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What does doing a 1000 pushups a day feel like, and what are the results?
Athletes and other figures in fitness such as David Goggins push their bodies to the limit pumping out 1,000 daily.
But is this type of training safe?
Better yet, is it even effective?
This is a question that has been raised by many of my clients as they witness these incredible displays of endurance and mental toughness..
Today, we will clear the air and discuss whether or not doing 1000 pushups a day is safe and effective for fitness.
Keep reading as we go over the different types of push-ups, anatomy, benefits, drawbacks, and professional tips to guide you on your journey toward performing 1000 pushups.
Let’s jump in.
Is doing 1000 pushups a day safe and effective for fitness?
Doing 1000 pushups a day can be unsafe. Research suggests that the body requires 48-72 hours of rest between sessions. While it may be effective in the beginning, over time you will see diminished returns for the amount of effort that you put in.
If you are looking for stimulus to the muscle for growth, increasing resistance using free weights or machines may be a safer bet – and far less time consuming.
However, if you want to push your limits both physically and mentally, 1000 push ups a day will certainly help achieve that.
What are pushups?
Push-ups are a bodyweight exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. The added bonus of the push-up is that the entire body must stabilize and brace to keep the body rigid, engaging the hips, legs, and core.
Different Types of Pushups
One of the great things about pushups is that there are many different types you can use to target the chest from a variety of angles.
Here are some different types and purposes to expand your training.
The bread and butter of a good bodyweight workout, the standard push-up has a comfortable hand placement to balance the load across the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
By having the hands just wider than shoulder-width apart, you will be in a great position to hit your target muscles and pump out a decent number of reps.
Wide pushups take the benefit of our standard push-up and add extra width to our hand placement.
The wider hand placement increases the difficulty while taking the chest and shoulders through a greater range of motion.
The diamond push-up sees your hands placed in the shape of a diamond directly below the chest.
This ups the ante for the shoulders and triceps at the bottom of the movement, as they will need to drive you back up.
Meanwhile, the chest gets a great contraction at the top of the movement as the shoulders horizontally adduct for a great pec squeeze.
With the incline push-up, you place your hands on a platform, such as a bench or a step, reducing the weight and making it easier to perform.
This style of push-up also creates an angle that targets the lower chest, which is perfect for developing your physique.
If the incline push-up makes things easier, then you better believe the decline pushup increases the difficulty.
This is due to the elevation of the feet, requiring the upper body to take more weight.
It also alters the angle at which we target the chest and shoulders, putting a bias on the upper chest.
Plyometric push-ups assume the hand position of the standard push-up, but add a challenging, explosive push off the ground.
This requires a great deal of force and coordination, not only to perform but to land and avoid injury.
The one-arm pushup, a go-to exercise for any cinematic training montage, requires you to perform your push-ups with one arm and wide foot placement.
This style of push-up is for the advanced and is rarely programmed, but just has to be added to this list.
What muscles do pushups work?
Push-ups work the chest, shoulders, and triceps while engaging the glutes the core to maintain a rigid position during the movement. This makes it a great full-body exercise.
|Pectoralis Major/Minor||Shoulder Flexion, Adduction, Internal Rotation|
|Deltoid||Shoulder Flexion, Abduction, Internal and External Rotation|
Is 1000 pushups a day possible?
Doing 1000 pushups a day is possible, either in one sitting or in separate blocks spread out across the day.
Many public figures, including David Goggins and various fitness YouTubers, have completed 1000 pushups a day for multiple days for both training and experimental purposes.
Is doing 1000 pushups a day safe?
It can be. However, due to the sheer volume you will fatigue, which may impair your technique and result in injury.
And while doing 1000 pushups a day can be effective for stimulating muscle hypertrophy, performing movements such as the bench press or machine press would likely be better.
Doing 1,000 per day would not only put an incredible strain on your muscles and joints, but also be time consuming.
Increasing resistance and performing fewer reps would not only make it achievable, but would likely improve growth.
Is 1000 pushups a day good?
