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Motivating Push-ups

W.O.W. #6 February 16, 2021

We’ll get to this week’s Work Out in just a minute or so. First let’s talk about what motivates us to work out? what pushes to the gym or the class or just to put n our running shoes and go get at it?! It’s all kinds of things, different for everyone and what works for you may not work for him, or her, maybe no one else. And that’s OK. But here’s a motivator that can really change things up.

Join a charity challenge! Heartline fitness pros did recently, and I’ll tell you about it below. You hear of challenges all the time – the ice bucket challenge, in 2014,  was among the first to go mainstream and viral. And it not only raised a lot of money for ALS, it spread the word about both the disease and the need for money for research, education and support.

Google a cause you’re involved in or want to be. Ask around, see if a friend or family member support a cause you can get behind. If you can’t find just the right cause or organization to support in a challenge – start your own! Anything like a charity challenge is started by someone, right? If that would motivate you even more, go for it!

So, back in October 2020, the #22pushupchallenge came to Heartline through Matt Silver, a top fitness expert with a ton of experience in the industry but also a former personal trainer, membership-gym manger, and other hands-on fitness gigs. He currently is our Northeast Territory Sales Manager. First, the challenge is for a great cause –

The #22pushupchallenge was started to help honor and raise awareness of the tragic fact that 22 US veterans commit suicide every day.

How it works: You do 22 push-ups every day for 22 days. You record and share your performance on the social media platform of your choice. Though you’ll want to choose the one where you have the most connections because of the next part.

Next, you challenge someone to do the same. You literally call them out in your post. You spell out how the challenge works and ask them to do as you did; 22 push-up every day for 22 days. Post the proof* and challenge someone they know. 

How the challenge – and the word of the cause – spreads. You challenge a new person every time you post. There are no “official” hard and fast rules (that we could find anyway). You’re not really required to video tape and post all 22 days; but on the days you do, you get to continue spreading the challenge and helping the charity by handing it off to someone new to perform the challenges and share it again. And again.

Here’s the  #22pushupchallenge in action:

Matt shared it on his LinkedIn profile and started challenging other Heartline pros, partners and connections.

Click here to see video of him performing his first 22 push-ups. Search LinkedIn to see other Heartline reps’ videos as they take up the challenge too. Here’s another good one!

Here’s how Matt explained the challenge; these very same instructions were passed on over and over.

Today I nominate Jeff Shipman to join the challenge.

The rules:

  • Your push-ups don’t have to be perfect, speedy or even pretty, there just need to be 22.
  • Once you are nominated your 22-day challenge starts the following day.
  • Every day you record yourself doing 22 push-ups. Try your best to reach 22; come on you can do it! If that means doing assisted (from your knees) push-ups or that you need to stop and take a break, that’s all okay. But get them all done in one video.*
  • Every day you get to nominate a different person. Nominate people you think will join in and get it done.

And, finally, have some fun with it. This is a simple and fun way to get the word out about a matter that more people need to be aware of. These brave men and women put their lives on the line to protect our freedom and it’s sad that so many veterans feel that suicide is the only option.
**** Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255 ****

If you can’t do the challenge you can donate to support. Check out the Houses for Warriors website. This is a small way to raise awareness for a serious issue plaguing our country’s servicemen and women. #suicideprevention #veterans #mentalhealth

So, how much did word of the challenge spread from this post. Pretty impressive. A quick search of LinkedIn brought 41 pages of posts with the challenge – that’s approximately 820 mentions. Bravo Matt. Well done.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: A Men’s Journal magazine article has a lot more background on the charity – including the celebrities who have stepped up to participate and spread the word. But there’s also a ton of pro advice on working push-ups into a work out routine – whether for a newbie or an elite athlete. Push-ups really are a ubiquitous element of the basic principals of exercise and fitness. Here’s a quick preview of the article: “Shake up the 22 days of pushups with these 15 pushup variations.”

[Editor’s note: We recently learned that the actual origin of the #22pushupchallenge is a bit fuzzy; there are several veterans and veteran’s organizations that could lay claim to it, so, really, any certified veterans’ charitable organization would be more than happy to accept a donation in the name of the challenge.]


*The exercises and progressions presented in this feature are intended for educational purposes. Always consult your healthcare practitioner before participating in exercises or activities that are contraindicated or more advanced than you are accustomed to. Discontinue exercise if you experience chest pain or discomfort, shortness of breath, dizziness, or unusual pain or fatigue.