People who know me know that I care about my physical health, and due to that I have taken on numerous fitness challenges in the past to gamify my exercises and to keep myself consistent. But alas most of them have been abandoned midway (if not on exactly the second day).

This time it was different, the challenge started this time with someone at my work mentioning that we should try and do fitness challenges in November as it is a month of many festivals and sweets in India. We each decided to make our own challenges and so I decided to do a total of 1500 push-ups in the month of November. That turns out to be 50 push-ups per day for 30 days.

The key difference this time with the challenge was that I was posting daily updates of my progress on our company’s Slack workspace. This kept me accountable in a way that I couldn’t easily afford to not exercise some day because then my colleagues would ask me as to why there was no update.

For me, the 50 push-ups per day wasn’t the challenging part, I could easily manage that. The challenge was to stick daily to it and thus complete the 1500 in November. I anticipated that despite my best efforts there will be days where I can’t manage to do the day’s 50 (or I just might forget sometimes). Therefore I decided that the least I have to do per day will be 60 push-ups, so as to generate some slack for future me. And I allowed myself to do 50 on a day only if that does not bring down the average till then to 50 or less.

As I anticipated, there were a few hiccups where twice I could not manage to exercise for 2 days in a row. The first time it happened, it also brought down my average till then to quite below 50 and then I had to climb back from there to get on my regular track (cue hero’s journey music).

Finally after everything I managed to complete the last of the 1500 push-ups this Friday (3 days earlier than deadline). I also ended up setting a couple of personal-records along the way.

  • For the first time I did 100 push-ups in a single workout.
  • For the first time I did 40 push-ups in a single set (previous best was ~25).

I am now thinking of what to challenge myself with in December. If you folks have any ideas or challenges then shoot them my way via email or Twitter @varun_barad.