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How 52 Push-ups Becomes 22,344

Consistency. I beat that word like a dead horse. Consistency produces results.

What does consistency mean in practice? This recent self-challenge helps illustrate:

  • Complete 52 push-ups on a Monday in any way you choose. Rinse and repeat for 6 of 7 weekdays. Grand total: 312 weekly push-ups.
  • Complete 53 push-ups for 6 of 7 days the next week. Grand total: 318 weekly push-ups.
  • Continue the process of adding a push-up to your daily total each week. Do this for 48 out of 52 weeks of the year, taking 4 full weeks to either rest or break up the monotony with something completely different.
  • End result exactly 1 year later: 100 push-ups per day. Grand total: 600 weekly push-ups.
  • Cumulative end result: 22,344 push-ups.

Now it’s your turn! It’s an official challenge.

Rules of the Challenge:

  1. Choose an exercise that makes sense for you. I chose push-ups based on chest development and personal interest.
  2. Choose a starting point that makes sense for you. Pick an attainable number that does not produce significant soreness. 52 push-ups fit the bill for me.
  3. Vary your daily set structure. Chop it up in baby sets of 5 or two larger sets. Perform the sets in close proximity or far apart throughout the day. Experiment with variety and don’t sweat the details. (Note: Avoid leaning too heavily on grinding max sets, as they’ll increase soreness)
  4. Practice perfect form. You have thousands of cumulative repetitions to understand the exercise better and ensure it’s done perfectly every time.
  5. Use your rest weeks… but not necessarily to rest. I advocate changing up your motion patterns from time to time, as it will help with overuse injuries. 4 “off” weeks are built in, so use them to do anything except [your exercise].

One final thing. Choose an exercise that travels well. Push-ups can be done anywhere, anytime, anyplace – no excuses. I successfully took my 53 push-up week on a beach vacation! Simplicity and ease of access mean you’ll get the job done without added mental stress.

That’s it team.

How simple is this? 52 push-ups equates to about a minute per day. 100 push-ups (the end of the challenge) equates to two minutes per day. You can perform them at work, on the road, or at home. You can perform them in a suit, athletic gear, or your underwear.

What is the reward? Your upper body and core benefit. You’ll look and perform like a push-up champion. You’ll have a newly ingrained habit that translates to infinite other wellness behaviors.

Are you willing to pay the simple price of consistency for disproportionate results?

Go get it.