Maintain motivation and improve your strength and heart health with this progressive four-week plan that will guide you to 100 non-stop press-ups.

Men who perform well in press-up tests have significantly better cardiovascular health than those who do poorly in the classic bodyweight move, according to research from at the Harvard School of Public Health.

“Surprisingly, press-up capacity was more strongly associated with cardiovascular disease risk than the results of sub-maximal treadmill tests,” said study author Justin Yang.

So if you want to do your heart a favour while developing functional strength, it’s time to get back to exercise basics. And to make sure that you excel in your press-up ability, we’ve created a four-week plan that will help you to complete 100 press-ups in a row.

In the process, you’ll also develop new strength and size in your arms, chest and shoulders.

TECHNIQUE TIPS
– When you lower, you should aim to keep your elbows tucked into your body. If you let them flare out it will place extra strain on your elbow joints, which could lead to injury.

– Make sure your hips are level throughout the exercise. If you let them sag it’ll put strain on your lower back. It’s also a sign that you’ve lost core control, so keep them up to make sure that you’re staying stable. 

4-Week Plan To Achieve 100 Unbroken Press-Ups – Men's Fitness UK

Photography: Eddie Macdonald

Week 1

– Do four sessions this week, leaving 48 hours between each.

  • The challenge starts with relatively gentle sessions and builds up so that you end up doing the target number of reps in the final workout of the week, although you’ll still be taking rest between sets of 10 reps. 

Session 1: 4 sets of 10 reps with 60-90 secs rest between sets

Session 2: 6 sets of 10 reps (60-90 secs rest)

Session 3: 8 sets of 10 reps (60-90 secs rest)

Session 4: 10 sets of 10 reps (60-90 secs rest)

Week 2

– Do three sessions this week, leaving 48 hours between each.

  • The aim in Week 2 is to gradually increase the number of reps that you perform each set.
  • Start by adding 5 reps from Week 1 and then add 5 reps per workout.
  • You finish by completing the target reps, this time in 4 sets. 

Session 1: 6 sets of 15 reps (60-90 secs rest)

Session 2: 5 sets of 20 reps (60-90 secs rest)

Session 3: 4 sets of 25 reps (60-90 secs rest)

Week 3

– Do four sessions this week, leaving 48 hours between each.

  • The volume (total work) drops for the first workout of Week 3 but then builds throughout the week, with a new strategy of pyramid sets.
  • This allows you to push yourself in the first set, with each subsequent set becoming slightly easier. 

Session 1: 3 sets of 30 reps (60-90 secs rest)

Session 2: 40 reps, then 30, then 20, then 10 (60-90 secs rest)

Session 3: 2 sets of 50 reps (60-90 secs rest)

Session 4: 50 reps, then 40, then 30 (60-90 secs rest)

Week 4

– Do three sessions this week, leaving 48 hours between each.

  • It’s the final week of the challenge and in the first two sessions you’ll do the target number of reps in 2 sets before attempting to do the full 100 reps in the final session. Good luck!

Session 1: 60 reps, rest for 60-90 secs, then do 40 reps

Session 2: 80 reps, rest for 60-90 secs, then do 20 reps

Final session: 1 set of 100 reps