Why 100 Push Ups Throughout The Day is Better Than All At Once

A question I frequently see asked is, “Can I Do 100 Push Ups Throughout The Day?”

Through further research I’ve been able to ascertain that most people want to know whether it’s better to spread your push ups out throughout the day or do them all in one go.

As someone who has spent many, many years performing push ups throughout the day, I feel I am qualified to answer this.

So, here’s what I think about spreading out your push ups.

DISCLAIMER: The following is just my opinion, and therefore always open to discussion.

Can I Do 100 Push Ups Throughout The Day?

Doing 100 push ups throughout the day will produce some fantastic results, depending on your current fitness levels. You will see increases in strength and muscle development, while also creating a great habit. Additionally, this will help you to increase your maximum push ups in one set.

The Argument FOR Doing 100 Push Ups All At Once

Challenge 100 Push-Ups 100 Pompes

You will find many people arguing that doing 100 push ups all in one workout is going to be better than spreading them throughout the day.

The rationale behind this is that fast muscle fatigue is better than slow muscle fatigue.

Fast fatigue could be performing 10 sets of 10 reps of push ups with one minute’s rest in-between sets.

Whereas slow fatigue may be performing 10 push ups once every hour.

Your muscles will definitely tire a lot quicker in the first example, and you’re also likely to feel a greater pump.

Plus, the conditioning benefits will be deemed to be greater by performing your push ups all in one go.

It can also be argued that muscle building stimulus is compromised by taking longer rest periods, i.e. one hour between sets.

Now in truth, these are all valid points, and I will admit that I somewhat agree.

However, I still feel that performing 100 push ups throughout the day is better than all at once.

I will provide you with a list of reasons why in a moment.

But, I think it’s important to let the “other side” have their say too.

Here’s Matt Schifferle, a.k.a. The Fit Rebel, from Red Delta Project to explain why he thinks you should be doing your push ups all at once.

So, without further ado, let’s get to why I think you should be doing your push ups throughout the day.

You Still Build Muscle & Strength By Spreading Out Push Ups

I totally get what Matt is saying in the video above, but I still think you get all the benefits by spreading your push ups out.

I talk from personal experience.

At a guess, I have been doing daily push ups (throughout the day) for around 23 years now.

I even went through a stage of not doing any other upper body pushing exercises at the gym because I had worked my way up to 300+ push ups a day.

My daily push up numbers remained at this level for many years, and I can attest to the fact that my chest and triceps were extremely well-developed.

And this is without ever performing bench presses or specific tricep exercises.

Additionally, this is nothing new.

People have been doing push ups (and other exercises) throughout the day for many years.

There’s the case of Masahiko Kimura, considered to be the greatest judoka of all time.

Kimura consistently performed 1,000 push ups and 1,000 sit ups throughout the day, every single day.

Then we have the Great Gama, the undefeated Indian wrestler.

The Great Gama’s numbers never seem to be the same, so it really does depend on the source.

However, Gama was apparently performing thousands of Hindu squats and push ups throughout the day.

We See Repetition in Everyday Life

I would also like to include the example of certain manual workers.

Look at the hands and forearms of a mechanic.

Then there’s the biceps and forearms of a construction worker.

These are people who perform repetitive exercise throughout the day.

And yet have some of the strongest and most muscular body parts that pertain to their line of work. Admittedly, the rest of their body may not be in the best shape, but you get what I mean.

I actually have a friend who works as a carpenter.

He’s been doing the same work day in day out for over 20 years.

He stands at no more than 5ft 8ins tall and weighs around 70kg (154lbs).

His forearms are phenomenal, plus I have never seen anyone, irrespective of their size, muscularity, or weight, beat him at arm wrestling.

All of these examples prove that you can build muscle and strength by performing your push ups out throughout the day.

Better Form

Muscles Targeted By Push Ups

Another advantage of spreading out your 100 push ups is that you will typically complete them with better form.

I spoke about the fatigue that sets in when doing your push ups all in one hit, and this can have an impact on form.

As the muscles begin to tire, you may find that you’re not lowering yourself all the way to the ground, or that you’re not fully extending your arms at the top of the movement.

So, even though you may feel a better pump by completing your push ups in one go, how many perfect-form push ups did you actually do?

Be honest.

If you’re doing 10 push ups every hour or at least with a good break in-between sets then you’re more likely to stick to perfect form.

You know you’ve only got to complete 10 push ups.

This isn’t a great deal in your mind, and therefore you can really concentrate on completing the entire movement perfectly.

Perfect form = better results.

