Stress, depression, PTSD … These are just a few issues plaguing our minds and that of our friends and family. These issues don’t discriminate, and it would have impacted all of us in one way or another at some point in our lives. Many of us fight daily battles. I can attest to this. I find myself at odds with myself every day, struggling with confidence and feeling insecure in my ability to deliver high-quality outcomes in my high-paced and stressful career. Moreover, I carry the trauma of suddenly losing my child only months after having him. He is in my thoughts constantly and the adage that time heals everything doesn’t seem to hold to true in this case.
I have seen how mental health issues have disrupted and debilitated the lives of many friends and family. It is a downward spiral that seems impossible to shake. Most times the only way out is with help from those who care. In my case, I found that focusing on improving my physical, mental, and spiritual state made all the difference. My Martial Arts practice gave me a healthy outlet with which to express myself and helped me regulate my emotions. I was able to impart this cultivated strength to my family to help us overcome the stagnant state of trauma in which we found ourselves.
The Push-Up Challenge
It is for this reason that Push for Better Health is so important to me. It raises awareness on the importance of Physical and Mental Health and seeks to help those struggling with debilitating conditions. The campaign begins on the 1st of June 2022 and runs over 24 days. The goal is to complete 3,139 push-ups over 24 days.
Why 3,139? This is unfortunately the number of people in Australia who took their own lives in 2020.
Why Push-ups? It doesn’t have to be. You can pick your physical activity. Just make sure you try to hit 3,139 reps over those 24 days. Scientific evidence suggests that physical exercise amounting to 135 minutes per week can provide enough anti-depressant benefits to improve your mental wellness.
So, Sign-up for the Push-Up Challenge or Join the Martial Devotees team. It’s free and you can even get your friends, family, and your community to join you. Be a Catalyst for positive change. You can even donate to this worthy cause and help people that are doing it tough.
The Push-up Challenge
Free to Register and Get Involved
Raising Awareness on Mental Health Issues
Learn about Mental Health
Support a Worthy Cause
There is an easy-to-use app to track your numbers as you crush it through the 24 days.
If you are still uncertain, check out the video from my favourite fitness enthusiast – the Bioneer, on the benefits of doing 100s of push-ups a day.
How the Challenge Benefited me
Going into this push-up challenge, I was recovering from a viral infection, and I had never attempted anything like it before. I was hoping to boost my strength and endurance. I also used this challenge as an opportunity to experiment with the use of creatine to improve my training performance and physical output. My consumption of creatine began on the evening of the 1st day of the challenge, which means I completed the first day on no creatine load at all.
These are the parameters I set for myself during this challenge:
- For each set, I pushed to failure or as close as possible to failure
- I rested a minimum of 5 minutes between sets
- I consumed 600mg of Ashwagandha each morning
- I consumed 5g of Creatine Monohydrate with half a glass of orange juice every evening
- I aimed to complete the push-up challenge daily goals and, depending on how I was feeling, I completed as many more sets and reps of push-ups that would feel like a challenge. The number of push-ups per day would be variable provided that I was still challenging my mind and body.
- Push-ups would not be the only exercise I completed during the challenge, and I would continue to perform all my weekly training sessions as well.
I was pleasantly surprised at how well my body adapted to the push-ups. I do believe that the daily consumption of creatine had more to do with this. My muscles recovered faster than before, and I was gradually able to increase my maximum number of push-ups.
My overall strength increased. After a few days into the challenge, I notice greater power output in my punches and kicks. Halfway into the challenge, I noticed that my core strength significantly improved and so did my overall push-up skill.
Not only did I experience physical benefits, but I also experienced gains in mental strength. Having to knuckle down and push-up for as many reps as I could with proper form really gave me a wonderful confidence boost. I also feel that this practice changed my overall attitude to difficult training especially at times where my body didn’t feel as energised.
We tracked my progress and I was really impressed by the outcome. Here is the number of push-ups I completed per day.
During the challenge I was able to steadily increase the number of push-ups per set per day. I began with an average number of 21 push-ups per set and reached a high of 53 push-ups per set which was my average number across all sets on the day. My average number of push-ups per set per day increased consistently as seen below:
This also correlated with the maximum number of push-ups I could do in one set on a given day. On starting the challenge, the maximum number of push-ups that I could do in one go was 30. Towards the end, I reached a maximum of 55 push-ups in a set. As you can see below, I also steadily increased my maximum push-up set:
In summary I managed to perform a total number of 3,543 push-ups in 99 sets over 24 days.
|Day||No. of Push-ups||No. of Sets||Average Push-ups per Set||Max Push-ups per Set|
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