Get Fitter, Faster: Fitness, Food & Health Hacks

Hey, I'm Julien. I share a weekly newsletter designed to make you fitter. It's short, smart and actionable17k read it, I'd love you to join too. It's free.

I want to get fitter

100 Push-ups a Day: A Shortcut to Strength or a Fast-Track to Overtraining?

 Written by 

Julien Raby

 Last updated on 

Doing 100 Pushups Every Day – Is It a Game-Changer or a No-Go? There are countless 30-Day Fitness Challenges—jump rope, pull-ups, sit-ups, and, of course, 100 Push-Ups a Day. These challenges claim to get you into shape fast, helping you burn calories and build strength in just a single month.

But what actually happens if you perform 100 daily push-ups for a month or longer? Will you achieve a Brad Pitt physique or get really good at push-ups?

A man does push-ups on fitness balls
  • Save

In the article below, we cover everything you need to know about 100 Push-Ups a Day Challenges, including the benefits, disadvantages, and who these routines work for. Read on for more information. 

What Is the 100 Push-Up a Day Challenge?

The 100 Push-Up Challenge consists of doing 100 push-ups every day. The pushup challenge typically lasts 30 days, but time frames vary depending on fitness goals. 

Pushup challenges like this are designed to quickly jumpstart your physical fitness levels, upper body strength, and endurance. 

Bodyweight exercise challenges effectively build muscle mass and functional strength without a high risk of injury. But is it really safe to do 100 push-ups each day? 

Is It Safe to Do 100 Push-Ups a Day?

Depending on your level of fitness and physical activity, 100 daily push-ups can sound intimidating, if not dangerous. 

With proper form, push-ups can be a safe and effective movement. Push-ups can help strengthen the muscles around the shoulder joints, improve the heart muscles, and help you maintain an athletic physique.

However, there are a few risks to be aware of.

If you’re new to exercise, push-ups can be challenging, especially if you’re performing 100 repetitions daily. Rapidly increasing your training volume with multiple sets of push-ups can increase the risk of overuse injury, pain in the elbow joints, and fatigue.

Intense exercise each day without rest can be a surefire way to injure yourself if you don’t know what you’re doing. The 100 Push-Up Each Day Challenge can be safe, depending on your physical fitness and technique. 

The Advantages of Doing 100 Push-Ups a Day

Besides blasting the upper chest muscles right before breakfast, what are some additional benefits of adding 100 push-ups to your daily routine?

Develop Upper Body Strength

The standard pushup is an effective exercise for developing major muscles in the upper body, including the pectoralis major, triceps, shoulders, core, forearms, and biceps

The chest muscles receive the most engagement, but the triceps work to stabilize the torso during the first half of the movement. The triceps muscles work as the primary mover during the second half of the push-up.

Stronger Core Muscles

Although the push-up is a chest exercise, it utilizes the core muscles throughout the entire range of motion. With proper form, the push-up exercise is a fantastic tool for developing stability, core power, and functional strength.

Better Body Composition

The 100 Daily Pushups Challenge can be a fantastic way to improve your body composition in a short period. 

It can help you achieve your dream body by helping you address muscle imbalances and develop more muscle size in the upper body.

It can also help with weight management, as pushups can increase the calories you burn, leading to additional fat loss. 

A man shows his body composition
  • Save

More Functional Strength

More muscle mass in the upper body and core won’t only make you look better, but it will also provide you with more functional strength. Functional strength refers to the ability to perform everyday tasks efficiently and easily.

It’s about building strength that translates into practical, real-world functionality. Activities like the following might be more accessible after a 30-day challenge:

  • Carrying groceries
  • Yard work
  • Moving furniture
  • Climbing stairs
  • House repairs

Nearly all daily activities require a combination of strength, stability, balance, and mobility. More functional strength and mobility can make your everyday life more manageable and enjoyable. 

Improved Cardiovascular Health

You might not consider it a cardio exercise, but daily sets of push-ups can also benefit your cardiovascular health. 

One 2019 study linked the number of push-ups an individual can perform and their risk of developing cardiovascular health problems after ten years. 

The study followed 1,104 active middle-aged men. Researchers found those who could perform more than 40 push-ups were 96% less likely to develop a cardiovascular issue than those who could only complete 10. 

It’s important to note that this study doesn’t account for all variables and only follows middle-aged males. That said, a daily workout will benefit your health in the long run. 

The Disadvantages of Doing 100 Push-Ups a Day

Before you jump into a plank position and set a daily goal on your Google Calendar, it’s critical to consider the drawbacks of 30-day challenges. It may seem like an essential exercise, but overdoing or making common mistakes can lead to adverse outcomes.

Here are some drawbacks to be aware of:

Risk for Overuse Injuries

The risk of overuse injuries is one of the most significant disadvantages of performing 100 push-ups daily. This type of exercise routine can place considerable strain on the shoulder joint, elbows, and wrists and potentially lead to overuse complications.

Taking rest days is critical to give your muscles, joints, and tendons time to recover. Without adequate time for the recovery process, you run the risk of injuries that may worsen over time. 

Muscle Imbalances

Performing pushup exercises can cause muscle imbalances, as you’re only engaging the frontal muscles. You’ll heavily work your chest, shoulders, and triceps while neglecting other muscle groups. 