100 Push Ups Throughout The Day Creates a Great Habit

Something that I definitely noticed was that it didn’t take too long for daily push ups to become a habit.

Good Habits Are As Addictive As Bad Habits But Far More Rewarding

I also think it’s a fantastic idea to perform your push ups alongside an already ingrained habit.

Every time you brush your teeth, get down and do 10 push ups.

Just before every meal, do 10 push ups.

My personal method was that I performed push ups every time I went to pee.

If you’re wondering how on earth I got up to 300+ push ups a day, I pee a lot, LOL.

I drink a lot of water on a daily basis, okay?

It’s not a problem I swear.

Plus, I complete my push ups in sets of 30.

That’s another point I want to make.

Don’t aim for your max reps or anywhere near failure when doing push ups throughout the day.

If you want to get 100 push ups in and your maximum set is 10 push ups, then just drop and do 5 reps whenever you can.

You’re much more likely to stick with this great habit if it doesn’t feel overly strenuous.

You’re More Likely to Complete 100 Push Ups

A Man Doing Push Ups in the Road

When you aim to do 100 push ups throughout the day it doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

All you think about is performing 10 push ups multiple times a day.

10 push ups is easy in your mind, right?

However, the thought of cranking out 100 push ups in one hit, in say 5-15 minutes (depending on your strength and fitness levels), may seem a little intimidating.

How many times have you missed a workout because you just couldn’t face the thought of it?

The mind plays an important role in getting your 100 push ups done.

Imagine if you decided that you wanted to do 100 push ups a day for 30 days.

So, 3,000 push ups over a month.

I can guarantee that a high percentage of people would give up the “challenge” well before the end if they were doing 100 push ups all at the same time.

The success rate of those doing them throughout the day would be much higher.

Plain and simple, you’re more likely to stick to something when it doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

I found that by the time I was doing around 300 (and more) push ups a day, it didn’t even bother me.

In my mind, whenever I went upstairs or into another room, I would simply crank out 30 push ups on my way. – easy.

You’ll see these push up challenges all over the internet.

100 push ups a day for 30 days.

100 push ups a day for 100 days.

Or even 100 push ups a day for a year.

Check Out Jack Clancy

In fact, here’s Jack Clancy explaining the good, bad, and ugly of performing 100 push ups a day for a year.

I love the fact that Jack mentions the many other people who have performed this challenge.

This includes the awesome Nick Bare, who did 100 push ups a day for 10 years.

Admittedly, many of these challenges involved completing 100 push ups all at once.

However, Jack admits that when he started the challenge he could only do 14 push ups in a row.

By the end of the year this had increased to 36 reps in a row.

This, once again, proves my point that you will get stronger through regular repetition.

It’s Easier to Progress With More Reps

A Man Struggling to Perform a Push Up

I’ve never really been sure of my max reps for push ups.

To be honest, it’s never really bothered me.

However, I have often done 50 reps in a row, and I usually have quite a bit left in the tank.

That being said, when I started doing my push ups throughout the day I too went with 10 reps at a time.

Each subsequent week I added 5 reps to each set.

So, within the space of a month I had gone from 100 push ups a day to 300.

Now, I wouldn’t recommend this type of progression unless you’re already performing a high number of reps.

Nevertheless, you could quite easily add one extra rep to your sets every week.

In effect, you’ll be doing 100 push ups a day in week one.

This will increase to 110 reps a day in week two, 120 reps a day in week three, and so on.

The addition of just one rep to each set, multiple times a day, will not make any difference in your mind.

But, the difference it will make to your strength and muscularity is nothing short of amazing.

I actually love this video featuring Sal, Adam, and Justin on the Mind Pump Podcast.

This is completely how I see it when it comes to performing push ups throughout the day.

What Happened When I Stopped or Started Doing Push Ups?

There’s a couple of times in my life when I have stopped my habit of daily (throughout the day) push ups.

The Bro-Split

I decided to follow the typical “bro-split” workout for a number of months.

You know what I mean:

  • Monday – Chest
  • Tuesday – Back
  • Wednesday – Legs
  • Thursday Shoulders
  • Friday – Arms

As I would be hitting the “push” muscles 3 times a week (or 2.5 when you consider arms is bi’s and tri’s) I thought it best to stop my daily push up routine.

Weirdly enough, the main thing I noticed was that I wasn’t as lean after a couple of months.

This actually makes a lot of sense, as bodyweight exercises have a way of getting you lean anyway.

Plus, I was far more focused on strength and muscularity.

However, I would simply go to the gym in the morning, complete my workout, and that was all the training I would do for the day.

That being said, my workouts were far more intense than what I had previously been doing.

