The push-up? Sounds boring and too easy? Well, it’s neither. It’s hard to learn to do push-ups correctly and build a visible result by doing them. And that’s why most people opt for the gym and several weight lifting exercises. But if you perform push-ups right, you’ll build a leaner upper body without using any weights. Here I’ll show you how.
The Problem is Getting Started.
Before I get started — how many push-ups can you do in one go, and how many sets in one session? The truth is, I’ve seen tons of people who can’t even get past 5 or 10 reps — and that’s not good! Give this a try first, establish your baseline.
Right, so our upper body is pretty damn heavy, about 60% of your overall body weight. Typically, your whole trunk is carried by your legs, the biggest muscle group in your body — makes sense, as your legs have to lug you around all day!
Most avoid push-ups like the plague — opt instead for easier weight lifting exercises using less weight, as lifting your bodyweight yourself is a darn lot harder.
Going upside down into the handstand will give you a great example of what I mean. If you can even get up on your hands, holding that position for long is brutally hard.
And that’s why I love bodyweight exercises, as they are a tremendous challenge teaching you to use your body efficiently and effectively, resulting in a much stronger you!
Let’s look at the most effective ways to increase your push-up performance — building a muscular chest and great posture.
1. Incline Push-Ups
Grab a table or back of a sofa (something heavy, so it doesn’t slip) and push up against that obstacle. This method is relatively straightforward, so you’ll need to do a lot of reps to tire your muscles. But it’s the best starting point.
2. Knee Push-Ups.
Instead of being in the plank position on your toes and hands, kneel and push up that way — by doing so, you’re reducing your weight load considerably. Again, a lot of reps are required here to make an impact.
Starting with these 2 methods for the first 3 days will build initial strength and confidence.
Now let’s move to the real deal.
3. The Classic Push-Up.
You know how that goes from the military movies when the soldiers are told to drop and pump out 50! Why do the drill sergeants do this? Because it’s bloody hard, that’s why, even for the fittest!
Now you need to make sure you put your mindset into beast mode and go hard.
You must go down all the way, so your chest almost touches the ground. Half push-ups don’t count — that’s cheating, and yes, I’ve done that too! That’s what most folks do when they’re trying to do fast sets — it’s not effective. Learn basic form and do it right.
Now, repeat to your absolute maximum before giving up, and push yourself hard through that pain barrier. It’s going to burn and feel like hell.
Repeat a minimum of 3 sets each session.
4. Negative or Static Push-Up.
I love this one as it puts you to the ultimate test. Go down and stay down with your chin nearly touching the ground, don’t move. After 10-seconds, you’re arms and chest will start shaking and twitching, and the burn gets intense. Stay there, don’t give up, hold it longer, until your arms shake like crazy and you collapse on the ground. That’s when you’ve pushed yourself all the way.
Repeat a minimum of 3 sets each session.
5. Combine Classic with Negative Push-Ups.
Once you’ve gone through the above 4 steps, try this one — the ultimate challenge.
1 set of classic motion push-ups to your maximum number, break, followed by 1 set of negative push-ups to your exhaustion time.
Repeat the combined classic and negative method for a minimum of 3 sets each session. Trust me; this one will be a massive challenge for body and mind, but see it through to the end, and you’ll have busted your muscles with a high-intensity chest workout like nothing else.
Continue using Method No 5 every 2 days and watch your chest and shoulder muscles explode!
Depending on your baseline, you can start the program at any of the above-described points. You need to make a plan. Write down what you’re setting out to achieve for the week and execute it precisely.
Pull off this strategy for 4 weeks, and your results will be tremendous; you’ll feel and look great in body and mind!
Thanks for reading,