Pushup strength is very important for many reasons. It helps us feel more secure and lift more weight on the bench press. It plays a role in getting involved in the police foundations and army. It also helps to create better core strength and force.
Before getting into the ways to increase how many we can do, we should look at the potential risks of doing too many of them.
Doing push ups every day in high volume for an extensive period of time can potentially trigger pattern overload. This will cause the overloaded muscles to become tightened and sore. As a result, these muscles will weaken.
We are doing too much pushing and not balancing it with pulling movements. This extensive overload can cause poor pushing strength and shoulder problems. Performing inverted rows (reverse push ups) can help to balance things out. This is almost like doing a push up on a barbell, except the movement is done by pulling – it’s essentially a video being rewound while someone does a push up on the bar.
Another good way to prevent pattern overload is to switch to a more difficult version of the push up once we are able to do them in high volume sets.
How Can We Increase Our Push Up Count?
Aside from the advice on switching up pushing and pulling, it is also good to focus on improving explosive strength. For push ups, this can be done by performing the exercise with a resistance band. There are different levels of resistance bands as well, so we can work our way up with those. If we switch back to a natural push up, we will be able to do more than we did with the bands.
The one hundred push up program is a very effective approach towards increasing push up volume. It focuses on gradually increasing the amount of push ups done and provides guidelines for these increases based on personal performance. Within seven weeks, just about anyone will be able to perform 100 push ups by following this program.
How the 100 Push Up Program Works
It all begins with a test. This is to see how many push ups we can do in a single set. The amount of push ups that we perform will dictate our ranking, which is the week of which we will start the program. This means that we can skip a few weeks of the seven total weeks if we aren’t completely weak. The parameters vary by age, but the first week of push ups is the same for everyone. The first week is for those that cannot do more than five in their test set.
Say we can do 25 push ups and we are under 40 years of age. This puts us at week three, which is 15 to 29 push ups. We go to the program for week three and it includes three different columns. These columns break down our performance within the range. So 16 to 20 push ups, 21 to 25 push ups, and 25 to 29 push ups.
We begin on day one for the particular column that we qualify for and we continue through the three days of push ups for that week. Then we can move into week four. If we haven’t increased our one set max much, we will just be focusing on improving our reps slightly with each set we perform. Keep in mind that there are five sets for each day.
We end every week with what is referred to as an “exhaustion test” and this is where we perform as many push ups as we possibly can in a single set. This is where we push ourselves to the limits to see how much progress we have actually made. As all other sets are just for increasing density in the training session, this will be the only real measure of push up strength.
The final test for the whole program consists of an exhaust test as well. This is just one set of push ups. By now, we should be able to perform 100 push ups in a row if we followed everything. At the very least, for those that struggled, 50 push ups or more in a single set will not be a problem.