Personal challenge: 100 one-arm pushups (per arm) in one day.

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Harry Westgate

Level 6 Valued Member
Hi everyone,

As some of you may or may not know, I've been unable to be particularly physically active over the last month or so due to having had some minor surgery done.

However, for the last couple of weeks, I've been able to grease-the-groove my one-arm pushups, and have got pretty good at them; my GTG sets mainly consist of sets of 5 on the ground (pretty easy - could probably do about 8-10 reps if I wanted), and sets of 3 with my feet elevated on a box that is just under 1ft off the ground (tougher - could probably do 6 reps). All my reps are very strict; feet shoulder-width apart, chest parallel to the floor, and with my chest (or chin/chest for the feet-elevated sets) brushing the floor on every rep.

So, as something of a challenge for myself, given that I can't do a huge amount else with my body, I'm aiming to do a total of 100 OAPU reps per arm (just classic reps; feet and hands on the ground) over the course of one day (probably Saturday or Sunday), broken up into sets of 5 (so 20 sets in total), with at least 15 minutes of rest between sets.

Honestly, I don't imagine this being too taxing physically (more of a time management task really, as I'd need to keep reminding myself to do them and keeping a note of them), due to my current strength levels (and also because, without counting, I think I'm probably doing about 10-15 sets every day anyway), but I'm hoping that banging out that much volume in one day, probably followed by a rest/very easy day, will act as a springboad to boost my OAPU strength even further (I have a goal to one day be comfortably doing regular sets of 5 with my feet on a chair about knee/thigh height). Also, '100 one-arm pushups in one day' sounds pretty cool to me :).

If I find it to be very doable, I may up the ante and set myself a 150-200 rep challenge for a later date.

I shall keep you all posted on how it goes.

Harry
 

J Petersen

SFG1/SFB
Certified Instructor
If you haven't had much experience with high volume NW style one armers, I'll pass this one along.

Five or six years back now, I had trained for a while using a "bodyweight Bear" protocol when there were some grumblings about the notion on another forum. That is, the classic get-massive programming from Power To The People!, but the approach was to use difficult calisthenic maneuvers in the place of barbell deadlifts. I was intrigued by this, and my approach was strict one-arm pushups (starting with triples on each side, so six per set) with about 90 seconds rest in between for as many rounds as I could manage with proper form.

I can no longer recall exactly just how far I got with this--at least a few weeks, and my sets eventually entered the mid-teens somewhere, but I discovered that my biggest takeaway from it all was a splitting persistent headache on pressing days (for whatever reasons, handstand pushups never gave me the same misery while I was Bear-izing them--go figure).

In any case, just proceed with caution, and never be too proud to dial back if you feel them splitting your skull apart.
 

Harry Westgate

Level 6 Valued Member
@J Petersen thanks for your insight. Regarding my own experience with high volume OAPUs, my volume has never been as high as it has been for the last couple of weeks, and I must say, I feel great for it; my arms, shoulders and midsection are all very dense. So far, I've had no aches or pains of any kind.

When you say you had headaches on pressing days, do you mean just during the actual pressing movements, or that the headaches carried on for some time after your workouts? In either case, do you still suffer with it now?

I'll be sure to be careful with this. Like I said, I'm setting myself the goal of 100 reps in one day (and only on one day); I don't plan on making those sorts of numbers a regular occurrence, rather I hope it will serve as a tool for further strength gains, as well as a fun challenge for me to have a crack at. :)
 

Harry Westgate

Level 6 Valued Member
@J Petersen thanks for your insight. Regarding my own experience with high volume OAPUs, my volume has never been as high as it has been for the last couple of weeks, and I must say, I feel great for it; my arms, shoulders and midsection are all very dense. So far, I've had no aches or pains of any kind.

When you say you had headaches on pressing days, do you mean just during the actual pressing movements, or that the headaches carried on for some time after your workouts? In either case, do you still suffer with it now?

I'll be sure to be careful with this. Like I said, I'm setting myself the goal of 100 reps in one day (and only on one day); I don't plan on making those sorts of numbers a regular occurrence, rather I hope it will serve as a tool for further strength gains, as well as a fun challenge for me to have a crack at. :)
 

J Petersen

SFG1/SFB
Certified Instructor
The aching would start somewhere after the first few iterations (if they began immediately, I could tell it was going to be a long training session...), and tended to last the rest of the day, and sometimes into the next.

I'm thankfully not plagued by pushup induced headaches these days, since I've long since relegated OAPUs to an occasional treat (just to remind the system that we can still do them well) and stick to double KBs for my pressing needs, or handstand pushups when away from heavy iron.
 

Harry Westgate

Level 6 Valued Member
Wow, that's a very strange problem to have had... Hopefully I'll never have the same issue! Still, I'll be conservative on the days when I'm trying to achieve higher volume OAPUs.
 

ali

Level 7 Valued Member
Well the idea of doing 100 OAPUs a day gives me a headache thinking about it!! I'm chasing an elusive single one so the idea of 100 gives me the heebie jeebies. That's a challenge if ever there was one, good luck!!
 

