In an effort to increase my upper body strength, I opted to join a challenge one of my blends Jen at Wine to Weightlifting (and her collaborators) created called the No More “Girly” Pushups Challenge! It runs from February 4 – March 11 with weekly check-ins & prizes and is based on the 100 pushup challenge app workout guide!
What have I done so far? I printed out 6 weeks worth of workout progressions from the website and on Monday, I did the initial pushup test and later that day did the first workout. Note, it is recommended to do the initial test and then start the program a couple days later, but that would have cut into my 5 week time frame…and I do about 30-40 pushups at every yoga class, which are spaced out over an hour, so I figured this would be fine for my body.
Initial test: Do as many good form pushups as you can in a row. Again, in yoga, we don’t do many consectutive pushups, we do quite a few over the course of an hour. BUT I still managed to do 8 consecutive yoga-style pushups (harder because arms are close to your body)! This put me into the second column ‘workout’ plan for week 1.
Week 1: Column 2 workouts (see website) have 5 sets of pushups you do 3 times a week with a 60 second break in between each set. For example: Set 1=6, Set 2=6, Set 3=4, Set 4=4, Set 5= (max you can do at least 5 or more). So I did this workout on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday (sort of) of last week. I was definitely a bit sore the day after each workout in my delts and a little bit in my triceps, but not to the point where I couldn’t use my arms. And I found that as I progressed farther into the week, my arms were less sore the following day. To me, this is a sign that I am on the right plan, its challenging, but not body crippling or difficult to recover from. Here are my daily totals:
- Monday: 33 pushups (initial test + week 1)
- Wednesday: 25 (week 1, max at 5)
- Saturday: 20+ (2.5 hr yoga class!)
You are supposed to give your arms a rest day in between workouts, so I decided to forego the Friday workout in lieu of the 2.5 hr yoga technique workshop on Saturday. Most of the ‘pushups’ we did were yoga-oriented; we focused on correct form during chaturanga and up-dog, which we did over and over and I lost count after 20. Tough work! Had I done the workout on Friday, my arms would not have been ‘fresh’ enough to focus on improving my yoga form, BUT I still got a great upper body workout from that class! Check back Wednesday for full recap!
Goal: Yes my goal is to do 100 pushups, but I really want this effort to ‘spill-over’ into my yoga practice. There are poses we have to hold on our arms (sometimes a low pushup a few inches off the floor) and I really need additional upper body/shoulder strength for some of them. I am also hoping this will help tone my arms a bit more 🙂 So far so good on the challenge and I can’t wait to report on my Week 2 progress!
Have you ever participated in a pushup challenge?