Increasing strength

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by aj2608, Jun 9, 2009.

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  1. Hi there,
    I need to increase my upper body strength so that I can do the required amount of press-ups on AOSB.
    I don't have access to a gym so can anyone recommend ways that I can increase it using my own body weight?
  2. From the RNZAF web site. a good programme which might help
    * Consult your Doctor prior to undertaking any physical exercise programme *
    Find your current push up level by doing one set of Maximum Push-ups i.e. do as many repetitions as possible until you are unable to carry on.
    Be aware that after your maximum set of push ups it is possible that you could experience some muscle soreness for the next couple of days. When the soreness has gone, begin your programme.
    Full Push-Ups - Where Should I Start?
    Below is a table that indicates where you should start in relation to your maximum push ups. Basically you will be doing four sets of 50% of your maximum. e.g. If your maximum push-ups is 20 reps then you will begin by doing four sets of 10 reps.
    See the table below to find out where your starting point is.
    Push-Up Starting Table
    Maximum Push Ups (If your maximum is 2, start by doing sets of reps)
    Starting Point
    40 4 sets of 20 reps
    38 4 sets of 19 reps
    36 4 sets of 18 reps
    34 4 sets of 17 reps
    32 4 sets of 16 reps
    30 4 sets of 15 reps
    28 4 sets of 14 reps
    Programme 4 26 4 sets of 13 reps
    24 4 sets of 12 reps
    22 4 sets of 11 reps
    20 4 sets of 10 reps
    18 4 sets of 09 reps
    Program 3 16 4 sets of 08 reps
    14 4 sets of 07 reps
    12 4 sets of 06 reps
    10 4 sets of 05 reps
    8 4 sets of 04 reps
    Program 2 6 4 sets of 03 reps
    4 4 sets of 02 reps
    2 4 sets of 01 reps
    Program 1 0 Starting from Zero Program

    Cut and paste the link below for the required programme or just click on it :oops:
  3. Similar to what has been said before. Try the 100 pushup program.

    Just doing push ups does not work that well to be honest. You should be doing a balanced workout. Try and get some dumbells or a barbell and plates to use at home as well.

    Do other body weight excercises such as dips, pull ups, chin ups. You can get a bar for your door frame to do the pull ups and chin ups for about 15 quid.

    And eat enough protein to allow muscle growth.
  4. Simple answer:

    Do more press ups.

    When I was struggling to do them I banged 60 out every night before I went to bed and upped that by 10 every 3rd or 4th time. when I got to 120 (4 sets of 30) then I held it there and every friday I would do my own little sort of PFT. 2 minutes best effort of Push ups and sit ups.

    You can do every fancy training program in the book but the best prep in my opinion is to practice at whatever it is you want to do.

    Good luck


    ps: Don't neglect your cardio. This helps aswel.
  5. Wow beer man, I don't think I'll ever get to your standard!
    But thanks for the advice, I'll give it a go and hopefully won't turn into Panther in the process :p
  6. Fuck me! Someone with common sense!
  7. Thats a good post. The paras handed me a similar pressups regime. It was do best effort of pressups. Then when you have completed it half the amount you did and do four sets of that. Its the same princible with sit-ups and pullups. Every week try to improve on your previous score. As pointed out the best way to get better is to practice the activity you need to train for.
  8. Also have a look at 'The evil Russian push up program'.
    I cant find the original source, so i'll paste it here. It is pretty time consuming, but if you've got the time its an excellent way to increase your push ups.


    'Before the bench press was a twinkle in some early powerlifter's eye, the push up was the true measure of a person. A hundred separated the men from the boys; the women from the girls. Still does. How will you rate?

    Pretty good if you follow my program.

    All right, so you're not planning to join the marines- your loss, their gain- so why should you bother giving me a hundred? Because, if you train the right way, this push-up drill will fill out your pecs, delts & tri's faster than a jarhead recruit can clean a latrine with his toothbrush.

    Where heavy resistance training builds the contractile proteins, high-volume, low intensity loading, such as push-ups, kick other wheels of the muscles machinery into growth. The volume of sacroplasm goes up. Mitochondria, the muscle cells' energy plants, get buff. Capillaries spread their tentacles throughout the muscle.

    Even though capillaries make up but a fraction of a muscle's girth they serve a VIP function in bulking your myofibrils, or "real muscle", when you get back to heavy training. Here's how it works:

    A 1995 British study by Schott et al., concluded that greater exposure of muscle cells to various metabolites, or "muscle engine exhaust fumes", leads to greater gains in strength & mass. It has been suggested by some experts that the more extensive a muscle's vascularity, the more the muscle will be soaked in intra-muscular metabolites & growth factors, & the more it will grow.

    At least up to a point. According to Soviet research (Zalesskiy & Burkhanov, 1981), vascular network development generally can not keep up with muscle growth. So if you want to keep on growing beyond the easy first gains, you must find a way of developing your vascular network.

