Anyone tried the Hundred Pushups plan? Workout advice needed.

Hey. I just started the Hundred Pushups training program. I was on a workout plan earlier in the year involving a lot of Isometric excercises, but I got burnt out on it. I felt like I wasn’t getting the results I wanted out of the work I was putting in. After just a couple of months, I plateaued.

I decided to try something simpler, something that I would stick with. I’m about 5’7’’, 155-160 lbs. and my goal is to pack on lean muscle, mainly in my arms and chest, while keeping a trim mid-section.

Has anyone else tried this plan? Had any good results? It looks promising. When I did the initial test last week, I was just able to do 8 consecutive pushups (pathetic, I know). I’m still just in Week 1, but I’ve been able to keep up with the plan no problem.

One thing I’m wondering is what else I need to be doing in addition to this plan. Should I add in chin-ups and other excercises to the plan? I know to train with higher weight and lower reps, but I don’t want to do too much other stuff and not be able to keep up with the pushup plan.

I’m also trying to focus on nutrition. I think part of the slow gaining I was experiencing in my previous routine was due to the fact that I wasn’t consuming enough calories nor enough protein. Most of the websites I’ve consulted say to eat around 3000 calories per day and to include your body weight in grams of protein (so about 155 grams a day for me). Does this sound good? One of my concerns is that I will put on weight in my mid-section.

Has anyone tried that P90X plan? It looks good, but I’m usually wary of anything I see on infomercials. Also, I don’t think I have a door frame that will support that chin-up bar. It says you need a frame at least 5" think, and all the ones in my house are about 1/2".

Sorry this is so long. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

I did the hundred push ups plan, and my arms did get more muscular. I took about a month off around half way through, but was still able to do more push ups in the second exhaustion test than I did in the initial test. I didn’t drop down a level after the break, but probably should have. It took a little while to get back on track. It’s pretty straight forward program, of course. Just make sure you’re not cheating.

I have no idea about calories, or that other plan you mentioned, sorry.

I gave the one hundred pushups plan a shot starting the beginning of summer. I’ve never been good at pushups and in the past I’ve always had trouble building upperbody strength.
Starting the plan I could do 12. I have had to repeat weeks 3-4 times to be able to move on. I’ve also missed a week or two here and there from real life getting busy. Right now I could probably do about 30. So I went from 12 pushups to 30 pushups in about 4 months time. Definitely not their promised results, but still the best workout plan for pushups I have ever come across.

If your goal is too gain lean muscle, I would use lower weights and higher reps.

3000 cals a day? What ? Average calorie use is around 13 cals per lb of body weight per day for active people. If you are 5’7" Unless you’re running 5-10 miles a day everyday 3000 calories per day will turn you into a world class fat ass over time.

I’m on it. It seems straightforward enough. I also do reps of squats (back of the leg making a 90 degree angle) without weights - I just double the number of reps in the push up column I’m in. I like those results even better. I used to power lift squats especially, but my knees don’t like all that weight anymore - my own body weight, with higher reps, is the right amount of impact for me now.

I’d recommend doing the squats as well. It only takes a few more minutes, and while it’s not total body, it’s much better than just doing push ups.

Okay, so my average use would be about 2k per day. How many calories should I add to that to bulk up? I want to eat enough to make my workouts worthwhile, but not so much that I pack on fat as well.

What is wrong with your knees?

I disagree. Low weight/high reps is inefficient. You will still gain muscle over time so long as you don’t do something silly like 5 pounds at 50 reps, but it will take much longer and you will likely hit several plateaus. What do you mean by lean muscle (as opposed to “bulky” muscle)? Do you maybe mean lean body mass?

I can’t help you with lean muscle (see above), but if you want to stay “trim” it starts in the kitchen. Just about everything anyone wants to accomplish in terms of body appearance starts in the kitchen. What results are you hoping to see? What was your last workout plan? If you are just looking for something “simpler” I am sorry to say that you will likely just get discouraged and stop again in the future.

I’ve done it in the past. I think I could have made better use of my time, but some exercise is better than none at all. I certainly got better at doing pushups, if that is your ultimate goal. If you refuse to do anything else, or are doing it to improve your own confidence in order to upgrade to they gym or something; I would say go for it (with the addendum that I think you could serve yourself better with something different). I think there are other things you can do around the house that are better.

What worries you about doing too much (willpower, overtraining, injury)? Again, I have to ask - what are your ultimate goals? What plan do you have, or is the pushup thing currently the entirety of plan you are referring to?

