Did you know there is a direct relationship between push-ups and heart disease? As it turns out, the maximum number of push-ups you can do, in one attempt, can predict illness in men.
Many athletes and gym-goers alike are interested in how much weight they can lift. Especially, when it comes to exercises like deadlifts, bench press, squat and various Olympic lifts. You hear numbers like “1-RM” often used. This refers to one-repetition maximum or the most weight an individual can lift for one repetition.
There is a research study re-circulating on the Internet regarding the number of push-ups men can do and the impact it has on their health. The study reports that if someone can pump out 40 push-ups, in one attempt, they are less likely to develop heart disease. WOW!
A study was conducted by a group of researchers at Harvard School of Public Health and published in the journal JAMA Network Open. The study tested and followed over 1,100 active male firefighters for a 10-year period. The average age of the men was 40 years old. The results found that men who could perform 40 push-ups were 96 percent less likely to develop heart disease a decade later compared to men who could do only 10 push-ups
JAMA Network Open, 2019
The Benefits of Push-Ups
Building up your capacity to perform more push-ups is beneficial to both a novice or an experienced gym-goer. The push-up exercise is a great compound movement that targets the chest, shoulders and arms. It can be used as part of a dynamic warm-up, used in a circuit, placed in a Tabata workout or added while traveling to maintain strength. Push-ups are also great for building strength or endurance depending on the experience of the person; this will depend on the speed or volume (sets x repetitions) of work performed.
Now that you know there are associated health benefits with doing more push-ups, you’re hopefully motivated to do more or get back into doing them. The number of push-ups is also an excellent indicator of your upper body fitness level.
First, test yourself to see how many push-ups you can perform in one-minute. You have basically two options, perform as many as you can and record the number. Option two, do a specific number of repetitions, recover, and continue until your minute is up. Note how well you did using the following guidelines. The key is to perform each repetition in a controlled manner, lowering your body until your chest is a few inches from the floor or the arms are bent at 90-degrees. Here are a few guidelines to see how you initially rate. Don’t worry if you do not score high first time out of the gates. Be more focused on your score following four-weeks when you’ll test yourself again using the scoring format below.
Below Average: less than 15 push-ups
Average: 20 push-ups
Good: 30 to 35 push-ups
Excellent: 40 to 50+ push-ups
4-Week Push-Up Plan
If you are looking to improve upon the number of push-ups you can do, try this 4-week plan.
Week 1: Perform 8 sets of 8 repetitions of pushups. Use strict form. Rest two to three minutes between sets. Perform 2-3 workouts during the week.
Week 2: Complete 6 sets of 10 repetitions with 1-2 minute of rest between sets. Perform 2 workouts.
Week 3: Do 4 sets of 15 repetitions with 1 minute of rest between sets. Focus on performing slow eccentric contractions (lowering phase) with each repetition. Think about lowering your body using a 3 count and “explode” up on a 1 count. Perform 2-3 workouts.
Week 4: Complete 4 sets of 20 repetitions using two minutes of rest between sets.
Week 5: Test Yourself Again
New 4-Week Push-Up Challenge on the Jefit App
Check out this new program on the Jefit app that will help you increase the number of push-ups you can do in 4-week. Jefit is very interested in finding out who can improve the most in this area. We are not interested in the number you can do initially. We are, however, very interested in your improvement after trying our 4-week plan. Let us know how many more push-ups you can do four weeks from now! Try our Jefit 4-Week Push-Up Challenge program – it’s for all fitness levels.
Record and Track Your Push-Ups Using Jefit
Jefit is a workout log app that comes with a customizable workout planner, schedule, and exercise routines. It also comes with like-minded people who can help you decide what to eat before and after a workout, share training tips, advice, and wins. Use the Jefit app to get on track with your fitness goals, and join our members-only Facebook page here!