In terms of effort, 1000 pushups a day is incredible by conventional standards. However, doing this many reps every day may result in overtraining and injury.
How to do 1000 pushups a day?
To do 1000 pushups a day we recommend performing them in smaller intervals throughout the day.
This can be any format you choose, either doing 100 per hour in a solid block, or 50 every 30 minutes.
While this will take all day, doing so in this fashion will give a much needed rest between sets and allow you to get on with other commitments throughout the day.
What are the benefits and drawbacks of doing 1000 pushups a day?
Doing 1000 pushups is sure to get you great results at first, as you will be pushing your muscles to their limit.
However, this doesn’t come without a price. The chances of injury rise and you can become burnt out from your training. Not to mention, it takes a lot of time.
Below, we have listed the benefits and drawbacks to doing a 1000 pushups a day to help you weigh up if this is the right path for you.
Here are a range of benefits that will come from doing 1000 pushups a day.
Increased upper body mass is likely the biggest benefit you will notice when you are performing 1000 pushups a day.
Research suggests that performing sets of eight to 12 repetitions at 60-80% of your one repetition maximum (1RM) will promote muscle hypertrophy.
While you will be going above and beyond this number with your grand total, frequent bouts within this rep range are sure to help build lean muscle.
Increased Muscle Endurance
Increased muscle endurance is another amazing benefit for performing 1000 pushups a day.
The above-mentioned study indicates that while lower rep ranges will elicit a growth in muscle tissue, rep ranges in excess of 15+ at 60% or less will improve endurance.
The increase in muscle mass from performing 1000 pushups a day will go a long way in improving your physique.
This is not only from a muscle growth perspective, but from an energy expenditure standpoint, burning those additional calories.
This is particularly helpful if you are in a caloric deficit.
Improves Joint Strength
Performing bodyweight resistance training in the form of push-ups can be beneficial for improving joint strength.
Studies indicate that ongoing resistance training improves tendon thickness and the laying down and diameter of collagen.
Doing 1000 pushups a day correctly with excellent technique can help to improve joint health and stability.
Now that we have covered the benefits, it’s time to look at the drawbacks to help give you a clear understanding of how 1000 pushups a day will affect your body.
Doing a 1000 pushups a day is sure to push your body to its limits, which may lead to injury.
Science recommends resting 48-72 hours between sessions to allow for muscle recovery and your body to replenish its energy stores.
Training every day and to this volume will not allow the body to recover, and likely result in injury.
When you train to the volume of 1000 pushups a day, you will likely begin to feel the effects of overtraining and burnout.
Studies indicate that when we overtrain without effective recovery, we may experience decreases in performance, fatigue, and poor mood.
Performing push-ups to these lengths, while providing an initial boost in size and endurance, will almost certainly end in fatigue and a lack of interest.
This ultimately leads you to abandon the workouts altogether.
Not only is doing 1000 pushups a day physically and mentally challenging, it takes up huge chunks of your day.
While you do you have the option to do them in one block or in smaller intervals, both will take up a large portion of the day.
Think about it this way.
If you were to do 25 pushups every 10 minutes, it would still take you almost seven hours to complete.
And while that seems manageable in terms of spacing between sets, the mental load of having to drop down and give yourself 25 for seven hours of the day would be mentally draining.
Doing 1000 pushups on a daily basis sounds like a great idea, but after a certain point, you will be getting diminished returns.
Research defines this as the amount of stimulus you are hitting your body with won’t be worth the strength or mass adaptations in return.
If you are looking for endurance and mental toughness, then 1000 pushups will definitely help you get there.
But if you are thinking of pushing for muscle growth, 1,000 reps is far beyond the eight to 12 reps at 60%-80% or the 1RM that is ideal for hypertrophy.
Results of Doing 1000 Pushups a Day for 30 Days
Now that we have established the benefits and the drawbacks, it’s time to discuss the results of doing 1000 pushups a day for 30 days.
Provided you have a good warm-up with gentle cardio and light stretches, you should be heading into this feeling fresh.
