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Improving Push-up Rep Max

Hello!

I am an Army ROTC cadet, and it is my goal to be able to achieve a max score on the pushup test on the APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test), and later to be able to do 100 consecutive pushups in 2:00 min. Right now I can do about 65 perfect pushups, but I have been stuck around this range for a while. I need help.

The biggest obstacle I have is that I am also a NCAA Div 1 wrestler for my school, and naturally the vast majority of my physical training is for wrestling. I would like to find a way to improve my pushups while not seriously impacting my recovery for all the wrestling, strength training, etc that I do for wrestling. Hardest thing is to balance pushup improvement with all the heavy upper body pressing we do when we lift.

I was thinking maybe trying to do some type of pushup program right when I wake up in order to limit the impact on training later in the day, but I would love to hear from anyone who has advice or who has been in a similar situation.

Thanks!

I’ve been in the Army Reserve and Army National Guard for about 14 years now, so I will give you my observations. If you don’t want the push-ups to interfere with recovery don’t do sets to failure. Instead stick to multiple sets of a set rep range throughout the day maybe three days a week. Like, just as an example, do a set of 20 every commercial break while watching TV.

Being able to do 100 push ups in two minutes is going to be largely genetics. I’ve known some serious PT studs in my time and can only think of one that could get a 100 reps in push-ups. I’m not saying don’t try to acheive this, but realize you may not quite get there. In my younger days, I did push-ups all the damn time trying to increase my max and I still topped out around 65. Anyway, keep working at it and good luck, cadet.

stewsmith.com

[quote]highlander0 wrote:
Hello!

I am an Army ROTC cadet, and it is my goal to be able to achieve a max score on the pushup test on the APFT (Army Physical Fitness Test), and later to be able to do 100 consecutive pushups in 2:00 min. Right now I can do about 65 perfect pushups, but I have been stuck around this range for a while. I need help.

The biggest obstacle I have is that I am also a NCAA Div 1 wrestler for my school, and naturally the vast majority of my physical training is for wrestling. I would like to find a way to improve my pushups while not seriously impacting my recovery for all the wrestling, strength training, etc that I do for wrestling. Hardest thing is to balance pushup improvement with all the heavy upper body pressing we do when we lift.

I was thinking maybe trying to do some type of pushup program right when I wake up in order to limit the impact on training later in the day, but I would love to hear from anyone who has advice or who has been in a similar situation.

Thanks![/quote]

Sup man I’m on the 4th day of this program: http://www.stewsmith.com/linkpages/pushuppush.htm

It is 10 days total and guys seemed to have had good results on it (adding 20-25 push ups to there max). Any time I search military PT training it seems Stew Smiths name pops up all over different forums so I figure he knows what he is talking about.

I thought it would affect my other lifting but it honestly hasn’t other then the second day I was extremely sore (going for a run got rid of the pain and I got the reps in that day as well). I actually got 13 reps on my 3’s day on 5/3/1 benching which I did not expect at all, and today (the fourth day) I just have the usual everyday after lifting feeling in my muscles.

Anywho send me a pm if you want me to tell ya how I did on it. I’ll probaby forget otherwise haha

Thanks for everyone’s input! Ill definitely start looking at the stew smith material and go from there.

Pushups in the high rep range are really a SKILL. Sorta like running you just have to teach your body to become efficient at doing them. So you have to do them OFTEN to get your body used to them.

  • Be able to hold the pushup position for 2 minutes, practicing planks are good for this. If you can’t even stay in the pushup position for 2 minutes you’re not going to be pressing much like that either.

  • Balance your pushups with a good bit of rowing or reverse flyes. Kroc Rows are your friend, but YTWL’s are your girlfriend. fuck her often, fuck her well. It isn’t necessarily about weight (pushups aren’t a huge portion of your bodyweight) but volume. Balancing with horizontal pulls is vital to your shoulder health. Nick Tumminello has an cool version… http://nicktumminello.com/2009/07/a-new-and-improved-ytwl/

And then follow this to the letter:

Quick Update:

I am four days into Stew Smith’s 14 day “Push up Push” routine.

I will share my results once I have completed the program

Awesome stuff, very happy that you implemented it right away. I’m interested in the progress that you make. Again, be sure to balance your shoulder girdle.

Results and comments on the Pushup Push program the program:

Pushup rep max improvement went from about 65 to 81 solid reps in 2 min. Pretty good for such a short duration program.

Admittedly, with all of the other training I have been doing for wrestling, I think the pushup push routine may have been a little too much volume for me. Even after taking four days off before testing myself, I still felt a bit beat up in the shoulders/chest area.

Overall, worth a try for anyone looking to improve pushups.

As for me, I will now be working specifically on pushup improvement 2-3 times per week depending on training/recovery due to wrestling training.

Just do more pushups , its not rocket science

I used to spend a good amount of time working on push-ups while I was an Army ROTC cadet too. While I could max the AFPT, I never felt like doing a crap load of pushups helped much. I was consistently low 80s.

When I started benching heavy, however, my pushups finally broke 100 reps. I still can’t do 100 consecutive pushups though. You might try hitting the flat bench at a lower rep range with around 80-85% of your 1RM and see what happens.

Interesting update:

Today I took a mandatory diagnostic APFT. Got 97 pushups; graded by an upperclass cadet with a Master Sergeant–former S.F.–nearby watching. As I have suspected, I think the last time I took the APFT I just happened to get an overly strict grader with a chip on his shoulder. The pushups I did today were certainly legit, good form pushups, just not 100% absolutely-nothing-moving-except-your-arms pushups ;).

And yes, I agree that heavy lifting/benching very helpful for increasing pushups. Heavy lifting plus a few all out sets of pushups either at the end of a lift or at some other time to supplement the heavy lifting has seemed to work well lately.

Forgive me for reviving a dead thread. I’m seeking clarification on Stew Smith’s Push-up Push workout.

On Odd Days, am I supposed to be doing my 1 set max x 4 in as few sets as possible in 1 workout, i.e. no more than an hour or so? Or am I supposed to be doing it in as few sets as possible throughout the entire day?

I browsed a few other forums with threads on this workout and there seems to be some debate on this.

contact stew

Odd days do all pushups in one workout

Even days are when you do them throughout the day

Perfect Push-Up Ladders

Perform one strict (perfect form*) push-up. Stand-up. Catch your breath. Then perform two perfect push-ups then stand up, catch you breath. And so on until you perform 5 reps which constitutes one ladder. At this point start back at 1 perfect push-up, stand up, catch your breath and then perform 2 perfect push-ups and so forth up to five reps again.

3 Perfect Push-Up Ladders = 45 total perfect push-ups
5 Perfect Push-Up Ladders = 75 total perfect push-ups
10 Perfect Push-Up Ladders = 150 total perfect push-ups

  • Perfect Form = a slow controlled descent, lightly touching your chest to the floor, pausing for a two-count, then exploding up as fast as you can into full elbow lockout. That is one perfect rep.

These ladders really helped me get my Texas Push-Up Challenge timing under one minute.

Man, I wish they had these forums back when I was an ROTC cadet (1983-1987). They didnt even have internet! But anyway, I was on a similar quest as you, the thing is I was also powerlifting at the same time, and the two activities often contradicted each other. What I would do is reel off as many pushups as I could every other day and try to get one 1 rep more each session. Pretty crude program, but training knowledge back then was lacking or unavailable. I think I managed to max the PU part (85) but never could get a max on situps (I think it was 90-something back then). The body just couldnt move fast enough to get 90+ situps in 2 minutes…I dont think anyone maxed situps in our group.