How many pushups can you do?

When growing up I remember being enthralled by stories of unbelievable feats of human strength. No, not from comic books… I never was much of a reader. It was tales of my father doing a hundred bedside pushups, before going to bed.

Yes, the good old days, your dad throwing you around the living room, as your mom nervously watches her lamp about to take another tumble. This healthy father and son camaraderie is beneficial on more than one level. No doubt a great bonding moment, but also a fun way to stay active.

As of late, my Pa and I have rekindled that friendly competitive spirit and turned it into a great way to stay in shape. I took it upon myself to see whether it would be at all possible to knock off a mere hundred pushups. Suffice to say they do not make them the way they use to. Back in the day men and women actually physically worked for a living. The idea might seem foreign to you but it is true; people physically exerted themselves to bring home the bacon (even literally).

Coming from the boy who could not climb the rope in gym class, I dedicate this blog to my dad; my hats off to you! Even with the well-deserved lean muscle from my past three years of pumping iron, I am just under half way to reaching this illusive hundred. What a mountain this will be to climb!

As much as you think you might know your family or friends, chances are you do not know how many pushups they can do. Well, that is about to change! Share this post and learn something new about them. Send me your results via the “Leave a Response” link at the top of this post or “Submit a Comment” below.

First, some ground rules… we have to make this fair.

  • your body must remain straight at all times (no raised or lowered butt)
  • place your hands just outside your shoulders
  • position your feet shoulder widths apart
  • lower yourself within three inches from the floor
  • raise yourself until your arms are straight
  • certainly no girly pushups
  • no stopping

Your pushups should look something like this: Pushups Guide

I will allow one slight modification. When you find yourself completely gassed, on your very last rep in the top position, take one quick second to gather yourself, enabling you to squeeze out a few more reps.

Send me your results and I will continue to update your progress. It will be a great way to increase your strength and have some fun at the same time.

Need a plan to help you reach a hundred pushups? Read this article: Test Yourself: Do 100 Pushups – Men’s Fitness.com by Jeff Decker

Happy workout!


*Photo provided by Microsoft Office Online Clip Art


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76 Responses

  1. My Results:

      06/11/2010 – max 62

      18/10/2010 – max 56

      09/10/2010 – max 51

      28/08/2010 – max 48

      16/07/2010 – max 41

      11/07/2010 – max 39

      12/05/2010 – max 32

      a while back – max 25

    • Reader’s Results:

        Shane Elwood
        29/11/2010 – max 87
        23/11/2010 – max 77
        12/11/2010 – max 75
        09/10/2010 – max 66
        30/09/2010 – max 51
        21/09/2010 – max 50

        Dave
        17/10/2010 – max 57
        01/05/2010 – max 80

        Pa
        09/11/2010 – max 45
        22/09/2010 – max 35

        Jason Eckstein
        24/10/2010 – max 45
        22/10/2010 – max 42
        22/09/2010 – max 30

        Trevor
        08/10/2010 – max 40
        30/09/2010 – max 35
        22/09/2010 – max 30

        Anthony
        24/09/2010 – max 36

        Darryl
        23/11/2010 – max 25
        14/11/2010 – max 17

        Logan
        23/10/2010 – max 22
        01/10/2010 – max 8

        Melanie
        08/11/2010 – max 20

        Miriam
        22/09/2010 – max 10

        Gavin
        23/10/2010 – max 10*

        Sonia
        28/03/2011 – max 5
        29/09/2010 – max 3

        Cathy
        22/09/2010 – work in progress

        Chantal
        28/09/2010 – work in progress

    • I will let you know how many I can do but let me finish my beer first.
      Put me down for 20… I used to do between 40-50 in high school.I will take the challenge of getting up higher… thx for the push.

      OMG…I got to 30 on my second set,excuse me $%??#??&&*##@ (sorry that was me coughing my lungs out).

      • Good job… 30! You watch, you’ll be running me stiff competition in a few weeks. Hope your lungs are better now. 🙂

  2. Hey little buddy,
    I enjoyed this blog.
    My 50 max pushups caused me quite some pain and created a superpump.
    Thanks for your inspiration.

