Even if you have no aspirations to join the Marines, you have to admit that knocking out a set of 100 push-ups at a clip would be pretty heroic—not to mention it would give you awesome upper-body strength and endurance. We asked three top coaches for a plan to get you there.
“Train three days a week. On Day 1, do 3–4 sets of weighted pushups for 12–15 reps. Day 2, bench-press for 3–4 sets of 8–10 reps. Day 3, do regular push-ups for 2–3 sets of 20–25 or more reps. Each week, increase the load on the first two days and increase the reps on the third. You’ll get there in a few weeks to a few months.”
Kevin Neeld, Director at Endeavor Sports Performance in Sewell, NJ
“One day, do the close-grip bench press and wide-grip seated row—4 sets of 8–12 for each, increasing the weight each set. Days later, do the same with the barbell overhead press and chin-up. On two other days, do 10 sets of 10 push-ups. Reduce your rest periods by fi ve seconds each week. So, Week 1, 30 seconds; Week 2, 25 seconds, and so on. In Week 5, go for one set of max push-ups.”
Jim Smith, Strength Coach in Elmira, NY
“Find your current push-up max. Perform a push-up and pause at the top for three seconds. Then do another rep. Repeat until you’ve done half your max number. Rest for three minutes, and repeat the process until you’ve completed twice your max number of reps in total.”
Mike Scialabba, Owner of Missoula Underground Strength Training in Missoula, MT