Pushups everyday?

I was wondering should one still do pushups everyday even though They lift weights 3 days out of the week? Is this overkill for the chest?
Will this be counterproductive?

I don’t see why someone would want to do pushups everyday unless they were training for a pushup contest. Unless you are new to strength training or incredibly weak, bodyweight pushups will not do much for you. However on rest days they may aid in recovery during or after tempo. Also Charlie has mentioned doing depletion pushups as a means of depleting muscle glycogen with an effort to supercompensate. Do a search on pushups and you will find more info about that.

I don’t see why someone would want to do pushups everyday unless they were training for a pushup contest. LOL
That was funny as hell. But I feel ya. I’m just trying to get my bench up and I’m getting impatient. My max is 245 and I am trying to get this up.

Then doing bench more than 3 times a week will be overkill! BW Pushups aren’t going to help your bench! But like Quick said, they will help in your recovery on tempo days!

Put more focus on the posterior chain to increase your bench press. I don’t know your workout, but from your comments, it sounds like you have the typical mentality that the only way to increase your bench is to crush your chest. This can be counterproductive, and not just in the overtraining aspect.

I have to disagree. When I started doing pushups many years ago, my bench shot up. Pushups shouldn’t replace bench, but it could be good to add along with it. No articles or evidence to support this, just personal experience.

Doing regular bench more than once or twice a week is overkill.

My athletes all do pushups and situps and hypers every day. It doesn’t count towards their exercise volume the same as walking wouldn’t go towards it (not really anyways). They start with 5 x 3 sets and add 3 or 5 per week up to about 70. I think the one kid did 90 x 3 after about 4 years and one 14 year old girl was doing 40 x 3 (with 5 different exercises no less) every day save one.

I disagree with your statement and perhaps you have mistaken my post.

  1. You should not do heavy weighted pushups everyday! You can do BW pushups as these are low intensity just like tempo and situps, everyday.

  2. Weighted pushups can replace bench; however, this can only occur if the pushups are done with same intensity as bench press is! This can be very difficult; however, weighted pushups were a mainstay in Hershel Walker’s program! He we have a woman sit or lay on top of his back while he was doing his pushups, this can be seen in his training book.

Depends on what your doing. It the GPP DVD Charlie has athletes doing bench on MON and FRI with INCLINE BENCH PRESS on WED. Also, you can do bench three times a week if your doing a shock microcyle or low volume. The lower volume will allow you to recover faster. In fact, in my younger days I was doing bench 3 times a week with reps ranging in the 6-8 rep range; however, I would not recommend this for beginners and not for an extended period of time, say one mesocyle.

greasing the groove?

SVS ever done regular (not handstand) pushups with only your hands touching the ground. They’re tough as hell.

elars I think these are planche push ups , they are hard, if I am right about what you are talking about, it is possible to somehow work up to doing these with your legs straight out like in a real push up position but just your hands touching ths floor!!! These are hard man!!!


SuperV, here is a pic of what they look like, to make them easier at first just bend your knees to your chest and do em’!

jesus!! that plache pushup thing is hard as hell as Im a pretty strong dude and I almost broke my wrist and strained a muscle trying to do it!! There has to be alot of technique inolved.

You can build up to them by supporting SOME of your weight in jump stretch bands hung from a chin up bar. Start with say medium bands and then work to small bands until you can do them without. The more orthodox approach is to get used to the the position with your knees tucked, like a frog. It’s all about keeping your whole body tense. It requires your whole p-chain to stabilize in a way it’s not use to.

Quik I think the picture I posted is real advanced , it is easier to do them with your hands in a regular push up position (facing) front, not like in the pic I posted that is some serious wrist strain…here is an article that got me into doing them, it is a good one:

Building an Olympic Body through Bodyweight Conditioning

Christopher Sommer
We have all seen them on television during the Olympics; these powerful men performing amazing skills with ease and grace. Watching them perform the question inevitably arises - are they as powerful as they look? And the answer is - yes. What will probably be even more surprising to you is that they build their strength and physiques almost entirely with various bodyweight exercises.

