Bodyweight Training – The 100 Pushup Philosophy

The 100 Pushup Philosophy

I have always said a man that can do 100 straight pushups will
almost always be in great shape. How can I say that a man that
can do only 100 pushups be in great shape?

The first thing is 100 straight pushups are not easy for the average
man or even most weight trainers. I have been training for over
30 years and have never seen any man do 100 straight pushups in

I have seen 70 I have even seen 80 pushups in a row but not 100.

The reason that 100 pushups are rare is because it takes more
than just strength it also requires a total body effort to execute
the pushup while keeping the body straight throughout the
entire exercise.

But, to get the big bench almost always requires low reps and
long rest periods. Sometimes longer than 2 minutes. Building
a big bench is not getting you conditioned to do anything but
lying down and pushing a weight off your chest. And oh yeah
telling people how much you can bench.

Really, how many men do you think that go to the gym can do
many more than 50 pushups? Here’s another difference with
the pushup and the bench press. Training to bigger bench
numbers, you will push and push and push some more all in
the name to get the big bench, but the majority of people once
they get to their max number of pushups stop and think workout

The Bench press requires no conditioning what so ever to get
stronger. But, there is no way you are not going to be sucking
wind working up to 100 pushups, pushups in a short period of
time become an anaerobic exercise meaning no oxygen.

No oxygen to the muscles means hard times and this is when
most will quit. Pushing a little farther will not mean injury. What
it means is you will train your mind and body to get a little
tougher and stronger.

I have seen it many times over the years; bring me a guy that
can do 100 pushups some pull-ups and sprints. A guy that
can bench press 300 lbs and works his way through the gym
doing every type of bench incline, decline, cross over’s on
machines and does curls etc.

And put these two guys in an athletic type of contest and I
can almost guarantee that the man that can do 100 pushups
will be the winner and he will also be plenty strong!

And here is something you bench press specialists won’t like
to hear. Most guys in the gym that are focused on the bench
press are functionally weak. This is not my opinion it’s a fact
focusing on the bench press works very few muscles the
pushup works many more and conditions the at the same
time. So work to 100 pushups and see what  happens.

Toughness Builds Winners

Johnny Grube


  1. Monet Smith says

    I am a 46 year-old woman. I am about 35 lbs. overweight. I am wondering how to start push-up training, girlie push-ups, or shallow regular push-ups. At the moment, I can do about one good push-up. That’s it.


  2. Monet, I would suggest doing inclined pushups. Then, as you get stronger, you can decrease the angle until you are parallel to the ground. This way, you can focus on and maintain good form while reaching the 5-8 reps that promote strength improvement.

  3. I’m 22 years old, and in the past 8 months worked my way from 23 pushups to finally 100 today (can probably do a bit more). I’m in great shape and I look muscular. However, my strength is terrible compared to my friends who can’t do that many pushups. It’s annoying when I’m at the gym and can’t lift nearly as much as a friend, even though I look as strong. I feel like I’ve sacrificed strength in favor of endurance. Perhaps the strength will come later as I’ve been working out for less than a year, but for now it’s kind of an embarrassment.

  4. I turned 51 yesterday, and celebrated by doing 100 consecutive pushups. I trained for it by using an iphone app called hundredpushups. before I started the program, I could already do 70 pushups, but I’ve been training and going to the gym for 35 years.

    But nevermind that. Anybody who pushes themselves, regardless of how many you can do, should give themselves a pat on the back.

  5. First, let me say that there is no such thing anymore as functional strength. What I mean by that is unless your job requires a certain physical level, then being abnormally strong or aerobic doesn’t matter for functionality. We don’t live in the Indian times where we need to catch our food and be fast or what have you. That being said I think we do need to be active for our health or enjoyment. You can’t compare “100 pushups” to a “big bench” like one is better. They aren’t really apples to apples. Not everyone who benches is a gym rat. That’s a stereotype. I bench all the time but can still do 19 bodyweight pull ups in a row. Its all about opinion and what you want to achieve. But I don’t think aerobic/endurance trumps power/strength. Some people like to build a lot of muscle. In my opinion “functional strength” would be a guy with a huge bench who could push his friends car out of a snow bank in winter if you want to look at it like that. Don’t make up one sided scenarios of the push up guy and bench guy because then I could just say the guy with pure strength would have a higher chance of killing the other guy if they were both of equal fighting skill. That’s my crazy rant.

