• Increase font size
  • Decrease font size
  • Print
  • RSS
  • 100 Pushup Challenge

    100 Push-up Challenge

    Program:  The 100 Pushup Challenge  
    Description:

    100 pushups may seem like a lot - it can sound a bit daunting. If you're serious about increasing your strength, follow this 6 to 8 week training program and you'll soon be on your way to completing 100 consecutive pushups!

    Who can participate? All Pima County employees
    Delivery: Start any time to begin
    Self-paced
    Duration: 10 minutes per day
    3 days per week
    6 - 8 weeks
    How to get started:

    Complete the Registration Form to get started.

    Incentive: Complete the challenge and be entered into a seasonal drawing for 1 of 5 Corporate Reward gift cards.

    Earn 20 Healthy Lifestyle Premium Discount points.

    100 pushups may seem like a lot - it can sound a bit daunting. If you're serious about increasing your strength, follow this 6 to 8 week training program and you'll soon be on your way to completing 100 consecutive pushups!
    Think there's no way you could do this? I think you can! All you need is a good plan, plenty of discipline and about 30 minutes a week to achieve this goal!

    By completing this challenge you will:

    • Be recognized on the "I Did the 100" board.
    • Get entered into a seasonal drawing for 1 of 5 $100 Corporate Rewards gift cards.
    • Gain strength and confidence.
    • Earn 20 Healthy Lifestyle Activity Points

    Win 1 of 5 $100 Corporate Reward Gift Cards

    You can start and complete the 100 Pushup Challenge any time during the season. You will be entered into a seasonal drawing for 1 of 5 $100 Corporate Reward gift cards for the season in which you completed the challenge.

    Spring Challenge: March - May Summer Challenge: June - August
    Fall Challenge: September - November Winter Challenge: December - February

    Pushups offer a ton of great benefits including:

    • Perform Pushups Anywhere - They only require your body weight so no fancy or expensive equipment is needed.
    • Increased Strength - Pushups engage your chest, shoulders, triceps and core muscles.
    • Plenty of Variations Available - Pushups are a very dynamic exercise with many variations available to satisfy the beginning to the advanced athlete.

    Remember, the main aim of the program is to improve your strength, fitness and general health. It really doesn't matter what style of pushup you perform as long as you continue to make progress and keep challenging yourself. Give the program a chance and you'll be amazed at your new found strength.

    Initial Test

    The initial test will highlight your current fitness level and determine where to start and how to plan your pushups training program. You have the option to pick the type of pushups you will focus on throughout your training. This means, you can pick wall, modified, standard, or any advanced pushup option you want to work on. You can always repeat the program moving to more advanced pushups to continuously challenge and improve your strength.

     Ratings for Men (Standard Pushup), Based on Age
     Age 20 - 29 30 - 39 40 - 49 50 - 59 60 +
    Rank*  Number of pushups performed
    1 < 20 < 15 < 12 < 8 < 5
    2 20 - 34 15 - 23 12 - 19 8 - 14 5 - 9
    3 35 - 44 24 - 34 20 - 29 15 - 24 10 - 19
    4 45 - 54 35 - 44 30 - 39 25 - 34 20 - 29
    5 > 54 > 44 > 39 > 34 > 29
     Guidelines published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)
     Ratings for Women (Modified Pushup), Based on Age
     Age 20 - 29 30 - 39 40 - 49 50 - 59 60 +
    Rank*  Number of pushups performed
    1 < 6 < 4 < 3 < 2 < 1
    2 6 - 16 4 - 11 3 - 7 2 - 5 1 - 2
    3 17 - 33 12 - 24 8 - 19 6 - 14 3 - 4
    4 34 - 48 25 - 39 20 - 34 15 - 29 5 - 19
    5 > 48 > 39 > 34 > 34 > 19
     Guidelines published by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)


    *The scale of 1 to 5 is only an indicator of your current fitness and can be used as a comparison tool between yourself, friends and co-workers.

