• You're all caught up!

Do Pushups Increase Your Bench Press?

author image Timothy Owens
Timothy Owens has been in the fitness and wellness industry since 2000. He holds a Master of Arts in physical education: sport and exercise science from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke and is a certified personal trainer through the National Council on Strength & Fitness. Owens worked as a exercise physiologist and personal trainer for eight years until moving into recreation administration and management.
Do Pushups Increase Your Bench Press?
Hundreds of pushups per day result in muscular overtraining. Photo Credit Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images

You can always squeeze in a set of pushups here and there throughout your day to pump up your chest, but whether pushups help you increase your bench press is another story. To see if you benefit or not, look at your current fitness level and the challenge that pushups present. You might find out that those pushups during your fitness routine -- or the occasional set throughout the day -- help increase your bench press or do not help at all.

Pushup Intensity

If you think that doing 100 pushups several times a day will make you stronger on the press, think again. According to "Designing Resistance Training Programs," there is no or minimal strength gain from performing a large number of reps with very little resistance. If you are strong enough to consider your body weight as little resistance, you fall into this category. However, if you can only do between one and 15 repetitions, pushups will increase your bench press.

Four to Six Reps

If you can do between four and six pushups, pushups can result in an increase in your bench press and improved body composition. Add two to three sets of pushups to your normal weight training routine for the best results. Train the chest -- with pushups and other chest exercises -- two to three times per week. As you get stronger, you will be able to do more than four to six pushups. At this time, you need to stop your pushups and switch to an exercise that is more challenging.

Just Pushups

Relying exclusively on pushups to increase your bench press may not be the best idea. If you are able to do more than 15 reps per set, your bench press will show little to no improvement, but you will increase in muscular endurance. If you fatigue and cannot do more than 15 pushups at one time, pushups are an effective method to increase the bench press. Do three sets of pushups two to three times per week on non-consecutive days, and you will increase your bench press -- although this is not as effective as multiple-exercise training routines.

Pushups All Day

One common theme among pushup enthusiasts is to do 100 pushups per day or even 100 pushups multiple times per day. This style of workout is not effective for muscular endurance nor will it increase your bench press. In fact, overtraining your chest and triceps to this extreme may account for a drop in your bench max and loss of muscle mass. While pushup enthusiasts may claim to lose weight, they are losing muscle mass as opposed to fat mass.

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
  • Female
  • Male
ft. in.



Demand Media