So... how many push-ups can you do? This number is often tossed around (quite competitively at times) as a benchmark for strength — and with good reason! Push-ups are one of the best upper-body exercises, building muscle, strength and endurance.
Plus, they have the added bonus of not requiring any equipment other than your own body weight. (We call that a win-win!)
To take advantage of all these amazing benefits, why not tackle a month-long push-up challenge? You'll build upper-body strength in just 30 days and you'll get the bragging rights of doing 60 push-ups in one day.
How to Do the Push-Up Challenge
Periodically, the LIVESTRONG.com hosts our own 30-Day Push-Up Challenge in our Challenge Facebook group. (Psst! Our next one starts May 1, 2020.) But you can participate in the challenge any time you want!
In our version of the challenge, you'll start on day 1 with 5 push-ups. Each day, you'll add about 2 reps to the previous day's total, and every seventh day, you'll get a rest day (huzzah!). On the very last day of the challenge (day 30), you'll finish with 60 push-ups.
That may seem like a lot when you're starting out, but you can do it! The purpose of this challenge is to build your strength throughout the month and challenge yourself beyond what you think is possible. Plus, you can break them up into sets to be done either back to back or throughout the day. The point is to get them all done in one day.
To keep you on track, we've created a handy calendar that you can print out or save to your phone so you know exactly how many push-ups you'll need to do each day. If you want, you can even cross off each day as you complete your reps.
Click here for a printer-friendly version of the challenge calendar!
Proper Push-Up Form
For this challenge, we partnered with trainer and fitness coach Blaine Strong (find him on Instagram, @BlaineStrong) to give you all the details. Check out the video below where he'll show you the proper form for push-ups and a few modifications you can do. They might appear straight-forward, but it's important to perfect your form before you bust out a bunch all in a row!
- Start in a plank with your hands under your shoulders and your body in a straight line from head to toes.
- Contract your ab muscles so that your hips don't sag and your back doesn't arch.
- Bend your elbows as you lower your chest to the ground, keeping your hips level. Your elbows should be about a 45 degree angle away from your body.
- Once you lower as far as you can, push yourself back up to a plank.
Personalize the Push-Up Challenge to Your Fitness Level
Push-ups can be tough if you haven't done them before, but there are a few ways you can ease into them and steadily increase your core and upper-body strength so that you can do a conventional push-up with good form.
Beginners can try a wall push-up (bracing yourself against a sturdy surface), an incline push-up (hands on a chair, step or other raised surface) or a knee push-up on a flat — hopefully padded! — surface. And as mentioned above, you can break up each day's reps into as many sets as you need.
On the other hand, if you're already a push-up pro or you happen to get bored throughout the 30 days, there are tons of variations on the standard push-up that can really test your strength. Change up your push-ups from one day to the next with one these 10 different types.
How to Join the LIVESTRONG.com Push-Up Challenge
Step 1: Make Your Push-Ups a Daily Habit
Print out or save the 30-day push-up calendar above and use it each day to help you stay on track. Do the prescribed number of reps each day, then check off each day as you complete them. Before you know it, it'll become habit!
Step 2: Connect With Us on Facebook
For daily support, motivation and camaraderie with LIVESTRONG.com team members, join us in our Facebook Group for the 30-Day Push-Up Challenge. We'll share tips, motivations, pictures and more! Plus, we'll answer all your questions.
Each week, we'll have a different focus, as well as lots of tips and motivation to help you through the challenge. Here's what you can expect:
Step 3: Stay Motivated
Throughout the 30 days, we'll provide you with the tools and information you need to stay motivated and reach your weight-loss goals. Sign up for our daily newsletter or visit our homepage to get linked up with the push-up challenge and other great content, including:
- Daily motivational articles to keep you focused on your goal
- Nutrition and fitness advice, including recipes and workouts
- Real-time community support from thousands of LIVESTRONG.com members