Good. Nutrition is vital and often overlooked. If you are getting serious about this, and if you want to see serious results I suggest you do, then start tracking what you put into your body (if you want I can recommend some websites). Eating healthier and exercising is a hard adjustment and it is not always fun, but don’t be too tentative; you have to attack it (you’re lucky in that you at least aren’t at a dangerous health state). 3000 calories is too much in my opinion. You want to find your Basal Metabolic Rate, which is the amount of calories you would be burning to keep your body alive if you were at rest in a neutral environment (i.e. laying in bed). I calculated yours at around 1750, but I am not sure how old you are (I used 25, I seem to think you’re 25 or 27). Find a calculator online ( and use it, then you have to determine how many calories you need at your activity and lean body mass level (Harris Benedict Equation). I would say probably start at about 2200 calories, give or take a few hundred calories dependent if you are looking to gain or lose; but you really should research and figure out where you need to be.I’d also recommend a 40%/40%/20% split for the calories - Protein/Carbs (good carbs)/Fats since you are just starting out. 40%/30%/30% is another alternative. Remember that your body won’t just magically transform into anything (skinny, bulky, fatty) overnight, you can adjust caloric and micro-nutrition needs as you go to fine-tune the results you are seeing. If you have a bad diet, don’t worry too much about putting weight on around your middle section; simply eating smart will likely result in fat loss. Ultimately it is this simple - if you eat big, you get big; if you eat small, you get small. That is why the concerns about “bulking up” and looking like a strongman from lifting weights are generally unfounded.

P90X will likely work (seen it, never tried it, but I have heard parts of it can kick your ass), but there is nothing in there that you can’t get from something else for a lot cheaper (assuming you aren’t pirating it). If you have the money to spend, it will keep you motivated, and you are one of those people who has to be told what to do; then go for it. Like the pushup plan though, I would say there are better alternatives.

Good luck man. Educate yourself, put in work, and stick with it. You will get to where you want to be. Like I said in another thread - there are few things in life as empowering as taking responsibility for your life and body and then making the best of both of them.

Disclaimer - I am not a medical professional. Talk with your health practitioner and all that jazz. If you hurt yourself or someone else that’s on you.

Basically, I just want to look good and feel good. I’ve always been on the smallish side. Not fat, although I may be one of the “skinny-fat”. I feel like I’m mainly skin, bones, and flab.

Late last year and early into 2008, I started to get serious about working out. I followed a plan that mainly consisted of Isometric and Isotonic excercises and supplemented that with bicept curls using free weights. After a few weeks, I could tell a difference in my strength, and a little difference in size. But after just a few months, the workouts became a chore, I plateaued, and I got sick of putting in roughly an hour to 90 minutes a day and not seeing any new results. So, I got burnt out and kind of gave it all up for a while.

I’m not in love with the hundred pushups plan, it just seemed like something I would like to try, something that I could work at and see real results. I’m certainly willing to try other workout plans. I do just want to work out at home and not in a gym, at least for now. I work shift work, 12 hour shifts. So there are some days that I don’t have much time for anything but work and sleep. I have time to fit in a workout at home everyday, but not time enough to go to a gym and all that stuff.

I mainly just want to do body weight excercises and stuff I can do with free weights. I’m not opposed to buying some new equipment though, like a bench or chin-up bar or whatever.

Overtraining and willpower I suppose. I would hate to “spread myself too thin”, if such a thing is possible, and not see any results anywhere. Right now, I’m just doing the pushups, but I know that’s not enough. Do you have any ideas for a better plan? My goals are just to get stronger overall, look good, feel good, and have nice looking arms and chest.

Yep, I’m 27. I checked that BMR calculator not too long ago and I think I got about 1780. I’ve been trying to eat healthy. I spread my meals out so that I have about 6 per day. I eat a lot of chicken, turkey, fish and tuna. A fair amount of vegetables, but probably not quite enough. Stuff like oatmeal and cereal for breakfast. Snacks are usually fruit, nuts or cereal bars. Some days I have a smoothie in which I put some whey powder.

A few years back, I was eating terribly and not getting any excercise at all, and I ballooned up to a size 38 pant. Now that I’m back to fitting comfortably in a size 34, I want to make sure I don’t get fat in the mid-section again.

I don’t necessarily need to be told what to do, but something like that would certainly help motivate me. What other programs could you recommend?

Thanks for all the great advice.

I have a book, Getting Back in Shape, 32 workout programs for lifelong fitness by Anderson, Pearl, Burke & Galloway. Not expensive, I found it used for <$10.00.

