My one million press up challenge:
A year ago - well, 15 months ago - I managed 1175 press ups in 1 hour, raising £850 for the local YMCA and Taunton Association for the Homeless. I did this by doing a set of 20 press ups every minute, roughly. I’ve kept practicing and, to my surprise, I’ve built up to 100+ in one minute.
I turn 80 in a few days or so, and my intention is to raise more money for charity by getting a video of my efforts up on to YouTube.
I also intend to do 1m press ups between my 80th (this 28th September) and 90th birthdays. To accomplish this I need to do 100,000 a year, approx 2,000 a week. I want to leave a day’s rest between my efforts, and have Sunday off, so a routine of 650 on 3 days of the week is what I'm aiming for.
A couple of days ago, on Thursday 14th September, I did 600 in 12 minutes. My usual modus operandi is to begin my routine with 6 sets of HIIT press ups - so, flat out press ups for 20 seconds, then rest for 10. Repeat 5 more times. I average about 33 press ups in each 20 seconds, so I’m up to 200+ in under 3 minutes. I rest for 1 minute and then go for 50 every minute. I’ve done 8 of these in the past - (8x50=400) - so another 50 should be well within my reach, and that’ll give me 650.
As you can see, each day's routine is only going to take about 13 minutes, so it's not going to take a huge chunk out of my day.
(I tend to do my exercise at 10.30 in the evening, when both Sky and BBC news do their paper reviews.)
Tonight, Saturday 16th, I’m aiming for 1000 - just to see if I can do it. I should be able to do this inside 20 minutes:
200 in 3 minutes doing my HIIT;
Rest for one minute;
50 every minute for 16 minutes;
I did it - 1000 press ups in 20 minutes. It was hard, but I know now, if I wanted to see how many I could do in an hour, I could manage 3000 - it's within my reach, I feel sure. But that's not on my horizon at the moment - I've got the 100 in 1 minute challenge first (which I've already done several times whilst practicing), followed by the 1 million between my 80th and 90th birthdays.
I must confess that, towards the end of my routine, since each set of 50 takes me less than 30 seconds, I put back the start of each set by 5 seconds - so that instead of finishing my routine tonight at 19 minutes 30 seconds, I finished it just inside on the 20 minutes.
As an aside, I've just checked my VO Max:
Given my age, my VO Max should be 32 - but apparently, I have the fitness level of a 49yr old and my VO Max is 45.