  6. jaymey johnson says

    March 24, 2011 is the first time I did 100 consecutive push ups. My best now is 142 accomplished this month. Hopefully I’ll get 150 soon. My best in a day is 1555, and best for a month is 10,205. I’ve kept an excel log of my exercising dating back to August 2007 (55-60 in a row), which is fun to look back on. I used to swtich it up all the time, fist push ups, incline, fingertip, pyramid, wide, handstand, etc. trying to beat my previous best. I’m 37 and weigh 190 + – a few pounds.

  7. So I am 31 years old and 4 years ago I had a work accident as an iron worker in florida. I fell 30 feet and comppletely shateres my right wrist and all the bones in my lower arm. About 15 places. 8inch titanium place seven pins and five screws later. Year went by couldn’t even pull a milk jug out of the fridge. Been four years now and all the calcium and bone has fused with the metal. Hand doesn’t move much but is an iron fist now. I’ve always been into sports and the gym. My roomate is a parareacue in the airforce and we were hamered one night and he was telling me he could do eighty straight pushups. I told him that wasn’t shit.he said bullshit I got a hundred dollar bill if you can and five for every one after.big I didn’t make a hundred I owed him a hundred. Mind you I can only do fist pushups cause my hand does not move up. So I hit the deck and busted 120 straight. He was blown away. And I told him to pay the fuck up. He said he’s never seen anybody do that many so fast in seven years of airforce training. Made me feel good. Tried if again tonite only got 82. Lol money on the table I guess up the anti

  8. Harinder says

    I am 40 years old. I do 10 pushups on one day. Second day 20 pushups. Third day only one. Why is it so. Also my digestion is disturbed and frequent urination occurs. What should I do about this. I want to do 100 pushups.

  9. I think this all boils down to what you are seeking from your training. If overall muscle mass is your goal, then bench pressing heavy weight at low rep ranges is the way to go since hypertrophy is the name of the game for mass. If endurance is your goal, then go ahead and do your pushups. I think that the bench press is a more efficient method for endurance though because you can still do 20 reps or so and alter the weight you use as you progress. Yes, you’ll get results from 100 pushups, but it’s not efficient. In the end just do what you want to do and remember that what you choose doesn’t make you any better than anyone else. I feel that the writer is subtly trying to make himself feel better about himself and put himself above those that bench.

  10. Ardijan, No the fact is all the years I pushed for the big bench around 400lbs
    I never ever had the exercises help me in anything other than thinking I was
    something I was not. Not to mention anyone and everyone I knew was always nursing
    some injury related to the bench press Then I found that I knew a lot of heavy
    bench presses that were pathetically out of shape. But the guys that
    used a lot of pushups were never out of shape. You think what you want.

  11. I’m currently doing the Hundred Pushups program, and am very happy to see this article. I am 14 years old and have never bench pressed.

    Thanks guys!

  12. MIke Daniels says

    Couldnt have said it better!! Im 40 and i bust out 100 120…. The oxygen part is so key!!!! As for beginners that want to do pushups, heres what you do…. everytime you are sitting around thinking of doing a pushup… get down and do pushups… every day u will improve! The body is an amazing piece of machinery!!!

  13. Does anyone have a recommendation for if a program/schedule for getting to 100 consecutive pushups? I can currently do 30, but want to be at 100 by New Years – thoughts?

  14. Patricia h says

    I did 100 push-ups in 11 minutes. I am 37 female. Started doing 5. A man said I didn’t have enough upper body strength to do 100 in under 30 minutes. I had to prov him wrong. The most consecutive currently is 30. I in o not inure to impove that number.

