I started doing a 100 Push-Ups-a-Day-for-a-Year Challenge on June 15, 2019. I assumed that my body would change over time as a result. Sure enough, it did.
After 11 months doing this, and as I approach my 1-year personal goal, it occurred to me that so much more has changed than just my physique. Don’t worry, I will show the update photos, but I also wanted to reflect upon some of the other wonderful changes that I have observed in myself along the way. Perhaps it will inspire you to start training your body every day, too!
Doing 100 push ups a day led to the following changes, among others, in my life:
- Yes, my upper body physique improved.
- It led to adding other types of daily exercise to my life.
- I started going to the gym more regularly, too.
- More focus on my daily training led to more focus on my nutrition.
- Committing to daily exercise led to eliminating alcohol from my life.
- I developed a more consistent sleeping pattern.
- I achieved a weight loss goal I never thought possible.
- I feel more comfortable in my clothes.
- My self-confidence grew.
- I started a website (this one).
- I created a YouTube Channel, which I never would have done otherwise.
- I made connections with like-minded people also seeking to make personal change.
- I learned more about health, fitness, nutrition, and personal change in general.
- I began a NASM personal trainer certification course, and nutrition courses, which I had wanted to do for many years but never did.
- I’m finally consistently acting upon the things I want instead of just talking about them.
If there were magic pills that could replicate all of these benefits, you would buy them instantly, right? Well, starting a daily exercise challenge was a keystone habit for me that, over time, led to these other benefits. Perhaps daily exercise can do for you what it has done for me, and then some?!??
Before continuing, know that I am not a doctor. I am also not a personal trainer, at least, not yet. This article is not intended to replace professional, medical advice. You can get hurt doing push ups every day. Consult a medical professional of your choice in your jurisdiction before attempting to replicate this push up challenge. Also, individual results may vary.
The Before-and-After Transformation Results
First things first… let’s see how my body has changed during this almost year-long push up challenge.
To formalize things a bit, here is some reference data from the challenge thus-far:
|Day 1||June 15, 2019||198.0 lbs.||90.0 kgs.|
|Month 11 (Day 335)||May 14, 2020||175.1 lbs.||79.6 kgs.|
And, of course, the pictures…
11 Month Before-and-After Photos
Pretty cool, right?!? Even I had to look down to check to see if it was real.
These are only the pictures from Day 1 and Month 11. I also took update pictures for every month of this challenge, and the progression is super cool to follow. Check out my 100 Push Ups for a Year Challenge page to see all of my progress photos.
Looking at the change over these 11 months more closely:
- I lost 22.9 lbs. (10.4 kgs.).
- (SPECIAL NOTE: This is the first time I have weighed less than 80.0 kgs. since I was maybe 12 or 13 years old, or possibly younger!)
- Weight loss aside, my upper body looks more muscular.
- My chest muscles have better shape, size, definition, and thickness to them.
- My shoulders are also bigger and rounder than when I started.
- My arms look a little better, too.
All things considered, 100 push ups a day for 11 months had a positive effect on the aesthetics of my upper body.
How Did My Training Change?
My 100 daily push ups were the only direct training I did for my chest. I did not use the bench press, dumbbells or cables to train my chest. I also did not do other pushup variations. This was partially to help avoid overtraining and injury, and partially to maintain the integrity of my pushup challenge. I wanted to see what push ups alone would do to my chest.
I admit that there are objectively better routines for developing a huge chest in a shorter amount of time. But that’s not what this challenge was about.
It was about starting small, adding some consistent resistance training to my daily life, and doing that for a long period of time… and what that can do for a normal dude like me.
As mentioned above, the push ups were just the beginning and led to me adding more consistent training to my life. For example, after about 1.5 months, it felt like it was time to add another challenge, so I started training my abs every day, too. I had never done that before, either.
I also started going back to the gym to train other parts of my body. I focused mostly on compound movements like the deadlift, squat, and assisted chin-ups to compliment all of the daily pushing and abs.
Going to the gym led to me adding some more cardio to my routine. That led to me starting to swim at the swimming pool. As you can see, one thing led to another, and it all happened over time and with a little trial-and-error.
Sadly, the quarantine caused by COVID-19 put a stop to much of this additional training, but I was well positioned to continue my daily training at home without any difficult transition period. For example, I was easily able to continue doing my daily push ups and abs, and I was able to do other bodyweight movements, like squats, at home, too.
How Did My Diet and Nutrition Change?
I admit that hearing and using the word “diet” is a bit of a pet peeve of mine. I HATE that word. Diets do not work. They are temporary and have an end-date in mind. Once your diet is finished, old eating and living patters re-emerge and the weight inevitably returns.
I feel so strongly about this because I tried them all over the years, and they NEVER worked for me.
Seriously, I used to be obese. Here I am:
At my heaviest, I weighed 296 lbs. (134.5 kgs.). I was 17 years old. Over the next 16 years, and through a lot more trial-and-error, I lost 98 lbs. It was at that point that I started my push up journey.
Throughout all of this time, the biggest lesson I have learned is that nutrition is as important, if not more important, than training. I also learned that diets no NOT work.
