If there’s one thing I love it’s a bit of discipline. (Don’t make it dirty please. Well, not on this occasion…)
When left to my own devices, I float through exercise and give it my bare minimum, but if you put a challenge in front of me, I turn into a pit bull. Not only do I want to complete that thing, I want to grab it with my teeth and shake it around until it’s non-responsive.
And it’s always this time of year I start to focus on push-ups. I have arms like dandelion stalks – thin and willowy, and they blow around in a strong breeze. As a runner, I concentrate a fair bit on my legs but my upper body tends to be neglected. Also, I’ve always been pretty trim on my upper half, so haven’t bothered too much, but at the age of 43, I know tuckshop lady arms are probably waiting for me just around the corner. Also, being strong is awesome.
Of course, push-ups are great not only for your arms and shoulders, but also your chest and your entire core region.
I love to get summer-time strong with a push-up challenge around this time of year. I’m always amazed at just how strong I actually am when I get to it – I guess the past 13 years of carrying needy children around has to have some benefit, right? (Not all the same child – the 13-year-old is now taller than me, she should be carrying me around!)
So I’ve devised a 30-day pushup challenge I’ll be doing this month, and I thought you might like to join me. Each year I start from scratch because, you know, I get slack at some point when I’m wearing chunky winter knits. So if you’re a beginner this is perfect for you too.
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 single 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 plenty.
Oh, and one more thing: if you need to do the entire 30 day pushup challenge on your knees (“lady pushups” as some patronising dude gym instructors call 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 impressively 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 #champagnecartel or in our private Facebook group Champagne Women.