Push ups = improved bench press

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by CaptainObvious, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. My bench has been a weak spot for quite some time, considering my size, 6'5", 235-240 lbs.. January 1, I started doing some body weight workouts on days when I'm not in the gym. Nothing dramatic, just 30-35 pushups and sets of air squats. My previous best, as an old guy,( now 66) was 200lbs, 4 good reps. Last two times out I have done 200, 6 really solid reps, and could have muscled up another sloppy one or two. This morning I put another 10 on and did 3 good form reps with 210.
    Have also noticed improvement with the dumbbell flys. Anyone else have a similar experience?
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  2. Baron

    Baron ET Founder

    Believe it or not, I'll bet your strength improvement on the bench has more to do with the air squats than the pushups. I've noticed that when my legs get stronger, everything else gets stronger too.
  3. You could be right. I have to say since doing these two simple things, push ups and air squats, my overall workouts in the gym are considerably better in just about every area. The one remaining area where I am horrible is pull ups. I cannot do one damn pull up, not one, not even a shitty one. I don't know what it is. I just can't engage something. I go over to the assisted pull up machine and have been progressively using less weight to assist, but that's been going on for months and I still can't do one f'n pull up unassisted. I mean I can't even do 25% of a pull up. Any advice would be welcome. My man card may not be renewed. :confused:
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2018
  4. Baron

    Baron ET Founder

    You're a big guy. Pulling up 235 lbs of body weight is a major feat of strength, so I wouldn't sweat it too much. But here's what you need to do:

    Instead of focusing on how many "real" pullups you can do, what I want you to do is focus on how many negative chinups you can do. So at first, you want to make it so that you can assist yourself into getting into the top chinup position (underhanded grip). That may mean that you need to position a bench or something else underneath you so that you can step on it to boost yourself up to the top position with your chin above the bar. Then, take the assistance away by curling your legs back and then slowly lower yourself down to the bottom. And when you reach the bottom, use your legs to push yourself from the bench or whatever up to the top position again and then curl your legs back again and lower yourself again slowly down. See how many you can do and then build yourself up to the point that you can do 10 or 12 partial reps that way.

    Once you build yourself up to that level, then you change your grip to the standard overhand pullup grip. You are still doing negatives only though. Then when you build yourself up to doing 10 or 12 negative pullup reps, you'll be ready to try a real pullup rep from a hanging position. You'll be surprised at what you are able to achieve when you get to that point.
  5. vanzandt


  6. eurusdzn


    Tall , heavy men cannot and wont try to do pull-ups...Ask a large power lifter to do one.
    Long arms and a lack of a barrel chest do not translate to a heavy bench press.

    Bang out some half pull-ups, front and back hand. The top half.
    Its all very good work and energy and dont be hard on ones self regarding form/schmorm
    You are in the 95th-99th percentile, overall IMO.
  7. I don't know if you are also doing cardio training? If not, then these pushups and air squats might serve as such and thus are improving your cardiovascular condition. Which, in turn, might be of help when you're in the gym.
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  8. monkeyc


    I found that pushups had no positive impact on my bench. Doing pushups is just ultra-high volume training, and that type of training is useless for strength gains. That said, when I was doing 100's of pushups daily in lieu of bench presses, I looked bigger because I was in a constant state of pump. Ultra-high volume training is good for fake hypertrophy but really bad for strength. There's a reason why olympic power lifters train in the 3-rep range instead of doing 250 pushups
  9. Don't. Do as many reps as you can using good form. Once your form deteriorates, you should stop. The risk of injury is not worth it.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
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  10. Looks like whatever you're doing is working, so keep at it. One thing to keep in mind is that most people don't do push-ups properly for one reason or another. I was no exception for a good, long time. Here is a checklist you can use to ensure that you're doing them properly, and if there are mirrors in your gym, as there are in most gyms, then you may wish to observe your form from time to time just to make sure you're not straying:

    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
    #10     Feb 3, 2018
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