An Olympian Did 300 Pushups a Day for 30 Days to Try and Get Jacked
Men's Health 2hrs ago

There's a good reason 30-day pushup challenges are among the most popular that people take on every New Year: The simple bodyweight movement can be done practically anywhere, and it offers a simple, effective way to target multiple upper body and core muscle groups.

That makes the exercise highly appealing even if you happen to be a two-time Olympian, as pro runner Nick Symmonds recently demonstrated on his YouTube Channel. Symmonds, who is no stranger to taking on challenges of all stripes, says he needed a goal to help him stay motivated with many gyms still closed. Taking a queue from popular YouTuber Brownie, who once did 200 pushups a day for 30 days, Symmonds decided to up the ante and do 300 pushups.

Symmonds starts by taking his measurements—right bicep (14.5"), left bicep (13.7"), and chest (49"). He also has a solid baseline to work from, having recently done about 37 pushups to failure while taking on the U.S. Army Fitness Test. His goal by the end: Crank out 100 unbroken pushups. At first, Symmonds struggles: After just one day, his chest is so sore that he decides to come up with a plan, breaking the pushups into small increments spread throughout the day, rather than all at once, with the goal of making the workouts less agonizing.

In a new YouTube video, two-time Olympic runner Nick Symmonds did 300 pushups a day for 30 days to build strength and see how it would transform his body. © Nick Symmonds/YouTube In a new YouTube video, two-time Olympic runner Nick Symmonds did 300 pushups a day for 30 days to build strength and see how it would transform his body.

By day 7, things don't seem to be getting much better, but as Symmonds says, "I guess I have to remind myself that sometimes when you're doing these things, it gets harder before it's easier," recalling that he used to see a similar effect with his running workouts. Over the next 3 weeks, he tries to scale his pushups higher—aiming for 30 sets of 10 throughout the day.

After one final push, it's time for the big reveal: Symmonds manages add a modest amount of mass to his left bicep (14.5"), but none to his right. As for his chest, he sees more impressive gains of two inches, putting him at 51. Finally, with thousands of pushups now behind him, he tries to make good on his original goal of 100 broken pushups. Watch the video above to see if he succeeds.

Try 200+ at home workout videos from Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Prevention, and more on All Out Studio free for 14 days!

Show More
Latest News
20 must-read health books
The Health section of your local bookstore or online book retailer looks different than it did a couple of decades ago, when titles like Food-Free at Last: How I Learned to Eat Air or The South Beach Diet Supercharged were popular picks. Still today, authors—including would-be physicians, B-list celebs and underqualified fitness experts—dole out “health advice,” trying to convince readers that running themselves ragged with dieting and strenuous exercise will make them thinner, prettier, and happier. In fact, it has had an adverse effect, especially on women. The cruel dieting culture, incessant calorie counting, and little to no representation of health experts from diverse communities, along with the unrealistic standards set by the beauty and fashion industries, have led to eating disorders and severe mental health issues. Today, coupled with wellness, the topics covered in health and well-being books focus more on making healthy choices daily, keeping active, practising self-care, and being mindful of our mental health. Thanks to the body positivity movement, and some notable influencers in this space, we know that healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes. This is also a time when we are hearing from more underrepresented voices in this space, making health advice and wellness tips more inclusive and relevant for all. Start the new year off with motivation, stories, and advice on how to live a healthier, happier life that works for you. Get moving by adding these 20 must-read health books to your cart.
5 Minutes| Espresso