Sunday, August 09, 2009

The One Hundred Push Ups Challenge

After a visit to my doctor a couple of months ago served as a wake up call to me, I've gotten much more serious about my health -- especially my eating habits and exercise. I learned that my cholesterol was way too high for someone my age and that I needed to substantially change my eating habits if I didn't want to experience heart problems later on.

Since late May I have changed my diet and have begun paying much more attention to what (and how much) I put in my body. I've lost about 10-12 pounds and I feel much better. Lots more fruits and vegetables and less processed food and hardly any visits to my favorite fast food joints.

I've also been more intentional about exercise. Although I do get some exercise through normal activities like yard work and playing with my kids, I haven't had any formal routine that I've held to. But that all changed a few weeks ago.

I had seen a few of my friends on Facebook and Twitter refer to something called the "One Hundred Push Ups" Challenge. I figured I'd give it a try since it's free, fairly uncomplicated and can be done anywhere. The objective is simple. You take an initial test to see how many push ups you can do without a break (I did 14 on my initial test). Based on that you're given a workout plan that gradually increases over time until at the end of six weeks you should be able to do 100 consecutive push ups.

Sounds hard, right? I thought so, too, but after three weeks of being on the program, I'm definitely seeing a difference. The workouts (which typically consist of 5-8 sets) take less than a half-hour/day for only three days a week. I've increased from doing 35 total push ups in my first workout to 88 total in my workout at the end of week 3.

Although the numbers of reps and sets will start going up drastically from here, I think I'll be able to do it. I feel stronger and I'm encouraged by the results. I'll be updating my results after each workout on Twitter and you can follow me at Do you think you might be up for the challenge? Let me know if you'd like to take the 100 push up challenge, too, and we can spur each other on!

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