The list of requirements is long and can be rather daunting to prepare a world class athlete: passive flexibility, active flexibility, joint preparation, static strength, dynamic strength etc. etc. and is probably only interesting in detail to those of us involved with the physical preparation of champions. There are of course some supplemental exercises where weight is added (i.e. weighted leg lifts), however the central premise remains; these amazing athletes have built the vast majority of their strength and power through the use of bodyweight conditioning.
Building an Olympic Body through Bodyweight Conditioning

Christopher Sommer
We have all seen them on television during the Olympics; these powerful men performing amazing skills with ease and grace. Watching them perform the question inevitably arises - are they as powerful as they look? And the answer is - yes. What will probably be even more surprising to you is that they build their strength and physiques almost entirely with various bodyweight exercises.

The list of requirements is long and can be rather daunting to prepare a world class athlete: passive flexibility, active flexibility, joint preparation, static strength, dynamic strength etc. etc. and is probably only interesting in detail to those of us involved with the physical preparation of champions. There are of course some supplemental exercises where weight is added (i.e. weighted leg lifts), however the central premise remains; these amazing athletes have built the vast majority of their strength and power through the use of bodyweight conditioning.

Now another question that we should ask ourselves - is the bodyweight training of the Olympians also beneficial to the fitness enthusiast? And if so, is it possible to apply at least some of it to those without a professional instructor to guide them or tens of thousands of dollars of specialized gymnastics equipment? And the answers are once again - yes and yes. There are some of our specialized exercises that are relatively easy to learn and require little or no equipment beyond a chin-up bar and some floor space.

In this article, I will cover the basic progressions needed to learn two primary gymnastics exercises: the planche and the front lever. This will be by no means a complete bodyweight training program, but rather an introduction. These two movements were chosen for their novelty, the simplicity of the movements and for the excellent strength gains that are possible for those who are willing to commit the necessary sweat and dedication. The planche will be our pressing movement and the front lever will be our pulling movement. At advanced levels, adding a pushup to the planche and a pull-up to the front lever will effectively give a fairly intense full upper body workout, including the abs and lower back.

Now before continuing further into our training, let’s first regress and consider the question of why to do bodyweight conditioning in the first place? A common misconception is that bodyweight exercises do not build substantial strength but are rather more suited for building endurance. For most people this conjures images of endless pushups, sit-ups or for the strong, perhaps pull-ups and dips. Great maybe for general fitness or endurance, but of little value in building real strength.

First of all, exercise is exercise. Period. The name of the game is resistance. A muscle contracts against resistance and, with perseverance, over time, becomes stronger. For strength to increase, the amount of resistance or load worked against must also increase over time. Hence the problem with bodyweight conditioning - as the resistance (weight of the body) is fixed, how to continue to increase strength? Surprisingly the answer is simple - by decreasing the amount of leverage it is possible to exert on an exercise, the resistance of an exercise becomes increasingly greater. For example, a hanging straight leg lift is much harder than a tucked leg lift. In both exercises the weight of your legs remains constant, however by reducing your leverage (i.e. in this case straightening your legs) we are able to greatly increase the resistance. By straightening the legs we have effectively doubled the difficulty of the exercise even though the weight of the body has remained constant.

With experience and creativity it is possible to learn or design exercises that, done correctly and with the proper progressions, are so lacking in leverage that even at bodyweight levels of resistance it is possible to build staggering amounts of strength. In addition to strength, the athlete will also develop excellent balance, coordination, agility and exceptional core strength. Perhaps that is why spectacular film athletes like Jackie Chan and Mark Dacascos always include gymnastics training in their physical preparation.

