The Wellness Warriors’ Push-Up Challenge


The University of Waterloo is taking part in the Push-Up Challenge presented by the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). Participants are challenging themselves to do as many push-ups as possible between Feb. 1 to Feb. 23 to raise awareness for mental illness in Canada. 

Courtesy Josiah Plett

Josiah Plett, a third year computer science student and the captain of the Wellness Warriors, said that the goal of the challenge is to raise awareness for mental health, and that the money is secondary. Any funds raised will go towards mental health initiatives in Kitchener and Waterloo. “The goal of the fundraiser is to make people aware that mental health is something that we care about even though we might seem like silly gym bros who otherwise don’t fit the script,” he said.

Plett explained how, on Oct. 25, he started at the Plus One Push-Up Challenge where each additional day in the challenge required an additional number of push-ups that day. He did this with seven friends and on day 40, he found out about the Push-Up Challenge program by CMHA. By pure coincidence, day 100 for him and his friends was the first day of the one hundred day Push-Up Challenge program by CMHA. “I care a lot about this challenge and the coincidence showed how it was made in the stars,” he said. 

When asked about the progress of the fundraiser, Plett said he was surprised and happy about the amount that has been raised. Plett shared his significant progress doing push-ups, explaining how at the start he could do three in a row, and now, he can do 40. Plett said that “the students at Waterloo participating in the challenge have done a great job with spreading the message of mental health awareness by doing push-ups before class.” 

Plett recently made a pledge on Reddit to do one push-up for every dollar donated after the challenge ends, clarifying that the two thousand push-ups he did for CMHA’s Push-Up Challenge weren’t included in the pledge. The Wellness Warriors have raised $1,800 so far and after the challenge Plett will be doing 1,800 more push-ups.

This story has been updated to include Plett’s year and program.