How do I do 50 pushups

Ask the expert: "50 pushups are realistic"


Do you like setting goals? Very good: Our expert will explain to you how you can quickly set a record for your favorite exercise.

I have a question about the effectiveness of training sets with a lot of repetitions. Suppose I want to do a total of 50 push-ups, but I can't yet do them in one go: Is it more effective to do 10 push-ups 5 times or as many as possible until exhaustion and then after a short break, again until exhaustion ?

Merci for your answer.


Hi Andreas

Thank you for your exciting question.

In my experience, when you have a specific goal in terms of repetitions of an exercise, it depends a lot on how ambitious the goal is. The further you are from your goal with your current capabilities, the longer it will take (if at all achievable) until you reach the goal. So far so good.

To stick with your example, 50 pushups is certainly a goal that you can realistically achieve. On your way to 50 push-ups in a row, I would do the exercise very regularly. I would recommend that you do the push-ups 3 to 4 times a week and, if possible, plan a day's break between workouts to allow the muscles involved in the exercise (essentially the chest muscles, the front shoulder muscles and the triceps) to recover and can build up. Try to vary the push-ups over and over again. On one day you do 5 sets of 10 repetitions, on the next training day you do 10 sets of 5 repetitions. Then do as many reps in a row as possible. Or you consciously do the push-ups in slow motion. Of course, you can also combine different methods as you wish. For example, you could do as many reps as possible in a row first. And then after a short break, 5 more sets of 10 repetitions. It is important that you check your current performance level again and again. You do this by trying to do as many repetitions as possible in a row while resting and getting closer and closer to 50.

The many variations make it more exciting for you and your target muscles are challenged in a wide variety of ways.

Your question and my recommendations can also be applied to other exercises. I would recommend a similar approach if, for example, you want to do as many pull-ups or dips as possible.

Now I wish you every success on your way to 50 push-ups. You can do it!

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Jonas Caflisch (37) is an ETH sports teacher, founder of the Indigo Fitness Club and an expert on the 20-minute fitness channel.