Push Up Improvement Packet


• Three 6-week plans to train push-up improvement
• Density, Volume, and Hybrid assessment-based, push up progressions
• Focused shoulder and chest mobility/stretching
• This training plan is one of the 200+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


The MTI Push-Up improvement packet consists of three, 6-week training plans, each utilizing a different progression methodology to improve overall push up performance.

We’ve tested and studied multiple varieties of push-up progression methodology over the years, and found no one methodology  significantly better than other for all athletes.

With this packet, the individual athlete can chose the progression which best fits his/her individual goals, or simply change up your routine to continue to improve on your push up assessments.

Note: These are not total-body training plans. Rather, each is focused solely on push up improvement.  These plans can be completed stand alone program, or in conjunction with any of our 200+ training plans. If your current plan has push ups programmed, replace it with the progressions outlined in this plan.

One common characteristic of each of these plans, however, is each is assessment-based. Athletes will complete a push up assessment at the beginning, middle and end of each plan. In this way each plan automatically “scales” to the individual athlete’s incoming push up performance and continues to push the athlete as his/her push up fitness improves.

This training packet has 3 plans:


This plan uses an assessment and percentage based density format for push ups 2x/week, as well as a muscular endurance based Bench Press progression to complement and improve push up performance. The athlete will assess max push-ups and 1RM Bench Press 3x (beginning, middle, end) in this six-week cycle, training 4x/week. Are your max push ups less than 20 reps? Start with this plan. 

Weekly Schedule

  • Mon: Density Push Up Progression
  • Tues: Bench Press Progression
  • Wed: Rest
  • Thurs: Density Push Up Progression
  • Fri: Bench Press Progression

Required Equipment:

  • Barbell, Weights, Rack, and Bench for Bench Press
  • PVC Pipe
  • Pull Up Bar


The density progression is our most implemented method for improving push up performance in tactical physical fitness tests. The progressions utilize percentages of the athlete’s 2-minute max push up effort on a running clock in order to automatically scale to the athlete’s level of fitness. A single training session only takes 8 minutes and has proven to be a effective method of improving push ups for the Lab Rats. The athlete will assess max push ups 3x (beginning, middle, end) in this cycle, and train 4x/week in this 6-week plan. Crunched for time? Start with this plan.

Weekly Schedule

  • Mon: Density Push Up Progression
  • Tues: Density Push Up Progression
  • Wed: Rest
  • Thurs: Density Push Up Progression
  • Fri: Density Push Up Progression

Required Equipment:

  • PVC Pipe


The volume progression employs a much higher total number of push-ups conducted on a weekly basis compared to the other two plans. Similar to the Density and Hybrid progressions, the athlete will conduct a 2-minute max push up assessment 3x (beginning, middle, end) during the 6 week plan. Due to the high volume, the athlete will only train push up’s 3x/week in this plan. Hit a plateau in your push up results? Start with this plan


Weekly Schedule

  • Mon: Volume Push Up Progression
  • Tues: Rest
  • Wed: Volume Push Up Progression
  • Thurs: Rest
  • Fri: Volume Push Up Progression

Required Equipment:

  • PVC Pipe


Do I get access to all 3 plans with this packet purchase?

How long do the training sessions last?
15-30 minutes. Each training session includes a short warm up, and a single push up progression circuit based on your most recent assessment results. These are not total-body strength and conditioning programs – but rather are laser focused on push up improvement.

Can I complete these plans in conjunction with other training?
Yes – just be smart. Replace the upper body pressing and push up work in another program with the push progressions in this program. Don’t double up.

Can I complete all 3 Training Plans? If so, what order?
Yes – just not at the same time! Complete one plan at a time in the following order: Hybrid, Density, Volume.

Can I see sample training?
Yes – click the “Sample Training” tab above to see training sessions from each plan.

What if I miss a training day?
Ideally, you will train 5 days in a row, and take 2 full days off for rest. If for some reason miss a session,  do not skip ahead. Start again where you left off and complete the sessions in order throughout the plan.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run Calculator is listed as an exercise.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

What if I can’t do the whole session?
If you don’t have enough time to complete the whole session, you can split the session into two.

How do I access the plan? Pdf? Online?
Plan access is online, via username and password.

Can I print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time.

What if I have more questions?
Email coach@mtntactical.com


Required Equipment

Push Up Improvement - Hybrid

  • Barbell, Weights, Rack, and Bench for Bench Press

  • PVC Pipe

  • Pull Up Bar

Push Up Improvement - Density

  • PVC Pipe

Push Up Improvement - Volume

  • PVC Pipe


Sample Training

Push Up Improvement - Hybrid 

Obj: Assessment

Warm Up: 4 Rounds


(1) 2 Min. Max Push-Ups


(2) 6 Rounds, every 75 sec
30% of your Max Reps
Push-Ups from SESSION 1

(3) 3 Rounds


Obj: Assessment
Warm Up: 3 Rounds


(1) Work Up to 1RM Bench Press


(2) 5 Rounds

Notes: You may need to ‘break’ the Bench Press rounds to complete your 20 reps. Rack the barbell as needed, shake it out, and get back to it.


