Push Up Challenge

in All Posts

I think this is my favorite breakfast, ever.


Grilled Banana Sandwich – what’s not to love?


It’s sweet, warm, and filling.  It makes my house smell like cinnamon buns!


And there’s caramelized bananas on the inside! *Drool*


The recipe is on this page!


Healthy Living Summit Update


Some information about the HLS is available on the website, including date and location of the conference.  Tickets will go on sale in a few weeks.  We’re putting out a call for speakers for this year’s Mind, Body, and Soul tracks.  If you or your company would be interested in presenting, please check out this link.


Push Up Challenge


I know I’m never going to be the kind of person who does her strength routine at the gym; I’ve tried to get into it but I just can’t.  If you’re a long-term reader of the blog, you’ll know I used to do “10 minute strength” routines in the morning before starting my 9 to 5 job.   The routine usually consisted of push ups, squats, sit-ups, and other at-home moves. 


Kath and I even teamed up to do a total body C&K 10 Minute Strength Routine that was really fun and easy to follow.


I think I fell out of the habit of doing push ups and the like when I began training for the marathon.  I have trouble balancing more than one fitness goal at once – like endurance and strength.  I was just too tired and busy to do my 10 minute routine.


I tried to do push ups this morning and could still do 15 in a row!  I was pleased (but I used to be able to do 20 at once).  I think I’m going to try to bring back the morning strength moves, especially push-ups.


How many push-ups can you do in a row right now?



  • Whitney @ Whitinspired April 8, 2010, 10:00 am

    I think I could probably do 20. I had a fitness assessment at my gym a few months back and that’s how many I could do. Banana sandwich is genius!

  • Freya @ Brit Chick Runs April 8, 2010, 10:01 am

    I am doing that banana sandwich tomorrow, it looks incredible!
    Uummm,…I can hardly do one push up!? I can do ‘girl’ versions by the ton though 😛 I need to work on my strenght training I think 😛

  • Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow April 8, 2010, 10:01 am

    I am no longer the gym rat that I used to be either in terms of strength training! I do all of my strength workouts here in my living room using programs by Beachbody. The key though- I do videos so I know what to do, it’s only 30 min AND I’m constantly challenged. The beauty of a gym on TV! 🙂

    I can do close to 30 in a row now on my toes which is RIDICULOUS for me. In the past year I’ve graduated from my knees to my toes. 🙂 So fun!

    • caitlin April 8, 2010, 10:13 am

      that is pretty epic.

  • Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin April 8, 2010, 10:02 am

    Last night I had to do them for 30 seconds straight twice during the Shred which was 20 at a time for me. That was definitely my limit!

  • Cyclist Kate April 8, 2010, 10:04 am

    Oh my god, we did pushups throughout our swim workout yesterday–5 pushups every 50 yards, and I could barely squeak out 35…but that might have had to do with the fact that we did 10 triceps dips every 50 yards, too…oy, it was hard!

    I do like that kind of workout, though–maybe you’d like it too? Swim 50 yards, get out, do 20 crunches or 5 pushups or whatever on the deck, swim another 50, do some dips, squats, etc., swim another 50…? It can also be fun to do different things while swimming, so one 50 could be freestyle sprint, another could be backstroke, another kicking, etc.

  • Caitlin @ Right Foot Forward April 8, 2010, 10:04 am

    I’m trying to build up my strength, too. Right now I can only do 12-14 pushups in a row. In high school, when I danced and played field hockey, I had a ton of upper body strength. I could do 35 at once! I’m trying to work back up to that.

  • Kathleen April 8, 2010, 10:07 am

    I can only do 30 right now but I used to be able to do 50 or more in a set and alternate pushups, crunches, lunges, etc…I used to be so fit…I might need to get back at working on this!

  • Rachel (Suburban Yogini) April 8, 2010, 10:09 am

    I have to say that I don’t do push ups that often but last time I did them I did 18 in a row. I was quite surprised. All those down dogs and chaturangas from my daily yoga practice definitely keep my upper body in very very good shape!!

