For example, I'm currently doing a lot of push-ups, and I need to increase number of push-ups I am able to do in a row (currently, I can do 34 push-ups in a single attempt).

My current routine is simple: 5-7 times a day I do a maximum of push-ups possible (currently that's 33-34), and I do this 7 times a week.

What will be good training regime for it? Should I do several sets in a row (like 3x20) several times a day, or should I just do maximum number of push-ups in one set several times a day? Should I proceed with the routine 7 days a week, or some resting days are required?

EDIT: I discovered hundredpushups.com, and they say there that 3 days a week, 4-5 sets on each day is the best way. How that could be possible? The total number of pushups a week is about 10 times smaller than I currently achieve, yet they advertise quicker improvement?

3 Answers 3


Don't try to apply a mathematics approach to your training. What you are doing now is over training your body because you workout everyday. What that website suggested is better because by training 3 days per week your body will be able to recover on the other 4 and build strength. In your case there is no recovery time.

However what I encourage you to try when increasing the number of push-ups is something different I used several years ago. My goal then was 100 and I managed to reach 200 with this.

If I have to give it a name it would be an active-resting approach. That is because in this method you will be active even on your rest days but at the same time you will be still working out your body and making progress.

Okay so first before you try this take a rest for a day.

Then on the next day do several sets with the maximum of your push-ups, let's say 34. So 4x34(or as much as you can on the sets after the first set).

On the day after that do only 70% of what your maximum is which would be something like 23.(again 4 sets)

On the day after this(the 3rd day since you started) do just 30% of your max reps which would be 10 push-ups.(again 4 sets)

On the 4th day do your maximum again. Using this method on every 4th day you must be able to increase the number of push-ups with several repetitions.

P.S. All sets must be done one after another within a rest interval of not more than 3 minutes.

I hope that helps you achieve your goal, good luck.

  • And what rest period should I keep between each set? I'm currently trying to rest 1 minute between sets, will that be enough?
    – Rogach
    Jun 29, 2013 at 11:04
  • If you can keep up with a minute of rest, yes sure. If not let the rest interval be longer but not longer than 3 minutes. :)
    – Arthlete
    Jun 29, 2013 at 15:46
  • If I will try to max out every set, 1 minute will not be enough, and I wouldn't be able to do even 10 pushups on the third set. Maybe it would be better if I pick the number that makes the last set really hard (for example, 20), and try to do that number of push-ups in each set? (for example, 4x20)
    – Rogach
    Jun 29, 2013 at 15:51
  • Remember that you are only maxing it out on your max out day. On day 2 and 3 you are doing respectively 70% and 30% of your max. I hope this is clear. So on your max out day you should attempt to do as many as you can in one set. Only your first set is the set where you should aim for 34(your max in all time). In the next sets you should do as many as you can, until you are completely exhausted. Anything up to 3 minutes is okay as a rest.
    – Arthlete
    Jun 29, 2013 at 16:04
  • Btw if you decide to use my method would it be a problem for you to share your experience with me? I want to write an article about it use someone else's experience to tweak the method if needed. Thanks
    – Arthlete
    Jun 29, 2013 at 16:10

Instead of doing a single set 5/7 times a day, I would try doing 2 or 3 sets in a row, with 1 to 2 minutes rest, 2/3 times a day. The second or third sets should feel a lot harder.

Note that, It's not clear what your goal is in your question.

  • I tried to state the goal in the first sentence - "I need to increase number of push-ups I am able to do in a row". Do I need to clarify this goal further?
    – Rogach
    Jun 29, 2013 at 9:46
  • Yes, doing 3 sets of 16 push-ups (with 1 minute rest) really gives a whole lot different feeling into a muscle. Thanks!
    – Rogach
    Jun 29, 2013 at 11:05
  • I thought there was more to it that just counting push-ups! But whatever motivates you is fine. You could try to max out on the first set, then again on second set, then again on third. Multiple sets 3 times a day will give you better result than single sets 5/7 times a day.
    – zeFrenchy
    Jun 29, 2013 at 15:36
  • Well, we have sort of "exams", of the form "do N pushups to pass", so counting matters :)
    – Rogach
    Jun 29, 2013 at 15:48

3 times a week. M/W/F 7 sets of 15 max. After 6 weeks or when able to complete, change to wide, then after that, change to narrow. After that start using step or stair 1. Up to 3 steps. When you use 50 percent of you bw you do 15 reps. When you use 100 percent, such as pullups or dips, you do 7 reps. 15 sets of 7, but only 1 or 2 times per week. Kinda like German volume training.

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