How well do the progressions that I am going to share with you work? Well, consider that fact that Mr. Mas Watanabe recently visited my men’s gymnastics program and was astounded by the levels of strength and development he saw. For those of you outside the gymnastics community, Mr. Watanabe has been for the past 30 plus years, one of our primary leaders of men’s gymnastics here in the United States and has personally worked with and evaluated every Olympian, World Championship, National, and Junior National Team member that our country has produced during this time. After observing my current athletes completing their daily bodyweight conditioning program, Mr. Watanabe informed me that they were the strongest most physically prepared group of athletes he had ever seen. In fact he went so far as to state that he had never even seen another group come close. Now the main point that I would like to emphasize here - is that their physical development was procured almost exclusively through consistent progressive bodyweight conditioning.

How strong is it possible to become with bodyweight exercises? Amazingly strong. In fact I would go so far as to say, done correctly, far stronger than someone who had trained for the same amount of time with free weights. Want some concrete examples? One of my former students, JJ Gregory (1993 Junior National Champion on the Still Rings) developed such a high degree of strength from my bodyweight conditioning program that on his first day in his high school weightlifting class he deadlifted 400lbs., and this at the scale breaking weight of 135 lbs. and a height of 5’3”. After this I was curious and wanted to measure JJ’s one rep max on weighted pull-ups. We started fairly light with 10 lbs. or so. I continued adding more weight while JJ performed single rep after single rep. Unfortunately I didn’t know about chinning belts and chains at that time and the cheap leather belt we were using broke at 75 lbs. Once again, I repeat, at 75 lbs. and JJ had never performed a weighted pull-up in his life. But he had performed years of my specialized bodyweight conditioning exercises. How much could JJ have chinned that day? We will never know for sure, but I will tell you that at 75 lbs. JJ was laughing and joking with me and did not appear to be noticeably bothered by the weight.

And JJ, while the strongest, is not an isolated case. For example, over the years I would occasionally (once a year or so) allow my athletes to test their one rep max on weighted chins (an exercise we never perform as part of our regular conditioning) simply so that they could have proof positive of the enormous measurable strength gains which they were enjoying. My own son at the age of 13 and a bodyweight of around 110 lbs. could chin 50 lbs. for 8 reps and it was not at all unusual for a 60 lb. younger athlete to perform 5 or more reps with 25 lbs.

In addition to his amazing strength, look again at the incredible physique that JJ built solely through various bodyweight exercises. Also look at the pictures of some of my current group of athletes. Pretty buff for boys who mostly range from 7-11 years old and have never lifted weights. As well, consider the fact that as competitive athletes, they never train for appearance. Their physiques are solely the result of their training their bodies for the function of becoming better athletes. In other words, their physiques (and anyone else’s who trains in this manner) are functional first and ornamental second.

Why does correct bodyweight conditioning work so well? There are several, the first is contraction. Basically, the harder the contraction over a greater part of the body during an exercise, the more effective the exercise. For maximum improvements training to failure is not necessary, but maximum contraction is. One of the main advantages to these advanced bodyweight exercises is that they require a complete full body contraction. In fact, at advanced levels, they are so demanding that it is simply not possible to complete them any other way.

Another primary reason for their beneficial results is the nature of the static holds themselves. By holding the bodyweight in a disadvantaged leverage position, we are effectively multiplying the resistance of our bodyweight. Or more simply stated, we are supporting a heavy weight in a locked static position. This has tremendous positive impact on the strength of the joints and connective tissue and aids greatly in overall strength development. Many great weightlifting champions have sworn by the benefits of holding heavy weights in a locked position. Two that immediately come to mind are Paul Anderson and John Grimek, who both made heavy supports a regular part of their early training.

Success at these exercises requires consistent incremental improvements. Do not seek improvement quickly or become frustrated after only a few weeks. You would not poke a seed into the ground and then jump back waiting for the plant to explode out instantly. You must be patient with physical conditioning also. While you may become more skillful or feel more powerful while performing a new exercise relatively quickly, this is due to becoming more neurologically efficient (“greasing the grove”), rather than experiencing an absolute gain in strength. It takes approximately 6 weeks to establish the first concrete strength gains. In other words, make haste - slowly.