    To perform the test, warm up for a few minutes and then simply execute as many good-form pushups as you can. Don't cut corners and please don't cheat - the last thing you want to do is end up in the wrong level of the training program! The results may be humbling, but honesty is the best policy if you want to maximize your strength gains!

    If you do the test correctly, you will be absolutely exhausted. During the test you count only the pushups during which you managed to straighten your arms completely. You also don't count the last pushup which you didn't do completely. Be careful – overworking your body can lead to injury and will interrupt your training.

    Before starting Week 1, take a couple of days to familiarize yourself with the program and recover from the exertion of the initial test. Give yourself a few minutes to warm up before beginning the daily challenge. You'll be required to work out three times per week, for example - Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

    Don't forget how many pushups you performed in the test, so you can move on to week 1 of the challenge.

    Week 1

    So, you've completed your initial test and you're keen to start the program? Great!

    • If you managed 5 or less pushups in the test, follow column 1.
    • If you completed between 6 and 10 pushups, column 2 is for you.
    • Between 11 and 20 consecutive pushups? Impressive! Column 3 is what you're looking for.
    • More than 20 pushups? I would suggest starting the program on Week 3. Choose either Column 2 or 3 based on the number of pushups you managed in your initial test.

     
    For example: let's say you managed 8 pushups. Looking at the second column, Day 1 begins with Set 1 (6 pushups), a rest period of 60 seconds, before moving on to Set 2 (6 pushups). Rest for 60 seconds and continue with Set 3 (4 pushups) and Set 4 (4 pushups), before finishing with Set 5 and as many consecutive pushups as you can comfortably manage (at least 5, but not so many that you damage muscle tissue). The 60 seconds rest between each level should allow you to complete the workout.

    Day 1

    Rest 60 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      Up to 5 pushups 6 - 10 pushups 11 - 20 pushups
     Set 1 2 6 10
     Set 2 3 6 12
     Set 3 2 4 7
     Set 4 2 4 7
     Set 5 max (at least 3) max (at least 5) max (at least 9)

     

    Day 2

    Rest 90 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      Up to 5 pushups 6 - 10 pushups 11 - 20 pushups
     Set 1 3 6 10
     Set 2 4 8 12
     Set 3 2 6 8
     Set 4 3 6 8
     Set 5 max (at least 4) max (at least 7) max (at least 12)

     

    Day 3

    Rest 120 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      Up to 5 pushups 6 - 10 pushups 11 - 20 pushups
     Set 1 4 8 11
     Set 2 5 10 15
     Set 3 4 7 9
     Set 4 4 7 9
     Set 5 max (at least 5) max (at least 10) max (at least 13)

    Treat yourself to a rest day before moving on to Day 2, and then again before you complete Day 3. Monday, Wednesday, Friday works well and allows you to use the weekend for rest and recovery before moving on to the next stage of the program. Feel free to juggle the plan around to meet your busy schedule, but make sure you rest in between workout days.

    Importance of Rest Days

    It’s very important you include plenty of rest in between your training days. When you work a muscle, you do a little damage to it. It takes time for your body to repair it, while also making it slightly stronger. In other words, resting is when your muscles actually grow. Not allowing enough rest days, or weight training on consecutive days can result in overtraining and injuries. Make sure you allow one to two days of rest between your next weight training workout, eat nutrition food, hydrate and include eight to nine hours to sleep each night for maximum recovery and to build muscle.

    Week 2

    It's time to start Week 2. Continue by following the same column of exercises as you did in Week 1. Don't cut any corners, but feel free to rest more between each level if you need to. It's also important to be well hydrated and do a proper warm up before you start each workout. 

    At the end of Week 2 it will be time to check your strength and perform an exhaustion test. In simple terms, perform as many pushups as you can comfortably manage before you physically can't do another rep. The number of pushups you complete to exhaustion will determine which level of the program you'll start in Week 3.

