Share on Pinterest

The One-Day Push-Up Challenge

Reading Time: 2 minutes
The next Whole Life Challenge starts in:

The push-up holds tremendous fitness benefits. It requires (and builds) strong abs and erectors while fully engaging the upper body, including the shoulders, chest, and triceps.

It is an outstanding movement, and it’s time to incorporate it into your routine.

The Challenge

This week, a simple bodyweight challenge. You’ll do 10 sets of push-ups in one day.

Space them out as you see fit, but you must complete all sets between the time you wake up and the time you go to sleep.

  • Beginner: Do 10 Sets of 5 Push-Ups
  • Intermediate: Do 10 Sets of 10 Push-Ups
  • Advanced: Do 10 Sets of 20 Push-Ups

Be sure to select a level suitable to your fitness level.

Movement Tips

To perform a push-up:

  1. Start in a plank. Arms straight, with your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles in a straight line. Abs are tight and engaged.
  2. Bend your arms, keeping your elbows against (or very near) your sides, descending until your chest touches the ground.
  3. Push back up to a plank, maintaining the straight line between shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.

To reduce the difficulty of the push-up:

  1. Maintain the form outlined above, but place your hands on an elevated object. You could start with your hands on a chair (making sure it is secure and won’t slide). Choose a higher or lower object based on your success in performing a full range of motion push-up — a higher object is easier, a lower object is harder. Be sure to maintain your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles in a straight line, regardless of the height of your hands.
  2. A less desirable option (but still valid) — begin with the form outlined above, but drop your knees to the ground. This will effectively shorten your body length, reducing the mass moved, thereby making the push-up easier. If you choose this option, be sure to maintain shoulders, hips, and knees in a straight line. (Why is this option less desirable? Dropping to your knees in the push-up reduces core engagement, minimizing the role of the abs and lower back in the movement, limiting the overall fitness benefit).

Jon Gilson on FacebookJon Gilson on InstagramJon Gilson on Twitter
Jon Gilson
Jon Gilson is a coach and writer, and the former CEO of the Whole Life Challenge.

Previously, he founded Again Faster Equipment, a functional fitness equipment company created to serve the CrossFit community. Established in 2006, Jon took the Company global in 2012, twice landing on the Inc. 500/5000 list of America’s fastest growing private companies.

From 2007 to 2013, he served as a Senior Lecturer for CrossFit, Inc., training aspiring CrossFit trainers at over 100 seminars, including engagements in Iceland, Afghanistan, Moscow, Holland, the United States, and Canada. Jon also served on the CrossFit L1 Advisory Board, helping establish policy for the organization’s training efforts from 2011 to 2013.

He’s also done stints in state government, gym management, and consulting — and currently teaches classes at CrossFit City Line.

Jon graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2003, summa cum laude, with a B.A. in Psychology. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Finance and Control from the Harvard Extension School, 2006, and has completed coursework in data analytics.