There is a common pushup routine that many athletes use to increase their overall body strength, but primarily their upper bodies, called “The One Hundred Push Up Plan”. By the end of the program, you should be able to do, as the title says, one hundred consecutive pushups. In it, you test your normal number of consecutive pushups. BAsed on this number, you follow a weekly program doing a set number of pushups a number of times, once per day, every other day. You start pushing yourself as the days progress, and at the end of the week, you retest your maximum and readjust the plan if necessary. Eventually, you should get to your goal, whatever that may be (the plan is good for any pushup goal, not just the advertised one hundred.
However, I feel that there is a better plan out there. This plan is called “The Evil Russian Program”.
The program starts out the same. Test your maximum consecutive push up amount. Then, every day for two weeks, you do a given percentage of your maximum at a given interval for that day. For example, on Day One of Week One, you do 50% of your maximum number every 60 minutes. you do these from the time you get out of bed, to an hour before you go back to bed. Don’t sweat it if you can’t make a specific interval; sometimes work and other events get in the way. Just try to make up for it if you can. The first day of every week, retest your maximum, but don’t worry about re-adjusting your reps unless you feel that you need to.
I like this plan much better than the One Hundred Pushups plan. The Evil Russian Program only /seems/ more difficult on the surface, but in reality it’s specially designed for anyone of any body type to do. The fact that the required number of reps per interval is based on a percentage means that you’ll never actually be maxing yourself in any given interval, yet by the end of the day you’ll have done as many as ten times your maximum. Furthermore, even if you can only do two or three pushups at a time, you’re not forced into maxing yourself every interval. This is an important concept, because if you strain yourself too much, you can damage the muscle, rather than build it. Depending on your situation, the One Hundred Pushups Plan may not be the best for you.
In summary, the Evil Russian Program pushes you harder than the One Hundred Pushups Plan, for about the same amount of work. As a side benefit, it also helps to establish a daily exercise routine, which can be a hard thing to get into if you’re just starting out. It bears mentioning that people with overly-busy schedules probably won’t be able to do this often, in which case they should stick to the One H4undred Pushups Plan. It’s not a bad program; the Evil Russian Program is just more efficient and works better in my opinion.
Below is the two week schedule. Re-test your maximum every Sunday, and adjust your number of reps as needed. Repeat the two-week schedule as needed.
Sunday: Test your maximum. Then, do 30% max. every 60 minutes.
Monday: 30% max. every 60 minutes
Tuesday: 50% max. every 60 minutes
Wednesday: 60% max. every 45 minutes
Thursday: 25% max. every 60 minutes
Friday: 45% max. every 30 minutes
Saturday: 40% max. every 60 minutes
Sunday: Re-test and re-adjust your maximum. Then, do 35% max. every 45 minutes
Monday: 55% max. every 20 minutes
Tuesday: 30% max. every 15 minutes
Wednesday: 65% max. every 60 minutes
Thursday: 35% max. every 45 minutes
Friday: 45% max. every 60 minutes
Saturday: 25% max. every 120 minutes