 40 in the first 45 seconds, and then only 50 more in the remaining 2:15 (and only felt like puking two or three times!). On the positive side: lots of room for improvement, and I did not find myself staring into a puddle of my stomach’s (former) contents.

By end of day Friday, will I be able to improve by much? I’d like to get close to 120. I basically just pulled that number out of my ass and, percentage wise, it represents a pretty significant increase over my current total. We’ll see how close I come. Aim high, right? Later on (hours later), I easily banged out another 50 before a short treadmill run, which gave me some more false confidence towards this goal.


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About ejnshow

Runner. Writer. Lover of the absurd. Hobbies include bringing all three of these elements together.

4 responses to “Push-Up Project”

  1. kellydomara says :

    I feel like trying this now, though I don’t expect to get more than 50-60.

    One thing you should try, which I did at running camp one time: one pushup first line of the football field, two on the next five yard line, then three, etc. We were on an indoor field, so it got up to 17 on the last one, double that and then come back down. It’s like more than 300 pushups, but it’s so hard to do that your arms are visibly horribly shaking by the end that you can barely hold them up and it feels like someone took a baseball bat to your ribs. Good times.

    • ejnshow says :

      Wow, that sounds hardcore, especially for runners. It reminds me of another one that my brother passed along to me from his wrestling practices. You would do a push-up then sit up and and raise your arms over your head (military press-style), then get down and do 2 push-ups followed by 2 presses. Add one each time until you got up to twelve, and your arms are burning like you wouldn’t believe by the end.

Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Push-Up Project: Day Three « The EJN Show - February 14, 2013
  2. Training Log: 02/11/13 – 02/17/13 « The EJN Show - February 18, 2013

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