30 Day Push-up Challenge

I’m starting something new today–a 30 day push-up challenge.  As a runner, I focus a lot on core and lower body strength, and not so much on upper body.  As a result, my arms, shoulders, and upper back are quite wimpy.  I think this is a fairly common issue for runners.  So I’ve decided to focus a bit more on full-body fitness for the next month, but I wanted to start small, since I’m pretty dang weak.

I found this great 30 day pushup challenge for beginners graphic after a very brief Google search.  I like that it starts out with only 3 push-ups, because in all honesty, I’m not even sure I can do three actual, non-modified push-ups.  And it works up to doing 20, which I think is a reasonable goal for a beginner like myself.

Photo Oct 23, 6 43 31 AM

Once I complete the challenge, I hope to incorporate more upper body workouts into my weekly routine, whether that’s through Body Pump classes at my gym, or dumbbell workouts at home.  I know there are all kinds of arm workouts on the Tone It Up website that seem pretty varied and challenging.

The short term goal here is to have nicer arms for the wedding since I’m wearing a strapless dress (yes, I know the wedding is only a month away, but I think that’s long enough to see some improvement).  And the long term goal is to be ready for the #nardichallenge at my first runDisney race, the Wine and Dine half marathon in November 2015.  Also, one of my ultimate fitness benchmarks that I hope to meet someday is being able to do at least one pull-up.  I would be over the moon if I could do that.

Can you do a “regular” push-up?  How many can you do in a row?

Do you find that, as a runner, you skimp on upper body workouts?

16 thoughts on “30 Day Push-up Challenge

  1. kebe51 says:

    haha I love how you specified “regular” push-up! I swear this week was push-up week at CrossFit and I think I have actually gotten worse at them! But I had done a challenge like this last year and it definitely made a difference…but you need to stick with it after the 30 days. I may start doing this challenge again.

    And to be able to do a pull-up? I WOULD LOVE THAT!

  2. charissarunning says:

    Before running became my main focus, I did total body strength work much more often. I’ve recently realized I need to get back to it because it really does help your running as well. Here are my two favorite arms exercises (they don’t take much time at all and they burn so good!!): http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/10-Minute-Workout-Sexy-Sculpted-Arms-21620326 and http://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Printable-Arm-Workout-Poster-23062748

    Seriously, in just a couple workouts, you will see the difference in your arms!

    Also, push-ups are awesome and when you can start banging out sets of 20 in your gym, you will be admired by men and women alike 😉

  3. veryrach says:

    lol I can do a push up! I can probably only do a few. And the other day at the gym I did a pull up too!! It was so painful tho lol. Going to the gym def. helps with my upper body work outs, but it’s really nothing compared to running. Good luck with your challenge! It looks like a great one to start with

    • DarlinRae says:

      I’m super impressed that you did a pull-up! We used to have a pull-up bar in our apartment, but it ended up in storage, so my only opportunity to practice will be at the gym, which will be super embarrassing, lol!

  4. irishrunnerchick says:

    When I was marathon training I totally skimped on upper body work and it shows now – absolutely no definition. I can do about 15 pushups in a row – and usually tack it on to my weekly strength workout. Doing yoga also helped me be able to do any upper body stuff. And I think during the summer I did one pull up. I was so proud of myself that I’ve never tried to do one again!

  5. Amy says:

    I started a push-up challenge at the begining of the year, that I ended up abandoning because I had a mysterious wrist injury. When I started out, I was able to 4 and after about 6 weeks, I’d worked up to 24. Your post makes me want to start over!

  6. dgobs says:

    I have no idea if I can do a real pushup. I used to think I could, but the last time I tried it was a disaster and I could barely do 2. I definitely skimp on my upper body… and core… and legs, other than running! I’m pretty awful. I need to get better at all this 🙂 Good on you for doing this challenge! I’m always scared to join them because I figure I’ll drop out before they’re done anyway. Wrong attitude I know…

  7. Falyn @ Slacker Runner says:

    I have failed a push up challenge twice. I really should work on my upper body more, but it’s just not fun. I could actually do pull ups in high school but when I attempted one last year, it was pathetic at best. Good luck!

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