How to do more pushups

The pushup exercise is a symbol of strength and endurance. It can be seen as a test for the whole body, and when done correctly it engages muscles in the chest, arms, abdomen, hips and legs. Because pushups don’t require any fitness tools, it is an easy way to demonstrate physical fitness. That is why pushups are an important part of many fitness tests, such as the US Army Basic Training Physical Fitness Test. If you want to increase your strength and endurance and be able to do more pushups, the Wim Hof Method can help you achieve those goals. Many people all over the world are already utilizing the WHM for you can read the specifics on how to do them here.


The three powerful components of the Wim Hof Method are breathing exercises, controlled exposure to cold, and commitment. The breathing exercises of the Wim Hof Method are used to oxygenate the body, which has serious positive effects on your physical and mental wellbeing. These breathing exercises are comprised of power breaths, followed by retention of breath, and recovery of breath. You can easily practice these exercises from the comforts of your home, and you can read the specifics on how to do them here.

How to do more pushups


Practicing the breathing exercises on a regular basis, and combining them with the other two components of the Wim Hof Method, will take you on a journey to become a stronger, happier, and healthier individual. You can measure the power of the Wim Hof Method by combining the breathing exercises with a pushup test. After the power breaths and during the retention phase, hold your breath and try to do as many pushups as you can. After just a few weeks of training, you will see that you are able to do more pushups while holding your breath, than you were previously able to do while breathing!


The Wim Hof Method is very powerful and has a strong scientific underpinning. Scientist from all over the world have begun to uncover the physiological mechanisms that are responsible for the many benefits that are reported by people who practice the method. These benefits include more energy, less stress, better sleep, increased willpower, a stronger immune system, and improved sports performance. You can read all about the science of the Wim Hof Method here.

The best thing about Wim’s method is that you can practice it anywhere and at any time of day. To start with the Wim Hof Method, all you have to do is subscribe to our Fundamentals online video course. In the videos, Wim teaches you all there is to know about his method and how you can benefit from it on a daily basis. Many people all over the world, including professional athletes and celebrities, have already incorporated the principles of the Wim Hof Method into their daily routines. You can watch some of their testimonials here.


As mentioned before, the Wim Hof Method is based on three pillars. These pillars are the breathing exercises, commitment, , and controlled exposure to cold. With the help of the three pillars and their powerful effects, Wim was able to break more than twenty Guinness World Records. The Wim Hof Method Fundamentals video course was developed by Wim and his team, to allow people all over the world to experience the powerful effects that can make you a happier, healthier, and stronger individual. Being able to do more pushups is just one of these benefits.

How to do more pushups

Wim Hof Method References

Wim Hof Method is assesed on average with an 9.5 out of 10 based on 2147 experiences written by participants

If you want to be fit, you don’t need to start with free weights or fancy machines. The foundation of fitness is movement. And the movements you need to master for any exercise start with your bodyweight.

If you can’t do a pushup (or many of them), you’re likely wasting your time (or setting yourself up for injury) by trying to bench press your way to a better body.

Pushups aren’t sexy or impressive. But, when you spend a lot of time with some incredibly fit people and you discover something very quickly: You don’t have to lift a ton of weight to be considered strong.

Some of the most incredible feats of strength don’t even include any weight at all. (Whereas others certainly do; no matter what you think of powerlifting, watching someone move 700 or 800 pounds is simply amazing.)

If you can perform a lot of pushups and all of their different variations, then you can go a long way towards building upper body strength, muscle, and definition.

Why Pushups Are So Good For You

Years ago, I worked with Martin Rooney on a pushup test. If you don’t know Martin, he’s one of the best coaches in the world and has worked with endless pro athletes and Olympians. Every time I train with Martin, it feels like I would hit a new PR.

In addition to being a great coach, Martin would create challenges designed to make you stronger and fitter. One of those was a 3-minute pushup challenge.

The challenge was built to help you do more pushups, but there was one flaw: It required a level of strength and endurance that limited who could use the challenge as a way to get better.

Most people I know can’t do pushups for more than a minute, let alone 3 minutes.

The challenge was still brilliant because it opened your eyes to the importance of relative body strength.

All too often we base strength on an arbitrary amount of weight you can move, when — in reality — how well you can move your own body is one of the best ways to assess fitness levels and build strength. Not to mention, bodyweight tests can help clean up issues with your form that can cause injuries once you add additional weight.

When you have relative body strength, you are in control of your body and can move well, whether you’re pushing, pulling, squatting, or picking something up off the ground. It’s why bodyweight movements like pushups and pullups can be a great initial test of strength, and even challenging for those who have been training for many years.

Doing more pushups has lots of upsides. But, figuring out the right program to build strength and endurance is where most people struggle. It’s time to change that.

How To Do More Pushups: The Assessment

As the saying goes, “What gets measured gets managed.”

If you want to do more pushups, you need to figure out if you need to build strength, endurance, or both. Your path to more pushups starts with a simple 1-minute assessment and then includes a program to help guide your improvement.

The test below is one I’ve done for years with clients, and it works incredibly well for helping you become better with bodyweight exercises. (You can do similar variations with other exercises.) I’ve used different variations of this test as an assessment to determine baseline strength.

Step 1:

  • Set a timer for 1-minute and then start performing pushups until the time is up.

Step 2:

  • Record the number of reps you performed.

Pushup Rule #1

For a rep to count, you must go all the way down (chest 2 inches above the floor), pause, and you must lock out your elbows at the top.