    I can do 40 sit ups though 😉

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels April 8, 2010, 10:10 am

    I don’t really do push ups, because I really do love doing weights. Although I never used to until about a year ago. I’m guessing I could do 15ish.

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat April 8, 2010, 10:10 am

    I think I can do 12 in a row but it’s been a while since I tried! I love the C&K routine, I’ve used that a few times myself 😉

  • Jessica @ How Sweet April 8, 2010, 10:11 am

    Pushups are a staple in my workouts! I actually love them – they are one of my favorite exercises. Last summer I won a pushup contest in a bar doing 64…lol I felt like garbage after since I’d been drinking. I can do about 50-60 in a row now, and I usually superset during my workout. I have a post under my Work It Out tab on how to do pushups and how to learn to do themm. Best tip I ever received was to do 50 a day from a cheerleading coach!

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 11:57 am

      WOW that is super impressive jessica! 64 push ups!

    • Alice April 8, 2010, 8:45 pm

      HOLY CRAP. Yours arms must be ripped.

  • Haleigh April 8, 2010, 10:12 am

    The grilled banana sandwich looks sinfully good 🙂 Yeah I definitely can only do about 10 real push ups. However, put me in a vinyasa yoga classes and I can do chatarungas like no bodies business.. what’s up with that? I think my core strength is definitely lacking. Hope you have a good day! xoxo

  • Steph-exercise physiologist and artist! April 8, 2010, 10:12 am

    Good morning Caitlin!

    That banana sandwich looks like it was sent from heaven! ha-ha!
    I got a really nice camera recently but I still don’t know how to shoot my food. It always looks kinda gross 🙂

    I can do about 12 pushups with perfect form. I have the WORST form while swimming and literally feel like I am going to die after one lap just b/c I have such and inefficient technique. I have been wanting to take lessons for a few years now with the hopes of doing a Tri. I am scared of the alligator infested water around here though!! ha-ha!

    Hope you enjoy your day!

  • Leslie April 8, 2010, 10:13 am

    Pushups are the hardest strength move to do I think. I can probably do 30 in a row but I’d love to up that number. A year ago I couldn’t even do one!

  • Suzanne April 8, 2010, 10:13 am

    Over the past year, I’ve put a great emphasis on strength training. I started working out with a trainer once a week and taking weight training and kettlebell classes. A couple weeks ago my training put together a really difficult circuit of plyometrics, suicide sprints (gym class style!), kettlebells, and core movements, ending with 25 push-ups. I was really surprised to see that not only could I do the circuit, I did it twice in a row! Meaning I did 50 “man style” push-ups in one workout! It was a pretty proud moment for me 🙂

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 11:58 am

      i would be proud, too!!! 🙂

  • Jessica @ The Process of Healing April 8, 2010, 10:13 am

    I used to be able to do 25 in a row!! I haven’t done them in a while because I can’t put any pressure on my left side. But I LOVE push ups!!! When you can actually see yourself progress, it’s so cool!!!

    That breakfast sounds amazing…yum!

  • Lizzy April 8, 2010, 10:14 am

    i like this challenge alot, i always tend to push strength training to the waste side too!

  • Sarah @ Long Legs Healthy Life April 8, 2010, 10:15 am

    First of all, that banana sandwich looks so great! That looks like my Saturday morning breakfast for this week.

    I can do about 10 “girl” pushups in a row – I have ridiculously low core strength! I’m going to check out your 10 minute strength routine, and try to incorporate it into my mornings next week!

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 11:58 am

      girl push ups are a really good place to start!

  • Britt @ Runnerbelle April 8, 2010, 10:16 am

    Thank goodness for my kettlebell/cross fit gym I go to! It motivates me to strength train and is NOT boring. 🙂

    We do LOTS of pushups and I am a wee bit competitive…. so when I see some of the other women doing crazy pushups it motivates me to do more too! It just makes me realize that I am capable of it and not to wuss out so easily (why I love classes w/a good trainer). I can do 30 before I usually take a quick break, but can get back to doing more after a short rest.

