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YouTuber Laurie Shaw has thrown himself into plenty of bodyweight exercise challenges, from the Bring Up Sally pushup challenge, to the “impossible” 1-rep pushup, to doing 100 pullups every single day for a whole month. For his most recent 30-day fitness experiment, Shaw changes things up just a little, and pledges to do 200 pushup reps every second day for the entire month-long window, in an attempt to see whether sheer volume of the move is enough to help him improve his physical endurance and build visible muscle.
Shaw’s reasoning for doing 200 every other day, as opposed to the usual YouTube-friendly 100 per day, is that he’s learned the importance of having a rest day — frequently in these challenges, the daily repetitions don’t give the muscle fibers enough time to recover, which is why results are so often disappointing.
On Day 1, he is able to do 30 pushup reps before needing a break. “Granted, I probably could have pushed out a couple more if I’d really tried,” he says. It takes him 15 minutes 11 seconds to complete all 200 reps.
About a week into the challenge, Shaw introduced some pushup variations into his bidiurnal workouts. “I realized that to really get the most out of this pushup challenge, I should be switching up and mixing up the types of pushups I was doing,” he says. “And man, that made it so much more tough. Dropping down to do 200 is hard enough on its own, so to mix it up and do all these crazy variations, and still do 200 of them, it took a lot longer.”
At the end of the month, on his 30th and final day of doing pushups, Shaw has increased his pushup max: he is able to churn out 70 reps in a single set without stopping. His total time has also improved; he completes all 200 reps in 9 minutes 18 seconds, surpassing the 10-minute goal he had set for himself at the beginning of the challenge.
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While delighted with the improvements he has managed to make to his endurance, Shaw is less happy with the visible results — namely that there aren’t really any. “I mean it’s hard to tell, normally these things can be quite miniscule, the difference, so it’s not always super visible,” he says. “But I definitely feel good, and I feel fitter than I did 30 days ago.”
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