Doing a single set of push-ups to failure doesn’t sound like a lot. That’s a few minutes of work, and while you’ll be feeling the burn by the end, it’s not particularly strenuous or challenging. But what if you did that set every day? Every day for a year?
In a new video, YouTuber Troy Adashun makes his case for an experiment he did when he was 17 years old. Doing a daily set of push-ups to failure for a year can have a lot of benefits, he argues. Of course, even doing just one set over a long span of time, you’re likely to see some physical gains—Adashun shows himself hitting 51 push-ups before having to quit, but focusing on doing a single set a day had him topping 100.
More than the physical benefits, though, Adashun emphasizes some of the less tangible effects of committing to a single exercise every day. First, he says, it’s an easy way to start building structure into your workouts. You just have one thing to do every day; a single box that needs to be checked off to feel accomplished. That can help support the rest of your regimen, if you build around it.
Similarly, pushing yourself to failure is a great way to build mental focus—and underscore just how much you can do before exhausting yourself. Even for seasoned exercisers, it can be a great reminder to dig for those last few reps.
Of course, you don’t need to commit to a full year to reap these benefits. Adashun recommends starting with a month-long commitment. After all, big gains are often built from modest foundations.
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