Is there a difference in doing 10 pushups per day for a year and doing 3650 pushups in a day?

I guess the muscle is being stimulated the same, no mather when.

Also the 10 pushups from 1 year ago might be negligible.

  • 18
    I'd answer this by asking, what is the difference between eating a hamburger a day for a year, and eating three hundred hamburgers in a day? Answer: in the second case you explode.
    – Chris
    Commented Feb 2, 2020 at 22:43
  • 3
    I think you could test this as easily as ask us.
    – Strawberry
    Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 10:26
  • 5
    @Strawberry - I disagree. Much better to ask before going on a one-year project destined for little to no reward, or a one-day project destined for pain and suffering.
    – Alec
    Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 10:29
  • 1
    @Alec, i very much doubt that it would take much more than an hour for the OP to reach the inevitable conclusion, so perhaps we can agree to disagree.
    – Strawberry
    Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 11:26
  • 1
    Mandatory video Commented Feb 3, 2020 at 18:37

1 Answer 1


Yes, the difference would be quite substantial.

When we're in school, there's a reason we learn a little bit of math every day, rather than have fifty teachers go through ALL the math for us in one day. We need time to process lessons learned before we go on to the next level.

Our bodies also need time to process physical exercise. During a session of lifting weights (or in this case, lifting our bodies), our muscle fibres break down, and we exhaust our nervous system. We then give our bodies rest and nutrition, and our bodies repair the muscle fibres, and even go so far as to make more of them, stronger than before.

If you do 10 pushups a day, your body will have more than enough time to recover before the next 10 pushups the following day. You'll find that week after week, doing 10 pushups becomes easier and easier, and even trivial. All because your body is getting used to the movement.

Doing 3650 pushups in one day has a few breaking points.

For one, you will not have time to repair the muscle damage, and you will get progressively weaker. Every repetition will be harder than the previous, and it's doubtful that anyone would even be able to complete this challenge.

Secondly, your joints. Your poor, poor joints! Even if you have the muscular strength to go through with the challenge, your elbows and shoulders will cause enough pain you make you stop. Your tendons will swell up. The sac of fluid that keeps your joints lubricated (bursa) through all this motion will dry up. These are things that we try to avoid at all costs. Not only is all this extremely painful, but getting rid of it isn't trivial either.

I believe your scenario is very hypothetical, and at the end of the day, we should keep it hypothetical. Exercise is sadly almost useless if done in one big burst with months in between. That goes for pushups too.

There's a point to be made about the futility (and potential damage) of a pushup-only workout as well, but as that is outside the scope of this question (and probably has been pointed out on this site before), I won't go into it here.

EDIT: Let's do some math

3650 pushups in a day. Let's assume you're awake for 16 hours. I, at least, would not want to be awake for 24 hours, much less have to do pushups all day for 24 hours.

16 hours can be broken up into 96 ten-minute intervals. If you do 38 pushups every 10 minutes, you would arrive at 3648 pushups after 16 hours.

I don't know about you, but even as an avid gym-goer, I'd have to take the L on that one in advance. Hard pass.


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