Also, you can’t let your hips sag or allow your knees to touch the floor. [In other words, your body should form a straight line from your ankles to your shoulders.]

Pushup Rule #2:

You can rest whenever you want, but the clock must keep running

Looking for more beginner advice about Fitness?

Before You Begin: Pushup Test Tips

You have 2 options that will help you perform your best on the pushup test:

  1. Perform pushups at a rapid pace and do as many as you can until you hit failure and can’t do more.
  2. Pace yourself and take mini breaks every 10-15 seconds, doing what you can to avoid failure and complete as many as possible.

In the initial test, Rooney recommended a 15-second break once you started to slow down. This was necessary with a 3-minute running clock. But with only one-minute, this assessment is a little different.

If you’re a beginner and not as strong, resting every 10-15 seconds will be beneficial to you because fatigue will catch up quickly.

If you’ve been training, you might be able to maintain a consistent pace for 30 to 45 seconds. In that case, stop 1 to 2 reps shy of failure, rest 5-10 seconds, and then do as many as possible until the time is up.

Grading Your Pushup Performance

The following scores are based on the averages of my online coaching clients. [Note: women tend to have scores that are 5-10 pushups less than the scores shown below.]

Below average: less than 15 pushups (Remember the rules above, for a legit rep it’s impossible to go any faster than 1 rep per second with the pause at the bottom and lockout at the top.)

Average: 20 pushups

Good: 30 to 35 pushups

Excellent: 40-45 pushups

Extraordinary: 45-50 pushups. If you’ve completed more than 50 pushups, you cheated. You need to pause at the bottom and top of the movement, so every rep should take a minimum of 1-2 seconds.

How to Become Better at Pushups

If your pushup score is lower than you’d like, there’s a quick fix that will help make your upper body more powerful and explosive.

Follow this pushup protocol, trying to perform each rep as fast as possible, and after 8 workouts take the test again and see how you improved.

Week 1 (two workouts): Perform 10 sets of 8 repetitions of pushups. Rest two minutes between sets. If you can’t do 8 pushups, rest as needed following the same strategy used in the test.

Week 2 (two workouts): Complete 8 sets of 10 repetitions with 1 minute of rest between sets.

Week 3 (two workouts): Perform 6 sets of 15 repetitions with 1 minute of rest between sets.

Week 4 (two workouts): Do 4 sets of 20 repetitions with two minutes of rest between sets.

Take 5 days off from pushups, and then take the test again and see how you did.


How to Build the Perfect Bodyweight Workout

The Tension Weightlifting Technique: How to Make Every Exercise More Effective

By Lorra Garrick | Last update d 08/21

How to do more pushups

If no matter what you do you can never do more than 10 pushups and feel like a weakling, there’s a solution that’ll turn your embarrassing pushups into power pushups.

Many men and women try to do more than 10 pushups at a time, and on a good day may reach 12 – after struggling on the last three and feeling humiliated.

Thirty, even 20 pushups in a set seems like an impossible goal.

I’m going to give you the solution to this “embarrassing” problem. But not before I ask a few questions:

• Why is it so important to do more than 10 pushups?

• Do you feel this way about other chest exercises?

• Are you always trying to do more than 10 bench presses, lying dumbbell presses and seated chest presses?

• If not why not? Why is getting more than 10 so crucial for the pushup?

Where is it engraved in the annals of muscle building science that doing 20 pushups is vital for results?

The reason you feel you must do a lot more than 10 pushups is perhaps ingrained in having observed or participated in training for a various sport or discipline.

For instance, martial arts instructors typically have students do up to 50 pushups in a single set.

Military training often includes dozens of pushups in a row. More than 10 is also common in workout videos.

End the Embarrassment of Tanking After Only 10 Pushups

Apply the eight to 12 rep max to your pushups as you would to your bench press, dumbbell press and seated chest exercises.

How to do more pushups

If you can only do 10 standard pushups, have you ever thought of adding resistance to those 10?

You might surprise yourself and find that, with a 10 pound plate on your middle/upper back, you can actually STILL DO 10 repetitions!

But by increasing the resistance, you are giving your muscles additional stimulation – a greater training stimulus that will force them to adapt.

So instead of working towards increasing the number of reps, work towards increasing the resistance within that limited number of 10.

And even if the addition of small weight on your back brings your set down to five, that’s okay – nothing embarrassing – you now have a new goal:

Ten reps of pushups with the weight on your back. When you reach this new goal, add more weight.

NOTE: You may need someone to set the weight on your back and remove it, though it’s possible to add plates without assistance. You can also use a weighted vest.

What will make you stronger and build more muscle?

• 50 bodyweight-only pushups?

• Or 10 pushups with a 35 pound plate on your back?

Look at it this way. Which will build your muscles better?

• 20 reps of a 135 pound bench press?

• Or eight reps of 185 pounds?

• 50 bodyweight-only squats?

• Or 10 squats with 185 pounds?

Stop treating pushups as a cardio exercise (gunning for lengthy sets composed of high reps) and start treating this exercise like the compound move it actually is. This will cure the embarrassment.

Other ways to add intensity without shifting emphasis to the shoulders include:

  • Using chains
  • Having someone press down on your upper back as you push up
  • Using “pushup handles” which will increase your range of motion at the bottom
  • SLIGHTLY elevating your feet (mild shift of emphasis to the shoulders).

How to do more pushups

You will never feel embarrassed doing “only” 10 reps of pushups with a 45 pound plate on your back!