For most of us being strong starts with relative strength. This is the ability to move your own body weight against gravity. That’s why bodyweight movements like push-ups can be a great initial test of strength and even challenging for those who have been training for many years. However many people feel intimidated by push-ups because they cannot do that many at a time. To increase your push-up performance we put together 3 methods with which you can increase the overall number of push-ups.
To adapt the training to your level you can choose different progressions. If normal push-ups on the ground are very hard just do the workout with incline or knee push-ups.
You can also adapt the push-up variation to focus on different muscles. So if you want to improve your pike or diamond push-up performance you can use the same methods that we show you in this article.
These methods work quite well but please be careful if you are an absolute beginner. If you just started working out these kinds of training could be too much for your muscles joints and connective tissue. In this case, you should start with beginner training that prepares your body for these challenging methods.
3 Methods to increase your push-ups
1. High Volume Training Method
Alright, the first method to increase push-ups is high-volume training. As you can tell by the name you have to do a lot of sets and this workout.
We suggest 10 sets of push-ups per workout with 2 minutes rest in between the sets, done 3 times a week.
To be able to do 10 sets with a consistent performance you only do 50% of your initial max reps.
Here’s an example, if you are able to do 10 pushups you only do 5 reps in each set. This should be very easy in the first sets, but the more sets you do the harder it gets to complete the 5 reps.
It can even happen that you aren’t able to complete the 5 reps in the last set, that’s quite normal. So don’t worry if you collapse after 3 to 4 reps.
This method works quite well in the lower and middle wrap range, but you can also use it to improve your push-up performance if you want to do more than 20 reps.
So no matter if you can do 4 or 20 reps. Just choose 50 of your maximum and you’re ready to go.
If you don’t know how many push-ups you can do, we suggest doing a test two days before you start with the workout. Here you can also check which progression is the right one for your current level. The minimum requirement is 4 reps.
So if you can’t do 4 reps on the ground by now just do incline or knee push-ups and switch to normal push-ups when you build up enough strength.
2. High Frequency training to Increase Push-Ups
The second method to increase push-ups is high-frequency training. Here you train very often, but don’t exhaust yourself.
We suggest five sessions a week. In every session, you do five sets with three to five minutes rest in between.
In contrast to method 1 you don’t aim for a fixed number of reps, but always stop your set before you reach failure.
To be able to train at a medium level all the time without reaching failure you have to slightly reduce the reps from set to set.
For example, it’s okay if you just do 7 reps in the last set if they feel as hard as 10 in the first one.
This method requires some practice because you have to learn when you should stop your set.
The goal is to avoid stopping too early when you still have a lot of energy. But you also shouldn’t stop too late when you can hardly do the last rep.
Like in method 1 it’s possible to do this workout in low medium or high rep range. So no matter if you are able to do only a couple or a lot of push-ups. This method works quite well in every rep range.
3. Greasing the Groove Method to Increase Push-Ups
The third and last method to increase push-ups is greasing the groove. This kind of training is very effective but at the same time very inconvenient.
To learn in-depth about this training here is the video. In this video, it’s explained for pull-ups but of course, it will also work with push-ups.
In the end, let’s compare the three methods with each other and tell you the pros and cons of each one.
- The high volume training is good to improve your push-up performance but it is also great to build up muscle if you train in a medium rep range.
- The high-frequency training focuses more on the performance aspect but also builds up some muscle.
- Greasing the groove training has a very strong focus on the performance aspect. It is the worst option of those three if you want to build muscle.
Please keep in mind that the results can vary from person to person. So we suggest testing all three methods and find the one that works best for you.
Please feel free to leave any comments or feedback about this kind of push-up workout. Happy Exercising!