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Look, Feel and Perform Better Challenge > Push-ups

Push-ups are such a limiter! I want to see improvements in my capacity test, but I feel like it may not happen without devoting some time to improving this specific movement. I haven't seen much improvement in my push-ups in the past year, so it's probably time to accept that they need extra work and won't just evolve naturally out of more CrossFit.

What are some tips/strategies for improving push-ups?

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLily

@Lily - Disclaimer that I've got no formal background in any of this, but...

In the lead up to Murph last year (200 pushups) I adapted Fox's pull-up program to push-ups, since they were (are) a limiter for me, too.

I started with a rep scheme I could completel very comfortably for 6 sets with only a minute of rest in between. (For me, that was 8 reps per set.) I did my 6x8 for three sessions (every other day, unless push-ups were in the WOD), then went to 5 sets of 10 with 90 seconds rest for three sessions, then 4 sets of 12 with 2 minutes rest for three sessions. I was aiming for challenging but doable chunks, with the overall volume slowly increasing. At the end of this cycle, I "retested" by doing three sets of max reps with 3 minutes in between.

Because I wasn't at my goal, I reset to the start of the cycle, but with 6 sets of 9 reps, and went through it again and then a third time.

While it may not get you much in the next six weeks, I can imagine that a dedicated program like this is one of the few ways to get markedly better over time.

Fox, feel free to tear the apart if this isn't a good strategy!

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRyan

I like it!

January 8, 2014 | Registered CommenterChristian Fox

Thanks, Ryan! That's very useful!

I may not be able to make huge gains in the next 5 weeks, but I want to at least start on something.

January 8, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLily

@ Lily: Ditto! My arms felt like noodles halfway thru the test!

@ Ryan: Thanks!

January 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMUXX