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123 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent workout programs for ALL levels!
I recommend this book to ANYONE who wants to get in the best shape of their lives. The book is so fundamentally sound that it puts any other bodyweight workout book to shame. The plan is brilliant: Take a "test" to see how many pushups you can do with proper form and then use that number to find the PERFECT workout to get you to 100! The workouts are very well balanced...
Published on August 4, 2009 by Brett E. Stewart

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87 of 90 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I did the whole 7 week program, here's how it went.
Customer Video Review     Length:: 1:01 Mins
Intro

The book's full title is 7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups: Strengthen and Sculpt Your Arms, Abs, Chest, Back and Glutes by Training to do 100 Consecutive Push-Ups. That's quite a mouthful. It's also a very ambitious claim. Does the workout plan live up to the hype? Let's find out! Given the unevenness of reviews for this book, I decided...
Published on August 1, 2012 by M. Guerra


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87 of 90 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I did the whole 7 week program, here's how it went., August 1, 2012
By 
M. Guerra (Austin, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: 7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups: Strengthen and Sculpt Your Arms, Abs, Chest, Back and Glutes by Training to do 100 Consecutive Push-Ups (Paperback)
Length:: 1:01 Mins

Intro

The book's full title is 7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups: Strengthen and Sculpt Your Arms, Abs, Chest, Back and Glutes by Training to do 100 Consecutive Push-Ups. That's quite a mouthful. It's also a very ambitious claim. Does the workout plan live up to the hype? Let's find out! Given the unevenness of reviews for this book, I decided to volunteer myself as a fitness test monkey and take the 7-week challenge. What follows is my review after having gone through the complete 7-week program and following it exactly as outlined.

Program

It doesn't get any simpler than this. Nothing but push-ups, lots and lots of push-ups, split out over 5 to 7 sets each day, 3 days a week for 7 weeks.

The number of push-ups varies for each set, following a pattern of low-medium-low-high in terms of repetitions. There are 3 workout levels, and the level you start at is determined by a "fitness test" you perform before starting the program. The fitness test consists of doing as many push-ups as you can with good form in a single sitting. Somewhat true to the book's title (see the Cons section below), the beginner level program will get you to 100 push-ups by week 7. The intermediate program that I followed will get you to 100 by week 5, and by the end of week 7 my last workout actually consisted of 200 push-ups. There is even a preliminary strength-building program geared towards someone who is unable to perform push-ups with good form. The advanced and preliminary programs are not reviewed.

Equipment

Given the minimalist nature of this workout, you really only need enough floor space to comfortably do the push-ups. However, I recommend using either a yoga mat or a towel as a base for your push-ups. This will help keep your floor from getting sweaty and nasty as you crank through all those push-ups. And believe me, you *will* get sweaty!

Time

The time needed to do the actual workout is minimal. On average, each push-up workout alone took about 25 minutes to complete, although towards the end it took me 45 minutes to get through all 200 push-ups for week 7 of the intermediate level workout. Why so long? Well, as the weeks went on and the reps increased, I found that I needed longer and longer rest periods between sets. Factor in another 15-20 minutes or so for stretching, warm up, and cool down and you're really looking at 1 hour per workout, for a total of about 3 hours per week. Note that your total time will vary based on age and fitness level. I'm in my late 30s and out of shape, so if you're younger or more in shape you should be able to crank out your push-ups in less time. Conversely, if you're older or in worse shape than me (and yes, pear is a shape!) then you should budget for at least as much time or more.

Pros

The main strength of this program is the simplicity of it. By narrowing the scope to one exercise, the author has crafted a workout that almost anyone can do regardless of initial fitness level. It doesn't require any fancy equipment, which means you can do the workout anywhere. Best of all, it can be done in about 3 hours a week or less. Nice!

The author does a great job of explaining what a push-up is, what muscles are used, and what good form should be like. The workouts are split out into different sections, where each section represents a fitness level (beginner, intermediate, advanced). This clear separation makes the workouts very easy to follow. There is also a simple yet effective stretch and warm up routine provided that will get your blood flowing and muscles warmed up in advance of the pushups. As a side note, I can't stress enough how important it is that you take the time to warm up and stretch prior to the workout. In addition to helping prevent injury, warming up your muscles will help you achieve the higher reps without hitting muscle fatigue as you advance through the program.