    Day 1

    Rest 60 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      Up to 5 pushups 6 - 10 pushups 11 - 20 pushups
     Set 1 4 9 14
     Set 2 6 11 14
     Set 3 4 8 10
     Set 4 4 8 10
     Set 5 max (at least 6) max (at least 11) max (at least 15)

     

    Day 2

    Rest 90 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      Up to 5 pushups 6 - 10 pushups 11 - 20 pushups
     Set 1 5 10 14
     Set 2 6 12 16
     Set 3 4 9 12
     Set 4 4 9 12
     Set 5 max (at least 7) max (at least 13) max (at least 17)

     

    Day 3

    Rest 120 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      Up to 5 pushups 6 - 10 pushups 11 - 20 pushups
     Set 1 5 12 16
     Set 2 7 13 17
     Set 3 5 10 14
     Set 4 5 10 14
     Set 5 max (at least 8) max (at least 15) max (at least 20)
     Don't forget, after you’ve completed Week 2, it's time to take an exhaustion test. Perform as many pushups as you can manage before you physically can't do one more with good form. Make a note of how many pushups you complete and give yourself at least two days to recover before beginning Week 3.

    Proper Full-Body Warm-Up

    Get your heart pumping and arm muscles warmed up by doing a simple warm up before you begin your pushup challenge for the day. This can include jumping jacks, running or walking in place, and arm circles to name a few. After warming up, stretch the triceps and chest and shoulders.
    • Triceps / Shoulders Stretch: Place both arms over and behind your head. Grab your right elbow with your left hand and pull your elbow toward your opposite shoulder. Lean into the pull to also stretch your back/oblique muscles. Switch arms and repeat.  
    • Chest / Shoulders Stretch: Grab onto a bar or wall with one hand, turn and twist so you feel a stretch of the chest and shoulder connection. Pull your shoulders back and stick your chest out. Hold for 15 seconds. Switch arms and repeat.

    Week 3

    You should be a little stronger than you were a couple weeks ago and able to complete considerably more pushups than your initial test. Pick the appropriate column depending on your latest test results.

    If you're struggling with the program, don't get discouraged. Some people will still be doing less than 16 consecutive pushups, but this is ok. Just repeat the week you struggled with until you're strong enough to move onto the next level - it will be worth your while!

    Day 1

    Rest 60 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      16 - 20 pushups 21 - 25 pushups > 25 pushups
     Set 1 10 12 14
     Set 2 12 17 18
     Set 3 7 13 14
     Set 4 7 13 14
     Set 5 max (at least 9) max (at least 17) max (at least 20)

     

    Day 2

    Rest 90 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      16 - 20 pushups 21 - 25 pushups > 25 pushups
     Set 1 10 14 20
     Set 2 12 19 25
     Set 3 8 14 15
     Set 4 8 14 15
     Set 5 max (at least 12) max (at least 19) max (at least 25)

     

    Day 3

    Rest 120 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      16 - 20 pushups 21 - 25 pushups > 25 pushups
     Set 1 11 16 22
     Set 2 13 21 30
     Set 3 9 15 20
     Set 4 9 15 20
     Set 5 max (at least 13) max (at least 21) max (at least 28)

    Alternating Hand Positioning

    One of the many benefits of pushups is that you can change the feel and emphasis of the exercise simply by adjusting the position of your hands. Although wide-hand and close-hand pushups are very similar to the standard shoulder width pushup, they target different muscles. To do a wide-hand position pushup, place your hands wider than your shoulder. This position targets your chest, triceps and front shoulder muscles.

    Tip for wide pushups:
    pointing your fingers forward can put strain on your wrists.  To alleviate that, point your fingers outward.

    Move your hands below your chest and tuck your arms close to your sides to complete a close-hand position pushup. This position transfers most of the load to your triceps. For an extra challenge, position your hands under your chest so that your thumbs are touching and your forefingers are touching. They should be making a diamond shape. Alternate between a standard-, wide- and close-grip pushup to strengthen all the muscles in your arms and chest.

    Week 4

    Keep up the great work - you're halfway through the program and well on your way to performing 100 consecutive pushups! Continue to follow the same column as the previous week.

