Tip: The SEAL Push-Up Challenge

This is easy... you'll think. Then you'll try it.

Since doing push-ups to infinity can get monotonous, it's always nice to add a bit of variety. This is where this challenge comes in.

The Challenge

  1. Begin by performing one push-up, followed by one kneeling (no weight) vertical shoulder press.
  2. Next do two push-ups, followed by two kneeling vertical shoulder presses.
  3. Now do three push-ups followed by three kneeling vertical shoulder presses. You get the idea.
  4. The goal is to complete as many rounds as you can as you progressively add a push-up and shoulder press each round. By the time you've reached 10 reps, you'll have performed 55 push-ups and 55 vertical shoulder presses.
  5. You should continue like this until your arms give out, or you cry uncle and call it quits.

Don't use any weight for the shoulder press. The goal here is to complete as many reps as possible, and adding weight will fatigue you faster which makes it far less grueling than actually performing the press using just your arms as weight.

Why It's So Difficult

Any challenge that encourages you to do as many reps as possible of a certain exercise is obviously going to be difficult. The kicker with this exercise, however, is you get a short break between the push-ups and the arm raises which allows you to recover just enough to perform your next round.

This makes you question whether or not you can do another set – which adds a mental toughness component to an already incredibly difficult physical challenge.

TJ Kuster is a certified athletic trainer (ATC) and certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), specializing in mobility and injury prevention. He coaches at Method Sports Performance in Bloomington, IL.