If you have prior experience with high-volume push-ups, hitting 1,000 on the first day in intervals may be easier than you thought. You’ll emerge with a level of fatigue, increased heart rate, and a good pump.
Day 2 is where the challenge will begin to reveal itself, as you will wake up sore. Your muscles will lack the energy and that extra drive that carried you through the first day.
That post-training day pump will feel great. But at what cost?
The soreness from day two may decrease after a successful second day of training.
Here you may find relief from the delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), but your energy levels may be a little lower. Your joints may feel it, too.
On the plus side, you will begin to notice subtle changes to your physique as your muscles may retain that swelling from the previous two days of training.
You may also appear a little leaner due to the energy burnt during the session.
By day four, your routine would have begun to settle in and you may even find yourself in a rhythm.
This will likely give you a little boost of confidence as you find yourself adapting physically and mentally to the challenge.
You will feel those bouts of fatigue, but this will ebb and flow based on the time of day.
It has been a long five days, but the first week is almost done. With this, you will start to see the results of your training.
Here the muscle pump will be at a high, provided that your carbohydrate and fluid intake is on point.
By this point, getting through the week is a game of mind over matter, as you must consciously get down to the floor as you battle some aches to your wrist and shoulders.
But what will help is when you walk past your reflection and see some of those hard-earned results.
Day six will likely start a bit differently, especially if you have weekends off. This will afford you additional time during the day to pump out a few sets in a different fashion to free up the day.
While the task at hand will still have you feeling tired and mentally drained, especially after a week at work, you will likely enjoy the extra down time to help you recover.
Day seven, the last day of your first week, and a day after a restful-ish day during day six.
You will be feeling a little fresher than the previous day, giving you a little buzz to tackle another day of 1,000 push-ups.
The added rest, quality nutrition, and hydration of the previous day may supply your chest, shoulders, and triceps with an added pump.
The completion of day seven will mark the end of the week and a massive achievement. This will surely give you a dopamine high and give you a surge to tackle the week ahead.
Week two will begin with your body feeling a little refreshed from a weekend off work, making it a little easier to get down.
However, during this time you may experience an increase in joint discomfort from the first week.
This may warrant mixing push-up styles and training to help take the load off your joints.
During the week, your muscle definition will continue to improve as a result of the huge increase in exercise. And much like the previous week, you will likely fatigue as the week goes on.
The beginning of week three should be the marker for another high as it is the halfway point of your training.
However, two weeks of 1000 pushups a day, totalling 14,000 just isn’t enough to get you jumping out of bed in the morning.
Your interest in the task will definitely be starting to drop off, as you mentally are drained from the constant intervals.
And while you have established proficiency with your technique, the serious ache of your joints and muscles each day will have you questioning your choices.
Twenty-one days in and the home stretch for what can only be described as brutal. Your body is looking leaner and your chest, shoulders, and triceps have packed on added mass.
By this point, you’re going through the motions and your mind is the only real thing pushing you forward.
Even on the days you feel good physically upon waking, they can turn with sore muscles and joints, as well as fatigue that increases as the days go on.
By this point, you may have even increased the easier variations to your routine to take a load off your sore joints.
As the week progresses, your motivation will spike as you near your ultimate goal. This remains a battle as the weekend closes in, for that much-needed break.
Your weekends will be the day you punch out your workouts to finish off the challenge.
Ending in with a sigh of relief, sore joints, a weight of your mind and a leaner and bigger set of muscles.
Pro Tips for Doing Pushups Safely and Effectively
From what we can see, doing a 1000 pushups a day will definitely take its toll, especially in the long haul.
To ensure that you are hitting each day at the top of your game, here are our professional tips to prep your body and perform your push-ups safely and effectively.
If you are going to attempt 1000 pushups a day, you need to prioritize your warm-up.
Studies indicate that warming up prior to training can help to improve performance and reduce injury to muscles and tendons.
Do a light warm up of three to five minutes consisting of cardio such as the elliptical or rower. Activating and mobilizing the shoulders, chest, and wrists can help to reduce unwanted strain.
This will help you improve your mobility and allow you to focus on pumping out your reps.
