I have been doing push-ups for sometime now, starting 6 or 7 years ago. I haven't been too regular, but about 3 quarters of the days in these years I used to be regular. My problem is I can't do more than 20 push-ups at a time even after 2 months of regular push ups. Does it take longer to achieve a good rate of push ups at a time?

To put things in perspective, I am 24, male, a few kilos less than 100kg (around 215 pounds) and can do a total of 80 push ups a day. I have lots of fat to lose, but definitely want to exercise to lose fat and gain muscles.

4 Answers 4


What actually gives out after 20? Your wind? your triceps? Most likely, you've programmed yourself mentally to stop at 20 - push one more out and see what happens. The big question is, what are you driving towards - if you hit 30 or 50, then what? It sounds like you're a bit overweight - I would recommend putting a complete diet/workout plan together and setting up monthly measures (weight, exercise intensity, etc.) to measure your progress. Keep pushing yourself - you can always do one more.

  • At 20, I try as hard as I can to push one more, but my triceps give out. Maybe I do program myself to certain number of repetitions, 20, 15, 10. I do want to stretch myself to 50 or more. And yes, I should consciously keep away from food that makes me fat. I guess I should push myself. Thanks for the advice!
    – adifire
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 12:51

I'm using "the hundred push ups training program" I'm at the third week and I feel I'm already able to do a lot more than at the beginning.

  • 1
    Can you explain what this program is, why it is is good for the asker, and what its benefits are?
    – user241
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 15:52

Are doing a full pushup (Nose almost touching ground, back straight/hip down, arms fully extended when up)? I once found that doing them half assed actually plateued sooner, switching to full push ups helped (after, of course a sizable dip in no. I could do at first!)

Also, you may want to add more exercises. For bodyweight exercises, I found the site of Ross Enamait helpful: http://rosstraining.com/blog/

  • I am doing a full pushup, although many did comment that I wasn't doing it right. Tried changing it, but found it really tough, the problem is the elbow positioning. If there are links to how to get the push up done, it will be much appreciated. The link is helpful, thanks!
    – adifire
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 10:48

The best thing to do is to work on your maximum strength - by doing so will mean that your economy per rep when trying for your press ups is less.

If you have access to a gym, incorporate a session or two a week to strength - this will be fewer repetitions (anywhere from 1-5) but with a weight that really makes you struggle. When a weight gets easier, increase the weight and continue. Look into the 5x5 or the 5-3-1 programs as they are simple yet very efective.

Then, when you hit your max reps press ups, you'll smash it!

Check out my blog for further tips: http://mmastrengthandconditioning.wordpress.com

  • 3
    If you are going to link your blog, can you please quote the relevant and useful information here? It is fine to link to your own blog as long as you disclose your affiliation, but for the sake of answering the question it only creates another roadblock for the asker (and other users) to search for an answer. If a link disappears or changes, then that information is lost. Tread carefully on the self-promotion here as well. Too much tends to be frowned upon.
    – user241
    Commented Jul 2, 2012 at 17:57

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