Get Started doing Pushups

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Push-up Progression

Start with a platform height that allows you to perform 5 sets of 8 reps, with at least a few reps left in the tank after each set. Rest for about 2 minutes between sets (more or less, depending on how you feel). The initial platform height should be EASY. Things will become more challenging as the weeks progress.

Each week you will remove a riser-level from the platform set-up, but you will continue to perform 5×8. Each week your goal is to perform 40 total reps with good form.

When you train 5×8, that is your primary push-up day, but you will also have a secondary push-up day in which you will use the same platform height and perform 3 sets of max reps UP TO 12 reps. That is, you will do as many reps as you can for 3 sets, but you are not to exceed 12 reps per set. The secondary push-up day is performed weekly as well, and should be at least 2 days apart from your primary push-up day.

As the weeks progress, you may find that you cannot perform 5 sets of 8 reps. If this is the case, perform more sets with fewer reps per set, while still achieving the total 40 reps. For example, instead of 5 sets of 8, you could do 8 sets of 5, or 10 sets of 4. Or, you could do [2 sets of 8] + [4 sets of 5] + [1 set of 4]. However, stick to 5×8 for as long as you can. When you change your [sets] x [reps], keep them as close to 5×8 as you can. For example, don’t do 10 sets of 4 if you are capable of 8 sets of 5.

If you get to the point where you can’t perform sets of 3 reps or more, go back to the initial platform height that you used on week 1 and restart the progression, but this time performing 4 sets of 10 reps. Use the same progression described in step 2 – decrease the platform height by 1 riser-level per week, while performing 4×10 for as long as you can (increasing sets while reducing reps per set as necessary). All that being said, the gradual progression of removing 1 riser-level per week should make step 4 unnecessary for most people.

Follow steps 1 through 4 (or 5 if necessary) until you are able to perform a regular push-up!

This push-up progression can be included in your current program, just make sure to prioritize it by:
Performing the push-ups as your first exercise if you use an upper/lower program.
Performing the push-ups as your first upper body exercise if you use a total body program.


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