T Nation

Weighted Pushups

On a pushup how much weight can be counted for bodywt.? I’d guess that you can’t count your entire bodywt. But does anyone have an idea of what percentage of bodywt. could be counted.


On average a pushup uses 60% of your bodyweight.

It definitely doesn’t use 100% of bodyweight because some of your body is resting on the floor.

Just thought of this…

Put your feet on the scale and your hands on the ground, just like in the pushup position. Weigh your lower body on the highest and lowest positions of the pushup, average the weight, subtract it from your bodyweight and you get the average weight displaced by your upper body. Of course you’ll need to be able to read the scale in this position :smiley:

For me: 175-[(49+41)/2]= 130 lbs. displaced by upper body.

Sound like a good guestimate?

I just figured out your question by doing the following:

  1. get a bathroom scale, weigh yourself and write down the weight
  2. do a close grip pushup on the scale reading off what it says. This number got larger as I got closer to the scale because of the shift in center of gravity towards your hands on the way down.
  3. figure out the percentage of how much weight you’re lifting on a pushup.

(step 2 weight / step 1 weight) x 100 =
percentage of BW lifted on a pushup

my percentage was 66% of BW at the top and 77% at the bottom.

When you add weights, try and position them directly over your scapula/towards your head so that their weight has a greater load on your arms/chest/shoulders as opposed to on your feet. I would think this is also safer as it would prevent the weight from sagging your hips down to the floor and straining the back.

You should post your % results that you got using this method, and we can see if they’re similar to mine.

[quote]lucidhaze wrote:
Of course you’ll need to be able to read the scale in this position :smiley:


You’ll need a helper to read the scale.

Damn straight. Good replys boys. Thanks for these ideas. Tonight I will try the scale deal and post the results.


Tried the scale. It works out to 67% of my bdywt. at the top. (180 lbs. bdywt)and the scale read 120 lbs. Thanks for the ideas.