  • rachael April 8, 2010, 10:18 am

    I never do actual push-ups but in my yoga practice I do a lot of plank-chaturanga-planks, which are essentially push-ups. And I will admit, I think yoga arms are the #1 superficial benefit of yoga:)

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 11:58 am

      chaturangas kill me!

  • Lauren @ Eater not a runner April 8, 2010, 10:20 am

    I can do about 15 as well, I would check right now but it might be a little awkward in my cubicle!

  • Sarah @ THE FOODIE DIARIES April 8, 2010, 10:21 am

    um, like 5. maybe. i’m not sure why. i can hold planks for like 3 minutes, no prob–but push-ups are so hard for me.

  • Matt April 8, 2010, 10:22 am

    Lol I think I can do about 5 pushups 😉

  • Missy April 8, 2010, 10:24 am

    I love strength training! I have to struggle to do any cardio that isn’t a sort of circuit or sprints. I can do 35 at once, and am shooting for 50! 🙂 Love your blog!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish) April 8, 2010, 10:24 am

    i’ve been intermittently implementing the push up challenge lately, but haven’t been consistent with it. you should have a challenge on here and have a page where everyone tracks their numbers and we can all see the other readers’ stats if we want to. because i know you have a ton of free time, right? 🙂

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 11:59 am

      hehe a challenge would be fun though!

  • Kelly April 8, 2010, 10:27 am

    Like real push-ups or knee push-ups. I can probably do between 10-20 on my knees, on my toes, 8 maybe? haha.

  • Kelly @ Kelly B Well April 8, 2010, 10:28 am

    I’m at 40 right now, but I focus on strength, since I haven’t had any success with running again. Although I haven’t done push ups as part of my routine in awhile. Might be time to add them back in!

  • Tami April 8, 2010, 10:30 am

    “regular” push ups was one of my goals for last year, i was sick of struggling through them. I can do about 35 in a row, I try and stick with 3 sets of 20

  • Bronwyn April 8, 2010, 10:33 am

    I can do about 10.

    I really would love to get up to 20, it’s going to be one of my summer goals.

    My other goal includes doing a pull up. 😀

  • Amber K @ sparkpeople April 8, 2010, 10:36 am

    I love the taste of the grilled banana french toast, but I don’t seem to find it filling. Maybe for about an hour and a half and then I’m hungry again. I must be doing something wrong!

    Push-ups ~ I am the worst! I can do maybe three full ones. On my knees I can probably do about 10. That is definitely my goal, I want more upper body strength!

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 11:59 am

      I was thinking about adding peanut butter to it to make it even more filling?

  • Ashley M. [at] (never home)maker April 8, 2010, 10:37 am

    Hey, Caitlin! I just found your blog via Twitter. And I’m loving it!!! Anyway, I’m priding myself on my push-up abilities these days. I’ve been consistently able to do like 20 to 25 for the past several years. But I started in this past month pushing beyond that. Now I’m up to doing 45 in a row. And then another set of 25 a few minutes later! Keep with it. Pushups are a great compliment to running for core strength <3 Can't wait to read more of your blog.

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman April 8, 2010, 10:42 am

    Push-ups are so hard for me. But in January I made a resolution to work at them. Something that has helped me: the 100 Push-Ups app for my iPhone. It puts a rest period between sets so you crank out more. (Though the rest is a bit too long for me.) It’s helping me get up the muscle to be able to do more in a row.

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 12:01 pm

      ok definitely going to download this app right now

      • Jessica April 8, 2010, 12:31 pm

        I did this! I followed it through the website and did the knee pushups because starting at full pushups was too hard (although I got a point where I could do 30, it was too taxing).

        In the end I did 100 knee pushups non stop! I want to try it again with full push ups soon. It’s a great program 🙂

        As a side note to Tracey — the rest felt too long for me too, but I realized it was SUPER helpful when you crank out the test days and do as many as you can. I think the rests REALLY serve their purpose. But that’s just my opinion. 🙂

  • Betsy April 8, 2010, 10:43 am

    Uhh…I can do about 2 push-ups. Pathetic, I know! I may start adding push-ups to my work out routine. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Mary (food fit & fun) April 8, 2010, 10:47 am

    Yum that banana sandwich looks amazing! I don’t know how many push ups I can do…but not many! How much do u think the healthy living summit will be?

