100 Day Pushup and Squat: Thoughts on Day 56

Baby Pushup

I love a challenge.

Sometimes you challenge yourself to do something and it’s great.Sometimes you challenge yourself to do something and it’s hard. In the case of the 100 Day Pushup Challenge, which I talk about here, I’ve managed to find a challenge that is great, and hard, and manages suck all at the same time.

I’m writing this on Sunday, 1/27, which is Day 56 of the challenge.  I’m still trucking along, but for the love of Sweet Baby Jesus and Kermit The Frog, this is HARD.  Right now, I am Not.Enjoying.This.  I’m still committed to seeing this through unless physical incapacity prevents me, but right now, in the middle of the long hard slog to day 100, I’m struggling, particularly with the pushups. There are a few reasons.

  • I have gotten behind a time or two because of illness and busy-ness.  Yeah, yeah, that’s an excuse, but it’s happened.  Catching up on a day or two is OK when you’re on day 19 – it’s brutal when you’re on Day 47.  I remember Challenge Instigator Brandon telling me about how he got 3 or 4 days behind on the 100 Day Burpee challenge when he was in the 80’s.  If that happens to me, I’m not sure I can make it up.
  • I thought I would get better faster at pushups, but I’m not.  At the beginning, when we were still doing less than 20 or 25 reps a day, I was able to focus on my depth and make some progress there. But that ability to get more depth is only good for so many reps.  Around day 30, I started struggling to keep my depth through all my reps, and now I just Flat. Can’t. Do. 50+ reps at the depth I want.
  • Recently, I realized that it’s not just strength that I’m struggling with on pushups – it’s also my form.  I’ve been putting my hands too close to my shoulders, making the pushup more of a shoulder exercise, and my elbows are going *out* from my sides instead of *back*.  I’m trying to fix this, but just like I can’t do 50+ reps at the proper depth yet, I can’t do 50+ reps with my hands where they need to go.
  • I’m having an internal struggle with the fact it’s so damned difficult for me to do even crappy pushups. Most of the time when I’m playing CrossFit, I do a decent job of not comparing myself to others.  I don’t feel bad that I do Fran with ring rows instead of pushups, and I don’t let it bug me that I don’t do the WODs as prescribed.  But pushups?  Every gym class in America has a thousand kids who can do them, and there are people at my box in far worse shape than me who can knock them out like it’s their job.  So WHY.CAN’T.I?????

Despite these things, there is still some good in the challenge.  I’m bonding with a community of other people who are doing the challenge – people from my box, and friends at work, and even a few people I only know from a couple of online communities. That’s a lot of fun.  My air squat has improved quite a bit from doing that as a 100 Day Challenge exercise, and it is translating into other lifts and exercises at the gym.  And I can tell I have more muscle in both my shoulders/arms and my legs from the challenge work.  I’ve even had a couple of friends tell me my ass looks good, which will make anyone feel better.  But I would be lying if I said that this challenge was a cake walk, and I’d also be lying if I said I thought it was a slam dunk that I would finish it.

I’m sure going to try, though!



3 responses to “100 Day Pushup and Squat: Thoughts on Day 56

  1. since I am in this with you, and I fell a week behind right before we hit 40 (and am still making it up) I have a comment
    Hell, you know me, I always have a comment… t SEEMS hard, because it IS hard.
    you are doing something you have not done before, and when it is over, you might even miss it a little…
    ah- day 56 (61 for me since i have a number problem)
    I wish i could mine them *all at once* – I cannot.
    This is frustrating. I feel my hips drop, my arms splay out…
    so I do them (because this works for me, and I am doing pushups, situps & squats) I do a countdown from 10.
    10 of each, 9 of each, 8 of each, etc
    (then i stop when i hit 4 and just do 10 in a row) – but starting at 10 and counting down is 55. then I do one last set of however-many- to make the day.
    Ten never seems overwhelming.
    Occasionally I throw out a set of 25, (to get caught up) – but the 10 countdown may very well be the only thing keeping me going.


  2. Great post Diana. Tina is right it is supposed to be hard and it is. The hardest part for me is doing it everyday and sticking with it, I also think that is one of the best lessons that can be learned from the challenge: you can never quit, you can slow down or take a break but you can’t ever stop. So keep up the great work and we will all finish together in a few weeks.
    Also a word of advice, I’m not sure how you are breaking them up but you could do sets of 5 or10 and concentrate on good form and then take a short rest and do 5 or 10 more.


    • Brandon, I’m doing a LOT of breaking things up into sets. I started having trouble knocking everything out in one go around day 25-30 and it all feels impossible right now. At this point, I am doing as many sets of 10-20 as I can stand to try and meet my daily obligation and catch up. Usually it’s the pushups that are hardest for me and I do just fine with the squats, but my left hip flexor is ANGRY with me right now so I’m having trouble with both. I’m going to hang at the box tomorrow and do as much as I can to catch up, plus some mobility stuff. I WILL DO THIS!


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