The Monthly Exercise Challenge for March is #MarchUP, nothing to do with marching but much to do about Push Ups. This challenge is back to basics with Push Ups, We’re going to be challenging ourselves with this fundamental bodyweight exercise and you should join us.
Don’t let the word ‘Push Up’ put you off, we have 3 levels and 3 push-up variations including a wall press suitable for the absolute beginner or a full push-up for the seasoned push-up king.
The press up or push up exercise is a staple of fitness ability, being used in testing within police and military forces throughout the world, and for good reason too. It’s an excellent way to test an individual’s overall strength because it relies on many components of fitness, muscular strength from shoulders, arms, chest with core stability, joint range of motion, especially at the elbow and shoulder. It’s also a metabolic exercise as it gets multiple muscle groups activating and will require good cardiovascular efficiency and capacity.
Amazing really! that’s why many personal trainers love this exercise and why is a fundamental test of strength and fitness. You can start at your own level and ability, starting with a standing wall puss up onto a half up and full push up. There are also harder progressions such as a decline press up.
Push Up Test
This challenge is progressive, you should see some improvement in strength throughout the course of this challenge. We can test how effective it has been by conducting a simple press up test at the start and end of the month. This is really simple to do, read our article Push IT with the Press-Up Strength Test on how to conduct your own test together with a tracking sheet. You will also find normal values in that article which you can compare yourself against.
The test simply involves you performing as many press ups as you can to failure, this is also a good way to determine which of the press up variations you should choose for the challenge.
Rule of thumb for press up choice
- If you can’t do 10 Half Press Ups, choose the Wall Press Up
- If you can’t do one full press up, choose the Half Press Up
- If you can do more than 20 Half Press Ups, Choose the Full Press Up
- If you can do more than 20 Full Press Up, choose the Decline Press Up
The above test will help you choose a suitable push-up variation to start on. You can change the push up variation at anytime, just score the points for the variation you choose.
The challenge is split into 3 levels for which you can score your progress, you don’t need to keep to one level, You can mix & match and go up or down a level. Each level has a score associated with it, use the free-scoring sheet available for download below to track your progress and tally your total score for the month
You get either 1,2 or 3 points for the target level and either 1, 2 or 3 points for the Push-Up variation. That’s a maximum of ‘6’ per day, minimum of ‘2’ unless you skip a day in which case it would be ‘0’.
e.g, if you choose the LEVEL 2 target guide and the Full Push Up you will get two points for the targets achieved and two points for the exercise variation for a grand total of four points for the day, simple.
#MarchUP Daily Target Guide
Download the #MarchUP daily target guide, share with your friends and pin to your fridge.
This challenge is progressive with a periodized training structure to allow adaptations, recovery and progression during the challenge, the target guide as you can see from the chart below is a classic example of a periodized training programme. The programme features a rise and fall in intensity progressively increasing the overall load. We have used this style of programming to structure our #MarchUp Push-Up challenge,
#MarchUP Push Up Exercise Options
Select the push-up variation suitable for your fitness level.
Level 1 (+ 1 point)
Wall Press (Beginner)
Level 2 (+ 2 points)
Half Push Up (Intermediate)
Level 3 (+ 3 points)
Full Push Up (Advanced)
- Maintain a neutral spine postilion by looking down at the mat
- Keep body rigid, don’t let the hips drop towards the floor
- Look for a 90 degree (right angle) at the arms.
- Engage core stabilizers.
- Perform slow and controlled, 2 seconds up and 2 seconds down.