What Happens to Your Body After 100 Push-Ups a Day for 30 Days?


 What Happens to Your Body After 100 Push-Ups a Day for 30 Days


Push-ups are often regarded as one of the most effective exercises for increasing strength and building upper body muscles. Many fitness enthusiasts take this exercise to the extreme by committing to a challenge of performing 100 push-ups a day for 30 days. The results they achieve seem impressive, but what actually happens to the body during and after this intense push-up challenge? In this article, we will explore the effects of doing 100 push-ups a day for 30 days, including muscle growth, strength improvements, side effects, and whether or not it is worth the time and effort.

The Muscles Involved in Push-Ups

Push-ups primarily target the chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles. In addition, other muscles, such as the core and serratus anterior, also contribute to the movement. These muscles are activated to varying degrees during the exercise, and improvements in size and definition can be expected in these areas.

A study published in the Journal of Exercise and Fitness in 2017 compared the muscle size and strength of two groups of untrained subjects. One group exclusively performed push-ups during their workouts, while the other group incorporated bench press exercises. Surprisingly, the researchers found similar gains in chest and triceps muscles for both groups after eight weeks. This suggests that, especially for beginners, push-ups can be just as effective as bench press exercises in terms of muscle growth and strength improvement.

The Initial Weeks: Neural Adaptations and Muscle Soreness

During the first week of the 100 push-ups a day challenge, you may struggle to reach the total of 100 reps, especially if you are a beginner. However, your body will adapt through a phenomenon known as neural adaptations. While your muscles may not have grown significantly, your brain will improve its ability to recruit the right muscles for a push-up, resulting in rapid strength improvements.

In addition to neural adaptations, you may experience delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) in the chest, shoulders, and arms during the first week. This is a normal response to the increased workload on your muscles. However, if you feel soreness in your traps and lower back, it may indicate incorrect form and should be addressed.

Weeks Two and Three: Fatigue and Recovery

As the challenge progresses into the second and third weeks, you may start to experience increased fatigue and exhaustion. This is due to the lack of adequate rest and recovery time for your muscles. Normally, it takes muscles up to 48 hours to fully recover and grow after a workout. However, since you are training the same muscles every day, they do not have enough time to recover fully.

This fatigue, combined with the high volume of push-ups, may lead to a decrease in performance. Your body may feel more tired than usual, and your push-up performance may suffer. It is important to listen to your body during this phase and ensure proper recovery to prevent overtraining and potential injuries.

Week Four: Muscle Imbalances and Joint Discomfort

By the time the fourth week of the 100 push-ups a day challenge arrives, your body may begin to show signs of strain from the high frequency and volume of push-ups. Two noticeable effects during this period are muscle imbalances and joint discomfort.

Push-ups primarily target the front pushing muscles of your body, such as the chest, shoulders, and triceps. This can create an imbalance if you neglect to train your back muscles. Over time, stronger front muscles can pull your body forward, leading to a hunched posture with rounded shoulders. To prevent this, it is important to incorporate exercises that target the muscles responsible for keeping your body upright and your shoulders healthy.

The repetitive motion of push-ups can also create strain on your wrists and elbows. Your wrists require mobility and support a significant amount of weight during push-ups. If you experience discomfort in your wrists, you can try using handles or dumbbells to grip instead of placing your hands flat on the floor. Additionally, pay attention to the alignment of your elbows during the exercise to avoid unnecessary stress on your joints.

Results and Benefits: Muscle Growth and Beyond

After completing the 30-day challenge, what kind of results can you expect? While the specific gains will vary depending on individual factors, a study from the beginning of this article provides some insights. The participants in the study performed three sets of push-ups to failure twice a week, totaling around 180 push-ups per week.

After eight weeks, they experienced an 18.3% increase in chest muscle thickness, which equated to approximately a three millimeter increase. The triceps muscles also showed a 9.5% increase in growth. These results are comparable to other studies, suggesting that even with a lesser volume of push-ups, significant muscle growth can be achieved.

However, it is important to note that doing 100 push-ups a day without adequate rest and recovery may not yield optimal results. Over time, your body will require more challenging exercises to continue growing. Incorporating additional resistance, such as bands or added weight, can help provide the necessary stimulus for ongoing progress.

While the 100 push-ups a day challenge can be a good starting point to build exercise habits and momentum, it is not the most efficient approach for long-term progress. By implementing tweaks and modifications to the challenge, you can enhance its effectiveness and minimize the strain on your body. A science-based program tailored to your specific goals and needs can provide better guidance and results.


Performing 100 push-ups a day for 30 days can lead to noticeable improvements in muscle size and strength, particularly in the chest, shoulders, and triceps. However, the challenge also comes with potential side effects, such as muscle imbalances and joint discomfort. Additionally, the lack of adequate recovery time can hinder progress and lead to fatigue.

While the challenge can be a good introduction to regular exercise, it is important to modify and optimize the approach to achieve long-term results. Listening to your body, incorporating proper rest and recovery, and gradually progressing to more challenging exercises are keys to sustainable growth.

Remember, everyone's body is unique, and results may vary. It is always advisable to consult with a fitness professional or healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program.


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