The Push Up Challenge

27 Nov

I used to not be able to do any push ups. It seems that a lot of people can’t actually, because one of the biggest traffic drivers to my blog is people googling “I can’t do push ups”, which lands them right on my original confession. But after months of building up my strength through bodyrock, I now LOVE push ups. It didn’t take me a month to be able to do one either, probably around a week and a half. It’s amazing how quickly the body builds up strength when you challenge it. Such a small task like being able to do ten push ups in a row brings on such a big awesome feeling when you started from none. And I channel that feeling often.

Two nights ago, I was sitting at my computer, and thought- what if I could get others in on this? Share the awesomeness of a push up? I immediately hit up my communities on facebook and twitter:

melruns on facebook

Sometimes, while walking around my apartment, I’ll randomly drop down and do five. It picks me up when I’m starting to feel tired or lazy, gets my heart pumping, and re-energizes me. It’s like taking a power nap, except without missing 20 minutes of your day. I really wanted others to feel this, too. Five minutes after I posted about the push up movement, Austin Fit Magazine, who I’ve been following on Twitter since I moved here in hopes of writing for them in the near future, (you hear that Austin Fit? ;) ) tweeted back at me “haha it’s gotta be 100.”

100 push-ups a day? What am I, Tarzan? I get it. One push-up isn’t exactly a body building routine, but this ish needs to be accessible to be people. It’s about reminding ourselves of all the strength we own and can tap into at any time. I went back and forth with Austin Fit, and they came back with this:

Austin Fit Push Up Challenge

It was a deal, and the challenge was born. Pretty soon a bunch of people were joining in on twitter. Today will be day three for me, but for those of you who are just joining, you can start at any time! There are two challenges–choose both or one–either way you’ll get a boost of “I feel awesome” in your day–the feeling that empowers you to push a little harder, a little further, in whatever it is your striving towards.

Challenge 1: The Austin Fit & Mel Runs push up challenge

  • Start with 1 push up on day 1, and then double your push ups from there on out. So day 2 will be 2 push ups, day 3 is 4 push ups, day 4 is 8 push ups, and continue on down the line. For me, once we get past 8, I’ll be breaking it up into sets. And once we get past 32, I’ll probably need to modify them towards the end. But modified or not, it allll counts. Each one makes us that much stronger.

Challenge 2: The one push up a day challenge

  • This challenge is all about self-worth and empowerment. Everyday we are each faced with a situation or state of mind that makes us question ourselves. Can I accomplish this? Did I do a good job? Am I worth it? It’s important to remember that our strength comes from within, and we have to take that inner strength and channel it into everything we do. Don’t be the one who questions your own worth–be the one who proves it (I feel like Oprah right now). The one push up a day challenge is to remind you of how strong you are. It doesn’t matter when you do it; first thing in the morning, after your daily run, while cooking dinner–it’s when it hits you. And hey, if you feel so good that you end up doing 10, more power to you. But all you need is one reminder a day. And then you can carry that strength with you through each decision and each moment thereafter.


Who’s up to the challenge? Let me know in the comments!

the push up challenge i pushed it

you can use this image path:

Let others know you’re pushing it, too, by wearing the push up challenge badge on your site. You are your own best advocate. And for those of you (most of you) who are comment shy–that’s cool. Just do it for you. That’s who really matters in the end anyway :) .


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14 Responses to “The Push Up Challenge”

  1. Niki November 27, 2011 at 6:47 pm #

    I NEED this challenge. I have almost no upper body strength. I will do Challenge 1 starting today with my one push up!

    • melruns November 27, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

      Welcome Niki!! Right on, I’m excited you’re on board :)

  2. Dave November 27, 2011 at 7:21 pm #

    I’m in. LET’S DO THIS.

  3. annieology November 27, 2011 at 9:41 pm #

    I did my own push up challenge this year. 1 on 1/1 and added two every other day. Only got to about 285 but you can see the results on twitter @annieology

    • melruns November 27, 2011 at 11:57 pm #

      that sounds like a great plan Annie! 285 is stellar

  4. Mary Brandt November 28, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    Thought you’d like this:

    Good luck with your pushups!

    • melruns November 28, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

      Thanks for sharing!

  5. Mike November 29, 2011 at 5:05 pm #

    I pushed my way through Day 3 with 4 push ups. My question for the other challengees is, what’s your goal / target in terms of number of push ups? I do realize the purpose of this is to empower everyone to realize that they have control to do something. I’m just curious how far you guys plan to take it. Is there a ceiling that you’ll repeat daily once you reach it? Or will you keep going until you have to do 4096 push ups in a day?

    Keep pushing!


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