What 100 Crunches a Day Did for Me
Today, we have a guest who was nice enough to share his story with us. Read his personal story down below
Hey guys, my name is Kurt Diable, and I am very happy to share my story today here on FitLifeFanatics.
So here’s the thing, I’ve been reading in forums and from a few other places about how a bunch of people are getting insane results from doing 100 crunches a day.
Some people were doing this for 2 months and some were doing it for three months.
These people that were doing 100 crunches a day for 2 and 3 months were saying that the result that they were getting were better than they had ever gotten before.
So I said “eff it” if they can do it, and are getting these crazy awesome results, why the heck can’t I do it too?
So I did it. I did 100 crunches a day for 3 freaking months, and this is how my story went. And ey.. if you are still wondering if you should it too, you most definitely should. Like, do not even think about it, just do it, and force yourself to stick with it.
For me, it was beyond worth it in the end.
The good news for me, is that my friend jumped in on this challenge with me so I had someone to help me stick with it, which was a big help.
The picture above is my friend who did the challenge with me, as you can see he got insane results as well.
All the more reason you need to jump on this challenge as well.
First, just so we are on the same page
What Are Crunches? Can you do 100 a day?
Before I get started, it’d probably be relevant to get down the differences between crunches and sit-ups. Crunches are where you lay on the floor with your back flush to the ground, knees bent, and feet flat on the ground as well.
With your hands behind your head, you begin a sit-up, but pause before your lower back ever leaves the ground, but to a point where your scapula are fully lifted from the floor.
The water crunches are a bit different though due to the bouyancy, but still, virtually the same thing really.
Through this, you’ll be able to isolate your abs and get a serious burn (this is how you sculpt abs and build core strength) while also getting a lot more reps in just through the shorter range of motion alone.
Can you do 100 a day?
Yeah, 100 a day, you must wondering if you will even be able to do this. And i’ll be the first to tell you that you will not, at least in the beginning.
Depending on how many crunches you do a day already or even if you do none then you may have some rolls or extra fat hanging around on your belly area.
If this is the case then, in the beginning, doing 100 a day is going to be a challenge.
But do not get discouraged, keep going at it, do as many as you can do, and about 5-7 days in, you should be able to do 100 a day by separating them out into sets like what I did.
100 Crunches a Day – My First 2 Weeks
The first few weeks were by far the hardest.
Habits are thought to be formed after 2-3 weeks of dedicated practice, and staying consistent every day was by far the hardest part of the challenge. But more specifically, just remembering and having the willpower to do them every day was the hard part.
I experienced the same thing when I set out to do 100 push-ups, 100 situps, and 100 squats, but the good thing is that your muscles adapt to the abuse.
So much so, that I ended up becoming strong enough to take on the 500 push-ups a day challenge, and then bumped it up even further to 1000 push-ups a day.
The same thing happened during this challenge.
Almost immediately, I noticed my strength improving.
The number of crunches I could handle in one set increased dramatically in the first few weeks, where I could handle 15 in a row before I would stop for a small break, the number slowly rose…
After a few days 20.
30 came faster than expected around the second week’s end.
Keep in mind that I wasn’t training till failure, I went in with a strategy: do sets of crunches that I could handle without getting tired, but would still be a challenge, and slowly work my way towards larger and larger sets, never deviating from the perceived difficulty level.
As far as my appearance, I really didn’t notice anything in these first few weeks. I already had something of a background in core training, so it wasn’t like muscles appeared out of nowhere all of a sudden (even if I was a newbie that still wouldn’t be the case).
The only noticeable change was my strength in the movement.
100 Crunches a Day – The First Month In
The first month in is when the novelty wore off, and the challenge became more of a chore. I started scheduling my daily crunches so that I wouldn’t forget them.
As I became accustomed to the routine, ever so slowly, my strength continued to skyrocket (after getting used to the fatigue of daily training).
Soon I was doing almost half my daily amount of crunches in one set with no problem, and I could feel 100 within my grasp if I really pushed for it, but I continued how I had been before.
Having never done crunches all that often, it surprised me how bad I was at them (compared to my expectations)! In one minute, I was only able to do around 45 or so. And after each daily set, as I split them up, I would sometimes feel the odd muscle spasms in my abs as my body got used to the new exercise.
My abs did begin to pop ever so slightly more so than before, under the right lighting the separations were becoming more clear. Something I had noticed from my L-sit progress months before when I hammered those hard was the development in my total stomach area.
This contrasted heavily to the crunches.
Because crunches are a pure isolation movement for the rectus abdominis, there is very little emphasis on the obliques, or other core muscle groups, making for a slightly less obvious transformation.
However, the changes were becoming clearer as time continued, and I was excited for the next months, and how I might progress.
100 Crunches a Day – Two Months In
The first thing of note in my progress was the total ease of the challenge at this point, crunches became second nature, and doing them before bed and in the morning was something I could bang out without thought, and the results were showing.
Furthermore, crunches became so easy that I was now well beyond 50 in a set without too much exhaustion.
