Guys love taking on fitness challenges with strict number goals. YouTuber MattDoesFitness recently challenged himself to do 100 pushups every day for a month, an undertaking that soon became as dull as it was grueling and time-consuming. Nick Bare, meanwhile, has been doing his “daily hundred” for years—a whole decade’s worth of them. And then there’s Ryan Sadilek from the Minus the Gym channel, who decided to take things even further by adding another exercise, completing 100 pushups and 100 pullups, seven days a week, for a whole month.
To get through all that volume, Ryan used a variation of a basic ladder technique that focused on recovering between reps. He would perform one rep, rest for one deep breath, then perform two reps and rest for two deep breaths, and so on, all the way up until he’d done 10 reps followed by 10 deep breaths. After that, he’d decrease the number of reps and the length of rest as he descended (climbing back down the “ladder”) until he reached one again.
And in order to make his daily workout as efficient as possible, he turned these ladders into supersets. He would complete one pullup, immediately followed by a pushup, followed by one deep breath, then two pullups, two pushups, and two deep breaths. You can probably see where this is going: Ryan increased the number of reps each time until he got to 10 pullups and pushups. Then, by the time he’d climbed back down the ladder all the way to 1 pullup and 1 pushup, he had completed 100 reps of each move, hitting his target of 100 pushups and 100 pullups.
“It’s really not that bad once you get down the ladder supersets and you work on your endurance,” he says. “You try to race the clock and see if you can do it faster than yesterday—you actually make a lot of progress pretty fast.” By the end of the month, Ryan was knocking out his 200 reps in under 20 minutes.
He recommends this method for people who are trying to get their reps up in order to build their strength and endurance, but adds that it’s less ideal for people who want to build muscle. Ryan also notes that early on in the challenge, after working his way up to 10 reps of pullups, his range of motion would suffer—a sign that he should have taken a longer rest period.
“Remember your rests get longer as the numbers get higher,” he adds. “Go ahead and take as long a rest as you need so that you can get all of the reps in.”
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