My simple workout daily routine in a nutshell: a series of 100 abs followed by 150 pushups in 5 minutes every day. Behind the story of this self-imposed pushup challenge that is now part of my daily workout, many mental tricks come to play to stick to my fitness habit.
Here is a summary of why I chose this simple workout, how I execute in terms of performance, and how I stick to my fitness habit (almost) every day.
My Current Daily Workout
I wanted a quick fitness routine that helps me maintain my body. Enough to stay in shape, a bit of “cardio feeling” and nice smoothing chemicals after the workout. Below are the details of my daily simple workout routine (Last Update: 29 Jun 2021):
Workout At the gym
- One series of 100 crossbody sit-ups
- One series of 150 pushups with an average form between 5′ 00” and 5′ 30” or 100 pushups with a better form between 3′ 30” and 4′ 15.”
- One series of 20 “vertical abs” on parallel bars (needs to post some videos and ask for the right name!)
- One minute of standing on parallel bars mixed with some “vertical abs.”
- Quick stretching exercises
Workout In my room
- 1 series of 100 crossbody sit-ups (or something not far from that, not sure about the exact name)
- 1 series of 150 pushups with an average form between 5′ 00” and 5′ 30” or 1 series of 100 pushups with a better form between 3′ 30” and 4′ 15”
Why did I Choose a 10-minute Workout?
With a 10-minute workout, it’s tough to bull shit myself. On the contrary, with daily 45-minute training, it’s easier to find some legitimate excuse such as “I don’t have time today.” Humans excel at finding excuses, and with a daily 10-minute workout, I have no reason not to make it happen.
The famous motivational speaker Tony Robbins has supported and promoted this “no excuse” strategy to get things done on many occasions. For instance, in episode 1218 of The School of Greatness, “On The Habits & Skills To Take Back Control Of Your Life.”
“I do 10 minutes because if say 20 or 30 minutes; I say, oh I don’t have time. If you don’t have 10 minutes in your life, you don’t have much of a life.” – Tony Robbins
As of April 2022, my daily workout of 100 cross-body sit-ups and 100 pushups takes about 8 minutes. Including preparation and shower, my daily fitness workout doesn’t take me more than 20 minutes. This quick and straightforward workout makes building and maintaining a sustainable fitness routine easier by design.
I still have cheat days here and then. Around one day per month, I do not work out at all, and when on vacations, I opt for simple flash workouts that are easier to swallow, such as a 100 pushup challenge or a 200 pushup challenge in two series of 100 pushups.
IS a 100-pushup Daily Workout Enough?
The honest answer is that there is no one-size-fits-all answer. Not everyone is (or wants to be like) Herschel Walker, a legendary Running Back from the Dallas Cowboys who practices 3500-disciplined-pushups daily! Ask yourself your end goal of challenging yourself with 100-pushups a day: 100-pushups enough for what? Sufficient to flatten your ego, get some recognition on social media, or go in the right direction in your health journey?
Personally, on top of the pushup series, I added a series of 100 cross-body sit-ups to warm me up and activate my lower abs more powerfully. I incorporated this extra ab even though I knew that performing a series of pushups helps already build 6-pack abs: 100-pushups a day (actually 150-pushups at the start of my journey) was not enough to make me satisfied.
I didn’t know when I started this pushup journey. Still, scientific studies undertaken during COVID have shown that resistance training exercises such as pushups significantly reduce the risk factors linked to COVID. Nothing is surprising in reading that exercising is great for the immune system, but knowing that it is particularly true for resistance training exercises such as pushups reinforces my choice. Read my article about doing fitness during COVID here.
So, it’s all about finding a workout difficulty that challenges you to collect the health benefits, but not too much, to keep going almost every day and develop iron discipline along the way.
Do I Cheat a Lot with my Simple Workout Habit?
Yes, sometimes I cheat. I established a structure with this daily, short and simple workout, and it became a healthy habit comparable to brushing my teeth. But there are some days when this fitness habit is not seducing me as usual, especially when traveling.
- In 2020, I had a cheat day roughly once a week: I didn’t exercise at all or did a less intense fitness activity. Typically I was going for a 1-hour walk with a neighbor or just by myself whilst listening to podcasts, a typical lockdown habit.
- In 2021 and 2022, actual cheat days where I do not exercise at all are rarer, about once a month. In 2022, when I have the chance to travel, I tend to shorten my simple workout to its extreme and perform only a series of 100 pushups.
- When I feel a bit lazy, when I had big night for instance: instead of going for the 150-pushups series, I opt for 100 pushups in a row. Reducing the pushup series to only 100 pushups helps me to apply the cold shower mindset to get my workout done even more faster than usual. To balance and feel at peace with my self, when I do only 100 pushups, I pay more attention to the quality of the pushup form than when I do a series of 150 pushups. Yes, it’s true! When I do 150 pushups, I have to admit I tend to switch from a “proper pushup form” to “Instagram push-ups” form when I reach 70 or 80 to save a bit of energy 🙂 By the way, if you’re wondering how to do pushups correctly check this article.
How Do I Stick to my Workout Routine?
Consider this: a short but intense workout is always better than no workout. It’s easy to start, and it limits the number of excuses you may find to not do your workout. It can be hard sticking to a workout plan when it gets tough. There are plenty of techniques to stick to a simple workout routine, and I talk about it in detail in this article.