When it comes to military training, there are few exercises used more than the pushup. It’s a favorite of drill sergeants across the country and due to its quality results, the pushup is definitely something you’ll need to master when entering the service.
But how many pushups should I do? The answer will be different for everyone. But there are ways to prepare for military pushup drills and here are some tips.
There’s no magic number
The number of pushups you’ll do depends on a lot of factors like your age, level of physical fitness, weight, height, body shape, and gender. To find out your magic number, do as many pushups as you can with good form. When you reach your max, that should be the number you aim to beat.
Do four sets of your max number of pushups with 30-second breaks in between sets. You’ll start to see improvement in your strength and stamina.
Every week, as your max number of reps improves, you can adjust your goal and work towards beating a new personal record.
On average, your max might be anywhere from 10 pushups at a time to 100 pushups a day.
As a rule, it’s important not to take this too far. People sometimes take on challenges like 200 and 300 pushups a day. These challenges usually last around a week and shouldn’t be done more than once every six months or so. Pushups are a great exercise but overdoing it can lead to injury.
Sticking to a number that challenges you, while also being able to maintain good form, is going to be your best bet.
Pushups are an easy, effective way to get an intense upper body and core workout. Using your body weight, you’ll develop stronger arms, a bigger chest, and a tight core, all of which will be beneficial in other forms of training that are necessary to be successful in the military.
When you’re wondering how many pushups should I do, you’ll also want to think about what kinds of pushups should I do. Of course, mastering the traditional pushup is essential, but incorporating variations into your pushup routine not only breaks up the monotony, but it also targets different muscle groups.
Wide pushups: Wrists are placed wider than the chest to target chest and shoulders.
Diamond pushups: Index finger and thumb touch beneath your chest to target triceps.
Clap pushups: Adds a bit of plyometrics to the classic pushup; start on your knees to build up strength in your joints for this exercise.
Depth pushups: Place two elevated platforms on the floor on either side of your chest where you’ll place your hands; perform pushups lowering your chest to the floor requiring deeper flexion in your shoulders and a more difficult workout.
Handstand pushups: Facing a wall, kick up to a handstand balancing on the wall, bending the arms until your head nearly reaches the floor for a new sensation.
What are the military pushup standards?
It’s a common misconception that the military has extreme requirements when it comes to the question of how many pushups should I do. While yes – you’ll be training hard in boot camp and pushups tend to be the punishment of choice for stepping out of line – the actual pushup standards for the military are definitely achievable.
For qualification in the U.S. Army, for men, the number of pushups you’re required to do ranges from 24 to 35, depending on your age. For women, those numbers range from 6 to 13 pushups.
With a few weeks of diligence and effort – plus, you’ll surely be conditioned after basic training – you won’t have to worry about the nagging concern of how many pushups should I do to join the military.