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Working Towards 100+ Pushups

Written by Robert C. Shouse and reprinted from misc.fitness.weights. Through multi-staged training with different types of pushups, one should be able to increase the number of pushups you can do significantly.

DISCLAIMER: Below are the things I have practiced and the results I've achieved. The same results/effects will not necessarily be achieved by anyone practicing the same way. No physical responsibility is assumed for anyone attempting this routine.

From past experience with martial arts one way to increase the amount of push-ups you can do is by doing partials while alternating with different types of push-ups. This routine assumes that you are able to do 30 complete push-ups with out resting. By partials I mean restricting the range of motion to just under 1/2 of a complete rep. Always touch the floor with your chest (when possible) and come up almost half-way then back down. A sample routine would look like this:

  • Week 1 & 2: Every other day
    • POSITION #1
      Triangle push-ups (you should touch your thumbs to your xiphoid process (lightly!) when trying to touch your chest to the ground)
      • 5 partials
      • 5 complete
      • 7 partials
      • 7 complete
      • rest 90 seconds
    • POSITION #2
      Move hands to shoulder length apart (the tips of your fingers should be aligned with the tops of your sholders)
      • 5 partials
      • 5 complete
      • 7 partials
      • 7 complete
      • rest 90 seconds
    • POSITION #3
      Move your hands out until, during mid rep, your upper arms will be perpendicular to your forearms. The hands should remain in the same position relative to the shoulders (ie move them "out" in a straight line)
      • 5 partials
      • 5 complete
      • 7 partials
      • 7 complete
  • Week 3: 2 days on, 1 off; 2 on, 1 off; 1 on
    • POSITION #1
      • Until failure
  • Week 4 & 5: 1 on, 2 off; 2 on, 1 off; 1 on, 2 off; 1 on, 2 off; 1 on, 1 off
    • POSITION #1
      • 7 partials
      • 7 complete
      • 12 partials
      • 12 complete
      • rest 120 seconds
    • POSITION #2
      • 7 partials
      • 7 complete
      • 12 partials
      • 12 complete
      • rest 120 seconds
    • POSITION #3
      • 7 partials
      • 7 complete
      • 12 partials
      • 12 complete
  • Week 6: 2 on, 1 off; 2 on, 1 off; 1 on
    • POSITION #1
      • Until failure
      • rest 240 seconds
    • POSITION #2
      • Until failure
  • Week 7 & 8: 1 off, 1 on; 2 off, 1 on; 1 off, 1 on; 2 off, 2 on; 1 off, 1 on; 1 off
    • POSITION #1
      • 15 partials
      • 15 complete
      • rest 90 seconds
      • 40 complete
      • rest 240 seconds
    • POSITION #2
      • 15 partials
      • 15 complete
      • rest 90 seconds
      • 40 complete
      • rest 240 seconds
    • POSITION #3
      • 15 partials
      • 15 complete
      • rest 90 seconds
      • 40 complete
      • rest 240 seconds
  • Week 9: 2 on, 1 off; 2 on, 1 off; 1 on
    • POSITION #1
      • Until failure
      • rest 240 seconds
    • POSITION #2
      • Until failure
      • rest 240 seconds
    • POSITION #3
      • Until failure
      • rest 240 seconds
  • Week 10: 1 off, 1 on; 2 off, 1 on; 1 off, 1 on
    • POSITION #2
      • 100 complete
  • Maintenance: Twice a week
    • POSITION #2
      • 100 complete
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Reader's Comments:

