Following the widespread closure of gyms due to the pandemic, YouTuber Stephanie Joshi, aka Nuttyfoodiefitness, didn’t do what a lot of other fitness influencers were doing and immediately pivot to home workouts. She explains that her motivation for training came from the enjoyment she got from going to the gym; lifting weights in her house wasn’t going to give her the same rush, and so she quit her training altogether.
“I personally didn’t feel any excitement to do bodyweight exercises at home,” says Joshi. “I know that obviously you have to make do with what you’ve got, but at the same time, I felt like this would be a great opportunity to just try out something new that I would never have otherwise actually tried.”
Aware that she might not be the only one feeling unsettled by such a sudden lack of routine, Joshi decided to let her subscribers come up with suggestions for a new challenge, eventually settling on the idea of doing 200 pushups each day, as her only form of exercise for a whole month.
Of course, Joshi is starting out with an already-toned physique, including visibly shredded abs and some decent arm gains, so this isn’t exactly necessarily going to be a dramatic transfomation. However, she concedes that she doesn’t regularly train her upper body and so she’s curious to see what effect 6,000 pushups will have over the course of 30 days.
“I’m already questioning why I decided to do this challenge,” she says after 25 reps on Day 1, subsequently breaking down the 200 pushups into sets of 25 which she does in chunks throughout the day. “With every set, it gets harder,” she says on Day 3. “My arms are now feeling already fatigued.”
She forges on with the challenge, and at around Day 18, is starting to see some visible bicep gains, but the cumulative fatigue is making it harder to finish all 200 reps each day as the challenge progresses.
“Sadly I didn’t become a professional,” says Joshi, upon completing all 30 days. “I had all these dreams of maybe being able to do 100 pushups in one sitting. Clearly not.”
She adds, however, that in addition to her arm gains, doing the pushups did help her to maintain her physique even while refraining from doing any other exercise, and consistently snacking while in quarantine.
“Gains aren’t lost overnight, it’s OK to relax for a bit,” she says. “There are bigger things going on right now. And if training isn’t at the top of your priority list, that’s fine.”