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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 – June 1, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 109 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Steve Speirs is an accomplished marathon runner and trainer and runs the popular website hundredpushups.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Ulysses Press; 1 Original edition (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1569757070
  • ISBN-13: 978-1569757079
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 0.5 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (109 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,576 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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.
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Format: 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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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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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...
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