'Greasing the grooves' for press ups

Newmills15

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Hi everyone, I've tried a few different press up programs now including gainers and they haven't really worked for me. Just wondering if anyone has used the gainers technique for press ups and how well it works. I max out around 30-35 to the bleep and never seem to get higher than this whatever training plan I use. It would also be helpful if anyone could suggest a number of reps I should preform a day and how many press ups I should do per set. Any advice is appreciated.
 

Figgers

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It might be possible you’ve started too high on the gainers? Start a bit lower and build it up
 

Newmills15

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When I did gainers I started at 7 and my max was about 30-35 so I'm not sure if this is a low enough number? I also feel like I'm just not doing enough press ups with gainers and feel like I need to be doing a lot higher number of reps to improve.
 

bogsandmud

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Well the press-up test is all about the maximum reps you can do (60 for full points)...therefore the aim is obvious and simple...to do more reps, not more sets or anything.

You could try increasing the frequency. So going from 2/3 sessions for bodyweight exercises each week to 3/4, the extra practice may help.

Don't do highly fatiguing sessions. Many people will say rest 1min between sets of exercises, this is in fact incomplete rest, so the next set will be fatigued. Consequently, if you practice fatigued you get less output (reps)! Give yourself a full 4-5 mins rest OR do a different exercise to fit that rest period. Your aim is more reps, so allow full rest so you can get that stimulus.

You could make press-ups easier by having your hands elevated, the reason for making press-ups easier is that it will train the muscles to getting used to doing more reps (training the endurance/aerobic metabolism of those muscles). Thereby, the next time you do normal press-ups there will be less fatigue.

Example:
Session 1:
1. Run, 4 x 800m best effort
2. Circuit of Press-ups, Sit-ups, Squats, Pull-ups, Burpees x 8 rounds of 20seconds, rest 60s

Each week add 5 or 10seconds. (You could do this by reps instead too and not by time, but I used time for my POC and built up to 70 or 80 seconds work with 60s rest). If it's too difficult use an easier variation, but keep the reps/time so you build up the endurance.

Session 2
:
1. Run, 4 x 1000m best effort
2. Circuit of Press-ups, Sit-ups, Squats, Pull-ups, Burpees x 6 rounds of 20seconds, rest 60s.

Session 3: Dedicated RMFA bleep test session
Run - bleep test run through or shuttle sprints
Press-ups (to bleep) - 3 x 30/20/15 (each week add 2 reps)
Pull-ups (to bleep) - 3 x 6/5/4 (each week add 1 rep to just 1 set)
Sit-ups (to bleep) - 3 x 30/20/15 (each week add 3 reps to each set)

Long post, sorry, but I had a spare few minutes and decided to reel off my ideas.

Best of luck
 

Harry McRunFast

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@Newmills15

Struggled with press ups / pull ups myself.

I’ve observed throughout my training that whenever I hit a plateau, it was roughly 10% of my weekly total rep count.

Example: doing about 400 press ups per week = a max of roughly 40 after getting used to the load.

I have upped my weekly total, so only time will tell!

Give that theory a go perhaps?

Good luck!
 

Newmills15

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Ok cheers, do you just do these at random points through the day like a 'greasing the grooves' type workout?
 

Harry McRunFast

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I do them throughout the afternoon yeah, over the course of a couple of hours. Same with pull ups.
 

Griff149

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I’ve also struggled a bit getting my press ups over 35! I think honestly sometimes my problem has been I haven’t stuck with any one given programme long enough to see the results.

The body adapts when you progressively overload exercises that you do, gradually making them more difficult and subsequently forcing a change. Jumping from one press up routine to another will give some benefits but will likely not be as helpful as sticking to one plan over a course of say four weeks.

Now I just need to follow this advice myself!
 

Vine

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Add some bench pressing into your programme sometimes it's just hitting the various muscle fibres that can help you overall. Be sensible with it though I'm talking one day a week 5x5 strength work along with your various press up programs see how that works really helped me when getting over the 40 mark.
 

Newmills15

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@Vine
Sounds good I'll try adding some bench press in on top of my press up routine, what weight would you recomend (fewer but heavier reps or more lighter reps?).
 

Griff149

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Add some bench pressing into your programme sometimes it's just hitting the various muscle fibres that can help you overall. Be sensible with it though I'm talking one day a week 5x5 strength work along with your various press up programs see how that works really helped me when getting over the 40 mark.

In the spirit of healthy debate, I’m not sure I would agree entirely with this approach.

Your muscles have different fibers, all of which exist to serve a different purpose. Slow/fast with oxygen and fast without oxygen. Fibers that work with oxygen work to improve endurance (typically found in runners) vs fibers that work without oxygen that are used for explosive powerful movements, such as benching a heavy weight for 5 reps (more often found in power lifters). The more of a certain type of exercise you do, the more of the relevant muscle fibers your body produces as an adaptation. Frequently performing higher rep activities will increase the slow twitch muscle fibers associated with endurance and is likely to help more in hitting higher reps, as opposed to strength based activities.