Please leave your comments or suggestions below!
2014-05-31Ben
 To James-

You take a rest break where specified. So like the first week you would do 5 partials to 5 complete to 7 partials to 7 complete. You then rest 90 seconds. That was one set. Then you move onto position 2 after 90 seconds.
2014-05-17james
 do we take breaks after each set; for example after the 5 partials and fulls break then the 7 partial, or break after both sets???
2013-01-10Dan
 I think programs like this assume a certain amount of cardiovascular fitness that you're not going to achieve with the program itself. If you find that you can do all the sets, but the rest times are just too short, it might behoove you to pick up jogging. At least, that's the problem I have.
2012-08-21Rich
 David, each style and method of pushups is designed for a slightly different result. Some methods are designed to maximize difficulty, some to maximize repetitions, some to isolate specific muscles (chest, triceps, abs,etc), and some are designed to avoid stress on joints.
You'll arrive at your personal style after trying different techniques in different training programs. Your personal physiology (length of arms, muscle type, body weight) will partially determine which methods will work well for you.
2012-04-09Jon
 Okay...you kicked my ass. I am on board with this routine!
2012-03-07Dan
 military training videos suggest pushup with 90degree angle + chest not touching floor as a valid +1 pushup count
2012-02-10Luke
 I started the workout 2y aggo and throw my modifications i can do 160 pushups in position 1 220 in position 2 and 260 in position 3
2012-01-17tarver, David
 I just don't get it.... Why do some people say that you have to do a pushup at 90 degrees and some people say that you have to break 90 degrees and some people say that your chest have to hit the floor? Which is best or are all of them best but I have to choose? I need a real professional fact not opinion. Somebody please help me!
2012-01-12Tarver, David
 I can't do no more than 50 pushups with my chest hitting the floor but when I don't let my chest hit the ground, I am capable of getting 70 or 80 reps in. I can't do them like that in sets back to back though. I just do them different ways most of the time. It seems good to let your chest hit the floor but they are a whole lot easier when you don't though. I am short but I have long arms. Like when I was in prison, Kennedy was tall with short arms so when he goes 90 degree with his arms, he was closer to the ground than I was. I have to break the 90 degrees in order for my chest to be closer to the ground. Is that nessercry? If it is let me know because I am confused.
2011-11-08Fedd
 Just starting this programme today. Currently I can only do 30 position 2 ("greyhound") pressups in a row, I need to bring that up to 60 plus (the more the better). I'm 5'9" and about 74kg, currently going through an application for the Royal Marines. Will post again when I see good progress. Good luck to everyone, work hard.

- FRH
2011-07-20KBaN
 In week 5 now, did 36 Position 1's in week 4, 5 is proving to be difficult to finish without a little rest for Position 3's 2nd set!
2011-05-03David
 Currently almost at week 2, will post results when I finish.
When I started, I did 30 full push ups, at position #2.
Hope I get to 50+ :D
2011-04-05andrew b
 This program really does work. I've gone through it a few times to prepare for my annual military fitness test.

I usually struggle at weeks 7/8, finding myself unable to complete the last 40 reps in each position. After unsuccessfully completing these weeks, I dial back the clock to week 4 and go from there. Every time I've returned to weeks 7/8 the second time around, I breeze through it.

I've used this program (with the above adjustment) successfully 3 times to get to 100 consecutive pushups in less than 3 months - and now I'm doing it again.
2011-03-28Ed
 This program works. At 61, I started the routine for arm strength for karati. Some levels get tough and you may have to extend them. After 10-12 weeks, I was able to 200 in four sets with a couple of minutes between sets. I broke my right hand during an test, so after a year, I am re-starting. No pain, no glory!
2010-11-30Gopi
 hey can some please explain what does it mean by doing partially push ups
2010-10-27bob
 when we do muscle failure is it complete pushups continuously or normal mixup with partial complete without rest
2010-10-05o0knight0o
 For one notices a comment that said do them six days a week. For most people this will only hurt you because your not giving you body enough time to recover which could actualy degrade your performace.

