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The Power of the Pushup

The Power of the Pushup

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.

How many pushups can you do in 1 minute?

Ages 20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+
Average Woman 17 to 33 12 to 24 8 to 19 6 to 14 3 to 4
Strong Woman 34 to 48 25 to 39 20 to 34 15 to 29 5 to 19
Average Man 35 to 44 24 to 34 20 to 29 15 to 24 10 to 19
Strong Man 45 to 54 35 to 44 30 to 39 25 to 34 20 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 1 6 Reps 3 Sets 2 Minute Rest Between Sets 2X Per Week
Week 2 7 Reps 3 Sets 2 Minute Rest Between Sets 2X Per Week
Week 3 9 Reps 3 Sets 2 Minute Rest Between Sets 2X Per Week
Week 4 8 Reps 4 Sets 2 Minute Rest Between Sets 2X Per Week

Too easy? Choose a harder pushup next time.

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