It was mid-February that my YouTube recommendations showed me a video of a person who did 100 push-ups for 30 days. Here’s the video. Normally, such videos would come and go. I wouldn’t act after watching such videos. Even if I were to give it a try, it wouldn’t last. I know this by experience.
But this time, my resolve was stronger than before. I had recently subscribed to James Clear’s newsletter and followed him on Twitter. He majorly talks about the power of habits. I took a leaf from his core theme and started applying it to my new challenge.
Day one, it took me five sets to reach 100 push-ups. The most I did in a set was 30. Not bad, right?
My upper body muscles started straining, became sore. If you’ve done gymming before you would relate to the soreness you develop during the initial phase. Although this was push-ups only, the muscles that were heavily used felt strained.
I pulled through this for about 5 days. It was during that first week that I listened to Firas Zahabi on the Joe Rogan podcast. Firas strongly recommended not to exercise at capacity all the time. He talked about something that’s called being in the Flow Zone. Where you’re working out in the optimum mix of Challenge and Skill, so that you don’t become anxious or bored from the activity you’re doing. In this case, the workout itself.
Therefore, it is advisable to workout at the level you’re most comfortable with so that you can do it the next day and the day after that. If you keep doing it every day, over time you have done cumulatively more workout than you would if you were training at capacity with the obvious breaks and offs in between.
Coming back to day one of my 30 day challenge, I put a sticky note on my wardrobe to keep track of the challenge. For each day I did 100 push-ups I would put the date on it. I placed the sticky note such that I would see it multiple times in a day.
At the onset of the second week, I got the number of sets to four for completing the century. My max was 40. However, I would still not do 40 in a set every day. I wanted to complete this challenge in the state of flow.
By the end of 30 days, I could do 100 push-ups in two sets. With set maximum being 65. Note that this, however, is capacity and not the flow zone for me.
It used to take 10-12 minutes or the duration of two-three Bollywood songs on Alexa for me to do 100 push-ups. There were times when I was traveling for work and had to squeeze them at the end of the day. One time, it was after dinner (kept two hours in between).
The fear of missing a day and starting over kept me going on all such days. You may also hack your way around doing this during the forced work from home (/lockdown) due to the Coronavirus.
Are you up for it?
Comment below and let me know. I will follow up and help in any way I can.
PS: This tweet 👇