My Push Up Challenge: 10 Military Push Ups By 31st May, 2012

I think it’s a good time to write about my new fitness challenge in detail. As you may recall, a month ago I announced my new fitness goal: being able to do 10 consecutive military style push ups (i.e. male push ups) by 31st May, 2012.

push up challenge

This is what I aim for - I'm going to leave out the neck crane though.

Why push ups, why not running or walking a half-marathon or something?

I really don’t know, but for me, being able to do 10 military push ups is an epitome of cool. It would make me an absolute badass!!  It  would also be a breakthrough goal, because it would mean a tremendous increase in both core and  upper body strength. It would probably also have a positive effect on my hanging underarms, because push ups are supposed to be good for your triceps…

And besides, how many female, middle aged, 43-44 year-old office workers you know who can do even one real push up?

My Push Up Training Plan

I’ve decided to follow a push up training plan as it is laid out in  Steve Speirs’ book Hundred Pushups in 7 weeks (I bought the book, but Speirs also has a website). Regardless of the book title, I don’t really except to complete the program in a couple of months.

I want to leave some room for the unexpected and still be able to complete the program. And my goal is doing 10 pushups – not 100 – by 31st May.

I’m going to start training at “rock bottom”, meaning I start with wall push ups, continue with table push ups, chair push ups, knee push ups and finally real push ups. I’m sure you get the idea. I will be training three times a week, doing five sets of variable repetitions.

My Current Fitness Level

I have some good news!

I tested my upper body strength about a year ago and decided I need to test it again before I start Speirs’  plan. A year ago I was able to do only 7  modified push ups,  which meant that my upper body strength was poor. When I tested myself again one hour ago, I was able to do 19 push ups in 60 seconds, which means my upper body strength is now average for a woman of my age.

I’ve increased my upper body strength from poor to average.

I honestyly didn’t expect much because my efforts at strength training have been sporadic. Walking has been my #1 physical activity.  I’ve spiced up my routine with various upper body moves,  then I tried doing Flavia’s program for some time, and lately I’ve focused on kettlebell training).  But it’s obvious I’ve been doing something right.


P.S. Are there any (female) middle aged wannabe badasses there who’d want to join my push up challenge?


  1. Marion says:

    It sounds like a great plan! As always, I do suggest doing staggered sets throughout the day. That helped me reach my push-ups goals much more easily.

    I’m glad you’re so determined to meet your goal! I love it!

    🙂 Marion

  2. Satu says:

    Hi Marion!

    I’m very determined because I want to be featured on your blog! 🙂

  3. Lori says:

    I do military push ups now. I worked on those doing the New Rules of Lifting. I usually do 3 sets of 10 pushups. They have not gotten easier past that point.

    I get a lot of comments from men when I do these in the gym. I think more women should do the pushups because we certainly can!

  4. Good luck! I found this as I was searching how to start trying to do a military push up. I can do a few on my knees, but not a one military style. I might just have to join the quest. I would love to be the “cool mom” that can do push ups. I hope you succeed and surpass your goals!

    • Satu says:

      Sorry for answering your comment so late, Delaney! Been feeling less than superb lately.. I’m glad if you joing my challenge.

      I think I’m going to need those 6 months to achieve my goal, because life keeps getting on my way.

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