  15. It took me almost 3 months but I finally made it to 105 consecutive push-ups today!!
    I started by using the progam using the ‘hundredpushups app’. I started the program in week 3 of 6 since I could already do more than 40 consecutive pushups. After 3 weeks I made it to 93, then after another three weeks I could only reach 95…so close! I ended up ditching the app and doing my own regimin of 60-50-40-30-20-20 sets of pushu-ups with a min or two in between sets. And Finally today decided to just go for it and was able to muster 105 in under two mins. It definitely is a mind game and pacing yourself is key. I did 60 straight, took a 5 sec breather while in locked out position, cranked out another 20, took another 5 sec breather, and then cracked out 20 more. I forced the last five. My next goal is 150!

  16. Excellent article. I am still unsure about what constitutes one-hundred pushups without stopping. I can get up to 70 pushups without stopping or slowing down, but once past there I will rest in the up position for a few seconds and then continue. In this position I am in the top phase of the pushup, resting only on my palms and toes. Sometimes I use another rest position which is the same as this, but with my derriere up in the air. A friend in the Army told me that it was an acceptable rest position in their pushup test. I can get to 100 and beyond if I use these rests. Does that still count as accomplishing the 100 pushup test, or must I perform 100 push-ups without any form of rest whatsoever?

  17. I normally do thirty push ups @ once but I wanna get to 50 @ once and progressively like that.

  18. Recently I went through the training for law enforcement at the age of 44. One of the strength tests we did was push ups and I was able to get 100 perfect push ups without stopping. I did more but only those that were perfect were counted. When younger I was able to do much more with doing 200 in a row while in high school at the age of 17. I worked on them every night doing a set number of push ups in a set with multiple sets and increasing them as I got stronger. I’m not sure if they were perfect as I did not have an instructor reviewing them. While doing martial arts I held the record of 110 in 60 seconds at the age of 39 which also were reviewed by an instructor for their completeness.

    Like anything if you want to get good at it, practice it. I practiced a lot of push ups so I excelled at push ups. Other exercises that I didn’t apply myself to like pull ups or sit ups I did not excel at as much. With the same effort I did for push ups I’m sure I would have also seen better results with them.

  19. I should also note at 17 I weighed 155 lbs. At 44 I weighed 180 lbs. I am 5’8″ tall. In either instance I was not over weight but fit and active with sports or weight resistance training. For the law enforcement testing I had not lifted any weights for over 6 months as worked only on increasing my cardio by running, skipping rope, etc. With weight training I am usually around 205 lbs so lost considerable muscle to be able to do the required training.

  20. I am a 16 year old water polo player. About a year ago I was aiming for the 100 push ups straight marker, I did it after 6 months, but I wasnt ready. Doing a hundred push-ups in fact a challenge of the mind and body. When I did this my mind was set and my body wasnt quite ready. During the time my “max” was 50 consecutive push-ups. However I remember one night I was especially angered and didnt want to take it out on anybody so my solution was to do push-ups. I push my body and savored the pain. I purposely held my body down half ways just to feel the burn. I took each push up as slow as possible maximizing work. And by the time I hit 75 I was hurting, but I had to keep pushing. It never hurt so good. By the 90’s it was difficult. It resemble working with a pulled muscle, but I loved it. I remember the last push up like it was yesterday. I felt heavy, but I was determined, I couldnt stop there. SO push with a cry and said “100!”. Then I just collapsed to the floor. My body felt useless, traumatized, but my mind felt victorious, unstoppable. I started to realize something though, my body was twitching slightly. I tried to stand up to to get to the bed to lay down but the twitch was also in my legs making it difficult. Eventually I made my way to there. I fell asleep exhausted. I woke up only 1 hour later, to find my body still twitching. This lasted another half hour. Which made me think my body was definitely not ready for what I have done. I woke up the next day nothing was wrong, however I had a new bragging right and a raised self esteem which I needed. Do the 100 push ups was the best thing I ever done (besides getting on tv :p) So I also challenge you to do it. Your body doesn’t necessarily need years of conditioning, just the right motive… What motivates you?

