Albury Osteopath Cameron Bayliss reflects on his recently completed ‘Push Up Challenge’.
‘The push up challenge’ for 2019 is all done and dusted!
It was a great challenge to take part in and it was great to do with a bunch of good mates. I thought I’d now share my reflection on the event with you all.
Firstly, we’ll go straight to the numbers, the whole challenge ended up raising in excess of $2.4 million dollars! With your help and support I was able to contribute over $500 to headspace.
This money has gone to the charity ‘Headspace’, the money will be used to help fund facilities and staff to provide extra help to those struggling. Suicide was the leading cause of death of people aged between 15-44 last year and isn’t being talked about, people often don’t know that there is help available, or they don’t know where to go. The money can help make this help more readily available for people all over the country, including remote areas. Although the money raised was amazing, I’m hoping that the word spread, that people become aware of the struggles people are having, and hopefully asked someone how they’re doing or if they need help. Just remember the 3,128 push -ups wasn’t a random number. It was the number of Australians that committed suicide last year.
There have been a few frequently asked questions I’ve been asked that I thought I could summarise for you quickly here.
How hard was it?
This answer changed depending on when I was asked, the first day was easy! Lots of small sets of push-ups spread throughout the day. Days 2,3 and 4 was extremely difficult. I knew I was going to be sore, but I was sore in places I didn’t think I’d ever be sore from push-ups. After this my body recovered and became used to the load and the day 7 rest couldn’t have come at a better time. Week 2 was surprisingly easy, I got myself into a rhythm and routine, as well as knowing the right stretches and exercises to help my body recuperate for the next day. Week 3 then got progressively harder, maybe because the push-up targets were getting higher or maybe my body was drained of energy from the last 2 weeks.
Are you happy to be done?
A tough one to answer, because sure it was difficult, and I was glad to take two days off, but I think I enjoyed being made accountable to do some exercise, knowing that people had donated money for me to complete this. There’s no excuses, didn’t matter if I was tired, sore or otherwise I had to achieve my daily goal.
Did you get stronger?
Yes. Not in the sense that I could bench press more weight, but my muscular endurance increased more than I imagined over three weeks, sets of 8 in the gym were easily lifted to 12 and control improved. But what I noticed more than anything was my postural strength and control. I was standing straighter, slumping less, my back wasn’t as sore at the end of the work week.
Should I start doing 150 push-ups every day then?
A very subjective question, and the general answer will be no. Start with a much lower number and really focus on getting your technique and control right. Going too hard too early is setting yourself up to fail – you open yourself up to a potential injury or you’ll get so sore you won’t want to do any tomorrow or the next day then you’ll have lost all motivation and an ego hit. In summary – start with low amounts and increase no more than 10% at a time, and perhaps most importantly – HAVE REST DAYS. Your recovery is super important in building strength and endurance.
In summary I think it was a fantastic experience to be a part of. I’d love to do it all over again next year but with a few changes. I want to keep doing some push-ups every day to maintain the strength and control I’ve earnt and hopefully next year will be much easier!
Again, thank you for every aspect of support from you all, if you want any more information or advice on starting up and exercise routine don’t hesitate to ask, I’ll be happy to give you some advice along the way!