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 12:01 pm

      not sure, but it is MUCH cheaper than other events… definitely under $75

  • Run Sarah April 8, 2010, 10:49 am

    I can do 20 in a row or 10 sets of 5 and I’m totally done after it and collapse in an exhausted heap!

  • Ellen Collis April 8, 2010, 10:49 am

    I’m like you, I used to be able to do 20 or so, but now it’s more like 15. At least it’s 15 with GOOD form. And yes, it is hard to fit in strength training when you’re focusing on cardio. I used to be OBSESSED with lifting my booty and I’d do a million exercises for it, and lately I’ve slacked off and I can totally notice. Hello bikini season—not exactly great timing!


  • Paige (Running Around Normal) April 8, 2010, 10:50 am

    Pushups are such a great strength training exercise! Works so many muscle groups with just one exercise! However, it is very important to remember to also supplement with back exercises such as rows. We’re already prone to tight chests and over streched backs because many jobs in this day leave us hunched over (whether at a desk, a wheel, etc) with our shoulders slouched forward.

  • emptynutjar April 8, 2010, 10:50 am

    ha! once upon a time i used to be able to do that stuff…i could probably do one now…if lucky…one day again maybe! patience and time is what i need (and i have the latter, the former i am working on).
    wish i lived in U.S for all the fun blogger stuff. Have nice day Caitlin.

  • Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter April 8, 2010, 10:52 am

    I can somehow do 60 in a row, or at least in a minute. I don’t know how I managed that!

  • kathleen April 8, 2010, 10:54 am

    I think I can do 50. I have been doing pushups 3x a week for the last 5 years. Not bad for a 40 year old eh?

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 12:02 pm

      that is pretty epic!

  • Kristi April 8, 2010, 10:55 am

    Right now, I can do 25 in a row-but I am working on being able to do more. I want to be a little more toned for my wedding in September so I am starting now!

  • Danielle (Coffee Run) April 8, 2010, 10:57 am

    Oooh I’d love a push-up challenge! On average, I can do ~25 but if you put the word “challenge” in front I can probably crank out 30 😉

  • Katharine April 8, 2010, 10:58 am

    I would love to get on the Push Up Challenge bandwagon. I SUCK at them. I can probably do 5 or so (and that’s of the girly version – on my knees). I want to do at least 10 or more regular ones!

  • Shellybean April 8, 2010, 11:04 am

    I can probably do 13 (full “man style”) in a row right now but I generally do 2 sets of 11.

  • Krista April 8, 2010, 11:09 am

    Hmm I will have to try and see with the pushups! At the gym I do them with a 25lb plate on my back, and I’ve done 15 max of those.

  • Lisa April 8, 2010, 11:27 am

    I can barely do 5!!! UGH! But I have tendinitis in my wrist and can’t put weight on it. Does anyone else have this problem? Not sure how to remedy it. 🙁

  • brandy April 8, 2010, 11:30 am

    That is so awesome congrats! I read your blog from time to time and i love operation beautiful! Putting a positive message out there to accept and love who you are! God made us perfect the way he wanted us to be.

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 12:02 pm

      i agree 😉 god is smart.

  • Ashley April 8, 2010, 11:34 am

    I tested myself a few weeks ago after doing 1 month of whittle my middle but no push-up work. I did 29! Congrats on the video and being on the Oprah network…that is DEFinitely INsane!!! =)

  • Juli D. April 8, 2010, 11:39 am

    I usually do reps of 15, if I went all out I bet I could get around 25? You could always try the 100 push up challenge – http://hundredpushups.com/

  • Mary April 8, 2010, 11:42 am

    I used to be able to do them forever… After my back surgery in Oct 08… Haven’t been able to yet 🙁 I can do assisted one’s and I’m getting stronger… so maybe soon.

