The internet is replete with utter BS of varying natures – and training info is a dime a dozen, but most of it out there is utter nonsense.
Not only is a lot of it written by arm chair jackass theorists who have never done, but the hordes of Instagram influencers, Tik Tokers, and other jokers who dont really do any real solid training other than yap about it and two second “show” training or what not talk about a lot of stuff they’re NOT qualified to talk about.
Bodyweight exercises often get the worst info put out about them …
One being this constant bad rap pushups get about a) not building “strength” – and only endurance and b) “muscular imbalances”.
I’ve debunked theory a) so often it isn’t worth it for me to devote more time and space to it HERE – but really, if all the doers – if illuminaries from Herschel Walker to Iron Mike to just about anyone you can think of found a reason to do them daily, and tons of them (and they DID them, not just “found a reason”) – then there is a probably a reason, no?
These guys are the definition of “beast” in their chosen fields.
Thousands of reps of bodyweight exercises daily for one – lots of swimming, hiking, sprinting – but they ALL – I dont care if you’re talking college level wrestlers, pro boxers, Olympic athletes -even someone like Michael Phelps during his competitive days when you’d think he would focus on “pulling” way more than pushing – no -land based pushups were a part of his routine too … I could simply state that as a fact and that would be enough to counter some of the most ridiculous arguments people have about bodyweight exercises – and by extension, the mighty ole pushup- in general.
I could state dozens of other reasons as well and have in the past.
I mean, take the guy that can bench a gorilla in the gym, ask him to either get into a handstand – or the “floor humper” pushups I mentioned earlier on in the day – or do a Hindu pushup – or any other solid variant, and chances are he wont be able to get into the proper position for these and HOLD – let alone even do the damn exercise.
Not to mention the fact that … well, when you take guys (Herschel Walker is another great example of this) that have never lifted weights (as in the weight room) before, but have done tons of reps of bodyweight exercise all their lives prior to entering the weight room – well, they do GREAT on the weights – and progress rapidly from a point you’d never think they’d be able to start from in the first place (because they never LIFTED in the first place).
I’ve seen it over and over again myself personally.
Bodyweight exercises – and pushups – dont just strengthen, they train the ligaments and tendons from the inside out – they train the body as a whole – they train the grip, they train the core, they train the damn digestive system (pushups especially) – the CHEST AND LUNGS – again, pushups especially being one of those exercises that force you to breathe right whether you like it or not … phew.
I got carried away there. And I’m just getting started!
but anyway, I’ve debunked a) i.e. the you can’t build strength with pushups nonsense so many times that I’ll let it go – for now. In any case the jackasses that claim this sort of thing will respond to everything with “I’m big, not fat” – and “my body type is different” and other pathetic, pitiful, whiny “genetics based” excuses, so lets not even go there, period.
(But I have in the past, do a search).
Lets address what I meant to initially, this strength imbalance bullcrap people keep pushing – but only with pushups for some reason.
You have idiots galore on the internet writing about “please dont do 100 pushups a day”.
What utter bloody ROT!
If all you did was 100 pushups a day for the next 5 years, let me tell you this, you’d be in better condition than most people out there, and you’d be at a point to pop off 500 per day if you so wanted to, the “holy grail number” in terms of pushups.
Yet, you have idiots claiming “they cause strength imbalances” if you only do pushups.
Look, it aint bench pressing, fools.
YES, the bench press – if that is all you do causes not just injury to the shoulders but strength imbalance. Think about it, lying on your back, unnatural pressing movement – without using the core one damn bit – hardly bringing the back into it (most dont) – and so forth – not to mention “shearing the shoulders” as well for most people.
It is a horrible exercise, superseded only by the lat pulldown in my opinion – deadlifts and squats even though they are responsible for injuries too are FAR better than these two overall – and yet, you dont hear a word about strength imbalances therE?
Look, when you do pushups, you’re engaging the entire upper body, the CORE as well – even if you just do the basic pushup.
And pushups as I’ve told you can be done so many different ways – a lot of those directly targeting the BACK – that there is no fuckin way they can cause any sort of strength imbalance.
Ever hear of swimmers with strength imbalances – yes. You hear about it all the time, with what is supposed to be a “pulling movement”.
But I dont think you hear of wrestlers and boxers that do pushups as a mainstay with strength imbalances, do you??
It’s lazy, foolish morons who write this sort of utter tripe, knowing people (equally lazy fools) will buy into their nonsense.
Much like the hordes of fitness authors out there who’ll write “easier books” with “easier workouts” to sell more. Ugh. You’ll never find me doing that!
Anyway, the very nature of pushups and the angles, varieties etc you can do them from – not to mention LEGS – you work legs HEAVILY during pushups if you do ’em in certain manners – there is no way you can get any sort of imbalance from doing them in high reps.
(See Pushup Central for all the variations)
Even if you do “nothing else” (which wont happen, you will naturally progress on to more anyway. Trust me!).
You never hear about this with pull-ups, do you?
i.e if you just do pull-ups, you might have a strength imbalance. . .
Truth be told, you wont if you do just pull-ups either, but remember – pull-ups (while you can do them in a way that you get solid cardio from them – see “Pull-ups – from STUD to SUPER STUD – within WEEKS!” for more on this) hardly bring the legs and lower body into it for the most part, but you still wont have upper body imbalances if you do pull-ups and nothing else.
One doesnt replace the other, but especially not pushups.
Pull-ups build brute, animal like strength in a way nothing else can if you do ’em right, chin over bar, pause, not the jerky so called pull-ups or hammer grip pull-ups a lot of jackasses out there do claiming to be “real pull-ups” when they dont come close to touching the chin to the bar, let alone GETTING it over the bar ..
Conditioning too in many ways.
But pushups my friend, nothing replaces them, nothing at all.
Remember the time I’ve told you about – 100 pull-up workouts per day, and I’d hike hills for like 6 times a day, but that was a time I neglected pushups, not consciously, but I guess, I dont know, I was really trying to nail my pull-ups, my dead hangs, the L sits, a lot of it, and so I neglected pushups.
One fine afternoon I did close grip pushups just to see if I could still do ’em, sure enough, I could.
But the FEELING – my, 20 pushups felt WAY harder than they should have!
And the real feeling – the soreness that kicked in when I went home – I was nigh shocked and amazed, a guy banging out 100 plus pull-ups daily, yet, I was sore when I lifted my arms up to shower! (lower lat area)
That alone taught me a lesson I’ll never forget.
Imbalances my rear end.
Hopefully Google or someone picks this one up, this one wasn’t written to sell or anything but it’s important to dispel a lot of the idiotic tripe and notions in terms of fitness that seem to be picking up even more speed as time goes by.
The 0 Excuses Fitness system is a sensible, sane, hard hitting results based HOME fitness system – that you can and should be doing daily.
Find out more by clicking the link above.
And thats that – back soon.