When I hear that a person has done or is aiming to do 100 straight push-ups I am immediately skeptical. I am not saying it is not possible to do that many repetitions but I wonder about quality. If one is aiming to complete 100 “break 90” push-ups then I suppose 100 is doable but my definition of a push-up isn’t just “break 90”. My definition of a push-up is lowering the chest all the way until it touches the ground and pushing up until maximum extension is achieved and then pausing for one second at the top. This should be done while maintaining a perfect plank. If that is the push-up we are talking about here then I think 50 is a fine number of repetitions to aim for. Here are three tips on how to get there:

1) If you want to be good at something you need to do it every day:

Nothing works better than the volume approach. Aim to do 100 push-ups every day. They can be done in sets or 5, 10, 15, or even 20. 100 may not seem like a lot but 100 push-ups completed every day for one year adds up to a total of 36,500. If you complete that many push-ups in a year you won’t have a problem competing 50 straight.

2) Practice exercises that use the same muscle groups as the push-up:

To get better at push-ups you could do exercises that use the same muscle groups as the push-up. Do exercises that focus on the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Do more bench press, military press, dips, skull crushers and tricep push-downs. For an addition challenge superset with exercises with push-ups so you have to practice the push-up in a pre-exhausted state. For example complete 20 reps of dips or bench press and then immediately go into a set of push-ups.

3) Try different push-ups routines:

Don’t always do the same workout. Variety is the key. Don’t let your muscles or your brain get comfortable by repeating the same workout over and over again. Sometimes you could complete ladders of 1-10 repetitions. You could set a timer and do a set number of push-ups every 15 seconds for ten minutes. I’d aim for 5-7 reps every 15 seconds. You could do five sets of push-ups to failure with a minute rest between sets. None of those sound appealing? You could do an 5 minute interval workout doing 30sec of push-ups and then resting for 30 seconds. You could do 3 total sets of 5 minutes using that format. Really the only limitation here is your imagination.