I am doing push ups every day in the following manner:

1:  2 X 14 standard push ups
2:  2 X 10 declined push ups
3:  2 X 8 push ups using fists

I often heard doing push ups other day build chest muscle and I'm only intending to tone my chest muscle and not building it.

Will my current routine help me to build a lean and toned chest or should I give a day break off after each push ups or should I stop doing push ups and only do cardio? How should the push up routine go for a heavy chest (just for information) and for a lean toned chest?

I weigh 67 kg with 173 cm height

  • 1
    The difference is what goes in your mouth, not how the pushup routine goes. If you don't want to gain new muscle mass, don't eat extra food for your body to make it out of.
    – Affe
    May 30, 2013 at 19:33
  • @Affe it's not about food i want to know....it's all about the rest periods - longer or shorter rest periods for lean muscle toning at chest ..... and probably how much days..... plz explain..
    – Abhay
    May 31, 2013 at 16:30

3 Answers 3


Get a heavy boxing sack, some bandages and gloves. Then I suggest to do following exercise.

-> warmup, then:

  1. Hit the sack lightly on your feet for a minute. Stay distant, move all the time.
  2. after 50 sec drop to floor and go all in for push ups. Do them for 20 seconds.
  3. jump up and while skipping in place as fast as you can hit the sack as fast as you can (very short range, and almost no power, just speed). Do this for 10 seconds.
  4. Last 30 seconds of the second minute punch the sack as hard as you can. Plant your feet and beat the sand out of it.
  5. repeat at will

Your chest will feel like it explodes during step number 3 especially. Number 1 is a bit of rest, to catch your breath. After you get better reduce time of step number 1 and increase step 2 and 3.

If you do it right you should stand in a pool of sweat after 45 minutes. When you find yourself wiping the floor where you did the push ups just to get some grip again you know the following things:

  • Your doing the exercise right!
  • You are in shape
  • You are drinking sufficient water
  • Provided the right diet, your chest and shoulders will get so toned you can see and count the muscle strings on flex.

You ask about how to use push-ups to tone. That is an understandable question, but it displays a misunderstanding regarding how muscles and exercise interact.

"Toning" is a colloquial term used to describe the process of developing visible musculature without greatly increasing muscle size. For this, the details of your workout are relatively unimportant compared to your nutrition.

If you want to continue focusing on your upper body via push-ups, you can do that. The only really important part of doing it is following an intelligent progression. There exist dozens of good push-up programs, Googling "push-up program" will reveal lots of them just on the front page. You may want one that focuses on hypertrophy (add that to the search if you'd like) rather than on becoming able to to a particular number of repetitions. See also this question.

In order to prevent yourself from becoming "too bulky", you monitor your diet. If you do not eat more than what you require to maintain yourself at your goal weight once it is reached, it is physically impossible to gain weight.

  • so if i do push ups with 3 -4 days rest ...... will that be too long concerning my target .... since i saw on ur wiki article shorter rest periods...
    – Abhay
    Jun 11, 2013 at 9:04

For me it looks quite simple:

All calisthenics (= exercise using only one's body weight for resistance) will lead to toning your body as opposed to for example bench press with heavy weights which should result in the distinctly bigger chest muscles.

Keep going with your push ups, no worries.

  • Body weight exercises are not, by nature, any more likely to induce muscle definition than other exercises. The Wikipedia article on toning is rather enlightening here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toning_exercises
    – Ernir
    Jun 10, 2013 at 17:00

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