This is a follow-up to my "1,000,000 Push-ups" post. Check that out for the reasoning behind this challenge.
November 19th was my birthday, and it also marked the end of the third year of my push-up challenge. For the last year my goal was to average 125 push-ups per day, and I finished 20 push-ups ahead of that goal, with a running total of 100,445 push-ups. As was the case in 2013, I spent most of the year slightly behind my goal, and then caught up at the end to finish ahead (which is a recurring annual goal of mine). Full spreadsheet here.
I went through a number of different workout patterns during the year, including the one that enabled me to complete 100 consecutive push-ups. Towards the end of the year I was back to doing push-ups throughout the day, which worked out fairly well. Doing hard workouts every other day improved strength, but if I missed a day it meant that I got significantly behind my goal rapidly.
Crossing the 100,000 push-up barrier was a relief, and it's starting to feel like I'm making real progress towards my goal. I did some math, and realized that if I can average 150 push-ups for the rest of the challenge I can finish 5 years early - so complete 1,000,000 push-ups in 20 years total. That sounds nice, so I've decided to make my goal for the next year to average 150 push-ups a day.
The other thing that will guide my training this year is the work I'm doing to prepare for GORUCK events. The GORUCK Heavy (which I am doing in August) includes a PT test where the goal is to complete 55 push-ups in 2 minutes. My current record for push-ups in 2 minutes is 81, so I'm in good shape, but I want to make sure that I can crush this while being graded, while tired, and while in a calorically depleted state.
Push-ups are definitely part of my routine now, and as a result they have become pretty easy for me to do. Unfortunately I've noticed that my back is significantly weaker than I would like, and I've been battling some issues that I think are related to focusing so much on pushing exercises without complementing them with pulling ones. This year I'm going to focus more on the three core back exercises as well - deadlifts, inverted rows, and pull ups. One of my fitness goals is to complete 20 consecutive strict pull-ups, and I plan on completing that goal in 2015.