Once you've finished the program, what next? The author has you covered here as well. The maintenance section provides at least 15 push-up variations that you can use to take your workout to the next level. Some of these variations require extra equipment like a yoga ball or a medicine ball, but most can be done without having to purchase any extra equipment.

Cons

Interestingly enough, the simplicity of the workout is the program's greatest strength and also its greatest weakness. Maybe not surprisingly, doing nothing but push-ups over and over again gets a bit boring after a while. There were several days where I was really jonesing for some variety, just to spice things up a bit. I think the program would have been much improved if the sets were structured with different variations of push-ups rather than leaving all the variations for the maintenance section.

Another nit I need to pick is with the level of instruction provided. Very little guidance is given as to how to handle fatigue during a workout. Although I finished all the workouts, I found that I consistently hit a point where I could no longer push myself up during the last few sets of every workout. I typically got up in kneeling position and rested for a few breaths before continuing with the set. Was I cheating? Did I mess with the effectiveness of the set by taking a break in the middle? Is it more important to complete a set or to stop once I'm unable to complete a push up with good form? I have no idea, and the author is silent on these points. I figured it was better to push through and finish the set by taking breaks as needed to maintain good form, although I'm not sure I got everything out of the workout I could have. Since this program covers beginners, more advice needs to be given to accommodate someone who is approaching this program with little or no workout experience.

Another thing I need to note is that the author seems to have taken liberty with the definition of the word "consecutive", as in "7 weeks to 100 consecutive pushups". When I initially got the book, I thought I would be working up to 100 pushups in a single set. However, the most push-ups that are done in one set is 60 reps, and even then you won't hit this number till the last week of the most advanced program, which I did not do. The beginner workout is structured such that you will work towards completing 100 push-ups in a single workout by week 7. This in itself is quite an accomplishment for any beginner, but it isn't the same as 100 consecutive pushups. This is a minor criticism since the workout is still solid despite the misleading title, but I do think it's important for anyone buying the book to know this. I hit 100 push-ups by week 5 of the intermediate program I was following, and hit 200 on the last day of the program.

Results

Well, I'll tell you right off I didn't get ripped from doing hundreds of push-ups over 7 weeks, but I did see improvements. I had my wife measure my arms and chest before I started the workout and at the end of every week, and although it's hard to tell from the pictures, I actually gained a full inch in both my chest and arm measurements after completing the program. However, I believe the chest measurement gain came mostly from my back rather than my chest. I also toned up a bit on my upper body overall, which is somewhat visible from the pictures in the video. Most importantly, I gained the satisfaction of having completed 200 non-consecutive push-ups in the span of 45 minutes, which I think is pretty darn good for an out-of-shape guy in his late 30s. However, I was disappointed that I did not see bigger gains, especially given the sheer number of pushups I did over the course of the seven weeks.

Bottom Line

Although it isn't perfect, "7 Weeks to 100 Push-ups" is a good program for anyone looking for a workout that is simple to do, can be done anywhere, and has a low barrier to entry in terms of intensity, time, and equipment. Granted, you'll need to reset your expectation about what "consecutive" means in terms of achieving 100 (or 200+) pushups, and you'll have to make some assumptions about how to proceed when you get tired, but it doesn't get any simpler than this. I definitely recommend this program for anyone at a beginner or intermediate fitness level. Most people who start a fitness program flame out quickly unless they have a goal to reach. Don't let this be you! This program sets out an ambitious goal that is realistic and achievable, provided you can overlook the fact that you are actually building up to 100 non-consecutive push-ups despite the title of the book. Use this program as a starting point to a healthier and fitter lifestyle.

On the flip side, this workout is much too basic for anyone who is already in shape or who considers themselves to be at an advanced level. I'd say if you can already crank out 50+ pushups in a single set, this workout probably isn't going to be challenging enough for you. If that's the case, I recommend looking elsewhere.

