Ever wonder what would happen if you did 100 push ups a day? Or, is doing 100 push ups a day even a wise idea?
If you’ve ever toyed with the idea yourself, you no longer have to wonder. I’ve put myself through this process and have seen first hand what was experienced, at least in my own physique.
Now I want to share this with you. One of the biggest reasons why I wanted to do 100 push ups a day was to see what would happen if I trained a muscle group in an unusual manner.
You’ve heard the drill before. Work a muscle hard and then back off and let it rest for at least 48 hours. Common ‘gym rules’ state that every muscle group should have at least 48 hours to rest before you come back to it.
So working a muscle group every day? How does that even fit in? Won’t it overtrain?
These are all things I wanted to find out and I did discover some important details.
Let me share with you some of the details.
Important Points To Know
Before we get into the nitty gritty details of what transformation my physique underwent, I want to underscore two important things here.
First is that I was doing 100 push ups a day, not doing say 100 heavy weight back squats a day. My results may have been different had I been attempting something with very heavy weight loads because of the different demands on the central nervous system.
While my chest is by no means the strongest part of my body (although I would argue that after this experiment of doing 100 push ups a day, it is now my most developed), a single push-up is not exactly what I would consider challenging. It doesn’t place my body under a huge amount of stress and strain, therefore there isn’t a ton of CNS stress going on here1.
As I work up to 100, yes, it definitely does get harder, but it’s still not going to be as totally exhausting and physically demanding as a full out set of squats until failure for example.
Muscular fatigue and CNS fatigue are two totally different things and if I was training myself to the point of CNS fatigue each and every day on the same muscle group and exercise, there is a much higher chance that I may have overtrained.
So point one to note here is that if you are going to attempt this protocol, do keep in mind that your muscle choice and exercise selection does matter.
The second point I want to make clear is that I was using proper form at all times. I am a sucker for ensuring that there is always mind-muscle connection on all the exercises I do so this wasn’t just cranking out the reps until the number was achieved. I was doing all the push ups with strict form, making sure that I felt it right where I needed to.
I do believe this helped prevent me from becoming injured, which very well may have happened if I was mindlessly going through the movements or not taking care as fatigue built up to ensure I kept up good form.
I highly recommend you do the same, be it on this protocol or any other protocol you might attempt. Losing good form to get up a weight is rarely worth the risk.
Finally, the third point to note with this challenge I completed is that I was determined. I was devoted. I didn’t miss a day. I do believe this is a big part of what led me to my results. When I get my mind set on something, I am going to follow that through, regardless of what it takes. This was no different.
Had I done 100 push ups a day for say 250 of the 365 days per year, my results may have differed dramatically. But I did them rain or shine, tired or not, each and every day. In fact, I actually did longer than a year, but we’ll just round out to that year long time frame.
My 100 Push Ups a Day Results
So what happened? What did I notice after doing 100 push ups a day for a full year?
The thing I noticed is that the body does adapt. Your body is a miraculous machine and has the ability to become accustomed to whatever you throw at it. I was working all these muscles hard and was working them regularly. I was not giving them their full 48 hours of rest like the research typically suggests you do.
I think I did, at least to some degree, overtrain these muscles. But this is also what I believe prompted them to greater growth.
When I finally backed off this style of training, my muscle size really expanded as now the supercompensation effect from all that training began to occur. I did see some strength gains taking place, but mostly what I noticed was a dramatic increase in the overall size and fullness of this area of my body and shoulder width. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t impressed.
If you ask almost anyone what the most developed part of my body is, most will state my upper body. And this is despite it not being my strongest. I have long arms so my bench press is not all that impressive, but you can bet I can do push-ups to beat just about anyone.
My body got very good at the push up action, adapted to it and grew. Plain and simple. This illustrates that you don’t always need to workout in the normal style that it’s often said you do.
You can – and should – break free and try something new. If you ever have an idea about a new way to train, give it a try. You really don’t know what will be ahead unless you try it. Had I just thought that doing 100 push ups a day was a silly idea and couldn’t be done because the ‘laws of bodybuilding’ stated that you couldn’t, where would I be? Would be seeing the results with my chest that I see now? I honestly don’t think so.
The worst thing you can do with your workouts is hit the gym and do the same thing over and over again. Especially if you aren’t exactly seeing the best results from doing so. If it’s working, great, you might want to stick with it for a little while but even then, you could be leaving results on the table if you don’t change something.
New stimuli, new techniques, new angles, new exercises – all of these are what shock the muscles into growth and help you develop a more impressive physique. So whether you want to do 100 push ups a day and see what becomes of it or you are interested in something else, do it. Be committed and conduct an experiment on your own. You might just find you’ve discovered something new and amazing that works for you.
- Meeusen, Romain. “Overtraining and the Central Nervous System.” Overload, Performance incompetence, and regeneration in Sport. Springer, Boston, MA, 1999. 187-202
I’m Troy and I’m the creator of SuperHuman You and Co-Founder of Alpha Lion.
I created SuperHuman You to give you access to the most cutting edge information so you can reach your body goals as fast as humanly possible.
I’ve been obsessed with training since 2005 when I attended IMG Academy and got to train alongside NBA, NFL and Olympic Gold Medal winning athletes.
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