    At the end of Week 4 it will be time to check your strength again by performing another exhaustion test. Perform as many pushups as you can before you are unable to do another one using good form. The number of pushups you complete to exhaustion will determine which level of the program you'll start in Week 5.

    Day 1

    Rest 60 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      16 - 20 pushups 21 - 25 pushups > 25 pushups
     Set 1 12 18 21
     Set 2 14 22 25
     Set 3 11 16 21
     Set 4 10 16 21
     Set 5 max (at least 16) max (at least 25) max (at least 32)

     

    Day 2

    Rest 90 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      16 - 20 pushups 21 - 25 pushups > 25 pushups
     Set 1 14 20 25
     Set 2 16 25 29
     Set 3 12 20 25
     Set 4 12 20 25
     Set 5 max (at least 20) max (at least 33) max (at least 40)

     

    Day 3

    Rest 120 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      16 - 20 pushups 21 - 25 pushups > 25 pushups
     Set 1 16 23 29
     Set 2 18 28 33
     Set 3 13 23 29
     Set 4 13 23 29
     Set 5 max (at least 20) max (at least 33) max (at least 40)

    Don't forget, after you’ve completed Week 4, it's time to take an exhaustion test. Perform as many pushups as you can manage before you physically can't do one more with good form. Make a note of how many pushups you complete and give yourself at least two days to recover before beginning Week 5.

    Staggered Sets

    If you want more of a challenge, try doing staggered sets; resting one muscle group while completing a set of an exercise for another muscle group. For example, after you complete your first set of pushups, you would do a set of lunges or abdominal exercises before returning to your second set of pushups. Alternating between these sets will definitely get your heart racing and your muscles will be pushed to the max.

    Week 5

    Depending on the results of your latest test, continue with an appropriate week and column, even if it means you have to complete Week 3 or Week 4 again. Pick the appropriate column depending on your last exhaustion test.

    Day 1

    Rest 60 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      31 - 35 pushups 36 - 40 pushups > 40 pushups
     Set 1 17 28 36
     Set 2 19 35 40
     Set 3 15 25 30
     Set 4 15 22 24
     Set 5 max (at least 20) max (at least 35) max (at least 40)

     

    Day 2

    Rest 45 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      31 - 35 pushups 36 - 40 pushups > 40 pushups
     Set 1 10 18 19
     Set 2 10 18 19
     Set 3 13 20 22
     Set 4 13 20 22
     Set 5 10 14 18
     Set 6  10 14 18
     Set 7 9 16 22
     Set 8 max (at least 25) max (at least 40) max (at least 25)

     

    Day 3

    Rest 45 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      31 - 35 pushups 35 - 40 pushups > 40 pushups
     Set 1 13 18 20
     Set 2 13 18 20
     Set 3 15 20 24
     Set 4 15 20 24
     Set 5 12 17 20
     Set 6 12 17 20
     Set 7 10 20 22
     Set 8 max (at least 30) max (at least 45) max (at least 50)
    You are almost there! It’s time to complete one last exhaustion test before you complete the final test of strength. If you can perform more than 45 consecutive pushups, feel free to move along to Week 6. If not, just repeat the week and you should be ready.

    Visualize your Success

    Can you see the finish line? Visualization can play an important part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Just by "day dreaming", you can significantly improve your chances in achieving your goals. Mental imagery impacts many cognitive processes in the brain: motor control, attention, perception, planning, and memory. So the brain is getting trained for actual performance during visualization. It’s been found that mental practices can enhance motivation, increase confidence and self-efficacy, improve motor performance, prime your brain for success, and increase states of flow – all relevant to achieving your best life!

    Visualization is a great tool and it’s as simple as visualizing your body as you want your body to look like. This means that if you program your subconscious with a mental image of yourself as a more muscular person, through persistence your mind will accept this and aid your body to conform to this mental image.