Next up, 7 weeks to 50 pull-ups!
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123 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent workout programs for ALL levels!, August 4, 2009
This review is from: 7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups: Strengthen and Sculpt Your Arms, Abs, Chest, Back and Glutes by Training to do 100 Consecutive Push-Ups (Paperback)
I recommend this book to ANYONE who wants to get in the best shape of their lives. The book is so fundamentally sound that it puts any other bodyweight workout book to shame. The plan is brilliant: Take a "test" to see how many pushups you can do with proper form and then use that number to find the PERFECT workout to get you to 100! The workouts are very well balanced and don't feel like a chore to do.
I read the book and took the challenge seriously and was able to crank out 100 consecutive pushups just when the book said I should! On my 48th day of the program I was able to do 101 pushups and was so pleased to nail my goal.
I still follow the program even AFTER completing the "magic number" because pushups are such a great exercise for your core, arms & chest! There are so many variations that you can learn to keep your workouts interesting & fun.
Challenge yourself & get this book!
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36 of 41 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Be Careful--If You Are Already Fit, This Might Not Be For You, September 22, 2011
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This review is from: 7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups: Strengthen and Sculpt Your Arms, Abs, Chest, Back and Glutes by Training to do 100 Consecutive Push-Ups (Paperback)
In the end, I suppose this would be a valuable book for someone who has never worked out before, or who has very little upper body muscular endurance combined with little knowledge of push-ups. However, I am a military servicemember who is able to do lots of push-ups, but I've never been able to get to 100 consecutive push-ups in a single set. So I thought I'd give it a whirl, since I've always wanted to be able to do 100 in a row. Unfortunately, this program didn't help me get any closer. At the end of 7 weeks, I could do a couple of reps more than I started at (I believe I went from 67 to 70 in a two-minute timed test) but nowhere near 100. Clearly I started at and finished the toughest routine in the book. Furthermore, the instruction is rather skimpy and simplistic. Their are several routines, based on how many push-ups you start out being able to do, some pictures and description of what a good push-up looks like, and very general tips on rest and recovery. Not much detail or variation, little or no discussion of age or injury and how to work around these factors. There are picture and tips on different kinds of push-ups than the "normal," up-down, push-ups, but no hints on how many to do, when, or how to integrate them into a program. They are just there. This book could have been compressed into, say, an article of 4 or 5 pages. There isn't a whole lot there. For someone who is reasonably fit and can do already do, say, 50 push-ups, this book is unlikely to really push you beyond where you are at. So carefully evaluate where you are at before you purchase this.
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68 of 86 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars No more excuses, August 24, 2009
This review is from: 7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups: Strengthen and Sculpt Your Arms, Abs, Chest, Back and Glutes by Training to do 100 Consecutive Push-Ups (Paperback)
I first came to know of the author, Steve Speirs, independent of his book, and the first thing that should be said above all else, is that Steve has dedicated his life to helping others enjoy the fitness and health that he himself enjoys.

I myself and a swimmer/cyclist/runner/triathlete/singer/website creator/podcast host, and in keeping up with these activities on top of living as normal a life as possible, I am quite often hard pressed for the time I need to do smaller, stabilizing workouts. I should also say that, having somewhat of a background in lifting, and thus having quite a bit of muscle mass, in order to make myself a better endurance athlete, I needed to abandon weight training and become more lean while still maintaining the strength necessary for the myriad event in which I participate.

When I first began using "7 Weeks.." I forgot for a while that I was supposed to put down the book and put into practice the techniques within. The book is such an easy and informative read, I felt like I was gleaning just as much knowledge simply from reading about the advantages and different methods of "push-up-ology" (my word, I don't want to put such language on the author!) that I was getting a workout sitting and reading! Of course, that not being the case, I had to try the program for myself.

I began in one of the "advanced" programs set forth by the book, which was based on how many push-ups I could do prior to beginning the program (I believe I did 50 before crapping out). Without going into the minutiae of my personal journey (after all you need to read the book to see for yourself), let me say that the hardest part of obtaining the goal of reaching 100 push-ups in 7 weeks was stopping at the numbers given by the book! It was so incredibly simple to understand and follow that I truly believe that even some who claims to have no upper body strength would be able to complete the programs (from beginner to advanced) with no problem at all.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention one of my favorite parts of the book; the little snippets of push-up trivia, scattered throughout the pages. They give you a sense of not only how long push-ups have been around, but how they have had a positive impact for so long.

