Ultimate Pushup Workout Routine For Upper Body Mass & Definition – Cuz Regular Pushups Are Too Easy!
One of the all time great exercises is the pushup. I think it’s safe to say that everyone has done a pushup in their lifetime … or at least tried! One thing I’m not too sure of though is that if many people realize just how effective a focused pushup workout routine can be at building solid muscle mass as well as great definition. Probably when most people think of doing a pushup workout they think of doing as many pushups as they can or doing 3 sets of 10 reps. The best pushup workouts do not involve either one of those approaches.
So with an “old-school” exercise like the pushup, comes a retro feeling pic. This reminds me a little of TRON: Legacy except of course it’s missing the cool blue neon lights!
Seriously though, even though doing a pushup workout might seem to be a little retro and outdated it’s not. Yes, I do lift weights for the majority of my workout, but I still really enjoy mixing in and incorporating body weight workouts as well. Here is what I think is the ultimate pushup workout routine for developing both muscle mass and muscle density.
Pushup Workout Routine For Mass & Density
Since busting out 50 pushups as a “workout” isn’t too ideal for gaining size or strength, simply doing some pushups every other day isn’t a good approach to building your pecs. I think many find that standard pushups are a little too easy to get any real results from.
With even a little pushup training it’s not hard to do 50 to 100 pushups straight. The thing is though, that this is strictly endurance training and it’s not going to add any real size, strength or definition.
Here is a full pushup workout based on escalating density training — a solid approach to build muscle mass while performing body weight training.
The Pushup Workout Exercises
In this pushup workout we’ll incorporate the standard pushup and two common variations in order to work the entire pec muscles. There are certainly some much more extreme variations and I wouldn’t call any of the following three pushups the ultimate pushup, but the routine is what will make these effective!
For fun, I’ve got some of the “ultimate pushup” candidates a little farther down.
- Standard Pushup
- Diamond Pushup
- Wide Grip / Duck Toed Pushup
I’m not too sure of the “real” name for these, but they’re just wide gripped pushups with your fingers pointed to the sides instead of straight ahead.
The Ultimate Pushup Workout Routine
Alternating the three variations of the pushup, you’ll perform 3 reps, rest 10 seconds and repeat for a total workout of 15 minutes.
- Standard Pushup – 3 reps
- Rest – 10 seconds
- Diamond Pushup – 3 reps
- Rest – 10 seconds
- Wide Grip / Duck Toed Pushup – 3 reps
- Rest – 10 seconds
When it starts to get tough to do the 3 reps you should add 10 seconds of rest time. At first you will think this will not happen, but it will!
Warning: this may seem a little “too easy” at first and you’ll probably be tempted to start out doing higher amounts of reps. That’s actually not ideal though. In fact, one of the aspects that makes this pushup workout effective is the fact that you are not pushing to failure.
Ultimate, Amazing & Just Plain Impressive Pushups
Here are a few advanced pushup variations for the adventurous. I’ll save the best for last, but they’re all worth a look. To get us started off, here is Craig Ballantyne from with a quick video demonstrating a few different types of pushups.
Here’s where it gets impressive! My top 3 pushup variations. Click on the names to watch a pop-up video demonstration of the pushup — 90 Degree Pushup is a “must watch!”
- #3 – Aztec Pushup
These pushups made the top 3 list for a reason! Start off in standard pushup position and push/jump/explode off the ground so that you can do a jack knife in the air!
- #2 – Full Planche Pushup
This is where it starts to get serious. Short description: do a pushup without your feet ever touching the ground.
- #1 – 90 Degree Pushup
The ultimate pushup! Do a pushup without feet ever touching the ground. Oh yeah, that’s after you’ve done a handstand pushup — all without your feet ever touching the ground.
Obviously you’ve got to be in amazing shape to even preform these pushup variations! As far as doing an actual pushup workout based off of these — forget it, right!
For another great pushup variation, checkout this article on Hindu pushups. Although I don’t really use them as part of my workout “routine” they are actually really good for you and fun to do every now and then.