  21. brennan firth says

    iam 14 and training for special forces and i can do 100 straight push upps followed by 20 one hand push ups no stopping but i have been training for a few months

  22. brennan firth says

    australian mate

  23. Reel Li Tuf says

    wow don’t we have a bunch of badasses here in the comments section

  24. Interesting article… I had no idea how many pushups was normal, but here is my story. Five years ago, I tried working out with my wife. I couldn’t even do 10 pushups. We tried the Tony Horton P90X. Bottom line, I had to do pushups on my knees. I worked out most days in the beginning, but always took breaks. 15 months ago, I decided to be serious. I am 49 years old. I felt like I needed to be healthier. For months I had worked up to 50 pushups everyday. Recently, I decided to go further. Today was my first 100 push up day The last eight were week, but I made it. I have to say the last three I thought I was going to fall on my face. LOL – My goal now is to do all 100 correctly. The first 80 I can do with good form. The last 20 were rushed, but I was down most of the way and back up. Yahoo….

  25. Lars Hultman says

    Hi Athlets! I’m a 49 years old man and I did 113 pushups recently. I used a narrow hand position and elbows went close to the body. The chest touched the ground everytime and Bodyposition was straight. I trained for 2 weeks more or less every day by doing 1-2 max reps per day. I started with around 50 pushups (day 1) and after 2 weeks I reached 113 reps (without resting). I took 7 min 20 sec. The excercise is very demanding not only triceps also shoulders, upper back, whole core and cheast (not so much with close grip). Quite confusing when I reached my goal (100) so fast and I got a bit confused what to do next? Anyway if you have a weak core you can only do few pushups. I train a combination of things Including bench press from time to time. I have a small film on Facebook if you want to see. Good luck with your pushups! Lars Hultman, Sweden.

  26. can i train this and not lose strength? like can i work towards a one arm chinup (strength) and 100 pushups (endurance)

  27. 100 press ups is well hard. i would like to see this as well. my karate sensei used to do 1000 push ups in 20 minutes and had a better physique than any bodybuilder

  28. I can do 100 + consecutive push-ups and bench press 300+ pounds I am 5″7 165 pounds If you still haven’t seen anyone do 100 straight push-ups if would like to show you lol

  29. I am really impressed with your writing skills and
    also with the layout on your blog. Is this a paid theme
    or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing,
    it’s rare to see a great blog like this one nowadays.

  30. I will turn 56 in August and started my pushup regime back in October last year and could manage 45. I got up to 100 pushups in January and now do between 120 and 130 pushps. I cycle a lot and did not want to lose muscle mass above the waist.

    I managed to build up to 120/130 by doing pushups every other day – as in Monday, Wednesday and Friday – that’s 3 times a week. Muscle (and I am no expert at this so do please comment) need recovery time which can take up to 48 hours.

    I don’t take supplements – only rarely will I take maybe something like magnesium. This is onl if I notice that I am cramping. I only ensure I get enough protein, vitamin C, fluid (plenty of water) this combined with stretching those muscles (in this case pecs and the arms).

    Finally two further tips. Never jump on the diet bandwagon. Even our favorite fitness magazines can be riddled with new-fangeled diets and short-cuts. Carbs? I need them, we all need them.

  31. First of all I would like to say terrific blog!

    I had a quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind.

    I was curious to know how you center yourself and clear your
    head before writing. I’ve had a difficult time clearing my mind in getting my thoughts out there.

    I do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes tend
    to be wasted just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any ideas or hints? Kudos!

  32. zack zinzow says

    I can do 100 push ups and I just turned 14 last month. I do four reps of those every day and if I’m tired I do 600 to 1000 sit ups. I want to be the one to surpass god(if someone who watches anime is here, yes I got that from blackstar from soul eater). I’m not joking about any of this.

