The Advanced Level Push Up

So you’ve perfected the push-up.

You can now do a full proper push-up.

You probably can do lots more than just one too.


Now what?

What comes next?

Things are about to get interesting!


The Next Level

Last week I published, How To Do A Full Push Up / 6 Week Training Guide.

Along with the great feedback I received (thank you), I was also asked, what’s next? What if I can do 20,30, 50 proper push ups, what comes next? How do I take my push ups to the next level and challenge myself further? What an awesome question. Made me think of one of my favorite Bruce Lee quotes:

“If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it’ll spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateau’s, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them.”

Go beyond a full proper push up. Take it to the next level, push yourself past your limits, do more than you ever thought possible.


Impossible is Nothing

Taking your push ups to the next level means stepping out of your comfort zone. It means trying new exercises, pushing your limits, and not giving into fear.

The advanced level push up is a stepping stone to more intense and advanced exercises and training that await you. You’re limited only by your thoughts of what’s possible and what you’re capable of, nothing else.

You aren’t limited by your height, strength, age, or gender. Make the decision to take your training, any training you do for that matter, to the next level. Commit to doing more and you’ll have more. More strength, stability, endurance, and confidence.

Don’t doubt or limit yourself and all you’re capable of, ever.


The Advanced Level Push Up


Level One

Engage the muscles that fuel your push up first, with some preliminary exercises before completing a set of full push ups.

Start by doing 15 burpess, followed by 30 hill climbers, and then a set of 20 full push ups.

No rest between sets. As you squat and extend your legs out for your 15th burpee, remain in that position and immediately begin your hill climbers. As soon as you’re done, immediately begin your set of push ups without taking a knee or a rest break.

Follow the video sequence below:

(If you can’t see the video below, click here to watch it)

(If you can’t see the video below, click here to watch it)

(If you can’t see the video below, click here to watch it)


Level Two

Now let’s begin to add some movement to your push up.

You’ll start off again by engaging the muscles that fuel your push up by having you begin with a 20 second abdominal plank followed by a set of 20 lateral push ups.

There’s no break between the plank and push ups. Once your 20 second plank is completed, remain in that same position by bringing yourself up into a push up position and beginning the lateral push ups.

(If you can’t see the video below, click here to watch it)

(If you can’t see the video below, click here to watch it)


Level Three

It’s time to introduce gravity and stability to the picture.

Start off by completing a set of 20 decline push ups from a bench. Rest for 60 seconds and then complete a set of 20 decline push ups from a stability ball.

(If you can’t see the video below, click here to watch it)

(If you can’t see the video below, click here to watch it)


Level Four

The toughest of all the levels. Here you will begin to incorporate plyometrics into your push ups. Plyometrics are great for increasing muscular power and explosiveness. The goal is to get a full hand clap and full push up with each repetition. Consider it a success is you’re able to do one rep. If you are, make your goal 10 reps.

(If you can’t see the video below, click here to watch it)


How To Use These 4 Levels

Alternate between level one and two for 2 weeks. Here’s an example:

Week One

Monday – Level One (2 sets)

Wednesday – Level Two (2 sets)

Friday – Level One (2 sets)

Saturday – Level Two (2 sets)

Week Two

Tuesday – Level Three (2 sets)

Thursday – Level Four (1 set)

Friday – Level Three (2 sets)

Sunday – Level Four (1 set)


Remember The Basics

Although these are advanced level push ups, the basics still apply. Let’s review what they are:

1. Position

2. Range of motion

3. Breathing

Proper hand, torso, and feet placement are a must.

In order to maximize your results and decrease the chance of injury, perform each exercise using proper range of motion. When doing a push up, basic or advanced, remember that your chest must touch either the ground or platform depending on the exercise you’re doing

Although I’ve provided you with a set number of repetitions to aim for, you’re better off doing just a few with proper range of motion, than doing 20 completely wrong.

Quality, not quantity.

There’s a tendency to hold your breath when doing push ups too as you’re exerting energy, working your muscles, and pushing through the push up, especially with advanced level push ups.

Inhale as you’re coming down into a push up, and then exhale out as you push yourself up.


Challenge Yourself

You’re now equipped and ready to take your push ups to the next level.

Push yourself, push your limits, do what you thought you couldn’t do. Do the impossible.

Your future self will thank you for it.

It’s go time!


“If you want something you’ve never had, than you’ve got to do something you’ve never done.”

  • That’s a great plan Mike!
    When I started training Freeletics, I had to do 4x 50 pushups in the first workout. I barely could do 15 reps in a set. After 7 weeks and pushing through tough workouts I’ve increased to 35 clean push ups per set.

    Now I’m switching to Calisthenics and will incorporate diamond push ups, handstand push ups, lalanne push ups and other nice variations 🙂

    Keep up the great work!

    • Thanks Jan – always appreciate your comments and feedback. 4 x 50 push ups…wow! That’s a lot of push ups. The fact that you’ve built up your push ups from 15 to 35 reps is awesome! Congrats man. Loving your new plan too. Handstand push ups are tough, but so darn effective in terms of increasing strength and overall stability. You’re awesome man… Cheers!

  • Excellent post, Mike. Loved the last video 🙂
    I’ve just finished a 6 week workout plan but, I’ve not even tried the plyometric pushup. I was afraid of injuring myself. After seeing your video though, I think I’m going to give this a shot!
    Now, for your next challenge. How does one go from Level 4 to doing one handed pushups (like the one Rocky does while training)?

    • Thanks Debashish – I appreciate it. Good luck with trying out the plyometric push up. It’s a challenge for sure but I have a strange suspicion you’re going to get it done. 🙂 One-handed Rocky push ups huh? Hmmm. May just have to be my next post… Cheers!

    • Thanks! Knowing you, you’ll be out of the beginner stages in no time and onto these exercises sooner than later. 🙂

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