    • Yeah my pride was shattered when you broke my max of 48! 😛 Not bad considering it was your first attempt, not to mention the bummed shoulder and three bad discs. Thanks for sharing… play it safe, NOT!

  3. To my son:
    I do remember fondly the times of physical comraderie. But we should both remember that of all the boys that showed up to the living room to prove their strength, there was only one boy that presented any challenge. YOU!!

    P.S. I am flattered to be mentioned on your blog in reference to my physical state in yesteryear.
    Keep up the hard work to reach the goal of 100 push ups, look for me as I am waving at you at about 35.

    • Quick someone get me a tissue! Nice comment, looks like I’ll be getting you to write my blog posts from now on. Happy 100 hunting.

  4. Derek,you are truly surprising.When I first met you on the football field back in ’99 in Alberta I gave you the name ‘the blue devil’ (sneaky like the devil and wearing a blue shirt).A while after that when you took your shirt off to take a swim at the pond halfway through our 9-hole golf game…I thought that’s no blue devil…it’s the Michelin guy with your many layers of fat…boy! you have gone a long way.

    From rags to riches,in a physical sense of course…beware people of this blog,prepare to be humbled by the turtleman (I start slow but still win the race) 😉

    • Your comments are killing me, LOL! I still cant believe I actually took my shirt off, considering that was my biggest fear growing up. I must have known you would not judge me… now I cant keep my shirt on haha. Even I’m surprised to see how much things have changed. Thx again J (turtleman)

  5. I can do ten manly push ups.
    Very touching post it brought me back to my own childhood and rough housing with my dad and david. The goal was to get stronger than dad. I didn’t get stronger but i gained stamina in the process.

    Side note i find pushup contests amusing because it always ends with a nosebleed from someone pushing past their limit. ( I know that saying that this is amusing makes me a bad person but so be it. )

    • That’s a very respectable number, you go girl!!! Keep me up to date as you do your pilates. Thx for your stories!

  6. Hi Stew,
    Oh the memories you’ve conjured up….My little bro and I used to compete when we were in our early teens. I hang onto the victories of yesteryear with a tenacity of teenager clutching a cellphone…situps and pushups – as many as we could do in a minute.
    My day was made and locked into memory when I broke the 1 per second ceiling with 62 – Jan got 58. Mom must have put somethin funny in the orange juice that day coz I never beat it.
    Needless to say the fall from grace has been absolute and I havent lifted my bodyweight in exercise for many a year…scary thought actually.
    Maybe if I start I can reach my recently-developed-life-long-goal of (hey…!! I just did an oxymoron) when I grow up I wanna look like Shaneypoo…with hair tho!
    Ciao,
    Greg

    • You should have seen Shane’s face when I told him about your comment about his hair, I enjoyed it a little too much! I’m sure it added some fuel to the fire and it turned out to be a decent workout today. Putting a 60 second time limit would definitely change the dynamics, sounds painful. 😮 Thx for sharing your memories, and keep me posted.

  7. Hey Cous!
    This Blog is awesome! Way to inspire people! You have inspired me to get working out more 🙂 Not sure if I can do the pushups but I’m looking in to maybe starting up doing laps again. Fire Season in over now… I’ve been sitting behind a desk the whole season and noticed the difference from the heavy labor job I do in the Spring time. So need to integrate some kind of workout when I am still at Fire to prevent the body from going from good to bad and having to work harder to get back again 😦
    Miss you sunshine!
    Love ya

    • It’s so true… if you don’t use it you lose it. I hope you can find something you enjoy doing and reap the benefits, at the very least you have a support group now. Let me know if you have any questions. All the best! Much love

  8. What a great idea ! Well, truth be told (as always) ….I got all pumped up , got down on the floor, braced myself for what I thought would be an incredible, inexhaustible array of talent and strength (as I turn to kiss my muscle-hulk style) with these solid pythons , ….I got down for my first attempt …..sadly, gravity took over and I could not push back up, so I did what any smart athlete would do in the event one should lack energy….I took a snooze.