Instead, I have slowly changed my feelings towards food. With my consistent focus on daily exercise, I started focusing even more on my nutrition, too.
Specifically, these changes occurred during the past 11 months:
- I started eating much more whole food, plant-based products. If you want to learn more about this, I wrote an article about an AWESOME documentary I watched called Forks Over Knives. You might enjoy learning more about it, too.
- I started eating much, much less meat and dairy.
- I ate the vast majority of my meals as home-cooked meals.
- I almost completely eliminated alcohol from my life. I’ve wanted to do this for a long, long time. Committing to my daily push ups helped me to commit to this, too.
- My portion sizes got under control. I more or less learned what “normal” and healthy portion sizes were.
- I experimented with intermittent fasting. This was not consistent, but my interest has been piqued and I suspect that I will continue to experiment with it.
- I weighed myself every day to get immediate feedback on how my nutrition was affecting my weight.
And the result of all of this, plus my training, I hit two weight loss goals that I wasn’t even sure were possible:
- First, I got my weight to below 180 lbs. (81.77 kgs.).
- Soon after, I got my weight to below 80 kgs., and in the photo I weigh 79.6 kgs. (175.1 lbs.)
To think that I weigh this little after years of weighing so much is mind-blowing to me. Despite a little bit of loose skin, I feel so much more comfortable in my body and confident in myself. It’s been a game changer in so many ways.
And the continued, improved nutrition happened largely as a result of doing 100 push ups every day, over-and-over again.
The Biggest Change, So Far…
For years and years, I kept telling myself that the person I wished to be was healthy and fit. I told myself this, but my actions, despite even a 98 lb. weight loss, did not always match my true desire.
It’s funny how we do this to ourselves, right? I knew what I wanted, I more-or-less knew what I needed to do to get there, yet my actions did not consistently match my thoughts.
This challenge, while seemingly small, was a catalyst for me. It started by adding a system to simply maintain daily exercise in my life. Whether I wanted to train or not, I had to get my daily 100 reps in.
After that, other habits began to develop to compliment my new routine.
Over time, things cascaded to the point where my lifestyle is now one of healthy living, not just a few weeks before a special event or the few weeks leading up to summer.
I feel like I am a different person. I am doing more of the things that I know in my heart that I want to do, and I am doing them more consistently than ever before. While it has not always been easy, I go to sleep more satisfied and fulfilled than in any other period of my life.
And all it took was one small step, or push, rather.
Committing to a Healthy Lifestyle (Becoming the Person I Wish to Be)
With one more month to go, the question now becomes… What’s next?
For those of you following my progress here or on YouTube… not to worry! I plan on continuing to make and inspire personal change is a variety of ways.
For me, the next big step is to finally go for something I have wanted to do for a very long time… I have signed up for the NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) Personal Trainer Certification course.
That’s not all. I also signed up for their Nutrition Certification to become a certified nutrition coach, as well as their Weight Loss Specialization so that I might better maintain my own weight loss, and to help others accomplish the same.
I’m not saying this to brag. In fact, I’m ashamed that it took me this long to commit to something that I have wanted to do for so very long. I have been talking about being a personal trainer for years and years. Yet, I never committed to it.
I think a part of me was ashamed to take part in one of these courses while being overweight. Perhaps I cared too much about how I thought other people would perceive me instead of just doing what I knew I wanted to do to become the person I want to become.
Whatever the limiting factor was, it’s gone now. Doing 100 push ups a day for 11 months has showed me that:
- I can commit to a goal and accomplish it
- I do have something to contribute
- I can help and inspire others through my actions and positive attitude
- I deeply enjoy the process of learning, sharing, engaging, learning…
Connecting with Others
Perhaps the best part of all of this has been the connections I have made with others also seeking to make personal change in their lives. It’s so cool to learn about other people’s goals and desires, and to help inspire them to get there.
Additionally, the love and support I have received has been a huge motivator for me, and a humbling experience to see that the internet is not such a terrible place after all.
I hope to hear from even more of you over the coming years, and I look forward to each of us supporting each other as we become the people we wish to be.
Little did I know that 100 push ups a day would be the catalyst for all of these amazing experiences and changes in my life. It’s been pretty awesome to reflect on it.
The Fat, Broke and Stupid YouTube Channel
As mentioned above, in addition to my website I also have my Fat, Broke and Stupid YouTube Channel. It is a format that allows me to publish not just pictures, but also videos of all of my before and after results. It also let’s everyone see and hear me directly, which can often be a nicer experience than just reading a blog post.
So, head on over to my channel and check out some of my videos. If you subscribe and hit the notification bell, you will be one of the first to get all of my update videos as I publish them.
You can even watch my 11 Month Pushup video right here if you like:
Look at ALL of My Results from Every Month!
You saw Day 1. You saw Month 11. You even saw me when I was obese. But you have not seen all of the other update pictures I have takes. Fortunately, I have them all conveniently published on my 100 Push Ups A Day for One Year website page. There, you will also get links to all of my blog updates and YouTube videos. Check it out!
One more month to go. See you in my 1-year update!
Until then, I’m wishing you all the best as you work to become the person you wish to be.