The Old Days

Remember when pushups used to carry some clout? Long ago, all that was needed for a great physique was a floor and a pair of arms. Pushups had a way of exposing the weakest in gym classes, instilling fear in new army recruits, and settling the most senseless of frat house bets. It was the movement that could show middle-aged men they’ve “still got it” or that women could be just as strong as men. So why the fall from grace?

Somewhere between the Tae Bo craze and all those charity 5Ks, pushups fell from the limelight. They were old-fashioned, unwanted, and a bit of a “has-been.”  But that old kid is back on the block. For the next  few weeks, put down your fancy dumbbells and electric ab belts, and try this classic movement.

 

Why Pushups are Awesome

Most people think pushups only work the chest, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Pushups also work the triceps, shoulders, back, core and glutes. In other words, they work the entire upper body and mid-body. Pushups also allow the upper back to move in a full range of motion unlike the more popular bench press which glues your back to a bench. A little known fact about pushups is that they can actually activate the core muscles (abs and low back) more than traditional core exercises. The pushup forces us to brace our core muscles and keep them stable, which is their designed purpose.  And if you slip on some ice?  It will be your core strength that will brace, tighten, and keep you from an icy doom.
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Pushup Perks

No equipment necessary

Full body workout

Can be done anywhere

Beginner to advanced

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How many pushups can you do in 1 minute?

Ages20-2930-3940-4950-5960+
Average Woman17 to 3312 to 248 to 196 to 143 to 4
Strong Woman34 to 4825 to 3920 to 3415 to 295 to 19
Average Man35 to 4424 to 3420 to 2915 to 2410 to 19
Strong Man45 to 5435 to 4430 to 3925 to 3420 to 29

 

The Pushup Plan  |  One – Pick a Pushup

Wall Pushup (Difficulty: Easiest)

Wall Pushup2

Knee Pushup (Difficulty: Medium)

Knee Pushup

Classic Pushup (Difficulty: Hardest)

Classic Pushup

 

The Pushup Plan  |  Two – Warm Up

10 Jumping Jacks    10 Wall Pushups    9 Jumping Jacks    8 Wall Pushups    Repeat 1x

 

The Pushup Plan  |  Three – The Workout

Week Reps Sets Rest Frequency
Week 16 Reps3 Sets2 Minute Rest Between Sets2X Per Week
Week 27 Reps3 Sets2 Minute Rest Between Sets2X Per Week
Week 39 Reps3 Sets2 Minute Rest Between Sets2X Per Week
Week 48 Reps4 Sets2 Minute Rest Between Sets2X Per Week

 

Too easy? Choose a harder pushup next time.