  • Evan Thomas April 8, 2010, 12:01 pm

    Ugh. I used to do 40 after every run, and had great strength workouts back in the winter when I was stuck indoors. But I haven’t done any since february, so I’d be afraid to see where my strength is

  • Molly @fuelherup April 8, 2010, 12:01 pm

    I have got to get back into push-ups! A little over a year ago I challenged myself to do 50 push-ups in a row by Christmas…and I could! But then I just outright stopped! Must get back into that!!

  • Sarah April 8, 2010, 12:01 pm

    I once said to my husband that 25 push-ups did not sound like a lot, so he challenged me to do 25 right there. I did 10, MAYBE 15. Hello, Humble Pie.

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 12:03 pm

      haha humble pie tastes so good when it hits your lips! 10 is pretty good, i think!

  • Laura@FindingAHealthyBalance....after a 100+ Pound weight loss!!! April 8, 2010, 12:02 pm

    20 while balancing on a “stability” ball!!! =) My chest has gotten so much better looking since I started doing this weekly.

  • Heather C April 8, 2010, 12:04 pm

    I started a morning push up challenge too! (Forgot to do them today, which I JUST remembered. oof) I got up to 28 on Sunday and omg it hurt, but at least that’s progress 😉
    starting at 15 is pretty impressive! especially the day after a swim!

    p.s. that banana sammie is my FAVE breakfast that you’ve posted on here. seriously. brilliant.

  • Therese April 8, 2010, 12:09 pm

    I hear ya on the strength training struggles! I just cannot seem to get into a regular routine! Two months ago, to try and combat that, my boyfriend and I tried the 100 Push Up challenge but we ended up modifying it half way through as I don’t really trust the online program (doing more than 50 in one go AFTER doing several sets of 20 and 30?!). We finished with 10 sets of 10 so we still achieved our goal! Yeah! But in a row? I can do around 25 now, when I first started, I could only do 8!

  • Katherine April 8, 2010, 12:14 pm

    The only pushing I want to do is a push pop! Just kidding- I think I can do in the high 20’s of pushups. Not to 30 yet.

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 12:24 pm

      hahah i love push pops.

  • Olivia April 8, 2010, 12:16 pm

    I hammered out 22 this morning – a new record for me! Congrats on the Oprah gig and you’re sammich looks devine!

  • Emily Eats and Exercises April 8, 2010, 12:48 pm

    My boyfriend and I are doing the 100 push ups challenge. I can do 45 “boy” push ups in a row now! At 2 in the morning at a friends wedding a bunch of my guy friends challenged me and I won. Good bragging rights for sure…

  • Tay April 8, 2010, 12:56 pm

    When I was at my strongest (I think), I challenged my brother and my 8 year old sister (yes – LOL she’s a gymnast and does conditioning daily so she’s super strong) to a pushup challenge. I beat them out at 35!! But barely beat my sister! 😉 I’m all down to get back into pushup mode. Congrats on the Oprah segment!!! AWESOME 😀 You deserve it!

  • Cynthia (It All Changes) April 8, 2010, 1:05 pm

    I can do 10. I need to work on more but I can do them.

  • Amanda April 8, 2010, 1:23 pm

    I can do 10 on my toes… last time I checked at least. But I do strength training at the gym 2 to 3 times a week.

  • Nikky April 8, 2010, 1:29 pm

    Ah, pushups. In high school we had to pass a test, it took 50 “girl” pushups in 2 minutes for an A. I did it, despite being the chunky chick who couldn’t run a full lap (which I found out later was NOT my poor cardio health, but the fact that my heel bones hadn’t fused right. Take THAT Mr. Crampton! Told ya it was real pain.).

    Real pushups, 5 years out of school now, I can do 15-20.

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 1:40 pm

      I love this story!

  • John April 8, 2010, 3:53 pm

    Not sure I could do one right now. I’m like you focusing on cardio right now.

