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Dradis

Can't improve at pushups

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Ok, a bit of a lie, i used to be able to do precisely none and now if i'm fresh i can crank out sets of 12, 12 and 10.

But i'm stuck there, and have been for some time now.

 

I've done them in front of a trainer and he's corrected my form on them, so i don't think that is an issue.

 

I can't for the life of me work out what muscle group is failing, i just get to failure and its like my body just says "nope" without there being a clearly more fatigue muscle.

 

I never really feel my chest during pushups, ditto with bench press actually which i'm also stuck on. Am i just bad at pushing?

 

Is there anything that you guys did that drastically improved your pushup performance? I read people say that you can leave off adding weight til you can do 50 and inside i cry a little :)

 

 

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Volume, volume, volume.

12 + 12 + 10 = 34, well, start doing 5 sets of 5 push ups in the morning and 5 sets of 5 at night. You'll be knocking out 50 a day without approaching your max. Do that for a week or two- never fail a rep- and then retest. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised :)

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I used to have a similar problem.  I found regressing to an easier form of the exercise (check out Convict Conditioning or some bodyweight progressions on line) made it much easier when I went back to full push ups.  I went with pushups with my hands elevated on a surface (dining table for example) and lowered the height when I got more comfortable.

 

It sounds strange but as I say when I got back to full push ups I found them much easier and can regularly do 3 sets of 20 now.

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Do something different.  Anything.  Don't just keep throwing yourself at the exact same wall over and over.

 

Both very good ideas above: do the same or more volume with a different split, or do an easier variant with the same or more volume for a while.

 

Or do a harder variant with less volume for a while.  Or even lay off the compound movement for a while and substitute with isolation work (flys, pushdowns, etc).

 

Change things up.

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plp aided me .... added 1 rep a day each day

 

was really working until I got some serious tendonitis that I am still not recovered from :nonchalance:  

 

Yeah, i'd considered this briefly as i'm also struggling a bit on chins. 

As i'm getting over a shoulder injury the last thing i want is another injury. Having said that, i wonder if that might be an issue even though i don't generally feel pushups in my shoulders.

 

I like the idea of trying to crack out 5x5 a couple of times per day. If i didn't think i'd be looked at strange the perfect time would be on the train to and from work :D

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Volume, volume, volume.

12 + 12 + 10 = 34, well, start doing 5 sets of 5 push ups in the morning and 5 sets of 5 at night. You'll be knocking out 50 a day without approaching your max. Do that for a week or two- never fail a rep- and then retest. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised :)

This.  I used a similar strategy to go from a max continuous set of 40 to well over 60.  You want maximum sets that are small enough you barely notice you did them.  Increase set size every week or two.

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When you say increase set size is it best to go from 5x5 to say 10x5 or to add in an extra 5x5 at another part of the day.

What sort of rest times should i be aiming for? Obviously less would be beneficial from the point of taking less time to complete but then you get to the point where is it 1x10 or 2x5 as far as the body is concerned?

 

Basically, someone just spell it out for me :)

 

Lets start easy....

Week 1 - 5x5  each day. Rest period between sets? 1min?

Week 2 - 6x5? 5x5+1x5?

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When you say increase set size is it best to go from 5x5 to say 10x5 or to add in an extra 5x5 at another part of the day.

What sort of rest times should i be aiming for? Obviously less would be beneficial from the point of taking less time to complete but then you get to the point where is it 1x10 or 2x5 as far as the body is concerned?

Basically, someone just spell it out for me :)

Lets start easy....

Week 1 - 5x5 each day. Rest period between sets? 1min?

Week 2 - 6x5? 5x5+1x5?

It's total volume that matters. How you space it out is a bit less important.

Make sure you do more volume every workout. If you want to split your workouts in half, that's fine. But you could also just do one workout. Just choose a goal for # of push-ups in your workout, typically at least one more than last time, and do that many in however many sets it takes. If it takes 5 sets of 7, cool. If it takes 8 sets of 4-5 reps, don't worry about it.

When your per-set volume is no longer moving, a focus on total volume in your workout will pull you out of your stall.

If you've ever heard of Grease The Groove methods, they function on this same principle and take it a step forward. Rather than focusing on volume per set or volume per workout, they focus on volume per day or week. No matter what, the total volume of work you do will drive your one-set max.

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When you say increase set size is it best to go from 5x5 to say 10x5 or to add in an extra 5x5 at another part of the day.

What sort of rest times should i be aiming for? Obviously less would be beneficial from the point of taking less time to complete but then you get to the point where is it 1x10 or 2x5 as far as the body is concerned?

 

Basically, someone just spell it out for me :)

 

Lets start easy....

Week 1 - 5x5  each day. Rest period between sets? 1min?

Week 2 - 6x5? 5x5+1x5?

I was in an academic program at the time, with pretty strict 10-minute breaks every hour.  My max was about 35-40 in one continuous set.  I'd do a set or two of 15 every hour, a bit less than 50%.  Every week I'd up the reps by 5, and usually not stress out too much if I missed a set or two.  The goal was for a total number somewhere in the 100 - 150+ range per school day.  You want pushups to be like walking- you only think about the physical effort of walking when it gets to be a long ways- maybe a few miles or more.  You don't think anything of walking a few blocks, though, even if you have to do it 5-10 times a day.  You want pushups to be like walking.  This is called "grease the groove".

 

In short, it doesn't really matter, just go for high numbers throughout the day with as much rest as you need.

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Okey dokey. Thanks all.

I'm gonna start adding some volume. 

I'll start by doing sets of 5 in the evenings and progressively add reps however i can. My schedule is such that i'm literally up and out in the morning and i don't get home til 8pm and by the time i've sorted dinner there isn't a lot of time.

I'm not gonna start dropping for 5 in the office :)

 

Cheers

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How long can you hold a plank in the pushup position?

 

Just tried, at the top position, arms straight - i assume thats what you mean?

90s is when it starts to get a painful, although that isn't failure point.

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I found that it was slow going and getting no where too and gave up. Later I tried a new routine and eventually for me learned I was not eating enough. This actually improved my whole routine. I had been eating too little, especially protein. I had wanted to lose weight and so I was on a more restrictive diet. I actually eat even less calories now but much healthier food and more protein. The App MyFitnessPro really helped,  I found results even in a weak. 

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