    Practice Visualization

    Begin by establishing a highly specific goal. Imagine the future; you have already achieved your goal. Hold a mental ‘picture’ of it as if it were occurring to you right at that moment. Imagine the scene in as much detail as possible. Engage as many of the five senses as you can in your visualization. Who are you with? Which emotions are you feeling right now? What are you wearing? Is there a smell in the air? What do you hear? What is your environment? Sit with a straight spine when you do this. Practice at night or in the morning (just before/after sleep). Eliminate any doubts, if they come to you. Repeat this practice often. Combine with meditation or an affirmation such as “I am strong” and you will be.

    Week 6

    Depending on the results of your latest test, continue with an appropriate week and column, even if it means you have to complete Week 5 again. Pick the appropriate column depending on your latest test results.

    Day 1

    Rest 60 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      46 - 50 pushups 51 - 60 pushups > 60 pushups
     Set 1 25 40 45
     Set 2 30 50 55
     Set 3 20 25 35
     Set 4 15 25 30
     Set 5 max (at least 40) max (at least 50) max (at least 55)

     

    Day 2

    Rest 45 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      46 - 50 pushups 51 - 60 pushups > 60 pushups
     Set 1 14 20 22
     Set 2 14 20 22
     Set 3 15 23 30
     Set 4 15 23 30
     Set 5 14 20 24
     Set 6 14 20 24
     Set 7 10 18 18
     Set 8 10 18 18
     Set 9 max (at least 44) max (at least 53) max (at least 58)

     

    Day 3

    Rest 45 seconds between each set (Longer if required)

      46 - 50 pushups 51 - 60 pushups > 60 pushups
     Set 1 13 22 26
     Set 2 13 22 26
     Set 3 17 30 33
     Set 4 17 30 33
     Set 5 16 25 26
     Set 6 16 25 26
     Set 7 14 18 22
     Set 8 14 18 22
     Set 9 max (at least 50) max (at least 55) max (at least 60)

    Did you make it through Week 6? If you did; congratulations - you should be very proud of your achievements and ready for one final test. If you struggled with Week 6, just repeat the appropriate week and try again. Maybe an extra couple of days rest will benefit you?

    Flex Your Muscles

    Flexing is one of the top secrets of advanced and professional bodybuilders. While some may write off flexing as an exercise in vanity, in truth, isometric flexing can make a major difference in your rate of muscle growth, if you use it correctly. When you do it with proper technique and in the right combination with progressive-resistance training, you can actually enhance muscular endurance and definition. By flexing regularly and acknowledging your hard-earned gains, you'll build confidence in your muscle-making abilities, which will lead to greater growth. So, get in front of that mirror and flex away!

    Final Test

    Certificate of Completion

    Submit to be recognized and entered into the grand prize drawing for a $100 Corporate Reward gift card. Drawings are held at the beginning of each season.

    What's Next?

    Final Test

    If you're reading this page you should be very proud of your achievements and ready for one final test. As you're well aware, the program you've been following is called 100 Pushups Challenge and that's what this final test is all about.

    To perform the test, simply execute as many good-form pushups as you can. If you've completed the program with no cheating and no short cuts, experience has shown that you should be strong enough to perform one hundred consecutive pushups!

    After completing Week 6 of the program, treat yourself to a day or two of rest. Eat well and maintain good hydration. Try not to perform any exercises or tasks around the home that will drain you of energy - you'll need every ounce of strength to meet your goal. Ready?

    Take your time, don't rush and focus on performing ten pushups at a time. Breaking the magic hundred into smaller chunks will make the goal more achievable and give you more chance of success. Maintain good form and don't hold your breath. It sounds simple, but just take it one pushup at a time until you reach one hundred! If you start to feel shaky, take a few deep breaths and regain your composure before starting again. Good luck - I know you can do it!!

    How did you do?

    If you did it, then you are now among an elite few and proud Pima County employees who can do 100 consecutive pushups.  You may have noticed some pretty significant changes to your body – your chest will be more defined, shoulders broader and arms toned and hard. Your abdominal muscles should be firmer, posture more upright and your energy level higher.

    Just in case you didn't manage all 100 pushups, I would suggest going back a couple of weeks in the program and building up your strength again. Maybe Week 5 or Week 6 would be good for you and help regain your confidence? Don't give up though; you're closer than you think!

