Welcome to the “Death by Push Ups” Test! This challenge is going to work you to complete exhaustion… to the point where you’ll barely be able to lift yourself off the floor afterwards! Not only that, it will also provide some friendly competition and show you where you stand among others in the Shot of Adrenaline community.
After all, there are lots of benefits to working out at home, like privacy, low cost and convenience. That said, one of the biggest downfalls with a home-based workout program is that you can’t compare yourself to others as readily as you could in a gym or fitness center.
Having friends that set “markers” for you to reach helps you push harder. It sets the stage for greater achievement. When you workout alone, you can frequently allow yourself to take the easy way out. This has been a long-standing belief in the fitness community, and in fact was recently confirmed in a study by the Society of Behavioral Medicine. The study found that people who work out in groups rather than by themselves can significantly improve both performance and motivation over time.
Most of us tend to think we have a strong work ethic. And of course, a lot of us do. Still, you’ve probably had thoughts similar to these when working out alone:
“Ah, that feels like I got a pretty good workout. I don’t need to finish the set.”
“My shoulder is a little tight, I think I’ll take an extra day off.”
“I feel super achy. If I take an extra day off for my body to recover I’ll gain even more strength than if I did my workout today.”
We all tell ourselves lies that prevent us from doing the things we set out to do. That’s why having workout partners is so beneficial. You both create a “scale” by working out together. So instead of throwing in the towel for the day, our thoughts sound more like this:
“Joe got 8 reps. I’m going to rock out this set and get 9.” Its healthy competition. It’s good for us.
That’s why in this week’s workout I have created a special scale, so you can see where you stand against others.
And the exercise we’ll be using to measure our strength? Why the good ol’ push up, of course!
The “Death By Push Ups” Test
The following steps outline the “Death By Push Ups” Test you’ll be taking.
To kick off the competition, we’re sending in two guys from A Shot of Adrenaline to battle it out:
The founder of A Shot of Adrenaline, Todd (AKA “Bodyweight Todd”)…
And Paul, A Shot of Adrenaline’s Host and Trainer…
We’re going to post their results below, so you’ll know how you stack up against these guys, too!
Before you get started, let’s lay the ground rules…
Death By Push Ups Rules:
1. The pace for each push up should be 1 second down and 1 second up. No blasting them out like a crazed maniac. You won’t get any real results that way.
2. You must perform a full range of motion. Pictures of Todd demonstrating each exercise are provided below for you to reference.
3. NO REST BETWEEN SETS. The only rest you get is the amount of time it takes you to write down your number. And you need to have your pencil and paper right there with you. If you rest for more than a couple seconds between sets, that’s considered cheating.
4. Make sure you’re keeping track of how many you can do in each variation, because you’ll be tallying them all together at the end.
***When taking the test you need to max out on each exercise. If you save all your energy for the last (easiest) exercise, of course you could knock out a ton of them. You should push yourself on each exercise to the point where you can’t do a single rep more, then move on to the next exercise.***
Exercise 1: Decline Push Ups
Place your feet on a couch or chair that is 12 inches off the ground. It needs to be about this height. If you have something higher it will make the test harder and if you have something lower it will make the test easier. We need to keep things consistent.
Todd’s Score: 40 Reps
Paul’s Score: 35 Reps
Tip from Todd: “I did 40 Reps. You should not be stopping on an even number like this if you are pushing yourself to full fatigue. Realistically, I probably could have done 1 or 2 more. During each exercise you’ll probably fatigue on an odd number like 9 or 14, not 10 or 20.”
Exercise 2: Wide Push Ups
After you have finished Decline Push Ups, move straight on to Wide Push Ups. This is another exercise that lends itself to potential variation. The farther you put out your hands, the harder it will be. In order to standardize this test, find a position with your hands that is 1 and a half times your shoulder width.
In other words, your hands won’t be right under your shoulders like a normal push up and they won’t be expanded all the way out so that your chest is on the ground. They will be somewhere in the middle.
Todd’s Score: 17 Reps
Paul’s Score: 12 Reps
Exercise 3: Diver Bombers
This is one of my favorite exercises. It works the chest along with the shoulders and triceps. You will keep your hands in a normal push up position and place your feet out wide. Make sure you are getting a full arc both on the forward motion and the backward motion. FYI- Diver Bombers are NOT the same thing as a Hindu Push Up.
Todd’s Score: 11 Reps
Paul’s Score: 11 Reps
(You can see the numbers dropping. Now its REALLY getting tough!)
Exercise 4: Knuckle Push Ups
Knuckle Push Ups are performed just like regular push ups, except on your knuckles. Make sure you are getting a full range of motion with each rep.
Todd’s Score: 4 Reps
Paul’s Score: 5 Reps
(Ugh, its burning!)
Exercise 5: Regular Push Ups
Regular Push Ups don’t need too much of an explanation. Just make sure you are going full range on these and they should be a cadence of 1 second down and 1 second up.
Todd’s Score: 3
Paul’s Score: 5
Exercise 6: Knee Push Ups
The last exercise in the test! Hooyah! By now, you’re chest is shredded. Even a simple exercise like Knee Push Ups feel like climbing a mountain.
*IMPORTANT: It is imperative that you use the proper form when doing these exercises. Don’t just get in a “doggy position” and crank them out.
Here’s how to get in to the proper form:
1. Get in a normal push up position.
2. Drop your knees to the floor. Where ever your knees fall that’s where you’ll do the push ups. Don’t try to scoot your knees up closer to your hands. This will make it too easy.
Todd’s Score: 7 Reps
Paul’s Score: 11 Reps
(Phew! So glad its done!)
How To Find Your Score
Hope you kept track of your reps because you’ll need the numbers now. In order to find out your total score and find out where you stand on the “Death by Pushups” Scale add up all your numbers.
Here’s how our guys did:
Decline Push Ups: 40
Wide Push Ups: 17
Diver Bombers: 11
Knuckle Push Ups: 4
Regular Push Ups: 3
Knee Push Ups: 7
Total Score: 82 Reps
Decline Push Ups: 35
Wide Push Ups: 12
Diver Bombers: 11
Knuckle Push Ups: 5
Regular Push Ups: 5
Knee Push Ups: 11
Total Score: 79 Reps
Wow, that was close! Now, it’s your turn.
Go ahead and find your number then put it in the corresponding range below.