Nick Bare documents his training progress and offers insights into the rigorous fitness challenges of Army life via his YouTube channel. In a video posted earlier this year, Bare explained how a ritual he adopted at the age of 18 has helped him develop the necessary discipline and drive to pursue his goals over the next decade. His secret: doing 100 pushups every single day.
“The reason I started doing them is because when I was growing up I would watch my dad, and he would do 100 pushups in the morning, in the kitchen. While we were all eating breakfast he’d just be on the kitchen floor knocking out 100 pushups shirtless,” he says. “Like, that was his thing he would do every morning, and he would still work out every single day. So I started doing that… He built this into his routine and it was a ritual for him.”
Bare adopted that same routine when he was in high school, and stuck to it all through college, which stood him in good stead when he joined the ROTC program and later the military, as the US Army Physical Fitness Test requires an individual to complete at least 39 pushups in a two minute period.
“It was my entry into my love and passion for fitness,” he says. “Obviously there have been days where I’ve missed… There have been days where I’ve been sick, tired, traveling, gone, just didn’t feel like it.” However, for the most part, he says he stuck to his daily routine. Cultivating this ritual in his own life helped him to build consistency, which led to him then starting to lift weights and challenge himself in different ways. And he believes anybody can benefit from taking on what he calls the “daily hundred.”
“When you start hitting the gym in the beginning you’re going to be sore, tired, fatigued,” he says, recalling how his arms and chest felt tender when he first started. “But after say a week, two weeks, three weeks, everything starts feeling better, your movements start syncing up.”
As for recovery, Bare says your body will adapt relatively quickly to the new stimulus—especially as there is no progression, and a pushup only consists of lifting your body weight. “You’re not overtaxing your central nervous system to a point where you can’t recover daily,” he says, adding that the more advanced his training has become, pushups are more of a supplement than a workout in themselves.
Whatever your body type, Bare recommends asking yourself the following questions to maximize your chances of nailing the daily hundred. “Are you eating enough? Is your nutrition on point? Are you sleeping enough? Are you providing the recovery tools for your body to recover?”
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