Initial Test

Man doing pushups on grass

Before you dive in and start the Hundred Pushups Program, you should:

  • Obtain medical advice and clearance from your doctor
  • Take an initial pushups test

The test will highlight your current fitness level and determine where to start and how to plan your pushups training program.

AGE <40 40-55 >55
RANK number of pushups performed
1 0-5 0-5 0-5
2 6-14 6-12 6-10
3 15-29 13-24 11-19
4 30-49 25-44 20-34
5 50-99 45-74 35-64
6 100-150 75-124 65-99
7 >150 >125 >100

To perform the test, simply execute as many good-form pushups as you can. Don't cut corners and please don't cheat - the last thing you want to do is end up in the wrong level of the training program! The results may be humbling, but trust me, honesty is the best policy if you want to maximize your strength gains!

Once you've collapsed in a sweaty heap on the floor and your arms have stopped trembling from the exertion, make a note (mental or otherwise) of how many, or how few, pushups you were able to perform. As an example, the first time I performed the test, I managed to eek out just 19 consecutive good-form pushups.

Before starting Week 1, I recommend taking a couple of days to familiarize yourself with the program and recover from the exertion of the initial test. You'll be required to work out three times per week - Monday, Wednesday, Friday worked well for me.

Don't forget how many pushups you performed in the test and if you're still keen to improve your strength and fitness, read on to learn more about the program.

Share your initial test results

If you're concerned about your Rank in the extreme left column; there's really no need. The scale of 1 to 7 is purely an indicator of current fitness, and can be used as a comparison tool between yourself, friends, family & co-workers.

Most people tend to fall into Rank 2 or 3 which is a great starting point for the plan. If you're ranked 1, you may need to consider one of the alternative pushups on the What is a Pushup? page. If you're ranked 6 or 7, maybe you need a tougher plan?!