Soo.. I have a confession to make guys. These last few months, I’ve been skipping workouts more than I’d like to. You know how it goes, sometimes life just kind of gets in the way and before you know it, missing a couple gym sessions turns into not hitting the gym at all for months.
Unfortunately, skipping the gym means that all the gains start melting away too (I literally used to work both my biceps and triceps on the same day) and last month I decided I had enough. I had a serious case of “dad bod” that needed fixing, ASAP.
With that in mind is that I dove into the web looking for the next training program that’d take me from zero to hero and stumbled upon this challenge. 100 pushups, 100 sit-ups and 100 squats every day for 30 days, very similar to the one punch man workout, yet toned down slightly made it seem just right for someone like me, looking to get back into fitness.
Before you say anything, I realize it’s not the most optimal way to build muscle, but it felt new and exciting, a great way to get excited about fitness again and eventually get back into lifting serious weight (yes, I still had my dumbbells and barbells lying around) once the challenge was done.
My Experience Doing 100 Push Ups, 100 Sit Ups and 100 Squats for 30 Days
My second reason to run this challenge – aside from dropping a few pounds – was so that I could write this article and hopefully entertain – and inform – you guys. So I took notes on most days about how I was feeling, how I looked and how things went in general; here are some highlights.
If you were paying attention, you might have noticed that I started the challenge on November 1st, right after halloween. As you can imagine, I wasn’t feeling one hundred percent the next morning but I soldiered on and got up to train just the same and as always started the day with my favorite meal replacement, Lyfe Fuel Essential Shake. See Lyfe Fuel’s reviews, flavors, and price here..
When I’m not gulping down on Lyfe fuel, I turn to my second best, Kachava – as you can see in my detailed Kachava review, it has virtually everything Lyfe Fuel has, the only gripe I have with Kachava is the higher price tag. You can see the flavor of Ka’chava that I like the most and see other peeps reviews of it by clicking here.
My notes for the first day are quite clear about feeling like I was about to die. Jokes aside, I remember how tough getting through the workout was, the squats burned my legs (even though I had built bigger quads before then, they had become flimsy after months without training), I had a crazy chest pump and had to take more rests than I’m proud of to finish the sit ups.
I guess it goes to show, it’s a lot easier to stay in shape than it is to get back into shape. Don’t quit folks, it’s not worth it.
Not a lot to say about this day, it was pretty much the same as day one. Just one difference. I was SORE. So sore in fact that I wrote “REMEMBER TO STRETCH” in all caps. Besides stretching making you taller, it also helps ease the tension on your muscles and this alone can make you feel a whole lot better.
One week done, three more to go. After seven days of training my body started to adapt, I no longer felt constantly out of breath when working out and after day four I haven’t felt sore at all.
Maybe it was in my head, but apparently I was already seeing some changes, mostly in the shape of a smaller gut when I looked in the mirror.
After two weeks, the changes were really starting to show. I look in the mirror and I can practically see my old – athletic – self coming back day after day. No doubt this isn’t just the workout but also the fact that I’ve been really watching what I eat (for example, I stopped eating sugar entirely, and switched to alternating between taking one meal a day and fasting.)
Remember guys, you can’t out train a bad diet.
However, the weaknesses of this challenge were starting to show. While I still ended up winded after going through the workout, the difficulty drastically decreased. To the point that I started timing my rests and trying to do longer and longer sets to keep pushing myself.
Just one week to go, not a lot to say this time around, just a repeat of day fourteen. My body was pretty much optimized for squats, push ups and sit ups and getting through 100 of each wasn’t really a big challenge anymore.
By this point I was going through the workout in sets of 25 without really putting much effort into it, and while my waistline kept shrinking, I didn’t really see much more muscle growth as I was expecting my long head bicep to be all buffed up at this point.
Day 30! The end!
That’s it! It’s over! I honestly felt kind of sad on my final day of the challenge, it was tough at first, but as the days dragged on I fell into a nice routine and even began looking forward to starting my day with exercise. It left me feeling energized and ready to take on the world.