I started preparing for a PT test and decided to come up with a plan that would take less then 5 minutes a day and still improve my workout. When i started i was only able to do 55 pushup in two minutes my workout consited of

Monday
Muscle Failer
Wensday
Muscle Failer
Friday
Muscle Falier

each day i would attempt to increase my max by at least 1 pushup. I actually was able to increase my max by more on most sets. After four weeks of doing this i was able to do 100 pushups and 90 in two minutes. One thing i also did was when i felt i could no longer do a pushup i would bow my back and strech my chest for a few seconds then straiten back up and push out some more. I did this till i could no longer do any more pushups. This program worked for me and is still working for me. I managed to actually get up to 110 pushups and 100 pushups in two minutes. As fare as building muscle doing pushups will mainly substain your current muscle mass and actually tone them up. it is not good for building muscle. However I did see one comment about weighted pushups that would do just that. If you are looking to build muscle mass just get a good bench press and weight. ensure the bench allows for encline and decline and stock up on weights for it. Its also good to get a few dumbells. As fare as a workout plan there are hudreds of difrent plans. Some may or may not work for you. Everyone is diffrent and just because one plan works for one person dose not mean it will work for you. I would recomend finding a genirc plan and molding it to fit your needs.

Rule of thumb
Large muscles groups should only be worked no more then once every two days.
Small muscle groups such as abs, calvs and forearms can be worked every day however, would recomend not working them more then 4 days a week and having a day off in the middle. To build endurence and tone do alot of reps and low weight. To build Strenghth and Mass do low reps and alot of weight.
2010-09-25Mike
 I just do muscle failure every other day...I think you'll get to 100 push-ups WAY quicker with muscle failure. Matter of fact, I know you would. If your trying to get big then buy a conditioning vest...mine weights 20 LB but i suggest you get to 100 push-ups then to the vest and slowly add a couple pounds every now and then.
2010-08-31Christopher
 Can someone explain position three to me?
2010-08-22Gavriel
 The hardest of weeks is week 7,8,9.For those who have a couple of questions,this is purely a bodyweight exercise,you use yourself as a weight,so you do gain A LOT of strength and it also helps tuning(sculpting) your body(for those who want terminator solid like bodies).This is also good for those who want to join the army,fire depart. or be a top athlete.If you want to become bigger(gain more muscle weight)this might help a little,but it will help you for your bench presses,etc.
2010-07-31adam
 this really works
2010-07-12Jay
 I'm about to start week 5. I couldn't do everything at the beginning of week 4 and have gotten to the point to where I could finish it. I had trouble with position 3, 12 complete. I hope this program works. When I started I could do position 2...45 times. So I hope I will be able to do at least 80 by the time I finish.
2010-07-03freqeist1
 I have completed this, bloody hard but i manage to do 100 twice a week and Ive noticed my whole torso has changed,(not just my chest, arms etc) and i dont even do ANY sit
2010-06-30James
 Yes! This looks alright for building basic strength but if your like me and you just want to crank 100 and show off then just do what I do and do 1 set to faliure everyday except saturday and sunday. I did this and pullups for one month and I must say the results were excellent (Lots of girls!). Pullups don't help they were just my bonus.
This is my programme, if your looking for steady, progressive stregnth gains then do this programme.

Note- My programme does build super strength but the method stated on this site is alot more effective, mine is purely to get lean and improve reps.

I am 14 years old so you b*****ds who think you are too young to exercise get off your arse and work! If it helps think of girls ;-) It helped me!
 