I cannot recommend this book enough. I think that any person, young or old, male or female would have a great time reading and using the programs in "7 Weeks to 100 Push-ups" and would have a healthier, happier and better toned life for it.
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24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 100 in 7 Weeks? I Only Did 66, June 29, 2011
By 
Mr. Mambo (Burnsville, MN USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: 7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups: Strengthen and Sculpt Your Arms, Abs, Chest, Back and Glutes by Training to do 100 Consecutive Push-Ups (Paperback)
I'm not being critical of the book, even though I did not make it to the magical 100 milestone in the prescribed time.
A bit of background: when I started the pushup program last year, I was a 61-year old male, 6'1", 185 lbs., in good shape. I had always wanted to make it to 100 pushups (and 25 pullups) but for many years I lifted weights and did not bother doing high reps in any exercise. As a result, I think my entire body lacked in the area of endurance. For example, when I was lifting heavy--at least, for me--in my thirties, I think I did a single rep parallel bar dip with 200 lbs attached. Yet I could never do more than 25 dips, no matter how "strong" I got.
As I got older I began to cut back on the heavy lifting for two reasons: necessity (really, no choice here, as you age you just can't lift as much) and safety (why get hurt going for a heavy single on anything?). I realized the importance of cardiological fitness and endurance for a geezer like me, so that is why I was attracted to Speir's pushup program.
I think I did 27 pushups when I did the initial test, which determines where you should begin your program. Over the next seven weeks, I did hundreds and hundreds of pushups, and it truly was a wonderful feeling to see those numbers going up. I knew I was increasing endurance when I found myself doing 40 or 50 on my third and fourth set, compared to the 27 I did when fully rested for the original test. I adhered to the one minute rest periods for all sets. My pushup form was fairly strict, but I was really cranking them out to get as many done in as short a time as possible. By the time week seven rolled around, I thought I had a decent shot at 100; I figured I would at least be able to get to 75 or 80. Alas, I only got to 66 before I completely and utterly conked out.
Why didn't I make it to 100? I think it was several things: not taking enough rest between sets (Speirs tells you to take longer rest periods if you need to), not strict enough form (if you really crank at speed, maybe you are not enabling your body to build basic strength) and age (I hate to bring that up again, but an old dude like me just doesn't bounce back as quickly).
I'm not discouraged. I'm going to do the program again, and this time I will take two minutes between sets, and I might even wait two days between workouts, rather than the recommended single day. I will also do my reps more slowly and with more control. I will take longer to do the program--maybe ten weeks rather than seven.
The pushup is a great exercise because it can be done anywhere, requires no equipment, is safe to perform, and builds great upper body strength. Combine it with the pullup (see Speirs' 50 pullup book, highly recommended) and you will be pushing on one day and pulling the next, and will have your upper body covered, with no gym memberships or equipment to buy.
Getting fit and strong should not be complicated or expensive. Thank you, Steve Speirs.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worthwhile concept, but the schedule is pure fantasy for anyone over 35, February 22, 2012
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This review is from: 7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups: Strengthen and Sculpt Your Arms, Abs, Chest, Back and Glutes by Training to do 100 Consecutive Push-Ups (Paperback)
In spite of the mediocre 3 star rating I gave this book, I do think it is worth reading. The book makes a solid argument for the usefulness and functionality of a pushup based calisthentic program, has some good thought put into the warm up, cool down and stretching programs, and offers some challenging variations in a later chapters for those who thrive on more difficult challenges.

However, if you aren't already in top shape or under 25, prepare for disappointment if you think you can follow these suggested schedules without some thought and modifications. They simply ramp up too high too soon. I took the diagnostic test, started at the suggested beginner level, worked out three times a week, got plenty of rest and recovery...and my progress stalled in week 5 and stayed stuck. After 7 more sessions where I made no more progress, I had to face the fact that some people (especially older trainees like myself) simply aren't going to be able to follow these schedules to the letter.

