Pushups are KILLING Your Gains!!

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.com. Do me a favor and check out this clip of me
doing a pushup that I’m doing that’s holding me back from the potential benefit that I
should see from this exercise. Guys, I don’t hate the pushup. You know I program the pushup, I put many
videos out about the pushup, but there’s something majorly wrong, especially about
how I’m performing the pushup here. Now, the next question I would ask you is:
how many pushups can you do? What is the maximum number of pushups you
could do? If you have an answer to that question, it’s
another indicator that you’re likely doing what I think you’re doing here that’s
making this exercise not so productive. That could be killing your gains, particularly
in this move. The pushup is an exercise that is one of those
numbers-based exercises. It’s the one we identify based on the number
of reps we can do. We lose the fact that this could be a quality
exercise if quality reps are performed, disregarding the number we can do. That’s the mindset I want to get you to. So, let’s look at this pushup again and
we can see what I’m talking about. I was doing something like this. To a lot of you guys, you might be thinking
“That doesn’t look so bad.” Maybe I’m doing it a little bit fast, but
I can tell you what I’m actually doing here is shortening the range of motion. I’m shortening it by an inch or two. So, you have to have a discerning eye to see
this. It was right here. But I want to go here. Not disengaging my body complete. You don’t necessarily need to do that. I do need to make contact with the ground. When I come back up to the top it’s not
to here. It’s full lockout to here. Full lockout. Down, touch, up, full lockout. Yes, the cadence should be like this. Down, up, down, up. What happens is, automatically, this exercise
becomes a whole lot harder. That’s a good thing because we’re not
interested in the number you can do. We’re not interested in how high you can
count. What I’m interested in is making the reps
you do, count. That’s the key part here. On exercises like this you think “It’s
just a couple of inches. How can that be so – that’s Jeff being
Jeff. He cares because he’s making this about
the last two inches. It’s always about the detail.” Because the details matter. If you don’t believe me, do some of the
pushups I just put on display for you here, do them in that cadence. Do them all the way down. Touch all the way up to full extension. Do them and prove to yourself that your number
is likely going to drop. That number you had in your head before – how
many you could do, so readily available – is going to drop by about 60%. I’m not kidding. It’s going to drop significantly. Why? Because those extra two inches matter that
much. If you need further proof of this, why is
it so significant to the drop off in performance when you apply it? Because it does matter. If you think this is an isolated incident,
it’s not. Look at the pull up. How many of us, when we do pull ups, don’t
go all the way down? All the way down. You can see the difference right here. It looks small, but this slight bend in the
elbow is protecting us from having to utilize a lot more work and effort to get up to the
next rep. As soon as I disengage the lats and I let
the elbows go fully straight, the likelihood that I’m going to get up for another rep
has just been dramatically decreased. It’s a lot harder. Why do you think our bodies naturally prevent
us from going into full extension? They know it’s a lot harder. The same thing happens on a squat. It’s just a matter of two inches. You can approach parallel, or you can break
parallel. Breaking parallel requires and enormously
harder effort than getting to parallel. We know that. That’s why we tend to avoid it because we
want to chase the reps, as opposed to making the reps count. It doesn’t necessarily matter how many reps. Guys, I’ve covered this topic before in
a video called “Three Sets of 12 Is Killing Your Gains”. It’s the same mindset. If you shift your mindset away from counting
the reps and making them really difficult instead, that’s what matters. It’s the effect the exercise ultimately
has on your body that your body adapts to which leads to gains. Not just that you hit some magical number
in your head. So, make sure on the pushup, if you’re going
to do this thing, you do it the right way. If you’re looking for a step by step guide,
I make some modifications to the pushup, as you see here. I wanted to keep it straight up and down because
that’s probably what you’re used to and you’ve already got your numbers in your
head, based of that way. But I’m telling you, there are actually
ways you could do the exercise to get more from up by altering the path of your body
all the way up and down, to more closely mirror that on a bench-press. You can watch that on our pushup checklist
video. But for the sake of this video, guys, pushups
can be killing your gains if you’re using it as a ‘numbers guided’ exercise that
you just try to crank our reps on, and you know you’re shortchanging them by even that
much. That much is going to lead to a huge drop
off in performance and overall, your performance, and how you do this exercise is what ultimately
decides what you get from it. If you’re looking for a step by step program
that leads you down the path the right way, forces you to do the things the right way
because we know what the gains are on the other side of it; that’s what all of our
programs do. They’re available at ATHLEANX.com. In the meantime, if you’ve found the video
helpful leave your comments and thumbs up below. If you haven’t, guys, click ‘subscribe’
and turn on your notifications so you never miss a video when we put it out. All right, guys. See you soon.