  33. Antonio Allen says

    I have been into fitness for 35 years of my 45. I do variety of activities. And the number one exercise I have done for that long are pushups. As a little boy I struggled to do exercises but I did not give up. I use weights as well, nothing extensive, just for variety and activity. I do not do push ups every day, I usually keep the number between 100 to 200 consecutive reps. And at least once a week, I do over 400 hundred consecutive push ups. It takes me an average of 41-43 minutes to do them. On those days I start out with 20-30 minutes of shadow boxing and I psych myself up. For me, it is as much a mental and spiritual exercise as it is physical. It is demanding more so mentally, because it is 400! It can be tedious if you do not believe in the purpose. I enjoy all forms of exercise even though I do not particularly excel at any one of them, except the push ups, which I am proud of. Listen to your body, get rest, eat well, sleep well and enjoy what works. Merry Christmas! Great website Johnny!

  34. I’m 41 and sit for a living running trains. I started this app 100 push-ups a couple years ago and now have done over 20,000 when I started I couldn’t do 40 now I can do 120 in 95 seconds. Just keep ug plugging away.

  35. You really are pathetic and only reply to the messages you want to reply to. You really can’t compare low rep bench pressing with high rep push-ups (John has also mentioned this in his comments). They are both good and for different purposes. Yes, 100 pushups will give you endurance but what if you are doing a sport that does not require endurance but explosive power instead? What if you are aiming to smack a baseball for a home-run? What if you are trying to pushdown your opponent in American Football? You will need the mass and explosive power to deliver. For a sport that will not require endurance, training to do 100 pushups is useless. It will only effect your muscles negatively and can possibly give you slow twitch muscle fibers that will not have speed or power. However, if your sport requires such endurance, then go ahead and do 100 pushups (I highly doubt there are many sports that will need more than 50 pushups other than boxing).

    And according to you:
    “Building a big bench is not getting you conditioned to do anything but lying down and pushing a weight off your chest.” I mean… seriously? Do you even know what you’re saying.

    I would also really like to see these “athletes” you talk about. If you really are an “athlete” you will know that different sports require different muscle types. Yes, maybe 100 pushups might have been a good workout for everyone in the stone ages where survivability depended on endurance (I also doubt anyone in the stone ages did pushups) but it’s not essential anymore. Ask any professional sports trainer and he will tell you there is no ‘miracle’ workout that makes you athletic in every way. Once you get into a higher level within your sport, you will be training specific functional workouts that work for your sport. This can be low-rep bench presses or high rep push ups.

    Professional Trainer,

  36. I am 12 years old an can do 104 pushups at my max… I’m trying to get to at least 200 by the end of the year but I don’t really have a good routine for getting to that goal. There’s plenty of weekly routines for 100 pushups but none for 200. Any advice? T

  37. Great blog sight! I have come to believe that pushups are superior to heavy bench pressing, absolutely. When I was a much younger guy of 20 yrs. old, I managed to max out at 320 lbs. on the bench press. Granted not a world’s record or the likes, but still, how many guys ever approach anything even close or better. Really very few. But you know, I have to tell you, I always felt “out of whack” so to speak, and I’ve also had some on and off shoulder problems as a result of heavey benching, I believe.

    Now, that I’m just shy of 49 yrs. old, and having already suffered two heart attacks (ouch!), I can none the less do 50 pushups in one shot, and will usually do between on average 200 to 300 pushups in a session three times a week, and overall I feel more “balanced”, and it doesn’t seem to bother my shoulders like benching used to.

    So based on my own personal experience, I would tell any young guy interested or actually in the beginning phases of working out and wondering what’s best, I have to say Go Pushups! Especially if you value your throwing arm. I used to be blessed with a cannon for an arm, and after all those shoulder injuries I now and for quite some years have been reduced to throwing not much better than a little old lady, and to a noticeable degree have lost the range of motion in my shoulders that I used to have. I could be wrong, just my experience and something to maybe consider, especially you young guys who are just getting into working out. Best of luck either way!

  38. Not sure why it has to be pushups vs benchpress. They both have their benefits. BUT if i had to choose between the two. It’s no contest. Benchpress takes it. Pushups,unless heavily weighted, do not develop strength. Benchpress although not a bodyweight exercise can still develop endurance.