  • Susan April 8, 2010, 4:43 pm

    I had to do a fitness test as part of my personal training course a couple weeks ago, and I could only do 25 on my knees!! And I weight train seriously! My record is 9 on my toes. I tried doing the 100 Push ups challenge, but quit after spending four weeks on Week 2. Oof.

  • Kacy April 8, 2010, 4:52 pm

    Real pushups?! Maaaybe two. Yes, I need this challenge.

  • Andrea (Fit Healthy Fun) April 8, 2010, 5:59 pm

    I am an EPIC FAILure at push ups. I know all it takes is consistent training to do them, but I have never been able to get past 8 – 10. A challenge would definitely help “push” me!

  • Diana April 8, 2010, 6:45 pm

    That breakfast looks heavenly. 🙂
    I have a really weak core right now, I’m working on that!

  • Jessica Lee April 8, 2010, 6:51 pm

    about 25, if i am realllllly pushing it, i can do about 27.

  • Rachel April 8, 2010, 7:03 pm

    Ummm… Do “girl” ones count? I can do lots and lots of those in a row. I think I could only muster 5-10 “real” pushups. Arm strength has never been my ‘strong’ point 🙂

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 7:16 pm

      i think girl ones count! i learned to do real push ups girl style. and 5 – 10 man ones is pretty damn good!

      • Rachel April 8, 2010, 7:52 pm

        I am glad girl ones count 🙂

  • kate April 8, 2010, 7:04 pm

    I will pee my pants if I get a ticket to the HLS!

  • Jes (Self Motivation) April 8, 2010, 7:30 pm

    I did the 100 push-up challenge (http://hundredpushups.com/) last year (only I did them “girly style”). I ended up with some pretty great arms between that and weight training at the gym. Sadly that went out the window when thermodynamics consumed my life last year. I just discovered I can only do 5 real push-up and that is with shaking. I love your 10 minute challenge, and I think I am going to start that next week!

  • Alice April 8, 2010, 8:42 pm

    Wow! Amazed at some ladies on here, rocking out the big ones!

    I can do 15 ‘man’ ones in a row. I never really try to do many more though; I could probably squeeze out a couple more. It’s really funny where peoples strength lies – Caitlin, I remember reading you could do a couple of pull ups and I was amazed. I can’t even do ONE yet (the assisted pull up machine is my friend).

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 8:43 pm

      Kelly from Beneathitallblog.com told me the other day she can do 3 pull ups in a row and is working on 4! that’s super impressive to me!

  • Sarah April 8, 2010, 9:33 pm

    Right now I can do 54 push-ups, I have been doing the push up challenge and the PUMP classes also help! I can’t wait to get back up to 100, which I could do when I was 10 🙂

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 9:46 pm

      you are a baller! 54 WOW

  • Cindi April 8, 2010, 10:15 pm

    So in December I could do 1 or 2. I just decided to test myself due to your question and just did 19! NINETEEN! So happy!

    • Caitlin April 8, 2010, 10:19 pm

      Dannnnng! You are getting strong!

      • Cindi April 8, 2010, 10:21 pm

        Then why are my arms still flabby??? Oy vey!

  • maria April 9, 2010, 12:30 am

    Probably 10 at best. Upper body strength has always been my downfall.

  • MarathonVal April 9, 2010, 8:27 am

    A few months ago, I could not do ONE real pushup…. but after getting into yoga a lot more, the chatarungas must have built up my arm strength because one day, I found that I could finally do one… and ever since then I’ve done 5 sets of 20 pushups, every other day without fail. Now, doing these 100 pushups every other day is so easy I hardly think about it. The moral of the story is, if you make them a regular habit you will surprise yourself with how fast your arm strength will build up.

    My dad also did the 100 pushups challenge http://hundredpushups.com/ and now does almost 1000 a day!

    • Caitlin April 9, 2010, 8:57 am

      crikey! a 1000 push ups a DAY! reminds me of how b.spears used to do 1000 situps a day.

  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) April 9, 2010, 6:09 pm

    I suck at push ups. I can barely do 5. I really need to work on my arm strength. Bizarre, because I can bench press a lot!

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