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100 thoughts on “Pushups are KILLING Your Gains!!

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  2. I don’t agree with the pull-up, if you go all the way down on a pull-up you tend to drop down and stop the time under tension whereas If you keep a slight bend you tend to stay In a good position more often, not just dropping down and hanging between reps

  3. Thanks for this! I use to do my push up fast….meaning I won't go all the way up or down and try to hit higher numbers like 70 at one go or even 100 at one go.

  4. Take your backpack put a couple weights in it and put it on while you do push-ups don't worry about a lot of reps worry about doing them correct …slow way slower than this guy is doing …he says he knows how to do push-ups but he doesn't..

  5. Can someone help me? So I started doing 200 push ups every day and I started like a week ago so like I can do 30 starting but then it drops to like 25 I do 200 a day and usually between every 20 I take like a 5 minute break so I can keep going. Is that bad?

  6. I go down 1 inch from the ground, hold for 3 seconds then push up to full extension, time under Tension seems to work for me.

  7. Me: Stares blankly

    Jeff: why thinking about masturbating later when no one is watch is killing your gains

    Me: how tf did he know

  8. full range and performance is a good point but counting can also be important. its easier to reach goals if you formulate them quantifitable and its motivating.

  9. I was doing 30-40 trash push ups then I knew I had to change I couldn't even do 8 without giving up I increase my strength to the 12 now the maximum is still the 12 with weights in my back but without weights 20 capped.
    Edited and PAY ATTENTION
    Learn to breathe correctly and perfectly.

  10. I was already doing pushups like this, thx dad to have beat the shit out of me every time i did bad pushups younger

  11. Save your energy for later when you get home from the gym. Use it for other things that you can only do at the gym. Common sense. Unless they are weighted, just wait

  12. Am just starting so if I'm not going nose to floor right now as I'm doing them I can tell how strong I am just starting as I will tell in a week or so by doing them.😉

  13. In every exercise, avoiding the full range of motion is not to do more reps, it's because locking the muscles and joints in a full range of motions will makes you lose momentum especially if you're using weights. Locking your muscles and joints is good only to have a very brief pause before continuing the exercise. When doing push ups, 95% of the exercise better be one inch of each end, not fast nor slow using the full range slow motions in the last few reps only.

  14. I've always tried to do quality reps, making reps harder. I like to pause when it's hard. I love that Jeff is jeff. Cause the details do matter. His body of work is the proof.

  15. I tore my shoulder doing them your way do exercises that feel good every body is different if I would have worked out in my youth the way I wanted to and not the way some trainer told me I wouldn't have messed both my shoulders elbows and back up

  16. It's the old quality vs quantity dilemma. It's not really our fault that reps can be counted and one can pursue a higher count to see progress but one can definitely not count quality of every rep, there isn't a number for that… I guess.

  17. Oh fuck man, not again.
    Just when I thought I had everything figured out about pushups you bring this up. 😭😆😆

  18. workouts are killing your gains. I knew it and this fits to my training schedule. From now I will fart way more in sofa than ever and eat more ice cream.

  19. Regarding breaking parallel in squats. Do I need to account for my genetically deeper hip sockets? I’m concerned about potential impingement.

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