Most people know that more exercise like pushups in their routine can be beneficial. How about doing 100 pushups a day, is it a good idea?
Doing 100 pushups a day may sound like a good idea due to the intuitive attractiveness of the number 100. That does not mean this routine is the best workout routine for your goals.
If you want to build as much chest or tricep muscle mass as possible, doing 100 pushups and doing them every day is likely not the fastest way to do this.
For optimal muscle growth, you want to go for chest exercises at an intensity where you are able to do fewer repetitions and you want to give your body some rest to repair and grow your muscles.
Another popular exercise goal is losing weight. The number of calories you burn during bodyweight pushups is not that impressive compared to something like jumping rope.
Chest exercises like pushups can be helpful for weight loss if you focus on building a lot of muscle. That means that for a goal like losing weight, 100 pushups a day is again not the fastest way towards your goals.
That being said, even if it isn’t the number 1 routine for muscle gain or weight loss getting to 100 pushups a day and sticking to it can be a fun goal in itself.
If you did not do a lot of resistance training before, 100 pushups will likely make a positive difference. Do keep the physical limits of your body in mind.
Also try to implement resistance training for your back muscles. If you only train your chest muscles you risk a muscle imbalance that can lead to hunched shoulders and injuries.
Even something as simple as the resistance band row can help with this.
Will 100 pushups a day help you build muscle?
The way you build muscle in places like your chest and triceps is by engaging these muscles so that they get damaged enough.
This resistance training and pushup fact may sound counterintuitive but this damaging makes it so your body repairs these muscles, and adds a bit more to be better prepared to exert similar efforts in the future.
If you stick to exercises with the same weight, as your muscles become stronger this same effort may not damage your muscles enough to promote extra muscle growth.
So if you are able to do 100 pushups a day, and you keep doing them in the same quantity with the same weight, you will gradually see less and less muscle gain.
100 pushups a day is also generally not the ideal number of repetitions for optimal muscle gain.
By adding extra resistance to exercises like a pushup you are better able to damage the muscles in a shorter amount of time.
Doing weighted pushups at the right points in your training journey can also speed up muscle growth.
Another thing is that while doing something every day is a great way to make it a habit, for weight lifting exercises this isn’t always the best idea when it comes to getting the most results.
Your body needs time to repair and grow these muscles. If you damage them again before they are fully repaired you won’t get as many results compared to letting them rest for 48 hours.
In short, to build the most muscle mass you want to do about 4 sets of 10-40 other chest exercises or (weighted) pushups depending on how advanced you are.
Besides that, you generally want to give your body 48 hours to rest and enough nutrients and sleep.
Try to avoid muscle imbalances
Your muscles always have opposite muscles.
For example, you have your hamstring muscles that contract to bring your lower leg to the back of your upper leg and your quadricep muscles that contract to do the opposite movement, stretching your legs.
If you only train one opposite you can get a muscle imbalance that in turn can lead to injuries. In the case of pushups, only adding these to your routine can lead to hunched shoulders and injuries.
To avoid this you also want to do resistance training exercises that train the opposite side, your back muscles. A typical exercise for this is a bent-over row.
Even if you don’t have dumbbells or a barbell, you can do this exercise with resistance bands or household objects.
For other challenges like 100 squats a day this matters less since squats are such an overall exercise. For pushups training the muscles on the opposite side is likely something you want to implement.
Will 100 pushups a day help you lose weight?
Losing weight is about using up body fat, which is basically energy stored. To do this you want to make sure that you require more energy throughout the day than there is coming in from food.
One way to try to make this happen is by doing a workout. By increasing the intensity of your movements for a period of time you use up more energy than usual.
Doing pushups can help with weight loss since doing a workout like it generally requires more energy than most of your usual daily activities.
Another way resistance training exercises like pushups help you lose weight is by building muscle. This helps you burn more calories with everything that you do.
Keep in mind that other lifestyle habits like what you eat are important when trying to lose weight no matter what exercise you do. You can work out and gain weight at the same time if your other lifestyle habits are not good.
How many calories do 100 pushups burn?
The average person will burn 30-50 calories when doing 100 bodyweight pushups.
Below you can find a table with more precise estimations for individuals of different weights doing different amounts of pushups based on MET values.
Higher speeds may also cause a calorie-burning effect after the workout that is not included in the estimations. The extra calorie burning from muscle gained is also hard to put into exact numbers.
Keep in mind that these pushup statistics are estimations. The calculation method doesn’t take into account certain factors that do influence calories burned with pushups.
To put these estimations into perspective, 100 grams of boiled potatoes contains about 87 calories (1).
|Number Of Pushups|
|100 Pushups||200 Pushups||500 Pushups|
|125 Pounds (56 kg)||30 calories||60 calories||150 calories|
|155 Pounds (70 kg)||35 calories||70 calories||175 calories|
|185 Pounds (83 kg)||45 calories||90 calories||225 calories|
|215 Pounds (97 kg)||50 calories||100 calories||250 calories|
The number of calories you can burn with bodyweight pushups during the exercise is not that impressive compared to most other workouts.
That being said, most of the calorie-burning potential from pushups comes from the muscle you build.
Since your chest muscles are relatively big, this can make pushups a great addition to your weight loss workout routine anyway.
Other benefits of doing 100 pushups a day
If your body can deal with it, 100 pushups a day can change your body for the better. Doing something every day makes it easier to form a habit. Some benefits of pushups you can expect include:
- Improved mood
- Improved cognitive function
- Lower LDL
- Improved sleep
- Improved coordination
You can also expect similar benefits from other types of exercise to varying degrees. So if for example your wrists can’t handle 100 pushups every day you can switch it up with other workouts.
Is it OK to do 100 pushups every day?
Whether or not doing 100 pushups every day is OK is very hard to predict since it is so different from person to person.
The main thing to keep in mind is that pushups can be hard on body parts like your wrists, elbows, shoulders, and back even if you implement the right technique.
If you are weak or sensitive in these body parts you may need to do other strengthening exercises first. You may want to talk to your primary care provider before starting a new workout routine.
If you feel pain in any body parts it may be a sign you are overdoing it.
In that case, you may need some rest, better lifestyle habits, a less intense workout schedule, or it may be a sign that doing 100 pushups a day is not (yet) for you.
Try to make sure you implement resistance training exercises for your back muscles too to avoid any muscle imbalances.
Should you do 100 pushups a day?
For most goals implementing some days without pushups and implementing cardiovascular training days and resistance training exercises for your back is helpful.
So only doing 100 pushups a day is likely not the fastest way towards your goals whatever they are.
At the time of writing the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recommends the following exercise guidelines to adults (2):
- Moving more and sitting less throughout the day
- Muscle-strengthening activities of moderate or greater intensity that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.
- At least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity a week. Preferably spread throughout the week.
- You can gain additional health benefits by engaging in physical activity beyond the equivalent of 300 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.
That being said working towards 100 pushups a day and sticking to it can be a fun goal in itself.
If you feel pain it may be a sign you are overdoing it. In that case, you may need some rest, better lifestyle habits, or a less intense workout schedule.