Push Up Improvement - Density

Obj: Assessment

Warm Up:4 Rounds


(1) 2 Min. Max Push-Ups


(2) 6 Rounds, every 75 sec
30% of your Max Reps Push-Ups from SESSION 1

(3) 3 Rounds


Obj: Assessment

Warm Up: 4 Rounds


(1) 2 Min. Max Push-Ups


(2) 9 Rounds

  • 40% of your Max Reps Push-Ups from SESSION 1

  • Rest 90 sec.

(3) 3 Rounds

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1)  Mission Direct

Gym numbers mean nothing. All that matters is mission performance. 

To this end, MTI's fitness solutions and programming are not boxed in by convention, tradition, orthodoxy, public opinion or any other artificial constraint driven by inside or outside forces.

We begin with the raw fitness demands of the mission and build a fitness solution which directly prepares the athlete for those demands.


2) Fitness Solutions Built from the Ground Up

MTI's programming is not "re-tread" bodybuilding, football, CrossFit, kettlebell, strength or general fitness programming. We've built our fitness programming for mountain and tactical athletes from the ground up.

The Fluid Periodization methodology we deploy to concurrently train multiple fitness attributes is completely original and has continued to evolve and improve over the years.

Our mid-section training methodology, Chassis Integrity, is also original, as is our endurance programming, 7 strength training progressions, tactical agility, and work capacity programming.

Our mountain sports pre-season training plans, tactical PFT, selection, school, course, and fitness improvement training plans across military, LE and Fire Rescue are MTI-developed, tested and athlete-proven.

Over the years hundreds of athletes and coaches have taken our advanced programming and unit fitness leader programming courses and MTI is widely recognized within the mountain and tactical professions and fitness media as a thought leader in fitness programming for military and tactical athletes.


3) The MTI Method

→ Research: MTI begins program design with extensive research of the fitness demands of the mission, sport or event, identifies the exercises and progressions which sport-specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the training plan.

→ Deploy & Assess: We deploy the training plan "Lab Rats" at our Wyoming facility. Training session and cycle issues are identified and fixed as we work through the training plan. Post cycle we assess the programming's effectiveness and efficiency. We keep the stuff that works, and fix or toss the stuff that doesn't.

→ Publish & Assess Again: Plan is published for purchase as an individual training plan and made available to our subscribers. Feedback/results are assessed.

→ Iterate: We take what we learn from lab rats and athletes, re-visit, update and improve already published training plans. Several of our individual training plans are on their 4th or 5th version.


4) Mission-Direct Research

MTI exists to "Improve Mountain and Tactical Athletes mission performance and keep them safe." To that end, we have developed a unique research methodology aimed at identifying real world areas of improvement and identifying immediately deployable mission-direct solutions. Click HERE to learn more about MTI's Mission-Direct Research methodology, and Here to read about just few of our research efforts.

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Our stuff works. Weekly we receive unsolicited reviews of our programming and testimonials to its effectiveness.


6) Programming Breadth

MTI's library of 200+ sport-specific fitness plans for mountain and tactical athletes is unmatched. Resources range from specific programming for tactical special forces selections, to specific plans for climbing Rainier and Denali, to general fitness solutions such as running improvement, to post-rehab from injury.

Over the past decade, MTI has partnered with hundreds of athletes throughout their individual mountain and tactical careers, and provided fitness solutions as they face new mountain objectives, tactical schools, selections, PFTs and deployments, and came back from injury.


7) Worldwide Influence

Our work is not limited to US Athletes.

We've developed selection-specific training plans for Canadian, UK, Australian and German Special Forces Selections and worked with individual military personnel from Scandinavia, South, and Central America.

Canadian, Australian, UK and western European law enforcement and fire/rescue athletes have used MTI programming for mission-direct fitness.

On the mountain side, Alpinists from Japan to Slovakia have consulted with MTI and used MTI's programming to prepare for mountain objectives.


8) Mission Performance beyond Fitness

MTI’s exists is to improve Mission Performance for mountain and tactical athletes and keep them safe. 

This focus on “mission direct” solutions, enhancements and improvements drives our work and research and extends beyond fitness solutions to include training, leadership, gear, team culture, and safety. 

Fitness is just one area of our work.

Our non-fitness research has included tactical cultures, combat uniforms, and gore-tex performance, and effect of stress on marksmanship.

Our work on defining what it means to be a Quiet Professional has had penetrating influence and driven healthy conversations with both mountain and tactical professionals.


9) Direct, Honest, Clear Answers

Since 2007 we've taken and answered dozens of questions weekly from mountain and tactical athletes. We've saved these individual Q&A's and now thousands are archived on our site.

We're not salesmen, and our answers are noted for their directness, honesty, and clarity. Our stuff isn't for everyone. If we can help, we'll let you know. If we can't, we'll let you know that, too.

- Rob Shaul, Founder


All of the Above is Backed Up By Our Promise: Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.


Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.

By Rob Shaul

I received notes frequently from athletes hesitant to purchase a subscription or training plans asking me to sell them on why they should make the purchase.

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I can tell them the process we go through to design our programming.

We begin with extensive research on the fitness demands of the event, identify the exercises and progressions which sport specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the plan.

Then we test the cycle on ourselves and our lab rats here in Wyoming. We document, note what works and doesn’t work, re-assess, and make changes and modifications.

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Email: rob@mtntactical.com

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