So what to do?

I think the multiple set volume training scheme here is worth keeping (as opposed to only doing 2-3 work sets), because it applies some well known facts about how the nervous system responds to this kind of stimulus. But someone who wants to be able to actually use this book to reach their fitness goals is going to have to finesse the progressions - perhaps by first starting out with easier variations (kneeling pushups or pushups off a bench, say) to get to their 100 rep totals before moving up to full fledged standard pushups. Or use the 10 step difficulty progressions from the ingenious "Convict Conditioning" bodyweight calisthentic program to move from wall pushups to incline pushups to kneeling pushups...and move up to each new rep schedule only when the trainee can succesfully complete the first one for 6 workouts in 2 weeks...and it feels relatively easy.

In fact, I will be documenting my efforts to do just that on my blog [...], and also using the "7 weeks" rep schemes for the REST of CC's "Big 6". So I am grateful to the authors for providing the volume training plans, and am glad I got the book for that reason alone.
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42 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version almost immpossible to read..., May 30, 2011
By 
Gerard Moore (Elkridge, MD USA) - See all my reviews
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Well I hope I'm just mistaken somehow but I find the kindle version of this book essentially immpossible to read. The text is fine but the workouts in the book appear as tables and when trying to read them they are unbelievably small. I tried to increase the font size but that has no effect on the tables. So if I'm wrong I'll change my review, but if not I'm rethinking kindle for books with any form of tabular information.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Good Book, October 17, 2009
This review is from: 7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups: Strengthen and Sculpt Your Arms, Abs, Chest, Back and Glutes by Training to do 100 Consecutive Push-Ups (Paperback)
I like this book quite a bit, and have been able to make very good gains. However, I was only able to keep up with the numbers for about halfway through the program--I'm still working at it after eight weeks!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Concept - worth the money, July 11, 2010
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This review is from: 7 Weeks to 100 Push-Ups: Strengthen and Sculpt Your Arms, Abs, Chest, Back and Glutes by Training to do 100 Consecutive Push-Ups (Paperback)
Fantastic book. Inspirational and easy to follow. I'm 57 years old, recently had shoulder surgery (right) and wrist surgery (left), but find that I can still do the program (week 3 day 3). I especially like the emphasis on warm-up and stretching to help prevent injuries. My daughter and one of her friends are also doing the program.

4 stars instead of 5 only for two reasons: 1. neither the website nor related iPhone application use the same program as the book. This is confusing and unhelpful. Is the book more current or the website/iPhone ap? 2. The book fails to tell you how to test yourself once you have completed the 7-week program. This information is easy to find on the website, but it is a strange oversight.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent program for gaining upper body strength; Kindle edition has some problems, April 11, 2013
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I am perhaps the very person this book was designed for: a late-30s female with a very weak upper body. I am cardiovascularly fit, but my running does little for my chest, back, or arms. I know that as I age I need to be more vigilant about maintaining bone density through strength training, and also that working on my upper body will help manage the fatigue and pain I get from sitting at the computer for hours. I've used the paperback version of this program once in the past, and am now giving the Kindle edition a try.

The program has worked well for me. The first time I followed it, I started at the easiest level, wall push-ups. Over the course of several weeks, I moved through the table push-ups, chair push-ups, knee push-ups, and finally got to the standard push-ups. By the time I stopped several months later, I could do about 15 standard push ups in a row, which is a 1500 percent increase over what I started with. My posture improved, I gained a lot of strength, and I was less fatigued sitting at the computer for long hours. In short, if your goal is modest as mine was and you simply want to build some upper body strength to compliment other activities like running, I think this is a good program.

However, as with so many books that are converted for Kindle, this one has some problems. First, the charts are the most important part of the book. Without the charts, the book is useless. In the Kindle edition, the charts are so small that they are barely readable. Second, this version doesn't have searchable page numbers. So when the author indicates that the preliminary charts are on page 120, you'll still need to do quite a bit of work to find them. Overall: great book, Kindle edition lacking.
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