    This is where super high reps come in. In 1986, Luthi et al., discovered that heavy training has no effect on capillarization. In 1984, Tesch et al., added that Olympic weightlifters & other athletes who favour low-rep training with long rest periods display capillary density that is even lower than that of untrained subjects! The same year, Sjoogard stated that enhanced capillarization is the result of endurance training. (Could explain why your legs gain mass so much easier than your arms?)

    The evil Russian's hit the deck program

    WEEK 1

    Mon: 100% test, relative intensity (RI) 30% Set frequency (SF) 60 min
    Tues: RI 50% SF 60 min
    Wed: RI 60% SF 45 min
    Thurs: RI 25% SF 60 min
    Fri: RI 45% SF 30 min
    Sat: RI 40% SF 60 min
    Sun: RI 20% SF 90 min

    WEEK 2

    Mon: 100% test RI 35% SF 45min
    Tues: RI 55% SF 20 min
    Wed: RI 30% SF 15 min
    Thurs: RI 65% SF 60min
    Fri: RI 35% SF 45 min
    Sat: RI 45% SF 60 min
    Sun: RI 25% SF120 min

    WEEK 3

    Mon: 100% test

    The program outlined in the chart above is self-explanatory. Just drop & give me a specified percentage of your last personal best at given time intervals throughout the day. For instance, if you managed 50 push-ups on your test, do 25 on the day that calls for 50% relative intensity. On Mondays, test yourself for one set & do east sets for the rest of the day. You are going to love the constant pump!

    Time the breaks between your sets, but you do not have a fit if you missed your date with the concrete here & there. Make it up if you can; do not sweat it if you cannot. Do your sets from the time you get up until an hour before you go to bed. Naturally, most comrades with a real job will have a couple of gaps in their day when they cannot drop & pump out push-ups. Do not worry about it; just gets back on schedule when the boss looks the other way.

    Note that you are only supposed to go to the limit once a week. High rep sets to exhaustion are a lot more dangerous than they look. Tension in the stabilising muscles is inadequate to protect the joints & the connective tissues; the latter really get it in the shorts. So do not mess with the outline; stay well within your ability except on test days! Do not worry, you'll make great gains without collapsing on the last rep, dripping in sweat & making macho faces.

    The prescribes regimen requires that you say no to any other upper-body work with the exception of pull-ups or chin-ups. Either of these military favourites will hit the muscles missed by the push-ups & balance out your deltoids.

    A word on push-ups for reasons other than getting buff or becoming one of the few good men. Push-ups are no good for strength unless you can merely manage a couple. The time-honoured push-up, however, is useful for developing shoulder endurance for sports such as boxing.

    Proper push-up technique

    Whether you're training for the boxing ring or the bodybuilding stage, proper push-up technique will amplify your gains.

    Place the weight near the base of your palms rather than closer to your fingers. If the traditional technique hurts your wrists, you have a couple of options. The yuppie choice is a set of push-up handles. The heroic alternative is to do your push-ups the karate way, on your knuckles. The proper martial arts knuckle push-up calls for resting your weight only on two knuckles of each fist. You will find this technique will strengthen your wrists in a hurry. No your forearms won't look any better, but your bench will go up because your noodle-thin wrists will stop screaming for mercy & wraps.

    Keep you butt tucked under; this will make your push-ups look crisp & protect your back from sagging & hurting.

    Do not constrict your chest, keep it wide open. The range of motion will be slightly reduced, the pecs will be pre-stretched for more power, & you are less likely to hurt your shoulders that way.

    Also, look straight ahead rather than down. Tension in the neck extensor muscles facilitates a stronger contraction of the elbow extensors.

    High-Tension Push-Up Techniques

    First, grip the ground with your fingertips. Do not attempt fingertip push-ups; just imagine you are trying to leave claw marks on the ground

    Second, clench your glutes hard & flex your abs.

    Third, squeeze your thighs tight together.

    Fourth, screw your hands into the floor.

    Fifth, hold your breath on exertion.

    Do all of the above during the actual rep, at lockout relax as mush as possible. Take a few breaths before the next rep. The above techniques are only to be applied during your test sets! Or for very difficult low-rep exercises.

    The Push-Up Rules of Engagement

    ï‚· never come to close to failure, except when testing your max
    ï‚· vary the reps and the rest periods between the sets daily
    ï‚· adjust the load to your recovery ability
    ï‚· build up cumulative fatigue
    ï‚· taper down before a peak

    Keep you push-up cycles short & sweet. According to a 1990 study by Russian scientists Nikityuk & Samoylo, repetition lifting of a submaximal weight promotes sarcoplasmic hypertrophy while breaking down the contractile proteins, the real muscle. So, in other words, that's not good. Which is why you are going to alternate two-week periods of push-ups with two weeks of your regular upper-body weight training routine. This rotation schedule, made popular in Russia, is superior to doing everything at once, e.g., doing your push-ups, followed by your benching, followed by your triceps push-downs.

    There you have it, Comrade, your complete guide to push-up excellence. Put it to work & fill out your shirt before the month is up!
  9. Thankyou everyone! I will try them!