YouTube fitness personality Will Tennyson has attempted all kinds of different workouts and challenges on his channel, but to kick off 2020, he went for a big swing. In his New Year's Resolution video, he captures his attempt to do 2,020 pushups in a single day.
"Is it a stupid idea? Yeah," he says. "Is it a one-way ticket to a pec tear? Probably." With that in mind, he advises viewers not to try this at home, then sets about the challenge by breaking down the 2,020 reps into 20 sets of 101 pushups at a time.
He completes the first round of 101 reps in 3 minutes 16 seconds, and has done 404 pushups in just over an hour. By the time he has reached the quarter-way point, there is already a visible pump to his chest, but it's not long before he starts to feel the painful effects of the challenge, particularly in his pecs and in his triceps. "I can't even straighten them without cramping," he says.
Around 1,414 pushups in, the sets of 101 reps are getting too much, so Will breaks them down into sets of 50 for the rest of the day, reaching his goal just before midnight, where he then reflects on the importance of setting realistic, progressive goals rather than trying to simply bash out huge numbers.
"Fitness is a journey, not a destination," he says. "Back when I was overweight, this is something I wish I knew, because all I could ever think about was 'When I look a certain way, that is when I'm going to be happy', and I just didn't really appreciate or take in what I did along the way, and I was never happy, and it sucked. And fitness is hard, we can all agree on that, it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of consistency, day in day out, week to week, month to month. So what I'm saying is, set small goals along the way. Maybe instead of saying 'I want to lose 150 pounds this year', maybe 'I want to lose 10 pounds this month.' Hit that goal to get to your big goal."
It bears repeating that attempting such a large volume of reps in such a short time period comes with significant risks. "Ideas like a crapload of pushups are fun challenges but they’re actually the last thing your body needs fitness wise," says Men's Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel C.S.C.S. "We spend most of our life in positions that have us 'pushing,' and those anterior positions are overdone. I would much rather see you challenge yourself to do, say a boatload or dumbbell rows. That’s a lot better for your body even though it’s not nearly as 'cool' a YouTube video."
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