Also, specificity is key.. If you want to run faster, do more running. If you want to do more press ups, do more press ups.

Just my opinion however! Best of luck to you with your training :)
 

Newmills15

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@Griff149
Thanks for the advice, do you think adding in some incline press ups would help to increase muscular endurance by doing a higher amount of reps but at a lower intensity?
 

Trooper149

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Well the press-up test is all about the maximum reps you can do (60 for full points)...therefore the aim is obvious and simple...to do more reps, not more sets or anything.

You could try increasing the frequency. So going from 2/3 sessions for bodyweight exercises each week to 3/4, the extra practice may help.

Don't do highly fatiguing sessions. Many people will say rest 1min between sets of exercises, this is in fact incomplete rest, so the next set will be fatigued. Consequently, if you practice fatigued you get less output (reps)! Give yourself a full 4-5 mins rest OR do a different exercise to fit that rest period. Your aim is more reps, so allow full rest so you can get that stimulus.

You could make press-ups easier by having your hands elevated, the reason for making press-ups easier is that it will train the muscles to getting used to doing more reps (training the endurance/aerobic metabolism of those muscles). Thereby, the next time you do normal press-ups there will be less fatigue.

Example:
Session 1:
1. Run, 4 x 800m best effort
2. Circuit of Press-ups, Sit-ups, Squats, Pull-ups, Burpees x 8 rounds of 20seconds, rest 60s

Each week add 5 or 10seconds. (You could do this by reps instead too and not by time, but I used time for my POC and built up to 70 or 80 seconds work with 60s rest). If it's too difficult use an easier variation, but keep the reps/time so you build up the endurance.

Session 2
:
1. Run, 4 x 1000m best effort
2. Circuit of Press-ups, Sit-ups, Squats, Pull-ups, Burpees x 6 rounds of 20seconds, rest 60s.

Session 3: Dedicated RMFA bleep test session
Run - bleep test run through or shuttle sprints
Press-ups (to bleep) - 3 x 30/20/15 (each week add 2 reps)
Pull-ups (to bleep) - 3 x 6/5/4 (each week add 1 rep to just 1 set)
Sit-ups (to bleep) - 3 x 30/20/15 (each week add 3 reps to each set)

Long post, sorry, but I had a spare few minutes and decided to reel off my ideas.

Best of luck

This is pretty solid. I would add also a "magnitude oriented" aspect with some weighted press ups going to the tune of 5 sets by 5-7 reps.

Primary reason for this is strength can be measured by both magnitude of rep (maximum weight moved) and volume of reps(total weight moved over time). Doing a lot of sets and reps certainly increases volume/endurance but by working magnitude as well, you ensure that the first 10-20 seconds (15 reps) are far less taxing on your nervous system and require less relative muscular tension per rep. Thus giving you more in reserve for reps after 15+.

Lastly, I would include hip flexor stretches (both dynamic and static) in conjunction with hanging leg raises (or lying leg raises/reverse crunches over a bosu ball). The no 1 exercises in terms of developing abdominal strength.
 

bogsandmud

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This is pretty solid. I would add also a "magnitude oriented" aspect with some weighted press ups going to the tune of 5 sets by 5-7 reps.

Spot on, a strength element would be of good use too. Covers all bases.

So you could do
Day 1 - Strength based press-ups (weight vest, resistance band, etc)
Day 2 - Bodyweight volume session (moderate reps, plenty of sets)
Day 3 - Endurance (easier variations, and higher reps, less sets)
Or you could do these as separate phases entirely.

Good to see so many helping out, whole purpose of the forum and the reason why it works very well!
 

Vine

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specificity is key.. If you want to run faster, do more running. If you want to do more press ups, do more press ups.

Just my opinion however! Best of luck to you with your training :)
I agree on the basis of that and it's clearly a massive part of it but various athletes use resistance training to improve overall Usain Bolt does various weightlifting elements as an example to work on explosive power there's more than one way to skin a cat as they say. I'd personally add a session a week 5x5 strength work for a couple weeks see how it plays out for you if it's not helping you past the plateau then chin it off best of luck mate
 

06042020

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Only just changed it up so that I’m now doing 10 sets of 25 reps, 4 days per week.

Mon, Tue, Thur, Fri.

Will see how that fairs!

I believe I hadn’t incorporated enough volume into my routine, and my frequency was too low.

Hit a bit of a plateau on my press-ups recently using gainers, so curious as to how you're getting on with this Harry?
 

Harry McRunFast

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Hit a bit of a plateau on my press-ups recently using gainers, so curious as to how you're getting on with this Harry?
Hi mate, yeah so I felt like I was doing a bit too much to start. Took it down and I’m now building back up, so it’ll be about 36 sets this week.

I haven’t tested but I’ve certain found that push ups and pull ups are feeling easier. Each set feels solid, as opposed to when I started, the later ones felt awful!

So far I’d give it a thumbs up. Only time will tell, going to test in a couple of weeks.
 
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