Push Ups

Steps and instructions for progressing with the push-up.


Push ups is part of the Beginner progression and is a pre-req to level 1 Handstand Push Ups.

Before getting inverted you should have some basic upper-body strength. This is to handle stability while inverted. If you cannot complete 10 strict push-ups then that is your first goal before working on a HSPU.

  • Current ability: Less than 10 standard push ups.
  • Goal: 10 standard push ups
Phase 1 – Cannot Complete a Pushup

The first phase is when you can’t do a push up yet. Your goal is to do sets of 12-15 at the most difficult progression you are able to do. Once you are getting past 15 reps for a progression then move to the next difficulty level.

In this phase you’ll benefit from a concept called greasing the wheel. Greasing the wheel means do as much and as often as you like. We want you to get your first push up as fast as possible.

This means before, during, or after your workout. While watching TV or waiting for the water to boil. Think of all those 30-second gaps in the day and those would be great opportunities to grease the wheel!

There are 10 push up variations. At minimum, every other day you will do 3 sets of 12-15 with 3 minutes rest at whichever progression you’re at. Remember, with this phase you can move quicker by greasing the groove!

You’ll notice that at step 7 is the ability to do one standard pushup. Once you can do that then move to phase 2. The remaining steps in the pushup difficulty progression will be used in phase 2. In phase 2, the goal will be to get to 10 pushups.

  1. Wall push up – vary body angle to make more/less difficult
  2. Incline push up on 30″ box – vary body angle to make more/less difficult
  3. Incline push up on 24″ box or bench – vary body angle to make more/less difficult
  4. Knee Push up with 3 ab mats under chest
  5. Knee Push up with 2 ab mats under chest
  6. Knee Push up with 1 ab mat under chest
  7. Standard knee push ups
  8. Standard push up on the way down, knee push up on the way up. Switch to 4×8-12 rep scheme for this progression.
  9. Standard push ups 1 on the minute for 10 minutes. Work your way up to 3 on the minute for 10 minutes.
  10. Standard push ups 3 sets of max reps with 3 minutes rest between sets. Once you can do 10 push ups on the first set you are all set to start phase 1 for HSPU’s.


Phase 2 – Can do at-least One Pushup

In this phase we will progress from one pushup to 10. Wonderful!

All you do is rotate through the days in this microcycle. Once you complete Day 3, then its back to Day 1. You keep this rotation going until you are able to complete 10 standard pushups.

Microcyle for Phase 2  Prerequisite Cross-Training HSPU
Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Volume Intensity Volume
3-5 reps EMOM for 10 minutes. If you do more than 5 reps than move to a more difficult progression. If you get to the point where you can't do 3 when the minute comes up then move to one of the easier progressions for the remainder of minute intervals As many reps as possible in 3 minutes. Move up :15 each time until you reach 5 minutes. Use any pushup difficulty you want Accumulate 100 reps throughout the day. Do them at work.The bank. Kitchen. Bedroom. ect. Do not do them all at the gym. Grease the wheel!