T Nation

How Much Weight Does a Push-Up Push?


I am wondering what percentage of my body weight I actually am "lifting" when I do a push up.

The reason I ask is because I don't have a bench so I can't do bench presses, so I load plates into a backpack and do push ups. It would be more fun if I actually knew what the total I'm pushing is. I'm sure it's dependent on good form or bad, the percentage could change a bit, but I don't even have a general idea.


I’ve heard everything from 30% to 70% of your bodyweight. But try testing it on your scale. Weigh yourself, then put both hands on the scale from your pushup position, and check it out. You may even see it change as you hit the bottom position, depending on the way you distribute your weight during the entire movement.


Oh… well, now that you mention it, that seems like a “duh” sort of solution. I don’t have a scale but next time I go to a friend’s I’ll check it out. Thanks.


Don’t forget to take a chair to the scale. You will push more weight with your legs/feet elevated. I think it would be interesting to note the difference.


I just tried this. I am 5’10 160, and the scale read 110 in the up position, 120 in the down position. So thats up to 75% for me.


120 at 200.