I was totally ignorant on the subject of workouts before I bought this book. I’d always just depended on outdoor activities to handle all of that. Then I quit smoking and needed to do something to keep from ballooning. I got this book and started workouts back in March of '07. I’m sure there are zillions of books/sites etc. that will help a person get in shape if they really want to. I wanted to, and this book had all the info I needed.

Good luck! For me, it’s been worth the effort.

Actually, for gaining lean muscle it’s the same as gaining, um, whatever other muscle there is. Heavy weight, low reps.

Now for cutting up, once you’ve achieved the muscle mass you’re happy with, higher reps are in order.

I got three weeks into it and started having pretty much constant elbow pain. I did find it to be highly effective in the sense that in those three weeks I pretty much tripled the number of push-ups I could do. I may try it again after I get my elbow looked at.

If you want to bulk up, do squats and deadlifts with added weight. Your arms and chest are relatively small muscles compared to your legs and the entire back side of your body.

I have never heard of that plan but just read over their web site.

Doing 100 push-ups isn’t going to build much muscle mass. It will improve endurance, but that is relatively light resistance.

A push-up will also just work pecs and triceps. Chin-ups, as you mention, will add biceps, but I think you really want to do weight training.

Pushups work the deltoids in addition to pecs and tris. Chin-ups are mainly a back excercise, heavily involving the latissimus dorsi, but also delts and biceps.

Doing 100 of anything on a regular basis isn’t effective in anything except making you better at performing that particular move 100 times. Despite all the myth & hearsay surrounding strength training and muscle building, there are certain basic rules that have proven themselves, like using a rep range of 6-12 with enough resistance that the last reps of a set are very difficult but doable, or utilizing basic compound excercises (e.g. squats & deadlifts) to gain in overall strength and muscle size. “100 pushups” fail miserably on both accounts. Another proven one: a rank beginner will “gain” doing anything, yet doing anything for very long will stall any gains.

In addition to deadlifting, squatting, dipping, military pressing, bench pressing, chinning and dumbbell rowing I do pushups, too, and feel it’s an important excercise. I do them with both my hands and feet elevated for a full range of motion, and don a weighted (50 lbs. at the moment ) backpack to reach my present target reps of 10. When that becomes solidly doable, I’ll up the weight. The same applies to any progressive resistance training excercise that yields bigger muscles and more strength.

Then yeah, you are probably classified as skinny-fat. :smiley:

I’d have to see the exercises, but if they were predominately normal body weight exercises you will eventually hit a ceiling. Size is not the end-all to gauge muscle, there are plenty of strong dudes who don’t have visibly large muscles. Andrei Aramnau is not a particularly giant looking cat, but look what he did. If you want to look big you have to take a certain approach, and pushups ain’t going to cut it. You got to remember, regardless, that working out is not going to be a skip through Candyland. It requires hard work, dedication, sacrifice, and frankly can sometimes seem like a chore; you got to keep going even when you’re burnt out. Do you play a lot of video games, or am I thinking of someone else?

Going to a gym does not take that much time, I would strongly recommend trying to make that happen (what stuff?). If not now, then pretty soon. You need to decide if these are excuses and cop-outs. Is work worth sacrificing your well-being? Can you really not spare a few hours a week? Are you just looking for a magic plan that will transform you at home? I can’t say either way, you have to figure that out for you; all I know is there is a strong correlation between those who are resistant to going to the gym and those who fall-off down the line. Unless you start building a home gym (which is great if resources permit), you will likely plateau and get burnt out again when you don’t see the results from body weight exercises. However, if you are willing to accept that you are going to have to improvise and maybe accept less than maximal results by not going to the gym there are a few things you can try:

[li]Find something heavy (bags of concrete or the like) and use that instead of weights. You’re a smart dude you can rig something up.[/li][li]Go out and dig and refill a hole.[/li][li]Do sledgehammer exercises. I do these and I strongly recommend them, I’ve known fighters that do them and I’ve heard Fedor Emelianenko may as well. Check these links out, and I’m sure you could find more on your own.[/li][li]Get something big (like a monster truck tire) and flip it a few times.[/li][li]Body weight exercises (pdf alert). You can find more. Gymnasts are big on body weight exercises.[/li][li]Plyometrics.[/li][/ul]

You get the idea.

How much would you be willing to spend? Craigslist often has killer deals. I’d focus on getting stuff that will allow you to do the big 3 - squats, deadlifts, bench. Getting a bar is not a bad idea, try to get one you can do different grips on. You can manage without it though, just use your imagination. Tree branches, banisters, two chairs, you can make do. Also, look into Kettleballs. I’m kinda itching to get some myself.

