🥇 Community Challenge: The 40 Push-Ups Test

Will get it tomorrow morning was working today

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No, I enjoy T-Nation for its scientific approach and wanted to respond to this particular article, as well as others, but it’s interesting all the angst my reply has generated. What I read indicated that for the pushups to qualify for the actuarial, the subject’s chest had to touch the ground, or perhaps something an inch off the ground. Because I read a lot of medical science, and I find these kinds of mortality tests somewhat bogus because they don’t take into account all kinds of confounding factors, I was curious as to whether the pushups this gentleman did would be non-qualifying as to life extension, according to the prognosticators. Apparently I triggered a lot of very defensive people. BTW, I’m north of 60 and I can easily do 40 chest to floor pushups without stopping in less than one minute. It should not be a challenge to anyone does a medium intense upper body workout 3 times per week. That’s another reason I think it’s a bogus measure that’s probably more click bait than a true mortality indicator.

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I’m 66 and 1/2 and will show my work tomorrow. Total agreement


I’m not sure about this. I think there’s quite a few folks who train upper body in traditional hypertrophy rep ranges who would struggle to complete 40 chest to floor pushups without stopping. Especially without some weeks training for this particular goal. When I was powerlifting there’s no way I could have done this despite being able to bench north of 400 raw.


please don’t bring your honesty here. This is only a place for record holders and those that can do hundreds of push ups. :wink:


Sweet. I’m really stoked to grab a Tshirt!
I guess i shouldn’t have posted up so quickly, would have given a dozen or so others a chance to go. The timing just happened to be perfect when i stumbled across @Chris_Shugart 's post.

I think the actuarial intent is met with any arbitrary challenge that cuts out the unfit bottom half or third or whatever, be it running a mile in 10 minutes, 50 unbroken 6c burpees, 40 pushups in a set, or whatever. Perfect form, the exact number, angles and whatnot aren’t critical to the intent, i think.


I’m not sure a Harvard study published in JAMA is really going for clickbait.


Fair enough. I overlooked the fail part but I was not taking issue with the guy for his effort, nor his being the first to post. I was taking issue with the validity of the test. It seems to have been taken not how I intended. I’m no stranger to what some call “failure,” which Einstein defined as “only when you stop trying.” I think “not succeeding at the most recent attempt” is a better definition that induces one to re-examine the effort and work towards accomplishing the goal one set out to do.

Chris: Agreed. That’s what I was getting at in my post. I think these “tests” are a fool’s errand and may do more harm than good. They give people a false sense of security, which often leads to complacency.

I have no doubt! Looking forward to it.

Thanks for this reply, Burt. I’m really surprised at your observation about your own inability to do 40 chest to floor pushups but I’m surmising it was more about range of motion and flexibility than strength or power. You obviously were, and likely still are, way stronger than I ever was or will be and I have to think that even if you couldn’t pass this “pushup mortality test” (LOL) my bet is you will outlive the people who came up with that half-baked notion. I’m glad I stimulated this conversation as I’m learning a lot which, more than any pushup ever could, keeps a brain, and thus a body, young.

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We are stilling waiting on your video.


Just for some context on the culture here- A whole bunch of us like to do challenges like these for fun and sense of community.

Nobody here would ever mistake something like this as a diagnostic tool or health prognostication.


Thank you!

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Well stated.


Well i attempted to down load the.video but the file is too big. Trying to reduce the size not sure how to reduce it bit trying

Had I tried I would have failed for lack of muscular endurance and probably simply getting gassed. I had the range of motion and flexibility to do chest to floor pushups but not the stamina. Even now at a much lower bodyweight and in much better cardiovascular shape I think I’d find this challenging. Doable, but challenging. Perhaps I’ll try at the end of today’s workout.

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You can upload it as an unlisted video to YouTube. This should also work:

I use push up bars. Is that cheating Chris ?

I don’t think so. Some bars do change your body angle a bit and take a smidge of weight off since you’re inclined, but they also allow you to go deeper. Neutral grip feels better too for many. I’d count it for this type of test.