Nonetheless, it was time to move on to something different. The number one factor in muscle building is progressive overload, and there is only so much you can do when doing calisthenics without adding weights or increasing reps.
My Thoughts on the 100 Pushups, Situps, and Squats Challenge
A couple days have gone by since the challenge finished, I read up on my notes, gathered my thoughts, and got to writing. Here’s my overall thoughts and impressions on the whole month and whether you should consider it for yourself or not.
What I Like
There’s a lot to like about this challenge, but the biggest draw for me is that it keeps you on the move for a whole month, and it does so in a fun way. Since you have an end goal in mind, you have that extra push to get things done.
Every day you are one step closer to a tangible goal, and that feeling of accomplishment and getting something done quickly becomes addictive. I started each day with a spring in my step (except for the first days when I was sore as hell)
Another thing that really helps is that you can do this challenge right in your backyard gym or even in the living room, and without any equipment (you can add adjustable dumbbells to increase the intensity a little, but that’s up to you.)
The point though is, you are working out in the comfort of your home; no commute, no traffic, no gym fees. That in itself makes it a great introduction for anyone looking to get into fitness but not willing or able to commit to a long term gym contract.
Also, any form of exercise increases your metabolism and blood circulation and all that good stuff that comes from working out even for a small number of reps each day not to mention 100 reps each day.
What I Don’t Like
Unfortunately, there are a few things that could be better with the 100 push ups, 100 sit ups, 100 squats challenge. To begin with, the challenge in itself is not very beginner friendly.
1. It’s not Very Beginner-friendly
What I mean is that if you don’t have a training background like I did, you probably don’t know proper form for any of these exercises. Couple that with a relatively high rep count, especially for beginners, and you’re looking at a recipe for disaster.
What’s more, if you are a total novice without any prior fitness advantage whatsoever, then you might be in for even a tougher time pulling this off.
As you would expect, this is definitely going to be tough, but if the guy in the video below did it and not only survived but also came out the other end even stronger, then so can you.
2. Lack of Rest will Eventually Catch up with You
On that same vein, the lack of rest days makes this challenge both incredibly hard on the first days, since you’re extremely sore, and also unsustainable as a long term training strategy. Your body needs rest, your muscles break down when you exercise, and grow during rest.
If you were to keep this style of training for a couple months, you might even lose muscle! Even if you could somehow overcome the lack of rest, you’d still make little to no gains in the long run.
As I mentioned above, after around week 2, your body gets used to the workout and the strength and endurance gains slow down drastically.
3. You have to Work Smart to Make Progress
This can be easily fixed by adding weights (as I had mentioned earlier, a pair of dumbbells could do the trick, provided it’s not an insanely heavy one like the millennium dumbbell), adding reps, using harder variations of the exercises or a mix of all three. However, as it is, the challenge is nothing but a fun way to step back into fitness. Anyone looking to make continuous progress is gonna have to look elsewhere for a long term training strategy.
You can add exercise machines to your routine, nothing wrong with that, they are also great for people who want to workout at home.
These could be stationary bikes, ellipticals, or treadmills if you prefer running and a little bit of a challenge, especially an incline treadmill. Beware though, of how long you run on the treadmill especially if you spend more time on the track and not setting any aside for other exercises.
Do I Think You Should Try this Challenge?
All in all, I enjoyed the challenge for what it was, a way to spice things up while also getting me back into fitness and trimming my waistline. Those three things did perfectly, but I can’t ignore that if you’re looking to get back into shape as fast as possible, it might not be the best option out there.
With that in mind, should you try it? Well, it depends. If you’re an avid gym goer or do any sort of strength training, bench presses, dumbbell press, or seated tricep press, the challenge might be a waste of your time, you’re gonna be better off sticking to what you’re doing and making progress that way.
If you’re looking to start working out, then yes, this can be a fun way to get started as well as developing discipline to work out even when you don’t really feel like it and it’s a great way to measure your fitness level. However, be sure to learn proper form for all of the exercises before you start!
Finally, if you’re like me and life got in the way of your training, but you can do squats everyday, do planks or push-ups and sit ups. This challenge can be the perfect way to get back into it with a fun twist.