The Right Way To Do 100 Push-Ups a Day to Build Muscle
My unique approach to the 100 push-ups a day for 30 days challenge will help you unlock insane calisthenics strength, while building muscle mass.
If you did 100 push-ups every single day for 30 days, you’d get bored really quick…wouldn’t you? I know I would.
You also wouldn’t see any significant strength or muscle gain due to the limited change in stimulus (the amount of load placed on the body is unchanging).
To combat these issues, I created a push-up program that maximizes strength gains by adjusting the rep scheme weekly. It also includes rest days for recovery and teaches you new push-up variations to make it fun and engaging.
100 Push-Ups a Day for 30 Days Results
Building muscle with push-ups
At the end of my 30-day challenge, I gained 0.5” around my chest and 0.5” in my triceps and lost 1#. These changes were quite surprising as I already carried quite a bit of muscle mass for my small frame. Typically, only beginners or intermediates would see considerable changes in their physique in such a short period of time.
I also saw a massive improvement in core engagement and push-up form (no more turkey neck!).
Improved Calisthenics Pushing Strength
When I started this challenge I could do 1.5ish HSPU (handstand push-ups). Now, as I write this I am all the way up to 6 free-standing handstand push-ups.
Will 100 push-ups a day do anything?
It depends on how you structure the program. I took a unique approach designed to increase my overall strength and muscle size. Read on to see exactly how I did it.
Push-Ups for Muscle Building
Here are some push-up variations that you can use throughout the 30-day challenge. I’ve ranked them in order of difficulty.
- Scap Push-Ups
- Single Arm Scap Push-Ups
- Upper Body Only Push Ups
- Counter-Top Push-Ups
- Block Assisted Push-Ups
- Knee Push-Ups
- Regular Push-Ups
- Beginner Explosive Push-Ups
- Tricep Push-Ups
- Close Grip Bar Push-Ups
- Diamond Push-Ups
- Wide Push Up
- Walking Lizard Push-Ups
- Russian Push-Ups (drop to elbows then back up)
- Cross Hand Push-Ups
- Clapping Push-Ups
- Pike Push-Ups
- Archer Push-Ups
- Decline Push-Ups
- Extended ROM Push Up
- Pseudo Push-Ups (hands backwards)
- Handstand Push-Ups
Want more calisthenics exercises? Check out my Ultimate List of Calisthenics Exercises >
Days 1-5 of the 100 Push-Ups a Day Challenge
10 Push-Ups, Every Minute, for 10 Minutes
You have 60 seconds to complete 10 push-ups, 10 times. The rest time is determined by how fast you can complete the 10 push-ups.
Choose a more challenging variation for the first few sets. Finish the last set on your knees. Do not use the same variation for the entire workout. See below for example routines based on your fitness level.
Towards the end of the week, you will need to use easier variations as your muscles will be pretty tired due to little rest.
Take one rest day before moving on to Day 6 of the challenge.
Follow Along 100 Push-Up Workout to Build Muscle
Quickly build your chest, triceps and core with this following along 100 push-up workouts. Beginner push-up modifications included.
Days 1 -5 Example Routine
Set 1: Regular Push-Ups (to warm up)
Set 2: Wall HSPU
Set 3: Wall HSPU
Set 4: Diamond Push-Ups
Set 5 – 9: Push yourself by choosing a challenging but doable variation
Set: 10: Complete on your knees
Set 1: Scap Push-Ups
Set 2-3: Regular Push-Ups
Set 4: Knee Push-Ups
Set 5: knee Push-Ups
Set 6 -9: Counter-top Push-Ups
Set 10: Push-up negatives
1. 12 Reps, Medium Progression
A medium progression is a push-up variation you can do around 15 challenging reps.
2. 4 Sets x 6 Reps, Hard Progression, 60-sec rest between sets
A hard progression is a push-up variation you can only do around 6 reps of.
3. 4 Sets x 16 Reps, Easy Progression, Performed Quickly
An easy progression is a push-up variation you can do around 20 reps of (such as wall push-ups or countertop push-ups)
Days 6 – 10 examples based on skill level
Level 1 Example
1. Counter-Top Push-Ups, More Horizontal than usual
2. Knee Push Ups
3. Counter-Top Push-Ups, More Vertical
Level 2 Example
1. Regular Push-Ups
2. Tricep Push-Ups or Close Grip Push-Ups
3. Regular to Knee Push-Ups
Level 3 Example
1. Tricep Push-Ups
2. Extended ROM or Clapping
3. Regular Push-Ups
Level 4 Example
1. Wide Push-Ups
2. Pike Push-Ups or Wall Handstand Push-Ups
3. Regular Push Ups
1. 15 reps: Warm-up, quick, easy push-ups
Rest 30 seconds or more
2. 12 reps: Medium variation
Rest 30-60 seconds or more
3. 10 reps: Harder variation
Rest 90-120 seconds or more
4. 8 reps: HARDEST variation
Rest 90-120 seconds or more
5. 10 reps: Same variation as round 3
Rest 30-60 seconds or more
6. 12 reps: Same variation as round 2
Rest 90 seconds or more
7. Complete the remaining 33 push-ups in as few sets as possible.
Make these sets quick and dynamic (think clapping push-ups without the clap), 33 reps
Do an EMOM when you are too tired to complete this weeks routine. Try to decrease the total time down to 8 or 9 minutes.
5 Push Up Variations, 10 Reps Each, 2 Sets
1. Clapping Push-ups, 10 reps
2. Pseaudo Push-Ups, 10 reps
3. Russian Push-Ups, 10 reps
4. Archer Push-Ups, 10 reps
1. 50 reps in 3-4 sets.
Focus on an EASY progression you can perform EXPLOSIVELY.
2. 10 reps x 5 sets.
Choose a medium level push up.
Building Muscle with Push-Ups
Why you need to hit the 100 push-ups in one session
What happens if you do the same push-up variation, for 100 reps, for 30 days?
In your untrained areas, such as your core, you may see a very small increase in muscle size. However, at some point, with no change in stimulus (the body doesn’t have to overcome greater challenges) you will plateau, meaning you won’t see an increase in muscle growth. Your performance will also decrease due to limited rest periods between workouts.
I wanted to use the 100 push-ups a day for 30 days challenge to increase my pushing strength and muscle size. Not my endurance..which is why I didn’t just rep out 100 push-ups in one go…
I also don’t recommend breaking down the 100 push-ups into smaller portions throughout the day because:
- Your wrists won’t be warm, which can lead to injury
- Your core won’t be activated, which can lead to poor form
- You won’t see any significant changes in muscle size or overall strength
To build muscle with push-ups do my 100 push-ups a day program>
Is Doing 100 Push-Ups a Day for 30 Days Worth it?
After completing this challenge I saw significant strength improvements in my calisthenics training as well as an increase in muscle mass – all from home.
I also felt extremely proud of myself after completing the full challenge which
So yes, doing the challenge in the way I programmed it – I would say it’s 10/10 worth the effort put in.
Ready to uplevel your strength at home?
Download the 100 push-ups a day challenge >