305pelusa

Level 6 Valued Member
; feet shoulder-width apart, chest parallel to the floor, and with my chest (or chin/chest for the feet-elevated sets) brushing the floor on every rep.
Most people focused on the "100 a day" clause, and I actually think this part is even cooler. A OAPU with feet shoulder-width apart is actually pretty brutal. I did them often TNW way, with a comfortable straddle. But eventually I worked up to shoulder-width and it is harder than the OAPU with only one leg (the exact reason, I only understood after a few weeks of training).

Anyways, doing 100 a day, in sets of 5, is 20 sets. That means about one every 30 minutes, provided you take a few longer breaks to eat, at work, etc. Seems pretty tough 0_o
 

Harry Westgate

Level 6 Valued Member
@305pelusa thanks for the thoughts. You're right, a shoulder width stance is pretty tough, but it's how I've always done them, if not closer. Reason being is I think they look a bit smarter than with the legs splayed out like in the NW pictures. I'm not knocking the NW stance, it's just my personal preference. :)

As for your final point there, you're right, it could be tough, that's why I'm planning to give it a go on the weekend when I'm less busy. :)
 

Harry Westgate

Level 6 Valued Member
Today is the day! I'm going to make a note each time I complete a set with the time each set is done at (first set done at 9:33am). I shall keep you all posted on how I get on.
 

Harry Westgate

Level 6 Valued Member
Quick update: it's just gone 3pm and I'm up to 60 reps (12 sets of 5). I feel good. Arms aren't sore, although I'm starting to feel ever so slightly fatigued; I can tell I've been exercising...

To paraphrase The Naked Warrior, I think today will serve as some mild strategic over training, and a back off day will certainly be in order tomorrow, after which I expect to have made some solid strength gains.

Will report back when 100 reps are completed.
 

Harry Westgate

Level 6 Valued Member
Mission accomplished.

Sets of 5 (per arm) were completed at the following times:

1. 9:33am
2. 10:12am
3. 10:38am
4. 11:00am
5. 11:23am
6. 11:57am
7. 12:22pm
8. 12:52pm
9. 1:36pm
10. 1:57pm
11. 2:32pm
12. 3:02pm
13. 4:21pm
14. 4:38pm
15. 5:17pm
16. 5:38pm
17. 6:03pm
18. 6:33pm
19. 7:46pm
20. 8:05pm

I don't feel remotely sore. There is some degree of fatigue but nothing I could imagine will still be there tomorrow. I have noticed however that I feel much hungrier than usual this evening; a result of somewhat depleted resources I expect.

It feels pretty awesome to have done this and got so much volume of such a tough drill under my belt in a single day (less than 12 hours). I will be having a back off day tomorrow, perhaps with 3-4 sets of 5 if I feel up to it, which I imagine I will, and the days after I expect that the OAPUs will feel much stronger, and hopefully this will be a good stepping stone onto doing them with my feet elevated higher and higher, which I am still fairly new to.

Before I turn this into a 'look how awesome I am' thread, I'd just like to add that I hope this gives some people ideas of doing similar cool stuff with calisthenics. Perhaps 100s of pull-ups? Several consecutive reps of a certain exercise (I challenge anyone to top my 50 pistol squats without the other foot touching the ground ;)) ? Or perhaps even more than 100 OAPUs in a day/100 in less than 10 hours?

I think these sorts of challenges are in line with what Pavel mentions in Simple and Sinister that one could try every month or so; seemingly unrelated exercises/physical endeavours that test your spirit without breaking your body. Have fun!

Thanks to anyone reading! :)
 
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Harry Westgate

Level 6 Valued Member
No soreness this morning, although my arms do feel somewhat 'drained' - like I say no pains or aches, just lacking energy a bit.

A rest day with no OAPUs is the order of the day without a doubt, and I should be returning to my regular GTG practice tomorrow. :)
 

Harry Westgate

Level 6 Valued Member
@JonS to be honest I can't comment on how my punching power has been affected by my rapid improvements in the OAPU over the last few weeks, due to the fact that I've been unable to do any boxing (I'll be returning to training in a couple of weeks though, so will be able to comment further then).

However for what it's worth, I believe that punching power is more down to the execution of the punch itself rather than strength. Don't get me wrong, strength helps, as a strong muscle obviously generates more force, but how well that force is expressed is down to having good punch form. Like I said however, I may be able to comment further when I resume my boxing training.
 

ElliottEicke

Level 1 Valued Member
@Harry Westgate impressive, I am just a starter to this kind of workouts. This post is a good motivation and helping for planning too. From this i can plan the time intervals and reps,sets..Thanks for sharing the progress..
 
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