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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 09-23-2013, 05:29 PM   #1
Kiel Stuart
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Maximum Pushups: How did/do you do it?

I've heard of lots of different ways in which people have increased their maximum pushups ranging from "Grease the Groove" to busting out 1,000 a day, but I'm still interested to hear more. So, what's you current maximum, your goal, and how are you doing it?

Me:

Current max: 40 (strict)
Goal: 80-90
How: 1 max set every second day
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Old 09-23-2013, 05:38 PM   #2
Bill M. Hesse
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Re: Maximum Pushups: How did/do you do it?

Nothing wrong with what you are doing. I have simly done them everyday and increased them with success that way. Intervals of x number of pushups per min with pushups worked for me too. An example was 5 close, 5 normal, 5 wide grip pushups rest 60 seconds repeat until close to failure. I did pullups in that workout too, but you don't need to unless you want to improve bodyweight stuff in general.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:07 PM   #3
Glenn Plomchok
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Re: Maximum Pushups: How did/do you do it?

Try mixing in ring push ups. And if you do, get the depth (full range of motion). Shoulders down inside of rings at bottom, fully locked out at top. This helps all of those stabilizer muscles and I feel, makes a normal push up feel that much easier.
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Old 09-23-2013, 07:05 PM   #4
Ryan Seymour
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Re: Maximum Pushups: How did/do you do it?

At one point I was training specifically on max pushups and pullups for a fitness award thing (long story). I just did one set of each to absolute failure, everday, for 6 weeks. With my regular workouts done as usual.

The results were significant, to say the least. I was pretty surprised how much improvement you can make on a movement by just simply doing that movement...a lot. I'd stick to your current plan but go every day rather than every other day. Maybe throw in a day off the pushups if you really need it. And for what it's worth, I was training for max pushups in a set period of time so my daily set wasn't slow and methodical, they were fast and explosive. Might have had something to do with it.

Last edited by Ryan Seymour : 09-23-2013 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 09-23-2013, 08:12 PM   #5
Dakota Base
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Re: Maximum Pushups: How did/do you do it?

Push-ups are a light enough load workout that if you're not doing a lot of other strength development, you can do a LOT of pushups without overtraining.

EDIT: I read up on "greasing the groove", so my original post below is my personal anecdote for how a similar program worked for me. I still believe in it, still use this idea. I came up with the idea after growing up on the farm, if there were 600 bales on the field, you did 600 reps, if you had to build a half mile of fence, you had to drive a half mile worth of fence posts, hard to replicate that type of work from an office, but doing sets throughout a day is one way to mimic that.

The biggest gains I made in push-up max was a time after college where I was traveling 2-5 different locations per week, so I basically committed to doing a set of push ups every hour on the hour, when possible. I'd even leave business meetings, claiming a bathroom break or important phone call to grab a set in the hallway. I was NOT doing max sets, just a comfortable number that made me feel the burn a little. This would add up to several hundred per day over time, I'm sure I broke over 1,000 on days where I was left to myself in the office or the lab. My wife and I still use this philosophy, whenever we find a static moment in the day, we'll randomly rip out a set of air squats, sit ups, push ups, pull ups, whatever. I did a 30day run that I did a set of pull ups on the doorjamb every time I walked in or out of my office (i.e. every time I passed through the office door). Wasn't too uncommon to do over 500 pull ups in a day that way. When I did it for push ups several years ago, it took me from about 25-30 pushup max to over 100 pushups. For pull ups after my shoulder injury last winter, doing LOTS of pull up sets each day took me from 12-15 to 45-50 pull ups max.

There are tons of programs out there, heck one of the chubby girls my wife works with is doing a "6wks to 100 push ups" program right now. Most of them are strictly progressive with 1 set per day, often a max set, which I don't agree with. Either go on a high volume program where you just do a lot of push ups throughout a given day, or go on an ebbing and flowing program where you increase in volume during a week, peak on the weekend, lighten up Monday, then peak higher the next weekend, so on and so forth (think about periodized distance running training programs). Either way, to improve at doing push ups, you need to do a lot of push ups.

Pushing down 80-90 push ups is no joke, but it's really not that hard to attain if you just start doing push ups.

Last edited by Dakota Base : 09-23-2013 at 08:20 PM. Reason: Read up on "Greasing the Groove"
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Old 09-24-2013, 08:29 PM   #6
Thomas Mitchell
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Re: Maximum Pushups: How did/do you do it?

i went from 30 pushups to 118 pushups in almost 3 months by trying to max out once everyday. Some days id forget but id still max out once 5 days a week. I always had the mindset if i got 70 yesterday i can get 1 more today and that pushes you.
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Old 09-24-2013, 11:39 PM   #7
Kiel Stuart
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Re: Maximum Pushups: How did/do you do it?

Thanks all round. I'm alternating pushups and pullups day on day off at the moment. It looks like a lot of people have done well with pushups every day so I'll pick it up to pushups at least 6 days a week and see how that goes.
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Old 10-02-2013, 04:41 AM   #8
Ruhan Koekemoer
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Re: Maximum Pushups: How did/do you do it?

Ill be doing my max push up again today, previous same as Kiel, 40, 80-100 seems like a great target. LOVE THE SPORT OF FITNESS
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Old 10-06-2013, 05:42 PM   #9
Kiel Stuart
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Re: Maximum Pushups: How did/do you do it?

Have transitioned over to one set of max pushups every day (7 days), and going to take a rest day on a Sunday (or longer if necessary) if I start feeling fatigue. At 43 now.
Quote:
Ill be doing my max push up again today, previous same as Kiel, 40, 80-100 seems like a great target. LOVE THE SPORT OF FITNESS
Around about the same level, around about the same goal. You up for a race? First one to 80 wins.
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Old 10-07-2013, 10:10 AM   #10
Andrew Joseph
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Re: Maximum Pushups: How did/do you do it?

For people who are maxing out push-ups every day, are you also doing "push" strength training (like bench press and shoulder press) or Crossfit WODs that feature exercises like HSPUs or ring dips?

If so, do you compromise the weight and/or endurance you can do on those exercises by doing push-ups every day?
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