GREAT Old Post from Dr. Darden's X-Force (?) Board from 1999

Love this post! Have kept this around since reading it years ago because it is so valuable – KISS/Occam at its best:

"I have been doing push-ups for years with good results especially when I apply the principles of training in a slow, controlled manner to failure as you have long espoused. In fact, for several years I have made push-ups the core of my upper body workout. I do nothing else for my pecs, triceps, and deltoids. Of course, this does not give me the body to be able to enter bodybuilding contests, but I have no desire to and at age 43 it enables me to keep a respectable physique that can still turn the heads of the ladies at the beach.

My normal push-up routine consists of doing 2 sets of 15-20 push-ups 3 times a week at the pace of 4 seconds up, 4 seconds down as you instruct in “Living Longer Stronger.” I usually reach failure by the end of the second set. Sometimes I do the push-ups in the standard Super Slow protocol of 5 seconds down, 10 seconds up. This causes me to reach failure within one set. I have also experimented with going real, real slow such as 30 seconds down, 30 seconds up in order to make the push-ups even tougher. My favorite push-up workout consists of doing three-point push-ups at a 10 seconds up, 10 seconds down pace. I bet that just one set of 10 of these would be a challenging workout for even
the most dedicated weight trainee.

What I like the most about push-ups is that they are the ultimate cost effective workout and I can do them anytime, anyplace. It also makes me feel good that it connects me to the past, to a time long before there were such things as barbells or Nautilus machines and if a man wanted to develop his upper body he had to use the only resistance available ? his own body weight. I once read that Ceasar’s soldiers trained with push-ups. Push-ups are the ultimate retro workout. I wish you would encourage more people to take them seriously."

Wish this individual had continued to post as I’d love to see his current status.

Have a friend who adopted a SS bodyweight program and a tight diet 15 or 20 years ago and has stayed injury free and lean. Looks incredible, athletic and lives the outdoors life…hikes, bike rides, etc…at 63.


For completeness, there’s also 30-30-30 style: 30 seconds down, 30 seconds up, 30 seconds down. Sounds easy 'til you try it. Doing a workout of 30-30-30 is a good way to keep 30-10-30 “fresh.”

Yes, I agree.

Could weighted push ups replace the bench press?

I use still rings and do ring pushups with them…they don’t hurt my shoulders like barbell bench presses do

I would say, yes in a way. It’s a similar movement pattern and it can be overloaded, but it’s not quite as efficient for growth as the Bench, so to get a similar amount out of it you’ll need to do a lot more reps. I wouldn’t treat it’s set and rep scheme anywhere near how I program for Bench Press.

Or dips.