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.