Early on in the month, I tried getting 100 crunches in one set, and to be honest, it was quite lackluster, the movement had become too easy that the unapproachable 100 caved in one set much more easily than I expected.
I had to find a way to spice things up.
Knowing myself, I would become bored rather quickly and want to quit if this just became a boring slog through mandatory, easy exercises for another month and a half. So, I added a little stipulation and forced myself to do the 100 crunches in an ever-shrinking window of time.
First, I’d try to get them all done in 3 minutes, just to go easy on myself initially. Then I slowly shrunk it as I saw fit down towards 2 minutes.
Then I even added in doing a few sit ups a day (about 15).
Physically, I saw some improvement but the change was not nearly as drastic as from the first few weeks towards the end of the month. At this point, it became clear how much more intense my exercise regimen would have to become for me to see more changes.
100 Crunches a Day – Three Months In
After months of doing this challenge, I was now at the point of doing all 100 crunches in a row in a little over one minute’s time.
At this point, in all honesty, I missed a few days of crunches as the challenge became more of a chore.
I was strong enough and good enough at crunches now to do many without feeling tired at all. And while there was some crossover into other exercises like L-sits, and other activities like bouldering, crunches are very much an isolation exercise, so there wasn’t a ton of carryover.
Concerning my physique, at the end of everything, I am certain my stomach was not just tighter and carried a little less fat, but my abs were more pronounced. Where before it would take decent lighting to show off any signs of residual abs, now, I pretty much had them 24/7, it’s like I was more pumped, and more vascular all the time without trying.
Before I could probably get this look but I would have to drink the night before, dry myself out by not drinking water, and then do a few sets of sit-ups, then hold my breath and flex as hard as I could…
Now my abs just pop.
It’s not like I have a 10 pack set of abs, but now they look flexed all the time. They are super tight.
I am extremely happy with where my abs are today and to this day I am still doing about 50 crunches a day.
Mind you I did this challenge quite some time ago and I am still doing 50 a day, says a lot about how effective this 100 crunches-a-day challenge was for me.
How many calories will you burn doing 100 crunches a day?
The sad news is, 100 crunches a day is not going to burn all that many calories. Depending on your weight, intensity, and general activity level, the calories burned are going to vary.
What seems unanimous, however, is that you will burn between 15 and 40ish calories by doing 100 crunches.
If you are just looking to burn fat, HIIT training or plain cardio would likely work better than this (or, crazy idea, do both). If you have a home gym setup, then having a weight loss cardio machine like a budget rowing machine, treadmill or exercise bike should help speed things up as far as your weight loss, but not too much to cause loose skin.
Will Doing 100 Crunches a Day Give You Abs as It Did for Me?
Everyone’s a little bit different, so we can’t all expect to get the same results from any exercise, let alone an exercise challenge like this.
I have been training consistently for years, and already have a bit of a background in bodyweight exercises, albeit not so much with crunches, but with L-Sits, wall angels, Australian pull-ups, and planks – some of the plank’s variations like the star plank are quite effective.
So, you might get more bang for your buck if you have less training experience than me, going from 0-100, no pun intended.
Along the way, here was the biggest takeaway I got from everything – exercise can certainly help achieve great muscle growth, but abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym!
The main way this habit has helped me was that it increased the number of calories burned every day, which in turn made it easier to stay in a caloric deficit and burn fat.
Abs are not like most other muscle groups, you can’t just exercise them and expect them to grow significantly, the best you can do is cut the fat that is hiding them. Of course, exercising them certainly helps, but it’s much less efficient than eating a few hundred fewer calories every day.
However, all this being said, I did notice some growth and change during my time doing 100 crunches a day for three months, but it was mainly concerning my strength, as I mentioned throughout the article.
You can also try other exercises alongside regular crunches and see what works for you, I would add cable crunches, double crunches, and standing oblique crunches to the mix.
Doing 100 crunches in a row became no problem, I think this is a great takeaway because more strength = more intense exercises = more calories burned and more muscle gained.
Doing a ton of crunches lays the path for harder exercises like plank variations, Russian twists, L-sits, leg raises, and decline sit-ups or even doing more reps of crunches like 200, 300, or even 500 crunches.
All those can then lead to more intense workouts!
100 Crunches a Day vs 100 Sit-Ups a Day? Which Should You Do?
As you know by now (hopefully), sit-ups and crunches are quite different exercises. Where the sit-up has you off your back entirely, bringing your chest to your knees, the crunch has you barely moving off the floor.
Because of the apparent differences, sit-ups are significantly more difficult, and what I would consider to be less effective as an isolation movement because of the range of motion overkill.
All this being said, if you are a beginner, or otherwise unsure about this challenge and your core fitness, stick with the crunches. If you want something more of a challenge, go with the sit-ups for sure.
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I started doing 100 crunches again. Sometimes I miss a day but I am going back to trying to make this a regular exercise. It has been some time since I have belonged to a gym, so my exercise consists of crunches, occasional push ups, pull-ups on my bar hanging in the door frame, and walking. I’m not expecting huge results, but I have noticed improvements in strength.