The Next Level of Push-ups and Pull-ups

The Next Level of Push-ups and Pull-ups

The Next Step After Building a Solid Foundation

Here is an email from a military man seeking to get better at his pull-ups and push-ups for an upcoming PFT for Special Ops Selection.

"Thank you for the 14 day Pull-up and the Push-up routine. I did it to the letter, doing on average of a 130 pull ups and 300 pushups per work out. I went from 19 solid pull ups to 22 solid pull ups, and 76 pushups to 86 in 2 minutes."

"Now that I have come this far, what else can I do to get up to 25 solid pull ups and 100 push ups in 2 minutes?"

I would not recommend the Pull-up / Pushup Push workout if you are already getting more than 15 pull-ups and 75 pushups as you already have a solid foundation to build upon. However, the advice on what is the next step is still the same.

The next step after the Pushup Push and the Pull-up Push Workout is to get back into a normal split routine doing pull-ups and pushups three times a week maximum.

Here is what I do not only to maintain 25-30 pull-ups and 100 pushups but to also help folks like you to achieve those goal scores on a fitness test.

The maintenance plan is three workouts during the week:

1 - Pyramid Routine 2 - Super Set or Circuit  3 - Max Rep Workout

Workout #1

Do a Pyramid type workout with pull-ups, dips, pushups, and an abdominal exercise of choice (usually crunches, sit-ups, flutterkicks or a variety of all).  The goal is to build up to a maximum repetition set of all the exercises in the workout...

Check this one out...for example:  PT PYRAMIDS

**NOTE: Always balance out your workout with a good upper and lower back routine as you do get many reps with these workouts that focus on the chest, shoulders and stomach muscles. See this linked Plan (PDF)   Workout #2

Super Set - but sub maximum repetitions:

Run 1/4 mile in 90-100 seconds pull-ups 5-15 reps Pushups - 40-50 reps Situps 40-50 reps (or abs of choice) Repeat above for 5-10 sets depending on your fitness level (Goal - do not go to muscle failure)

Workout #3

Max out workout.  It is OK to fail this workout and push your max every set.

- Max pull-ups - Max pushups 1:00 - Max sit-ups 1:00  (pace out 50-55 reps) - Optional run 1/4 mile 90 seconds  (I do this some days - not all )

Repeat above until you hit 100 pull-ups. Once you can reach 100 pull-ups in 4-5 sets, then shoot for 150 pull-ups in a total workout.

**NOTE: Try not to rest during any of these workouts as the ᅡモrestᅡヤ is built into the circuit by working another muscle group. Try to take some time to stretch and have some water in between sets but no longer than 15-20 seconds.

This process will take a few weeks. Usually people stuck at 15 pull-ups will be able to do 20-25 pull-ups in 4-6 weeks with this type of Physical Training System.

There are many way to get better at pull-ups. This is a proven method, I have been using for more than 10 years with future Special Ops members. Send in some other ideas that have helped you in the past reach the 20 pull-up mark.

Stew Smith is a former Navy SEAL and fitness author certified as a Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. If you are interested in starting a workout program to create a healthy lifestyle - check out the Fitness eBook store and the Stew Smith article archive at To contact Stew with your comments and questions, e-mail him at

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