    Functional strength is relative. If you want to be able to lift heavy things, then bench press is much more functional than pushups.

  39. Also, for those complaining about shoulder pain….try developing your shoulders….benchpress is not a miracle exercise. you need to address imbalances

  40. Daniel I used to bench around 400 lbs and found in all life in almost every situation the bench press never helped me not in any sports, pro wrestling, martial arts, wrestling, and in manual labor. I know buddies of mine that were bench pressing 500 + and a few are cops and I know other than looks it never helped them handle a criminal.

    Not to mention most of them heavy bench presses that I have known are wrecked in the elbows, shoulders, neck and back and went through surgeries. I have spent my whole life around laborers and gym rats and have seen the bench wreck many men.

    Not to mention seen a lot of big bench pressers with light legs get tossed by someone with a strong total body then just a big bench.

    To each his own it’s my opinion after 35 years of training and stand strong on the views.

  41. I did 102 push ups with proper form with no rest in between. It can be done.

  42. I’m 42 years old, 87 kilos, I drink too much beer, but I run 5k most days. I just ran 5 miles and did 4 sets of: 80 push ups, 80 crunches, 40 (full body weight) dips, 100 leg kicks and 100 twists; I’ll try for 100 push ups soon.

  43. micky belfast says

    Im 32 and completed my first set of 100 decline pushups. It was extremely hard altho i train hard 7days a week some long hours some short but hard my goal was met now on to 100 aday for a month

  44. Although this post is years after the initial post, I’ve done 110 push-ups consecutively and bench double my body weight, that’s a 345 1RM bench press. I have also done 31 full hang to chest touching bar pull-ups and deadlifted 545. I have also barbell back squat 515 and have done 250 consecutive body squats. I have no family history of individuals that were physical of any nature, other than walking. I do on the other hand exercise in a progressive manner in areas I am less capable in. It is a real wonder what 7 consistent years could do for your physical well being, well in which that pertains to completing a specific movement for repetitions and/or lifting a given amount of weight. I try not to blanket statement anything as something doesn’t lead to something else more than it does. Have a goal, complete that goal, reap what may benefit and repeat.

  45. Ken Jansseune says

    I have been into weight lifting for many years, but now have switched over to push ups, I do 8 sets of 100 push ups, I feel like it is more than a pump than benching, I am almost 51 ,

  46. Took me 6 months, once a week roughly to get there. I didn’t follow any particular regiment except I had 2 kinds of workouts: single set max (15 rep warm up, then go for max, then a few more sets trying to burn myself out by going to failure). Total workout max: started with sets of 40 (now doing sets of 60) with 5 min rest. I do 600 push ups in a little over an hour.

    I found that progress is not constant, but rather goes in a step-pattern.

    I don’t know how Ken Jansseune can do 8*100 in 1 workout but that is most impressive. I’m 47 and do 100, 80, 60, 50, etc….all going to failure

    thanks for the post Johnny

  47. i reached 400 but i leave exercise and im between 50/60

  48. i reached 400 but i leave exercise and now im between 50/60

  49. I’m 73 and unfortunately when I was in my mid 30’s I had no problem doing 100 push-ups then, weighed about 158 max, tough you better believe it, even guys like you said over 200 lbs were no problem, now it’s a diffrent story. Back then, I used to swing on a high-bar, but at that age of about 35 had a serious accident
    Broke my shoulder riding trials.
    But now at 73 – I jog about a mile (oh yes just have also had a serious hernia operation) but as you mentioned it is difficult to get back into shape, I do about 1 mile jog and today I also started my training of doing several sets of push ups 10 sets of 15, and the last were pretty sloppy. Maybe when summer comes I may be up to quite a few God willing,
    You are definitely right when it comes to push ups, and pull ups back then I could do easily 27 pull ups in less then one minute, now I’m lucky to do 7 and the last is not very good, Wait until summer comes !
    Sure be nice if you visited my website to help in my life time research for the benefit of all,

  50. I love this article! Will be back for more reading!

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