This imbalance can lead to posture problems and an increased risk of injury in everyday life. It’s critical to perform full-body workouts that engage other body muscles, like the back and lower body. 

Plateau and Diminished Gains

You might not experience optimal muscle growth over time if you’re only doing push-ups. Although you might notice significant gains initially, your body will likely adapt to the daily load. This can lead to diminished gains in strength and muscle size.

A man does a 100 push-ups a day
  • Save

You’ll likely hit a plateau and stall out if you don’t incorporate challenging variations and exercise progressions. 

Not Enough Rest

Depending on your ability level, you might push your body too hard throughout a 30-day challenge. Doing 100 push-ups daily may not provide adequate muscle recovery time. This can lead to fatigue, decreased performance, muscle soreness, and a weakened immune system. 

Instead, taking a more balanced approach with dedicated rest days and recovery time might be better. 

Who Is This Challenge Right For?

Before you drop into the push-up starting position, it’s essential to consider if a 30-day challenge is proper for you. At the end of the day, it will come down to your goals, personal preferences, and fitness level. 

That said, here are some situations where a 30-day push-up challenge might benefit you: 

Active-Duty or Soon-to-Be Military Members

Regardless of what branch of the military you’re in or aspiring to join, you’re sure to perform push-ups. In fact, the United States Marines require males to perform 34 push-ups in two minutes for their Initial Strength Test—you can’t even join if you’re not physically fit!

If you want to get into shape fast or maintain muscular endurance, a 30-day push-up challenge can be a great option. It’s an easy way to hold yourself accountable while preserving a high level of fitness so you can perform your job to the fullest. 

Police Officers, Firemen, Bodyguards

Like the military, 30-day push-ups or calisthenics challenges can be correct if your career demands a certain level of physical fitness. Police officers, firemen, security positions, and similar professions will likely receive standardized fitness tests.

Many of these tests have criteria for push-ups, like being able to perform 30 or more in a specific time frame. If you can achieve 100 push-ups each day without difficulty, you’ll easily be able to meet your role’s physical requirements. 

If You’re Trying to Progress In Calisthenics

30-day push-ups or calisthenics challenges can be a fantastic tool for calisthenics progression. These challenges can give you a tremendous foundation and habits for developing strength, stability, and coordination.

Customizing the challenge to meet specific goals can help you progress even faster. You can incorporate push-up variations, cardio, and other compound bodyweight exercises. This will allow you to develop body awareness and control in a short period. 

Who Shouldn’t Do This Challenge?

Although a daily push-up challenge can be an excellent tool for many people, it isn’t suited for everyone. Here are some situations where this type of exercise program might not be suitable for you:

Complete Beginners

100 push-ups each day can be an incredibly challenging feat for complete beginners. 

Some novices might be unable to perform a single traditional push-up and require more accessible variations. Others might push themselves too far, hurting their body and developing significant muscle soreness, limiting them from completing the following days. 

Start with a more straightforward, accessible challenge if you’re just starting. This might be completing three sets of 10 push-ups every other day. You can slowly work your way up to more sets or consecutive workouts. 

A man does push-ups on a gym mat
  • Save

If You’re an Advanced Athlete

Advanced athletes might not benefit from 100 push-up challenges. 

The movement might be too easy and provide limited potential for muscle growth. Instead, it might be worthwhile to look for more demanding challenges or push-up variations.

Movements like the single-arm, diamond push-up, or weighted push-up can increase muscle growth. 

Or you can move on to other calisthenics movements, like the handstand push-up or planche. Straying from calisthenics might also be beneficial, like performing barbell bench presses and overhead presses

Either way, it’s best to look for more strenuous exercises if you find the traditional push-ups too easy. 

If You Have Injuries

Do you have a bad shoulder, elbow, or wrist? If so, it’s probably best to avoid daily push-up challenges or double-check with your doctor beforehand. 

Injuries to the chest, shoulders, elbows, and wrists can be exasperated with these types of challenges. This is because you’re constantly applying stress without providing your body with adequate recovery time.

It’s possible to develop chronic pain or tendinitis if you aren’t careful. This doesn’t mean you have to swear off exercise completely; you might just need to take more time to rest and recover. 

At the end of the day, be sure to consult a medical professional before starting if you have any existing conditions. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Will 100 Push-Ups a Day Make a Difference?

Yes, 100 push-ups a day can make a significant difference depending on your fitness level. If you can’t complete 100 daily push-ups, you’ll notice more strength in the chest, shoulders, core, and arms. This type of challenge might not be beneficial if you can already do 100 push-ups. 

What Happens if I Do 100 Push-Ups a Day?

Performing 100 push-ups a day can be advantageous with the correct form. You can gain a more substantial upper body, more muscular endurance, core strength, and stability. It is possible to develop overuse injuries, strains, or fatigue if you don’t get enough rest. 

Will 100 Push-Ups a Day for a Month Do Anything?

You will develop a bit more muscle mass, strength, endurance, and coordination over the course of a month. Your push-up technique will improve, and you might be able to move on to more challenging progressions. However, you will not become shredded entirely in just a month and will need a more comprehensive exercise routine. 

Share via
Copy link