50,000 Push-ups

As 2017 is coming to a close I look back on what I’ve done this past year. Things like buying a house, growing a business, and traveling to some pretty cool places are nice accomplishments.  However, one of the biggest goals at the beginning of the year was to do 50,000 push-ups by the end of the year.  That comes out to around 137 push-ups per day.  Why push-ups? Why 50,000?

I was first inspired to do this back in college.  Toward the end of 2006 I realized that even though I was pretty athletic, I only had an average amount of muscle mass and strength.  So, I started lifting weights regularly and looking for ideas to build muscle mass and strength.  One day I read about a college football player who had a very unique training plan. He did 100,000 push-ups, and 100,000 sit-ups throughout 1 calendar year.  I thought this was pretty crazy, but I was also inspired by it.  I figured that if this guy could do 100,000 push-ups and 100,000 sit-ups, surely I could do just 50,000 push-ups.  So, just like that, I set a goal for 2007 to do 50k push-ups by the end of the year. Each day I would write down on a piece of paper how many push-ups I did so that I could keep track throughout the year. And sure enough by the end of the year, I hit 50,000.

Flash forward to 2017.  I reflected back to my challenge from 10 years earlier. I remember the sense of accomplishment I felt at the end of the year.  So, I decided to do it again. Another 50,000 push-ups in 1 year.  However, this time I decided to challenge a few of my friends to join me.  Initially there were 6 of us that were going to do it,  but it quickly dwindled down to 3, then after a month, there were just 2 of us.  For added accountability we used a google spreadsheet to record our daily pushups.  This worked much better than trying to keep up with a piece of paper.  

The first month is usually the hardest. Going from doing 0 push-ups per day to 137+ takes quite a toll.  But after a few weeks I started getting use to it.  What worked best for me was to do around 50 before I headed to the gym, then another 50 in the evening, followed by 37 before bed.  As the months went by, I was able to do more push-ups in one session.  I started doing 75 before going to the gym in the morning, then another 75 in the evening.  I kept this split up for the rest of the year.

By the time October got here I was so sick of push-ups.  Its not that they were difficult, its just that I didn’t want to spend the 5 minutes each session doing them.  They were becoming monotonous.  But, I couldn’t stop at 40,000 – so I pressed on.  Eventually I finished my 50k right before Christmas.  It felt good to hit that milestone again.  

Now looking forward to 2018, I’m debating whether or not to do push-ups again, or set another goal.  50k? 100k? Running a mile a day? Not sure yet, but I have a few days to figure it out before the new year starts.