    • That is too funny and wonderfully portrayed! I want to frame this comment, it makes me smile. One cannot emphasize enough the power of sleep… Amen to that. Happy Z’s Ciao

  9. Well I accept the challenge. Mark me down for 30. By this time 2020 I have no doubt I will be in at least in the mid 40’s. Ya you heard me, MID 40’s!!!!!! That’s right, I am comin for you.

    • 2020 hehehe. Bring it on big guy! Man, I could use another gym session with you… good times good times!!

  10. My father and I have the same scenario. He played highschool football and was able to do the hundred. This spring he asked me what I could do. Without thinking I dropped to the floor. He stopped me, and said, don’t think about how many your doing go as hard and fast as you can. While he counted I made it to 80 without realizing. This got me thinking that it is more a mental wall we hit if we think about how many we are doing. I’d like to say there is no limit but it’s clearly not the one we have set for outselves.

    • Very interesting theory, I’ll give it a shot next time. Meanwhile welcome to the top, get comfy I think you might be there for a while. That is amazing! Cheers

  11. Hey I read your story it was awesome. Its 6:18 am and I am going to attempt as many as I can right now 36 that sucked. Next time we hang out remind me to tell you about a book I had once, where I wrote down every ones name and height and weight and then how many push ups they could do oh upside down push ups too watch the walls my best was 11.

    • Let me know if you are referring to this… click on Handstand Pushups and then let me know. I actually never tried them before… but I will have to now. Thanks for being so eager and sharing your results.

  12. Yup! Those are the ones, funny though never thought to do them facing the wall I usually do them with my back facing the wall.

    • It must be a good all-around exercise for the shoulders. It could be a great option for someone who wants a home routine instead of going to the gym. They look intense to say the least… I’ll let you know how I do. Cheers

    • It was shoulder day at the gym, so I gave the Handstand Pushups a try. To be honest something didn’t seem right while doing them with my feet against the wall. So I made a slight modification… I got my friend to hold my legs straight in the air. This felt much more natural and I actually really enjoyed the exercise, besides the feeling of my head about to burst as all the blood rush down! It’s a great shoulder exercise and definitely adds core stabilization to the movement, opposed to doing a regular Shoulder Press. Since there was a slight learning curve I will leave it to next week to test my max. For now I did 3 sets… 12 reps, 12 reps and then 11 reps.

      • Handstand Pushups

          04/10/2010 – max 14
  13. After reading a few comments, I thought, hey I can do this!! So here I am in my office, getting into pushup position behind my desk. (thankgoodness my boss didn’t happen to walk in my office) but nope, I could go down, but there is no coming back up. So, I must humbly say that it is, for now, impossible for me to do these stinking pushups!!! I will keep on trying!

    • I’m so proud of you for trying! That is the whole idea behind my blog… I’m hoping people will try new things. Whatever you do please don’t get discouraged, believe it or not you will progress quickly when starting anything new. By all means do ladies pushups (with your knees) and work your way up, also click on Dumbbell Bench Press for an exercise you can do in your gym at work. Don’t quit!!!

  14. That was most impressive eventually you will be able to balance yourself and do your sets with no wall. (that’s my goal anyway) I wish I knew you were into this stuff when I was there we could of tried some fun stuff. Off to the hall meet wink.

    • Thx for your encouragement! Yeah that would have been fun to mess around with a few fitness challenges. Despite being across Canada we can still challenge each other. Thanks again for reading.

      p.s. I thought you would have known I was into this stuff from the size of my “BIG GUNS!” Joking… LOL

  15. Hi Babe,
    Put me down for 3!
    I’m so proud of all your accomplishments over the last few years with your health. Thanks for being an inspiration. Don’t underestimate what your example can do for others. Keep up the great work with the blog!
    Love you,
    Sonia

    • You are so sweet! Thanks for the reassurance, without a doubt it helps me press on. I look forward to hearing your pushup progress, thx for joining the challenge. Ciao Bella