    What's Next?

    You have worked really hard to get this far, so try to retain this level. The amazing thing is, you are just getting started. Think what you will be able to accomplish with regular, long-term exercise if you can achieve so much in as little as six weeks of doing pushups.

    Some people will be happy to have conquered the challenge and be content to find some other program to follow. This is completely fine, as variety of exercise will keep individuals motivated for longer periods. You can go back and repeat the challenge at a higher intensity. For example, if you completed the challenge using the modified position, you can repeat the challenge without using your knees to support you.

    Why not look around for a basic weight training plan, or new aerobic activity to try out? Train for your first 5k, take up yoga or join a local swimming club. The possibilities are endless, but hopefully you now have the confidence and base fitness to tackle almost anything.

    Others, not content with doing one hundred pushups, will strive to reach 150, 200 or even more.  To achieve this, keep on doing pushups exercises every other day. Based on experiences you have gained in the past weeks, you can build your own training. If you would still like some guidance, follow this plan:

      Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
    Set 1 80 60 50
    Set 2 80 80 max (at least 80)
    Set 3   70  

     

    Name  Department Completion Date
    Jennifer Billa Human Resources 5/5/2014
    Jeremy Kreibich Corrections 6/3/2014
    Richard Grossman Assessor 6/16/2014
    Lori Nance Superior Court 7/22/2014
    Thomas Horchard Transportation 7/28/2014
    Annonymous Transporation 7/30/2014
    Amber Mathewson Joel Valdez Main Library 8/1/2014
    Michelle Marth Recorder 8/4/2014
    Laura Samuelson Finance 8/6/2014
    Daniel Ice Development Services 8/11/2014
    Ray Rivas COSC 8/16/2014
    Stephanie Zavala Health Department 8/21/2014
    John Dunne Criminal 8/28/2014
    Annonymous Public Defender 8/29/2014
    Saliane Anderssen Microbiology Lab, CRAO 8/29/2014
    Linda King Human Resources 8/29/2014
    Sharon Beasly Sheriff's Department 8/31/2014
    Terri Sexton Public Defender 9/3/2014
    Joseph Cuffari Regional Flood Cotnrol District 9/12/2014
    Katherine Sezczygiel Finance & Risk Management 10/3/2014
    Nancy Everist Health Department 10/5/2014
    Pat Wyant Sheriff's Department 10/17/2014
    Brian Jones Regional Flood Control District 11/3/2014
    Linda Baldazo Regional Flood Control District 11/4/2014
    Jamie Rivera Wastewater Management 11/20/2014
    Cynthia Bennett Consumer Health and Food Safety 11/28/2014
    William Watts Natural Resources Parks & Recreation 11/30/2014
    Charlotte Watts Health Department 11/30/2014
    Preston J. Conner III Sheriff's Department 3/20/2015
    Rudy Ortiz Jr. Property & Evidence 3/20/2015
    John Stuckey Sheriff's Department 5/18/2015
    Rupesh Patel Environmental Quality 6/5/2015
    James Cunningham Department of Transportation 6/17/2015
    Helen Laughlin PCADC 10/21/2015
    Douglas Siegel Natural Resources Parks & Recreation 11/23/2015
    Adam Mnatzaganian Kino Sports Complex 7/8/2016
    Jeff Guthrie Emergency Mgmt Homeland Security 3/8/2019
     Yushuenta Key PCAO 6/28/2019
    Follow UsShare this page

    Employee Wellness

    150 W. Congress St.
    Tucson, AZ 85701

    Phone: (520) 724-2792
    Fax: (520) 724-8150


    Department Home Page
    Department News
    Department Directory
    Feedback
    Forms
    Volunteer

    Pima County provides equal access and equal opportunity in employment and services and does not discriminate.

    Pima County Attorney’s Office Equal Employment Opportunity Plan

    Pima County Sheriff’s Department Equal Employment Opportunity Plan

    Pima County Equal Employment Opportunity Plan (EEOP)