I have arms like dandelion stalks. I’ve never been particularly strong in the upper body and I avoid doing that stuff at the gym because, you know, it’s hard. And because my arms have always been reasonably – and effortlessly – trim, I haven’t really bothered too much.
But I recently decided to bite the bullet and get genuinely strong – the spectre of tuckshop lady arms looms large and I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. Funnily enough, it turns out I’m not as weak as I initially thought I was. Apparently spending the past 10 years carrying children around some made me stronger than I look. You feel me?
But there are enormous benefits to being able to pump out a few good-quality pushups. Not only is it great for your arms and chest, but it also helps tone your entire core – you know, that gooshy centre that we have been trying to put back in it’s packaging since we gave birth?
And for some reason, my very athletic and competitive husband likes to challenge me to pushup competitions when he’s had a few G&Ts. I haven’t beaten him yet, but by god, I’m getting close. The day he does down is going to be a very very sweet day. (I may have a slight competitive element to me as well…)
So I decided to take on a 30 day pushup challenge. I researched a few on the internet, but I couldn’t find one that was designed for women who are pretty much starting from scratch. So I designed one. And honestly, if I can do this, so you can you!
The important thing to remember is not to skip ahead. Yes, sure, you may be able to nail day 1, day 2 or even day 7 straight off the bat, but a huge part about this sort of challenge is building up your confidence and your self-belief – and the consistency of doing it every day. So do me a favour: follow the chart if you’re an absolute beginner. If you want to make more progress in the early days, you can do it once in the morning and once at night. That will definitely make you stronger, but it’s not necessary – once a day is enough.
Oh, and one more thing: if you need to do the entire 30 day pushup challenge on your knees (“lady pushups” as my patronising husband calls it) by all means do that. You are still getting stronger and you are still working on your strength. Perhaps at the end you can start again and try to do them on your toes next time. But if you can start on your toes with one pushup, I encourage you to do so. Start as you mean to go on, and all that.
If you need some help with technique, this very fit and helpful person called Dominica will show you exactly what you need to do.
Okay, you ready? Let’s do this thing!
Print your own chart and whack it up somewhere you’ll see it each day. Your free printable chart is right here. PushupChallenge_Printable.
Recording how you feel each day is totally optional but I found it useful as I went from hating every moment to feeling confident and accomplished. It’s fun to look back and see how far you’ve come.
Will you join in the 30 day pushup challenge? Don’t forget to share your efforts with us on Instagram @champagnecartel #30daypushupchallenge