  16. I find it interesting to read your blog. I have not done any more than 35 since I last checked in. These comments remind me of how far I have fallen from glory. 100 push ups, 35 chin ups, and 5 skin the cats (i think). So I have found a new exercise which will include two people and large machinery. Go plug up a combine with wet straw. Call your best friend to dig it out. I found this exercise quite exhausting but it does separate the men from the boys. Three and a half hours, a handful at a time, leaves your knuckles sore, your fingers swollen like sausages, and your forearms burning with anticipation. The only exercise I can compare it to would be boxing all night with bare hands. I will continue to improve and raise my number of pushups, be patient, and I’ll see ya at the top after I have returned from surgery and have new shoulders that will work like those of yesteryear. Before I leave I found the comment about pushups being partially a mental exercise interesting, I wonder whether the burning effect is partially mental. need more info.
    Pa

    • It’s always a treat to read my dad’s comments! You have just confirmed my observation in regards to old school work ethic, which I referred to earlier. Tell me, if I was to fly home and help you unclog the next combine would I have to get my hands dirty? Wink. Now that you have been strengthening your grip and forearms, maybe we should start a contest to see who could ring the most necks! Double wink. Your situation will be a good test to see whether a little work-out is good for an ailment. Also I do at times think we underestimate the relationship between the mind and our muscles…

      Your Son

  17. Hey sexy. Put me up to 35. About the mental thing. I have heard it said that one of the biggest roadblocks to getting stronger and bigger is pain tolerance. I definitely think our tolerance of pain is a mental game.

    • I absolutely agree. That reasoning intrigued me as I watched the last winter Olympics. There was much talk about the pain athletes experienced when competing, especially in the sport of speed skating. In the replays you would notice the athletes wincing in pain while their tongues turned blue! It’s obvious they are amazing athletes but also need to have a very strong pain tolerance along with endurance.

      After today I can confirm that having your gym buddy silently count your reps, somehow helps you mentally. It’s funny, if you know you are coming close to your 12th rep your body automatically gets lazy and wants to stop. Unless it was just a good day… but we both shot well past our 12 rep goal for each set.

      The hard part… trying to forget or tell yourself your not in agonizing pain!! Another advantage of a gym partner… getting him to trash talk you so you can take it out on the weights! Grrrr

      Cheers

  18. Hi Uncle,

    I just joined the challenge. I wanted to do eight pushups because that is how old I am. And I did it!!!!!!! Whew!! My goal is 20 pushups.
    Nana says my muscles are huge.

    Logan

    • Hey Logan, I can’t believe how many pushups you can do at your age! You must be growing up really fast and getting so strong. Thx for joining my pushup challenge, let me know as you get stronger. I hope we can do pushups together someday soon.

      Love U

  19. Look at Kelly Ripa go! This girl’s got game… Kelly Ripa Push-Up Challenge

  20. 40 Baby!!!!! If I drop dead from a heart attack doing this challenge it is on you Cous!!!

    • Wow, you’re on fire! Talk about moving up on my list, hehe. Now that you say that… it might be wise to get everyone to sign a waiver before joining. 🙂

    • That will teach you to inspire me… now you will have to beat my 51max. I might have underestimated how much of a difference a little friendly competition would make. Keep the results coming! Your CUZ

  21. Hello bodyhobby followers, a new pushup max for me today.

    18/10/2010 – max 56

  22. Reader’s Results News: Dave falls from top spot and Shane takes the lead with a pushup max of 66.

  23. Reader’s Results News: Jason smashes personal best by 12 reps and is now at 42 pushups. No doubt the blueberry strudel’s and latte’s before hand contributed to his spike in strength! Congrats J… you just moved up 3 positions. Hope your chest hurts, hehe.

    • My boobs are in pain since then…thx for the coffees. My goal is 50 before I leave for Europe.

