The pushup is one of the best exercises you can do. Your body is excellent resistance for toning and building muscle. Being able to do 200 or more pushups a day is not going to get you ripped like a gym rat, but it will shape your body and make you strong.
Pushups are portable, you can do them on the side of your bed at home and the side of your bed when you traveling away from home. The key to getting to a high number of reps (like 200 pushups) is consistency. You must decide that you are going to get to your goal whether it takes you a month or a year.
The modern pushup is said to have been invented in 1905 by wrestler and strongman Jack Revilla. This does not mean that the pushup is a modern invention, the Romans including Constantine are said to have performed an exercise very similar to the modern pushup.
Why 200 Pushups?
We’re all motivated by different factors. Some people may look at 200 pushups as an aerobic exercise to lose weight, others might see it as a way to build strength and endurance in their arms, chest, and core.
With so many challenges out there to hit 100 pushups (or even 50), what makes 200 so special?
The US military and most armies around the world use the pushup for strength, discipline, and stamina. Bootcamp attendees find themselves having to work their way up from single pushups, pullups, and situps to hundreds of reps of each.
Delta force, and other elite US army units, are said to perform 200 pushups a day on average. Doing as many pushups as an elite US soldier should be reason enough to work your way to 200.
Will 200 Pushups Do Anything?
People commonly ask, “Will doing 200 pushups do anything?” or “What will happen if I do 100 pushups a day?”. The answer of course is it will do a lot. Your endurance will increase, your strength will increase and your overall size will increase.
Some people want to get ripped and they think pushups will get them there. Pushups are not going to make you look like you bench press 500 lbs, no matter how many reps you are able to do. Doing a hundred pushups or two hundred pushups a day will make you look slimmer with more definition and better posture. You will have a much more muscular build, but you will look more like a swimmer than a bodybuilder.
How To Do A Pushup
If starting with no experience, do as many as you can in as many sets as you need. The goal of week one is to get to 25, even if you need 5 sets of 5 reps to do it. Everyone’s fitness level is different, some may be able to do 25 in one set already, some may take longer than a week to move on.
The goal is to do pushups every day. You may only be able to do it every other day at first – this is normal. Comfortably build to 25 pushups a day, then move on to Week 2.
Add 25 more reps for a total of 50. This can be broken into 5 sets of 10. The goal is to eventually do 2 sets of 25, so try to do as many reps as you comfortably can.
Add another 25 reps to get to 75. You should start feeling more comfortable doing pushups. Aim to at least be able to do 25 in one set. If you are struggling, don’t move forward until you are ready.
Add another 25 to get to 100. If you are doing 10 sets of 10 reps to get to 100, you will want to stop at 100 until you build up enough endurance to do 4 sets of 25.
Do one set of 50 and 2 sets of 25.
Do two sets of 50. If you fatigue, slow down and breathe. It’s also okay to stop and restart – your body is still getting used to pushups.
Do another week of pushups, 2 sets of 50. You should be able to complete the exercise without stopping.
Do two sets of 50 one set of 25.
Do two sets of 50 two sets of 25
Do two sets of 50 three sets of 25
Do two sets of 50 four sets of 25
Do three sets of 50 two sets of 25
Do four sets of 50.
Making it to 200 pushups is a difficult challenge, but not impossible. Doing 4 sets of 50 pushups every day is an achievable goal. Any more pushups may be too much of a good thing. The best way to build your endurance and strength is to try to reduce the number of sets. Doing 100 pushups in a row or even 200 in a row will give you a much more difficult workout. Slower and lower pushups provide an additional challenge, as will changing your hand positioning.
Nutrition is key to making gains. As you progress you will find your appetite will change. Your body will need more protein and carbs. You may find yourself browsing the web for protein powders or healthy recipes. Food is fuel, and as you start (literally) pushing your body you will find your body craving food you’ve probably never craved before. Eating better will make you feel better, and it will give you the fuel you need to get to 200 pushups.
The military staggers pushups throughout the day whether it’s for exercise or for discipline. You may find that you can only do 100 pushups in one sitting and the other hundred throughout the day. This is common and shouldn’t be looked at as a failure, our bodies are all different – after all – how many people do you know who can do 200 pushups a day?