I downloaded an app 3 weeks ago for my home workout. Normally, for progressive overload, it increases the number of reps for each workout every week. But the issue here is, when i was told to do 16 pushups and my hands become very weak at the 10th pushups, does it affect my overall muscle growth or performance if I catch my breath a little and then continue, so as to complete the 16 pushups?

Over the three weeks I've used the app, I've not seen any evidence of muscle growth, but I think it increases my overall muscle strength.


1. I watch my diet

2. When I first started the workout, i would feel my arm muscle sore (DOMS), but as I progressed, the soreness no longer occurred, no matter how intense the workout was. I think my arm muscle has gotten used to it though. Since I've never exercised my chest and shoulders before, those are the ones that hurt now.

3. This app is regarded as the best for home workout on playstore

4. I'm a 17 years old teen and I think the app is meant for the men. Because I reach a point where my arms can't take it anymore but i catch my breath and continue anyways.

5 I'm somewhat skinny and tonned, with an average muscle size but not as much muscle size as I need.

6. I try as much to do the exercise correctly

7. Every new week, it brings in the same workouts but every time, my arms get weak at the same number. Say, the previous week I was told to do 15 pushups as the first set, and 12 staggered pushups as the second, my arms would be able to go through the 15 pushups or at least 13, and then when it comes to the staggered pushups, it's as if I can't do it at all. And it goes like that every week for the same sets of workouts.

8. This app works the upper body. For a day, it works the shoulders and triceps, the second day, it works the abs, the third day, it works the arms and chest and it does the shoulders and triceps the next day and it goes like that for 28 days.

  • You said that you watch your diet, but are you sure if are you getting enough proteins? Aug 14, 2018 at 18:38
  • More or less... I try to get as much as I can afford though
    – Prince
    Aug 14, 2018 at 21:40

2 Answers 2


Volume of exercise is the primary driver of muscle growth, which means that doing three sets of ten will probably have the same effect on muscle growth as two sets of fifteen, because in both you are doing a total of 30 pushups during your workout. However doing these 30 in three sets will not be as effective at training endurance as if you did them in two sets. So depending on your goals, splitting the pushups into more sets might be ok, or might not.

Now, here are two likely reasons why you could be failing to keep up with the program:

1) The program may not have enough volume for you to make progress. You didn't mention the name of the app, and we can't assess it without knowing exactly what workouts it tells you to do each week, but if it only has you doing pushups once per week, then that's really not enough. If you are doing pushups 3-4 times per week, and each workout has 3-5 sets, then that is certainly enough. If this program does not have enough volume, you could try something different, like the Hundred Pushups program.

2) You aren't eating enough food. In order to grow muscle, you need three things: sufficiently stressful exercise, sufficient food, and sufficient sleep. Of these, food is the most likely to be insufficient. You say that you "watch" your diet. But does this mean you only eat healthy food, or that you actually count how many calories and how much protein you eat, and have daily targets for both? You might just need to force yourself to eat more and see if that improves your results.

As for some of your other comments:

Regaing DOMS, the reason why you are no longer sore after the workouts is because of the repeated-bout effect. DOMS usually only occurs after exercises that are new to you, and even then, only certain types of exercise cause it. It's ok, you don't need to be sore.

Regarding your age, at 17 you should be able to do programs that are designed for adults.

  • The name of the app is "Home Workout - No Equipment" by Leap Fitness Group
    – Prince
    Aug 14, 2018 at 21:44
  • I do try to eat as much protein as I can before and after exercise but due to my income, there's only so much I can get.
    – Prince
    Aug 14, 2018 at 21:48
  • I just look at the calories contained in whatever snack I buy, if it's much, I buy it.That's how I take in my calories
    – Prince
    Aug 14, 2018 at 21:48
  • I sleep for 4 to 5 hours everyday
    – Prince
    Aug 14, 2018 at 23:51

The whole point of working out is to be sore and out of breath, that's how you see results. YOu should take the precautions to rest between workout days and sets but not during each set you should be able to rack off your entire set otherwise the exercise is beyond your skill level and should try master previous. If you get to 10 pushups and start to tire and want a rest this is when your muscles actually start to tear and you actually stimulate muscle growth. When you're tired and push yourself to do the last ones.

If you physically can't do it then having a rest is not a problem but make sure it's not to where you're recovered to as it was before you started your set you've still got to be tired.

No Pain. No Gain.


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