Runtastic Success Story: “My Goal: 1 Million Push-Ups”

My name is Roman and some of you might know me as #1 in the Runtastic Push-Ups Overall LeaderBoard. This is the story of the biggest sports challenge of my life!

Everything started in December, 2012, with my brother, who knew about my old passion for push-ups. He recommended I try the Runtastic Push-Ups app for iPhone. Many years ago, while working in Bahrain, I stayed fit with push-ups and developed the ability to complete 160 repetitions in 60 seconds.

However, until my brother reminded me (shortly after my 54th birthday), push-ups were not a top priority for me anymore. Due to health-related setbacks, like suffering from arthritis in my right ankle after a car accident in Iraq in 1983, I wasn’t able to go running anymore. Instead, I focused on strength endurance and went to the gym to stay fit.

My weight went from 161 to 192 lbs. But, by 2012, I was back down to 176 lbs and now, after almost 730,000 push-ups, my weight has leveled off at around 168 lbs.


Thanks to the Runtastic Push-Ups app, I am able to train my strength endurance effectively while having lots of fun. I found my favorite sport relatively late in life, but I did find it!

In the beginning, I was mainly curious how the app worked. My first goal was to complete 100 push-ups in one set. Then, I wanted more! As soon as I discovered the leaderboard in January 2013, I wanted to become number one. I contacted Thomas Hasenpflug, the number one at the time, and we continuously pushed each other to an ever increasing performance, including training sessions in the middle of the night. We would have never imagined that we would be able to do 2,000 push-ups in one training session!

On April 10, 2013 – much earlier than expected – I took over the lead and replaced Thomas, a fair sportsman, as the #1 in the leaderboard.

The daily training sessions positively affected my arthritis, too. They relieved the pain when walking, and I was able to do without a planned surgery for my ankle. Plus, I achieved a perfectly toned and defined upper body thanks to my daily, high-intensity workouts – without having set foot in a gym since February 2013.

Now, you might be wondering, what are the circumstances required to deliver this daily performance on an ongoing basis? The most important factors are challenge and fun. And this only works when being true to yourself and constantly challenging other, sincere friends within the Runtastic community. I’d rather do one push-up less than cheating. At this point, I really want to thank all my competitors and followers for your great motivation and encouraging comments!

Of course, my diet had to accompany my training and my training had to follow a plan. Android, iPad and iPhone, gloves; sweat towels and a heart rate monitor; drinks and fast acting carbs have become my habitual “workout partners.”

I know, I push my physical limits day after day. I constantly explore how far I can go while focusing on a protein and carbohydrate-rich, high-quality diet. Why? Because I don’t want to allow myself to rest.

I define new goals on a daily basis. A minimum goal, a desired goal and a really ambitious goal. My big goal for this year is to crush the one million mark. This means 1,600 push-ups a day, corresponding to approx. one hour of push-ups each day. Not that much, hm?!

I’ve had one thought spinning around my head right from the start: How to comprehensibly document my achievements for the Runtastic community? The web is a rather anonymous place and it’s easy to cheat with an app. Then I discovered heart rate monitoring with the Runtastic app. Now I always track both my sessions and my heart rate for better analysis. I can easily determine both tough and great days, and I’ve improved my accountability as a result! Plus, I started uploading pictures to my profile on, showing both sweat & calluses and relaxing moments while hiking in the mountains, for example.

I hope my personal Runtastic success story, which was driven by curiosity and will, continues for a long time and motivates you to believe in yourself!

And for all of the 40+ guys out there… Yes, it’s still possible to achieve the best body of your life with the Runtastic apps! I’m living proof!



Runtastic Team Are you looking to lose some weight, get more active or improve your sleep? The Runtastic Team gives you useful tips and inspiration to reach your personal goals. View all posts by Runtastic Team »

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