Zero To 100 Pushups For Complete Beginners

Pushups For Beginners.  Do your first pushup, then 100 more!

The pushup is one of the most important exercises that a newcomer to fitness can do, but it can be difficult for many people.   I know some of you cant do a single pushup and the idea of being able to do 100 seems as remote as being able to fly to mars but I will give you a five phase program to build up your strength.  Man or woman, 13 or 60, you can build up your strength and stamina so that you can do 100 pushups.  If you can already do 10 pushups and want to do 100, skip to phase 3.  How long will it take for you to be able to do 100 pushups?  It depends on many factors including your age, weight, nutrition, sleep, and genetics.  Count on 3-12 months to get to the point where you can do 100 pushups.


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Phase 1: Counter Pushups.

Counter pushup (down position)Counter pushup (up position)

The edge of a kitchen counter is a perfect place to do count pushups.  Make sure you are wearing footwear that will not slip on the kitchen floor.  Put your hands about shoulder width apart.  Put your shoulder down and back like you were trying to hold a tennis ball between your shoulder blades.  Do as many counter pushups as you can (in other words do a set), then rest 2  minutes and do another set of as many as you can do.  Repeat this till you have done 5 sets.  Do this workout 3 times a week until you can do 20 pushups in each of the 5 sets – then advance to Phase 2:

Phase 2: Knee Pushups.

Knee pushup (down position)Knee pushup (up position)

Do as many knee pushups as you can, then rest 2 minutes and do another set.  Repeat this until you have done 5 sets.  Do this workout 3x/week until you can do 20 pushups in each of the 5 sets – then advance to Phase 3.  If you are not sure how to do knee pushups, please watch this video on pushups for the complete beginner.


Phase 3: Drop Pushups.

Pushup (up position)Knee pushup (up position)

In this phase you are going to do 5 sets of 20 pushups.  You will do as many real pushups as you can, then drop to your knees to finish the rest of the 20 reps with knee pushups.  Rest 2 minutes, and do another set.  You will do this workout just 2 times a week.  Repeat till you have done all 5 sets.  When you can do all 5 sets of 20 real pushups without having to resort to the knee pushups then advance to Phase 4.


Phase 4: High weight and high rep

In phase 4 you will be doing two pushup workouts a week, a Monday workout and a Thursday workout.

Monday Workout (High Weight)

Backpack pushup (down position)Backpack pushup (up position)

Fill a backpack with weight equal to about 20% of your body weight.  Do as many pushups as you can, without any rest take off the backpack and do as many pushups as you can without the backpack. Rest 3 minutes and repeat for a total of 5 sets.  If you are not sure how to do this, watch this video on backpack pushups.


Thursday Workout (High Rep):

Pushup (up position)Knee pushup (up position)

You will do 4 sets of 100 reps with 5 min rest between sets.  Do as many pushups as you can then without any rest, do as many knee pushups as you can, then without rest do as many counter pushups as you can for a total of 100 reps.  This is killer!  Thats right, on Thursdays you are going to do four hundred pushups or die trying!

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Phase 5: Your first attempt at 100 pushups

You will know when you are ready for your first attempt at 100 pushups.  When you think you are there, I suggest you rest a complete week before attempting it.  Make sure you have hydrated yourself fully the 6 hours before your attempt, please read about bodybuilding and hydration if you want to know why.  Its also a good idea to have a strong cup of coffee about 15 minute before your attempt.  Although during the pushup workouts in phase 1-4 above you used flawless, slow, deliberate form, you can throw that out the window now!  Its all about speed, the faster you can do the pushups, the more you will be able to do.  You can fudge a little too, dont go quite as far down as you normally would.  Go for it!  Join the 100 club!  If you dont succeed on your first attempt, no biggie, the weeks rest did you good.  Go back to phase 4 for a month then try again.