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One hundred push-ups program turned upside down

A few months ago, I heard of the one hundred push-ups program, which allegedly will enable people to do one hundred push-ups in roughly six weeks, depending on their initial fitness, of course. I’ve never been very interested in push-ups, but on the other hand, I find programs of this kind inspiring. In addition to this, I am quite interested in handstands and associated skills. For my own, twisted reasons, I’m of course not going to start the program horizontally like everybody else, but rather I’m going to do do the program vertically (handstand push-ups against a wall, in other words). This fits well into my progress plan, and the shoulder and arm strength thus gained will probably come in handy for lots of other skills I’m aiming for (planche, handstand clapping push-up, et cetera; see project page). Also, I think the project deserves attention and adding my own flavour to it will perhaps achieve that in some small way.

However, I have no illusions about this program. It seems to be aimed towards people who have done little or no exercise in this area before. For instance, if one performs eleven push-ups during the initial test, one is supposed to break that record after four days, which is simply not very likely if the eleven push-ups is the result of hard exercise. Neurological learning will of course enable people to increase their maximum number very fast, but real muscle growth takes many weeks before it even makes a difference. Another glitch is that the program specifies the rest between every set is given as a number of seconds with the addition “longer if required”. Of course, the program will be wildly different if one waits 120 seconds or an hour between each set. I think this program will work just fine if one’s doing regular push-ups, but doing them vertically is testing its limits.

Needless to say, the program is not designed for handstand push-ups, and I expect to fail several times before achieving even some of the early weeks in the program, even though I think I might be able to pull of the first one successfully right away. Regardless of how bad my progress is, a month of this kind of exercise will be a nice addition to my initial handstand workout last month. As far as I know, the world record for handstand push-ups is somewhere above 300, while the record for regular push-ups is more than 10 000. I’m not trying to say that handstand push-ups are more than 300 times more demanding, but the figures show at least something.

So, what am I going to do, what is my goal, what are my rules? I did 14 consecutive handstand push-ups against a wall in my initial test last Wednesday, which puts me in the rightmost column for week 1. Here are the rules I’ve set for myself:

– Three days workout a week, with at least one days rest in between
– Maximum five minutes rest between every set
– Forehead touching the floor is the name of the game
– Distance between hands is flexible
– Losing balance is okay as long as no rest is added
– Failing, I will complete the number of reps, regardless of sets or rest
– Failing, I will restart the same week the week after
– I’m going to try this for at least one month
– I’m going to write something about this weekly, preferably on Mondays

Wish me good luck, I will need it!

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