Have you heard about this challenge – 100 push-ups a day for 30 days? Find out what happens to your body if you do that.
The push-up is one of the best bodyweight exercises for your upper body – it is great for building strength in your chest and triceps especially. But some people take it to the extreme and perform 100 push-ups a day for a full month. Jeremy Ethier talked about the effects and side effects of doing that.
Jeremy Ethier is a kinesiologist and fitness trainer, co-founder of Built With Science. His YouTube channel has over 4 million subscribers and he delivers clear information with sound background research.
What muscles will grow, and by how much? How much will your strength improve? Are there any side effects you need to be aware of? Is it even worth doing it?
100 Push-Ups a Day for 30 Days
The most noticeable effect you will experience during the first week is called DOMS which stands for delayed onset muscle soreness – the tenderness and soreness you’ll experience in your muscles one to two days after exercise.
Since you’re not used to doing 100 push-ups a day, you will experience the highest amount of soreness in your chest, shoulders and arms during the first few days, but it should die down after the first week. If you feel soreness on your traps or lower back, it means your push-up form is not correct.
In general, our muscles tend to fully recover after 48 hours of rest. So if you are doing 100 push-ups a day, the muscles are not getting enough time to recover and you will feel more fatigued during weeks 3 and 4. And it is during the recovery process that muscles grow bigger and stronger.
By the time week 4 hits, you will have overtrained your frontal muscles of the chest, arms and core, but not your back. That can lead to a hunched-over position with the shoulder rounded forward. To prevent that, you need to work your back and shoulders.
You might also feel discomfort first on your wrists if you are performing push-ups on the floor. If possible, use anything that you can grip to perform the push-up (like a pair of dumbbells or paralletes) so you don’t have to place your hands on the floor.
After 100 days, you are likely to experience growth in your chest of around 3 millimetres in thickness and the same amount in triceps thickness, Ethier explains.
However, as you get stronger you will need more challenging exercises to keep growing and build muscle.
Is it worth it? According to Ethier, no. “It just causes too many recovery issues and lacks the progression you need to continue seeing results past those 30 days.” The best benefit of doing 100-push-ups is that it gets you motivated to work out every single day.
Ethier’s opinion is similar to Jeff Cavaliere’s, from Athlean X.
Check out Ethier’s arguments about the 100 push-ups a day for 30 days challenge.