The Road to a Billion Pushups (

I’m in my early thirties, skinny with a slowly widening middle, I could use a lot of exercise, and am terribly lazy. Not too long ago, I spied a reference to on my newsreader, and the simplicity of the program immediately attracted me. The site author has devised a basic program centered around a single exercise in an effort to get him, me, and anyone to set a realistic goal toward being physically able to perform 100 pushups in a single sitting (pushing?) within six weeks. The program is available from the web site itself, or in printable form, including a cute little booklet you can print and fold from a single sheet of paper.

A month and a half to 100 pushups. Yeah, we'll see, little folded up booklet. We'll see.
A month and a half to 100 pushups. We'll see, little folded up booklet. We'll see.

The benefits and attraction of the program are pretty obvious:

  • The program is extremely basic, if not inadequate, but is not at all overwealming: all you do is pushups! A bunch of them!
  • Vitally important: The website is friendly, well-documented, and encouraging. It scales down according to ability and age, and works with you at your own level. It encourages rest, but pushes you forward.
  • Requires very little commitment in time, and seemingly little effort.
  • Certainly couldn’t hurt skinny arms and chest, nor flabby arms and bellies.
  • Pushups are a base, chest-thumping indication of manhood. Of course you want to do more. Once you hit fifty or sixty, you’ll probably be one of those jerks who can’t frickin’ wait for someone to give you a reason to drop and give twenty. 

Truthfully, I’ve had 2 semi-false starts with this most basic of workout programs, over the past four months. I made it through the first week on the first attempt, to the second week on the second attempt. Each time, in spite of my lack of follow-through, I’ve actually improved slightly. In my first “exhaustion test,” I barely cleared 12 pushups. My second, over a month later, 16. This most recent retry, performed Sunday, January 23rd, 2009, I made it up to 20. It’s still a laughably low number for most guy-guys (and you know who you are), but it’s an improvement with almost no follow-through. I find that encouraging, and I intend to follow through this time. To be honest, I find it very hard to believe that I’ll actually be able to do 100 pushups in one go, which is why I’ve named this post with “a Billion Pushups,” but it’s a worthy goal nonetheless. Here’s the progress so far:


Per the program’s directions, a session is followed by a day of rest, so the next volley will come with a new post, roughly every two to three days.

Obvious caveat: Don’t do this program if it could kill you. Nobody is responsible other than yourself if you get injured or die hilariously while overexerting yourself. Use common sense, get a doctor’s holy blessing first, blah blah blah.

Obvious caveat the second: This program will give you exercise and that’s good, but will not work any miracles on your body. I will probably still be skinny with a slowly widening middle no matter how many pushups I do, unless I also make other changes in my diet and exercise. I know this, and you should too.