Willpower is up to you bud. Can’t help you there, you know what needs to be done; get it done. I read a good suggestion somewhere, I think it may have been originally attributed to Jerry Seinfield. Get yourself a calendar and put a big red x on every day that you make the healthy choices (diet, exercise, sleeping right, whatever). Eventually you will like looking at that chain of x’s and you will want to keep that chain going. Don’t break the chain. It’s possible to spread yourself too thin, but I wouldn’t put any money on you doing it right now. If you were going to go to the gym I could push you towards a few plans, since you’re going stay at home right now you’re going to have to look at all the resources I just gave you and decide what you want to do. Don’t be that guy who focuses only on arms and chest.

Good stuff, sounds like you are moving in the right direction there. Look into something like Greens+ if you are really concerned about the veggie thing.

Congratulations on your progress already. I know it ain’t easy, but don’t get into the mindset that you don’t want to become fat; rather get in your head that you’re going to become even healthier than you are now. One is positive, aggressive thinking and the other is motivation by fear. You should know that you can’t just suddenly get fat or lose fat anywhere on your body. There is no such thing as “spot-reducing” or “toning” certain areas. Where body fat is lost is predisposed by certain factors like sex and genetics, I believe. Bottom line is if you got fat you want gone somewhere, you got to focus on losing fat in general.

I can’t recommend any programs like P90X as I’ve never bought anything like that. I certainly wouldn’t look down on anyone that decided to buy it, I just chose a way that I thought was better for me. If you want to do it I have heard mixed reviews (mostly that it is good, but pricey and it doesn’t have anything you couldn’t get elsewhere) and I think it would likely work. It comes down to whether or not it is worth it to you to buy it. Judgment call.

Not sure if this is directed at me, but I’ll go ahead and take it. :stuck_out_tongue: Glad to help, godspeed on everything. Let me know if there’s anything else you think I may be able to help with. Also, if down the line you make it to the gym, send me a PM or something and I’ll point you to those weightlifting plans.

Exactly, there is no non-lean muscle. When you are cutting, why do you think high reps are the way to go?

Is the elbow pain still occurring?

I am also in agreement with ultrafilter, CookingWithGas, and Toxylon.

Disclaimer - I am not a medical professional. Talk with your health practitioner and all that jazz. If you hurt yourself or someone else that’s on you.

You could Google “athlete dies of heart attack”, and ask yourself “What is the point?”. :dubious:

No, I don’t play video games, or at least very rarely. You are probably thinking of Justin Bailey.

Just driving there and back and waiting for machines to become available I guess. It seems like that would waste a lot of time. I’ve never worked out in a gym since college, so maybe I don’t have the right idea about what they’re like. Also, I would feel out of place there. I will at least look into it though. There is a place in town that is open 24/7, which would suit my needs.

A magic plan, no. But I was hoping to be able to stick to working at at home. I have the space to make a home gym, and the resources shouldn’t be a problem either. I’ll check out the links you posted and also I’ll look into the local gyms.

That’s funny. That Shenandoah’s website is the Isometic plan I was following.

It was directed at everyone, but you in particular. I wouldn’t mind seeing those weightlifting plans. If I do go to a gym, I’ll probably talk to a personal trainer too, at least to get me started. Thanks a lot.

Without getting into the philosophical discussion of whether or not this plan makes sense, yes, I’ve been doing this plan. Just something to give me some physical activity on the off-days of the Couch to 5k program. I started in Week 3, got through Week 4, put could really handle Week 5. I am going back and starting over from the beginning. My goal is not really to do 100 pushups (I assume that they mean non-stop), but just to sort of increase my endurance. I do notice that my arms and chest have become more toned. I could do about 40+ pushups in one session before I started, so the first week is sort of a step backwards, but I’m curious to see if it helps at all in the build up.

[quote=“Brandon, post:16, topic:467987”]

[li]Do sledgehammer exercises. I do these and I strongly recommend them, I’ve known fighters that do them and I’ve heard Fedor Emelianenko may as well. [/li][li]Get something big (like a monster truck tire) and flip it a few times.[/ul][/li][/QUOTE]
These two I’m big on as well. Fedor popularized sledgehammer training among MMA athletes, but it’s been around much longer; it was a favorite power builder of boxer Earnie Shavers, arguably the hardest puncher of the last century. Tire flipping is excellent as well, if you have enough space to flip a tractor tire around.