Advanced Training Plan

The Advanced Training Plan is the third and final phase on your way to doing 100 consecutive pushups. Follow this plan if you score 40 or more in the max pushups test. A quick heads up about this phase of the training… progress can be somewhat more difficult than in the Foundation and Intermediate training plans. A lot of the “easy gains” have already been used up. Therefore this phase of training is necessarily different to the previous plans.

Consider these two things before you dive in to this training plan:

1. Correct arm position?
Arm position has a significant impact on the difficulty of the pushups, and therefore on your test score. It is much better to do the Intermediate training plan with good technique, than the Advanced training plan with bad technique. Do not be in a rush to get started with this Advanced Training Plan.

2. Complete the Intermediate Challenge
If you haven’t yet attempted the Intermediate Challenge (aka 100 pushups in five minutes), give it a go. It is an important milestone to tick off on the way to 100 consecutive pushups.

Greasing The Groove

The previous training plans have heavily relied on a training principle called Greasing the Groove. If you are not familiar with the concept, spend a few minutes reading up on it.

If you have graduated from the previous training plans, you have already spent time greasing the groove. Most gains from this training principle are maxed out after 4-6 weeks. Progress will begin to stall after that, and it is time to move on to a new training methodology.

If you haven’t spent time doing the previous training plans – i.e. you are already strong at doing pushups and you skipped straight to the Advanced Plan – you may still be able to accrue significant gains from greasing the groove.

A good rule of thumb is to grease the groove until your progress stalls and/or until you are mentally exhausted from following the same training schedule week after week.

In other words, ride out the Intermediate training plan until your progress has stalled:

[table class=”table-striped”]
Day,Sets,Exercise, Sets (optional), Exercise (optional)
1,3-9,60% Standard pushup,1,100% Pushup Plank
2,3-9,60%+1 Standard pushup,1,80% Diamond Pushup
3,3-9,60%+2 Standard pushup,1,100% Pushup Plank
4,3-9,60%+3 Standard pushup,1,80% Diamond Pushup
5,3-9,60%+4 Standard pushup,1,100% Pushup Plank
6,3-9,60%+5 Standard pushup,1,80% Diamond Pushup
7,3-9,60%+6 Standard pushup,1,100% Pushup Plank
8,3-9,60%+7 Standard pushup,1,80% Diamond Pushup
9,3-9,60%+8 Standard pushup,1,100% Pushup Plank

Beyond Greasing the Groove

As soon as you have exhausted all the gains to be made by greasing the groove, it is time to change it up. The two changes you are going to implement are:

1. Taking some sets closer to your your maximum pushup capacity (80% – 100%).

2. Focusing on more challenging versions of the pushup.

The first is necessary to develop sufficient strength endurance to complete 100 consecutive pushups. The second ensures that your neuromuscular system continues to be challenged and trained.

The 5 Minute Pushup-Plank

You simply cannot complete 100 consecutive pushups until you can hold a pushup plank for a minimum of five minutes. The logic to this is that it takes about 5 minutes to do 100 pushups, and pushups are essentially dynamic pushups planks. All the chest and arm training in the world won’t make up for a fundamental weakness in your ability to resist gravity for the required amount of time.

The 5 minute pushup plank is therefore an important milestone on your way to 100 pushups.

Advanced Training Plan

This is a specialized plan that has you training pushups on odd days and pushup planks on even days. No days off.
[table class=”table-striped”]
1,Pushup progression,5,8-12
2,Pushup plank,,accumulate 5 mins
3,Standard pushup,3,max
4,Pushup plank,,accumulate 5 mins
5,Pushup progression,5,8-12
6,Pushup plank,,accumulate 5 mins
7,Standard pushup,3,max
8,Pushup plank,,accumulate 5 mins

Pushup Progressions

  • Pushup progressions are variations of pushups that are ordered by difficulty.
  • Pick a pushup progression where you can do 8 – 12 reps before reaching muscular failure. Perform this exercise on odd days.
  • Once you can do 3 sets of 12 reps for that particular exercise, move on to the next progression.

List of pushup progressions:

  • Standard pushup
  • Feet elevated (12″) pushups
  • Feet elevated (24″) pushups
  • Dead stop pushups
  • Feet elevated (12″) dead stop pushups
  • Feet elevated (24″) dead stop pushups
  • Diamond pushups
  • Feet elevated (12″) pushups
  • Feet elevated (24″) pushups
  • One armed pushups

You can also vary the difficulty by slowing down the lowering portion of the pushup, and also by pausing in the bottom position.

Standard Pushups, Max Efforts

On Days 3 & 7 are three sets of standard pushups at maximum effort. Do as many pushups as possible each set, ending the set when you can no longer complete a rep with good technique. Rest for 2 minutes between sets.

Pushup Planks

On even days, accumulate 5 minutes of pushup planks in as short a time period as possible and in as few sets as possible. For example, you may start out doing 5 x 1 minute with 1 minute rest between each set. Always try and beat your previous best, for example, the time after you might attempt 5 x 1 minute with 30 seconds rest between each set. Or perhaps 4 x 1 min 15 seconds with 1 minute rest. How you progress is down to you, the important thing is that you work towards completing a 1 x 5 minute pushups plank.

This training plan is currently being re-written. Please do bear with me. Estimated completion date is Wednesday 28th October 2015.

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