How To Increase Your Push Ups The Old Guy Way

Push ups are my favorite exercise for building chest, shoulders and core muscles.

To achieve a certain number of reps, if you have set a goal for yourself, may require you to do those reps throughout the day. Don’t use this as an excuse to neglect a dedicated time of intense push up workout The two together will help you push yourself to the next level.

Your ability effects how you workout

If You Can Do Five Push Ups Or Less

If you’re just starting to get into training, you may not be able to do a sufficient amount of standard push ups in a single workout to make them effective. If your max is 5 reps and you do four sets, that’s 20 reps. Better than none, but not enough to help you progress fast. By doing a few throughout the day, along with doing your four sets, will help you get enough reps overall. As you get stronger you adapt your workout to continue making progress.

If You Can Do Twenty Push Ups Or More

Congratulations you are ready to advance To harder varieties of push ups, and techniques that will challenge you much more. At this point, push ups have become fairly easy to you. You should have the strength to do harder types of push ups. There is a large variety to choose from. pick five that will challenge you, and add them to your workout. Start with 4 sets of each, doing 90% of your max reps.
When you are able to do the 4 sets with 10 or more reps, start adding more sets, and adding more varieties of push ups to your workout. Eventually you will find the types that you like best. Don’t allow yourself to get to comfortable, doing other types of push ups keeps them fun and challenging.

Tips To Help You Advance Faster

  • Do your push ups from a dead stop.
    When you get to the bottom of the rep, put your chest on the ground and raise your hands off of the ground for just a moment. Then continue with another rep as soon as possible. You might think that this sounds like resting. Try it and see if you get any rest.
    What this does is prevent any kind of cheating on the rep, and allow your chest muscle to relax. By doing this, you force the muscle to reactivate on every rep.
    You will definitely feel a difference.
  • Slow down
    We can get so caught up in doing a pre determined number of reps, that we pump them out as quickly as possible. Losing out on the total benefit of each rep Make each rep count. Instead of counting the number of reps, be more aware of the time under pressure.
    If you do ten reps in ten seconds, that’s ten seconds of time user pressure. If you do 10 reps in 40 seconds, or four seconds for each rep. That time under pressure makes those same ten reps four times as beneficial..
  • Train to develop strength
    The range of reps you choose will determine what kind of strength you develop. Mass, strength, and endurance can be developed in a muscle. If you’re an old gym rat such as myself, you have probably been working out in the 8 -12 rep range most of the time. This is how we were taught to gain muscle mass. If that’s your goal, then you would want to stay in that range.
    Developing strength is different. Strength is developed in the 1 – 5 rep range. this is where you want to focus most of your training. Eventually when doing push ups or other calisthenics movements becomes too easy with just your body weight. You might want to add weight to your self by using a vest or a training partner. this will keep you in that rep range.
  • Train for muscle endurance.
    Somewhere in your workout you will want some endurance training. By endurance training I don’t mean go run a marathon. What I’m talking about is doing a series of sets with little rest between them. I usually use 8 sets, with only 10 seconds of rest between sets. This is known as Tabata training.
    Saving the endurance training for the end of your workout will allow you to use as much strength as possible during the strength portion of your workout.
    Besides helping your muscles learn to adapt to a lower rest period. By doing endurance training, you burn through the calories much faster. Making you lighter, which leads us to the next tips.
  • Lighten up.
    This one is a no brainer. The lighter that you are, the easier it is going to be to do calisthenics. The workouts are going to help you lose some pounds, but making better choices in the kitchen can make a big difference. Ten minutes of vigorous push ups for an average size man burns less than 100 calories. A chocolate chip cookie has more than 100 calories. So next time you reach into the cupboard for a snack, think about how long you will need to workout to burn that snack off. I’m not saying to starve yourself. just be aware of what you are consuming.
  • Do static holds
    The strength gained from static holds will given you the ability to hold moves for an extended period of time. Even if you are doing a simple movement such as a standard push up. If you choose different positions in the movement to stop and hold the move for an extended period time. You will gain strength at that particular position. By doing static holds in the hardest part of the movement for you. The strength needed to overcome that weakness will be developed.
  • Be consistent
    The biggest reason people don’t advance in a particular movement is lack of consistency. Even if you started with just doing 5 reps a day for a week.Then progressed to six the next week. That is progression from being consistent.Your muscle will adapt to whatever challenge you present to them.The challenge on your part is to be mentally tough enough to challenge yourself beyond what you perceive to be your physical limit. By working out every day, you are teaching your body and mind that this is so important to you, that you need to make it a priority in your life.
    It’s not our physical strength that fails us in our determination to get in shape. It’s our brains ability to prioritize our health above all else. Only you can make exercise a priority in your life. Push ups are a great exercise to start your journey of health with.
  • Get some rest
    Resting is where the magic happens. While you are resting, your muscles are getting stronger. Weird huh. All that work you do, and the muscles grow while you’re resting.
    WTF I work my¬†ass off in the gym. Now you’re telling me that it’s rest that develops muscle.
    So just laying on the couch and thinking you need some rest from that to get stronger. Just won’t work.
    You will need to work your push ups hard enough, that it will take rest just to recover from your workouts.
    This will increase your push ups.


Trying to beat the hands of time is a challenge. I have found calisthenics to be an outstanding way to get into shape, and have some fun. I will tell you in my posts why I like calisthenics over pumping iron, for keeping in shape as I get older, and why you might want to give it a try.

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