I made it! Push-Up Challenge Completed!

Here’s a quick recap of how it went down:

One evening while flexing in the mirror…..



Honestly, I decided to challenge myself not because there was a growing trend on a social network or I was jealous of Michelle Obama’s massive guns. I wanted to be able to hold my son in my arms for an extended amount of time without feeling like they were on fire. I wanted to wave my arms without feeling that extra jiggle. Sometimes you just have to say enough!


My first plan of attack was a little overzealous. I got a harsh lesson in realizing that I’m no spring chicken and I can’t go zero to sixty in seconds anymore. So my first attempt of this challenge was to do 100 push-ups each day for two weeks. My joints screamed, my abdomen wept, and my chest surrendered. Day one was tolerable but difficult. Day two was almost… dare I say it?… fun. Day three I noticed a soreness in my chest and shoulders, but significant pain in my lower abdomen. Day four I admitted defeat that I had injured my abdominal muscles to the point where I had to rethink my course of action. It wasn’t pretty and although I didn’t want to quit, I did want to start over in a safer way.


After getting over my initial feelings of failure and taking time to heal,  I revitalized my plan by starting at 20 push-ups. 20. Such a small number. Definitely manageable. The next day I would increase my reps by 5 and continue this pattern until I got up to 100 push-ups in one day. This gradual building of reps helped so much. Mentally, I could think I did “such and such a number” yesterday; I can definitely do that plus 5 more today. My previous plan had me thinking “Ugh can I 100 over and over again?” Sometimes you have to think small to gain something big.

So here’s my before and after:

Before Push-up Challenge After Push-up Challenge

Is there any real difference just by looking? no. I mean you can kind of see something starting to emerge if you squint and tilt your head to the left. But in reality, I wasn’t going to fool myself into thinking that I would suddenly be mistaken for Jillian Michaels. (LOVE her by the way). At the very least, this is proof that I didn’t wear the same shirt everyday. I have to say that I have noticed a difference in my strength level. When I play with my son I can throw him up in the air and hold him for longer periods of time a lot easier than before. A nice bonus is that I no longer may an awkward groan when lifting anything heavier than 20 lbs. I also give my husband more of a challenge when we arm wrestle for who has to do the dishes. I’m kidding about that BUT very glad that is not how we make decisions. So the improvement thus far is internal. This isn’t the end of my challenge. Now that I know I can do 100 push-ups in a day in under 10 minutes, I’m going to continue to do push-ups daily. I won’t have a set number in my head but just do as many as I can/want. Maybe 20 push-ups every time I think about that carton of ice cream in the freezer? Sounds legit.