A task as big as doing 1000 pushups is going to require effective rest and recovery between sets and at the end of each day.
Research suggests that adults require seven hours or more for optimum health.
Prioritizing sleep will be one of the most effective means giving your body the rest it needs to tackle the following day of training.
Beyond your sleep, you should also consider additional recovery protocols to help the body relax and repair between the long days of pushups.
Recovery centers that specialize in massage and hot and cold therapy can be a game-changer for tackling grueling training routines.
Science indicates that massage can reduce symptoms of muscle pain by as much as 50%.
While the massage gun may be useful, the ability to fully relax and unwind while someone else does the work can give your body a hard reset.
This can give you a much-needed refresh and help you sleep like a baby.
Pulling off a task as big as 1000 pushups a day requires correct nutrition to give your body and muscles the fuel they need to perform.
The recommended daily caloric intake for men is 2,500 for men and 2,000 for women, but this varies depending on your age, current weight, and more.
Generally speaking, with a challenge such as this, we recommend a slight surplus of 500 calories to boost your energy.
These targets should be hit by eating high-quality, nutrient-dense foods rich in protein.
This will help you ensure that you are getting enough carbs to perform your push-ups, while the protein will help you build and recover.
To get a precise reading on your recommended calorie intake, we recommend using our advanced calorie and macronutrient calculator.
Simply input your age, gender, height, weight, and activity level and get an accurate calorie and macro target to smash through this challenge.
Maintain Proper Form
Performing with correct technique will not only help you avoid injury, but it will also improve your ability to hit your target muscles.
Make sure your hands are correctly spaced, your hips are in line and parallel, and the glutes and core are engaged.
This will help you lift using your entire body and greatly reduce pressure on the shoulders and wrists.
Mix It Up
If you are going to attempt 1000 pushups a day, we suggest throwing different pushup variations into the mix.
By changing the type of push-up, we can decrease the load placed on our joints and keep our training fresh.
This one tip can be a lifesaver as the days go on and your body and mind feel the strain due to the repetition.
There is no doubt that doing 1000 pushups a day will get you results, but the daily journey is mentally and physically taxing.
Not to mention, without adequate rest, back-to-back training of the chest, shoulders, and triceps make burnout and injury almost inevitable.
But if you do choose to try 1000 pushups a day, ensure that you are well fueled with nutrient-dense, high-protein foods and complex carbs. Prioritize your sleep and recovery, and hydrate..
This will give you the edge in what is a long, uphill battle.
So, are you thinking about trying to do 1000 pushups a day? What inspired you to take on the challenge?
Let us know in the comments.
Is doing 1000 pushups a day good?
Doing 1000 pushups a day is considered excellent by conventional exercise standards. However, in terms of regular exercise and longevity, it should be noted that it is unsustainable long-term, with each set resulting in diminishing returns.
What happens if I do 1000 pushups a day?
If you do 1000 pushups a day you will see an increase in your muscle mass and endurance. However, you will experience significant muscle aches and pains, which may lead to injury, overtraining, and burnout.
Is 1000 pushups a day too much?
Yes, doing 1000 pushups is far too many to be doing on a regular basis. There are better means of increasing muscle mass and endurance.
Is it possible to do 1000 pushups a day?
Yes, it is possible to do 1000 pushups a day either in a single session or spaced out over the course of the day. This will vary based on the individual and their experience level, but it is possible.
Does 1,000 push-ups a day build muscle?
Yes, doing 1000 pushups a day will build muscle. However, you’ll experience diminishing returns as the effort you put in for later sets won’t match the result.
If you want to build muscle, do push-ups as a part of your routine with other exercises such as bench press to stimulate growth.
How many push-ups burn 1,000 calories?
Between 300-600 push-ups burns 1,000 calories. This largely depends on the individual, their metabolic rate, and intensity.
How to train for 1,000 pushups?
To train for 1,000 push ups a day we recommend gradually building up your reps over the course of a few weeks or months. This can be done by starting with 100 per day, and slowly increasing by 50-100 reps each week until you hit 1,000.