Do you remember that I mentioned that doing your 100 push ups all at once is deemed to have a far better impact on conditioning?

Well, it appears that even spreading them out during the day still has an impact of calorie-burning.

My Return From Injury

I’ve mentioned numerous times on my website that I suffered a lower spine injury in 2004.

While I healed, I completely stopped exercising for a couple of months.

I initially started back “exercising” by walking.

I then got into a habit of walking 5 miles a day and once again performing my push ups throughout the day.

My aim was to start with 10 sets of 10 reps and work my way up from there.

I was eventually walking 6-7 miles every single day, as well as completing 200 push ups.

The first day I went back into the gym someone commented on how I looked in fantastic shape.

They asked what I had been doing to look so lean and muscular.

Suffice to say they were pretty shocked when I said that I simply had a diet of walking and push ups.

So, I had managed to go from no exercise, and being pretty out-of-shape (and banged-up from injury) to looking “lean and muscular” within 2 months.

And I owe it all to doing push ups throughout the day (and I’m sure the walking had a massive effect too).

Final Thoughts

As you can probably tell, I’m a fan of doing your 100 push ups throughout the day, as opposed to all at once.

I’m sure there are many others who will argue against me, and I’m always willing to listen.

However, this is how I’ve always done it, and it’s worked for me.

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4 thoughts on “Why 100 Push Ups Throughout The Day is Better Than All At Once”

  1. Hi mate,

    Great post a ever. Ill be honest, I too do prefer to do push ups through the day. I normally do them when I’m waiting for the kettle to boil or while I’m waiting for my lunch to be ready. People used to think I’m weird for doing it and they still do! Haha, but the reality is that theres not many people in the position to try this that would be anywhere near being able to do 100 all at once.

    With any exercise being performed, theres the point where lactic acid builds and our body stops responding due to muscle fatigue.

    So, for the beginner, 100 spread through the day would work well. The pump is also a false economy, with it only being blood rushing to the muscles to help them in their moment of need…if only the pump lasted hey?

    What are your thoughts on variations of hand positions and the angle of the body for this type of task? Or would you stick to the standard push up?

    One thing I always tell people who are starting out or are weaker in the upper body area, is to do push ups off your knees as a way to progress to a normal one if you will, I do them when I’m tiring and they help me blast a few more out.

    Great read mate and happy new year!

    P.S love the baby pic!

    • Hey Lee,

      Awesome to hear from you.

      Funnily enough, I guessed that you’d be much the same as me, and cranking out push ups throughout the day.

      You’re completely correct as well about beginners being better off with this method, rather than attempting 100 push ups in one workout.

      Plus, I totally get you about lactic acid build up and muscle fatigue.

      I haven’t really mentioned those here, but wanted to keep it simple, so I spoke more about maintaining form, as well as still receiving the muscle-building benefits when performing push ups throughout the day.

      Haha, ah yes, if only the pump lasted!! It never does, LOL.

      As for hand positions, etc. I’m a great believer in mixing things up, which includes alternative hand positions, reps, tempos, pretty much everything you can think of.

      I actually went into more detail in my article, “Can You Maintain Muscle Mass With Push Ups?

      I discuss how I do circuits, supersets, and ultra-slow tempo push ups.

      I’m not one for performing push ups on my knees to be honest Lee. I’ll do all the harder variations and leave it at that.

      However, I don’t really ever go anywhere near failure if I’m honest, so I’ve not quite got to the stage of trying to crank out a few more reps.

      Something for me to consider I guess, I could always try a workout and see how many I can do in a short space of time.

      Who knows??

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by Lee, it’s always appreciated.


  2. I’m going to do this!
    I just got down and comfortably did twenty pushups.

    You may remember, about three months ago I was complaining of inner elbow pain while doing higher reps of pushups and pullups. I stopped both exercises, but feel that I can now begin the pushups again, spread out through the day as you suggest.

    I feel like I have lost some tone from not doing them, so will be interested to see how I feel in a month’s time.

    Cheers mate 🙂

    • Hey Andrew,

      Great to hear.

      Funnily enough, you did come to mind while I was writing this.

      I think it’s a great way to get some decent volume in without killing the joints all in one hit.

      That being said, you will still be wracking up a fair amount of volume anyway.

      So, as you’ve had so long time off due to the elbow injury you may actually be better of doing this every alternate day for a couple of weeks, and then adding an extra day each week thereafter.

      Therefore, in effect, it will take you about 5 weeks to get to doing 100 push ups throughout the day every day.

      You know yourself Andrew, start out slowly and build your way up.



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