Be prepared to spend at least six months at these exercises to work through the various progressions. What?! Six months?! Yes, that’s right, at least six months. Some people may need to spend a year or more. You wouldn’t expect to bench press 300 lbs. right away. Nor should you expect to build high level bodyweight strength instantly either. Be consistent, be patient and soon you too can be enjoying the benefits of greatly increased strength and athletic ability.

Alright enough talk, let’s get down to work and learn these progressions so that we can begin building some muscle. The following progressions will teach you how to perform the planche and the front lever as well as their more advanced variations; planche pushups and front lever pull-ups. We will begin with various static (non-moving, held) positions. From there, we will progress to the more dynamic pushing and pulling movements.

You will use the same basic strength progression on all of the following exercises. Be sure to master one position in a progression before moving onto the next. Hold for sets of however many seconds you feel comfortable, while continuing to combine the time of your sets until you reach 60 seconds total time. The number of sets it takes to reach the 60 seconds combined total time is irrelevant. All that matters is that you accomplish 60 seconds of “quality work”. Once you can hold a position correctly for the entire 60 seconds in one set, it is time to move on to the next harder exercise and begin the training procedure all over again. Now there are some exceptions to this rule, but we will address them later as we come to them.

Static holds can be performed each day for maximum benefit. However it is also possible to obtain excellent results with other workout schedules. The traditional Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday work well. My personal favorite that allows maximum work combined with substantial rest is Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Everyone’s recovery ability is different. Simply experiment with the various schedules to see which suits your individual needs best.

Static holds can easily be placed anywhere in your current routine. My preference is to place them at the end of our physical preparation time. Once you have progressed to the more demanding planche pushups and front lever pull-ups, they should be placed in your workout in an appropriate spot for that exercise and body part and the static holds can continue to be placed at the end of the workout.

You should work your way through the various progressions of both the planche and the front lever at the same time. As they work complementary muscle groups, working these two exercises together will actually increase the speed of your overall improvement as well as providing you with balanced development and strength in your shoulder girdle and core.

The Planche Progressions

Obviously, for those of us who are mere mortals, it is not possible to simply remove the legs from the floor and go directly to the planche. However with the proper progressions and patience, this position is attainable by a reasonably fit, hard working athlete. While working the various planches, strive to hold the hips level with the shoulders. Make sure that the elbows are straight. Bending the elbows greatly lessens the intensity of these exercises and will greatly slow your progress. Almost straight is still bent, so be diligent and keep them straight.

One final general note on planches; hand positions on the planche series exercises is completely optional. Some prefer fingers forward, others to the side. Some swear by support on fingertips (my favorite) and others completely flat. Just experiment and find the grip that you prefer. If you find that a flat hand support on the floor is too uncomfortable for your wrists, these progressions can also be performed on a set of push-up bars.

Frog Stand
Begin this position by assuming a full squat and placing your hands on the ground directly in front of your feet. By directly, I mean right next to your toes. Arrange yourself so that your knees are resting against your bent elbows. Now gradually lean forward taking your weight both unto your hands and also unto your knees by leaning them on your elbows. Using your knees on your elbows will allow your legs to help your shoulders bear the load of your bodyweight. As you continue leaning forward you will eventually be able to remove your feet completely from the floor and hold yourself up with only your hands on the floor and your knees on your elbows for support.

Balance is also a key to this exercise. As you first begin to learn how to lean forward in this position, you will often probably overextend and fall forward. Don’t worry have fun with it and enjoy some new training. Some pillows placed in front of you will help to cushion any crash landings.

