Packet Focus: Push Up Improvement Packet

By Charles Bausman

We are consistently asked how to improve Push Up performance from tactical athletes. Push Ups are included in nearly all tactical physical assessments, and it’s a solid method of determining an athlete’s upper-body muscular endurance.

The Push Up Improvement Packet provides three different progressions which focus solely on improving push up performance on a 2-minute max push up effort test.

These plans can be used in conjunction with other training, or as a stand alone program. We’ve tested each method with our Tactical Lab Rats, and all have proven to improve push up performance. Check out the links below to see our Push Up improvement studies.

All plans automatically scale to the individual athlete’s Push Up fitness, making it an easily implemented program for small-units group training or for the individual.

With this packet, you get access to all three plans – you can pick any one to start with.

Why did we include 3 plans? Despite all our study, testing and research, we simply have not found one push up programming methodology that sticks out as the best for every athlete. Further, we’ve found that what worked well for an individual athlete one time, may not work as well the next time. So in this packet we’ve included 3 plans – each which deploys a push up programming methodology we’ve had success with over the past decade of programming.



This packet includes three 6-week training plans, each of which deploys a different push up improvement programming methodology.

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 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 compliment 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.

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 an 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.

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

See chart below for further details.


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 have more questions?


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