2010-06-10ShowingMotivation
 Just want to say this works so far. I have never been able to do more then 15 diamond push ups. Im only on week 3 and today did 27 .
2010-06-05Emir
 Danny :: your wanting to know how to put on muscle well doing only push ups isint going to get you very big , but if you do them for about 3 months youl start getting results in your biceps, triceps and chest, but not pure muscle just youl be seeing ripped body parts whitch look totally better . If your wanting to put muscle on you need to absically do some weight training and during these weight training exersises take a protein called cyclone (link removed) thnaks a lot ;)
2010-05-24jiongwei
 if im 13 , and i train like crazy on every day, do you think i can do 100 pushups in 1 month?
2010-05-01tim
 Does this help increase the size of your chest?
2010-04-28Rick james
 Ok well this sounds like a stupid question but on week 3 where it says position 1 Until failure like during week 3 do I still do position 2 & 3
thanks
2010-04-25Danny
 hey do you put muscle on in this training program, or is it purely for endurance, if so could any of you be kind enough to direct me to a training scheme which helps me put muscle on?
2010-04-12Joey
 When I first started I maxed out at 25. Then one week later my max was 40 but then it took a whole month just so I could do 50.
2010-04-09no person
 patrick, the younger you are, the faster your muscles develop.because your 14, your muscles grow faster then adults.
2010-04-04patrick
 it doesnt take this much to do 100 push ups. I just go to the gym every weekend and after a month i could do about 110 full lenght push-ups. Trust me their right cuz my dad knows right ( he's a marine ) and im only 14
2010-04-02hans
 quick question>on week one when you do 5 5 7 7 is there a rest between each unit?5 then rest 5 rest 7 rest 7 or is the 5 5 7 7 one complete set without resting?if there is a rest in between how long?
2010-04-01wes
 Till failure means till your muscles fail to hold your *ss up
2010-03-19Kevin
 Until Failure means to do it until you cant do it, keep doing pushups till you cant push yourself up.
2010-03-19stephane
 wat does it mean when it says to do the position till failure
2010-03-11Spence
 This sounds intense. I am sure that this would work. But I would like to tell what I am doing currently. I take "baby steps". Right now I am working for 60 reps in a row, but I can only do 55. By doing 3 sets of 60, I am going way past failure. In another week or so, I should be at 60. From there, do 3 sets of 70, then 80, and so on and so forth. By the time you hit 100 reps in a row, you are doing 300 at a time! It wont take all that long to get up to 100, as long as you work at it. And keep your diet good.
2010-02-24T. Heidt
 I used this program last year and is was great and worked for me in the 6 weeks. However, there are many different plans and is good to mix them up. Currently, I am at 555 consecutive reps using a one set per day method, which brought me up from 200.
2010-02-11Daniel
 For Each week(s), should you do the same amount each day, or increase the amounts over that week?
2010-02-06Adam
 You don't need to continue your membership if all you're doing is pushups - which can be done anywhere.
2010-01-21Ken
 I 've been working out in the gym for 2 years seriously, and wanted to try this program, as it will be something different for the body, but i had couple of questions, : Do i still train in the gym? and also how many sets per position should be attempted? So far the reviews seem to be awesome
2010-01-20billy
 i wanted some advice on if what i do for chest is overtrainiing twice a week work on chest in gym n then do 100 push ups 6 days a week
2010-01-17Zg
 Plz tell me how many sets should i do..
2010-01-16NoamC
 Jon's question plz answer!


are you supposed to do sets of 3 for each position? or do u just do each position and you're done for the day?
2010-01-06RaF
 Wow this thread is official. I perfected my pushups at a early age since my father is ex-military and he made me do them when i was disobidient and to the help of Kung-Fu. Now i am 22 and still exercising my body frequently it is like a habit. Today is my FIRST DAY on the program and i know i will be able to do 100 consecutive push-ups. Last week i believe my max was 45 then i start struggling preety bad. hah! Well to everyone that is trying it good luck and stay MOTIVATED!!
Pz Happy New year from SPain!
2010-01-06Dave
 how many times a day should i do each position?
2009-12-29Jon
 Are you supposed to do sets of 3 for each position? or do u just do each position and you're done for the day?
2009-12-07Bob
 Thanks Sam, I'm on week 3 now
2009-11-25Sam
 Position 3 is a wide set with your hands. You start with position 1 and move outward from there. With #1 your hands are together, #2 they are about shoulder-width apart, and #3 they are wide enough that when you go down on a push-up your elbows make a 45 degree angle with your forearms facing the ground and your upper arm parallel to the ground (about twice as wide as shoulder width). It is important to keep your hands on the same line for each exercise and just move outward from there.

 


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