Notice that this is the only static position in our progressions with bent elbows. Continue holding sets of this position until you have reached your one minute total time.
Tuck Planche
The main difference between the frog stand and the tuck planche is that now your weight will be entirely supported on your arms only. Once again begin in a full squat and place your hands next to your toes. Now, as in the frog stand, lean forward taking all of your weight on your arms and shoulders alone. Do not use your knees on your elbows for assistance. Holding the knees tightly to the chest will make this exercise easier.

At first you may only be able to briefly raise off the ground. Do not worry. Keep adding small sets together to reach your goal of 60 seconds total. Simply continue working the position, striving to lift your hips to shoulder high. With consistent practice it is possible to increase your strength in static positions relatively quickly.
Advanced Tuck Planche
Once you feel comfortable with the tuck planche and are able to hold it for 60 seconds with correct hips and elbows, you can increase the difficulty of this exercise by progressing on to the Advanced Tuck Planche. The primary difference between the tuck and advanced tuck planche is the position of the back. Note that in the tuck planche the back is curved, while in the advanced tuck planche the back appears flat. While holding your hips shoulder high, try to extend your hips back behind you until your back is flat. This “flattening” will greatly increase the intensity of the tuck planche. In fact, I think you will be extremely surprised at how much harder such a small movement can make the tuck planche.

Continue working this position, until you are once again able to hold the static for 60 seconds correctly in a single set with your back completely straight (“flat”).
Straddle Planche
Once you have mastered the advanced tuck planche position you are ready to work on the straddle planche. Finally! After months of hard consistent work the end is now in sight. While learning this skill, it is also beneficial to practice the next progression (the tuck planche push-up) at the same time. One will build upon the other.

From the advanced tuck planche position, simply begin to extend your knees behind you from their position on your chest. Balance is critical here. As you extend your legs farther behind, you will also have to lean a little farther forward to compensate. The wider your legs are the easier the straddle planche will be (note: for those of you planning for the future, as you get stronger in the straddle planche you can increase the difficulty by bringing your legs closer together).

Make small adjustments from workout to workout trying to either increase the length of your static hold or the extention of your position. Do not try to increase both at the same workout. BE PREPARED - just a small movement will greatly lessen your leverage on this exercise and make the movement much harder.

This movement is so much more difficult, that it is not necessary to be able to hold it for 60 seconds before moving on. Once you can hold a straddle planche correctly for 10 seconds you will be able to move on. I know, I know . . . only 10 seconds! But trust me, it will feel like much longer while you are doing it.

Tuck Planche Pushups
By the time you begin working straddle planches, you will have achieved a reasonable amount of static strength and are ready to begin adding a dynamic movement to your static hold. The description of a tuck planche push-up is fairly straightforward; while in an advanced tuck planche position, simply attempt to perform a pushup. To receive the full benefit, be sure (or at least try!) to maintain the hips level with the shoulders during the descent and ascent of this movement. Don’t forget to fully straighten the elbows at the to of the movement. Reps and sets are completely up to you Straddle Planche Pushups
Once you have learned both the straddle planche and tuck planche push-ups, you are now strong enough to tackle straddle planche push-ups. You could consider the planche pushup a super bench press or a full body press. In addition to working the triceps, chest and front delts, you also have a full contraction of the lats, middle back and lower back as well as the traps. The triceps and the forearms are also working hard stabilizing the elbow joint. Core strength is extremely taxed as the upper and lower abs, obliques, serratus and hip flexors all struggle to maintain the stretched (body) position.

From the straddle planche, begin to lower yourself to the ground. Be careful to keep the hips level with the shoulders as you descend, as there is a tendency when first learning this skill to simply try to dip the shoulders forward. Pause just off the ground and extend back up to the straddle planche. Also be aware that as you rise from the bottom position, it will be quite a struggle to maintain your hips level with your shoulders…"

Planche away dudes!! :cool:

nice work…

Yes, I agree, but the key word here is started. Push-Ups “DO” increase your bench PB, when you are starting out. Other than that, I think it should be used as Quick said, on your easier, off days, use it as maintenance.