      • I think that is an achievable goal. This pushup challenge is a good example; when you have a goal in mind your efforts are more likely to yield results. It’s a good reminder that we should think of fun ways to get more active, tricking ourselves into getting our butts off the couch. Ciao Bro

  24. Hi Uncle Stewy,
    Mark me down for 22 pushups. I did them today at Nana’s. Gavin did 10 too but they aren’t really the proper way. His were like girls pushups kind of. But he thought he was doing them properly.
    Logan

    • That is crazy Logan! I was twice your age before I could do that many pushups. At this rate you are going to beat Papa soon… watch yourself Pa. Miss you buddy.

  25. Reader’s Results News: Logan my 8 year old nephew beats his old record by 12 reps, bringing him up to 22 pushups.

  26. Reader’s Results News: Logan’s younger brother Gavin joins the pushup challenge with 10* pushups.

  27. Reader’s Results News: Jason squeezes out an extra 3 reps, which brings him to 45 pushups.

  28. Hey, Stewy and Wife! Thanks for looking after Sherry so well during her trip! She sure had a blast.
    On the subject of push-ups: I think I was three before I realized that the whole concept is part of a huge demonic conspiracy, designed to cause endless pain and waste energy. (Studies show a much higher suicide rate among push-uppers) So my goal is this: to reach at least zero in all the rest of eternity!!! (So far I’m doing great!)
    I don’t know if you are aware of it, but the boys in white suits are monitoring your blog, and will be picking up anyone who reports reaching 100!!
    LOL, love you guys, Charlie

    • The pleasure was all ours, it’s obvious why my parents are so fond of you both. It meant a lot to have the chance to reminisce about old times, the only thing that was missing was you! You will have to pass on our deepest appreciations to Sherry, as we knew we were going to give her a tour of Montreal but we did not expect her to pay for everything. So just in case you were wondering where all your hard earned money vanished to, we blew it on a variety of delicacies. Much love old friends

  29. In HS I joined a co-ed basketball team since I wanted to hold my weight against the guys on the team I was doing 50-75 push ups every practice.

    During college, I’d do about 25-30 every now and then pushing myself.

    Now, I’m capable of doing about 20 whenever I remember. I’ll do some tonight and let you know how many I did.

    For the record, they were guy push-ups not girl ones 😉

    • Wow, those are some crazy stats, you go girl!

      I’ll put you down for 20 pushups… very impressive. Thx for joining, keep me posted.

      • I’m guessing from your blog that your name is Melanie.

  30. Reader’s Results News: Stewy pushes past Dave to take 2nd place with a max of 62 pushups.

  31. Reader’s Results News: Pa increases his pushup max to 45.

  32. Ummm…I object to your rule #6….what exactly is a “girly” push up, huh?

    • It’s when you rest your weight on your knees instead of up on your toes, also termed “modified pushup”. A regular pushup can be challenging for many women (and some men 😉 ), so this is a method ones use to slowly work their way up to a standard pushup. Here is a fun article someone posted, it also provides an illustration. My Antifeminist Childhood: “Girl Push-ups” Edition

  33. LOL! I know…thanks for the link…interesting comments.

    • Oops, I’m still in help mode and didn’t pickup on the sarcasm! Duh LOL 🙂

  34. Reader’s Results News: Shane determined to keep the lead, increases his pushup max to 75.

  35. Better late than never. MAN is this harder than I expected. I’m almost embarrassed to post it, but my max today is 17.

    100 here I come!

    • I love your spirit! I know you will do good, because when you do something you give it your all. Just think of how it’s going to feel when looking back on that number… you got this! NO sweat… okay maybe a little sweat. Thanks for joining.

  36. Reader’s Results News: Darryl joins the pushup challenge with a max of 17.

  37. 25

    • NICE! Keep it up.

  38. Reader’s Results News: Darryl moves up two positions with a pushup max of 25.

  39. Reader’s Results News: Shane wont be slowing down anytime soon… squeezing out a mere 77 pushups!

  40. Reader’s Results News: His muscles bulged… his lips turned blue… his spit flew but incredibly Shane increased his pushup max to 87.

  41. Reader’s Results News: Sonia increases her pushup max to 5 reps.

    • way to go sonia. that bootcamp must be giving you good results.

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