How Many Pushups Should I Be Able To Do? (Can You Do Better?)

Do you do push up every single day? Are you doing it to lose weight or just to tone your body? Regardless of your purpose, doing push ups gives your body tons of benefits. In fact, according to Keep In Spring, it activates your whole body.

As a result, it increases your functional strength. However, many are still wondering about the exact number of push ups that they need to perform. In this article, we will answer the question – how many pushups should I be able to do?

But Why Push Up?

But Why Push Up?


Before we go into the ideal number of repetitions, have you ever asked yourself why you do push ups? According to Hundred Push Ups, pushup is one of the basic common exercises that you perform. It is so simple that you don’t even need fancy gym equipment.

In addition, it is best in toning your chest and arms. Moreover, it improves your upper body muscular endurance and strengthens both muscles and bones. More importantly, doing push ups every day helps create lean muscles in your arms, chest, and shoulders.

Read more: Target a wide range of muscle groups through different workout routines with adjustable dumbbells

Standard Push Ups

You might think that dropping your body on the floor and pushing it up and down is already a push up. Nah, buddy! By doing it the right way, you will be able to maximize its benefits and prevent injuries during a workout.

Here’s how you do it according to Greatist:

  • First, get into the planking position with your arms directly under your shoulders
  • Next, lower your body by bending your elbows. Be sure to keep your back straight. Also, don’t dip nor stick your butt at any point
  • Then, push back up to your starting position
  • Finally, do this with the desired number of repetitions

If you want to know how a standard push up is done, click on this link below for a short video tutorial:

The Magic Number – Push The Earth Down

Most people ask me about the ideal number of push ups that they should do. Honestly, I end up telling them a rough range of repetitions. Sometimes, I am guilty of simply telling them to do as many as their body can let them do.

The answer to our million dollar question depends on as to who we ask. Experts, Military Personnel and Fitness Gurus, have different figures to say. You see, there are no published documents that tell us a standard figure.

According To An Expert

According To An Expert

Dr. Lawrence A Golding, a professor of Kinesiology at the University of Nevada, is an expert in physical fitness. In a report posted on Physical Living, he concluded that males ages 20-40 years old must perform 13-30 push ups. I know what you were thinking. This is a pretty huge range. However, he provided additional details of push up test norms for men and women.

According To An Expert 2

Based on the data, the number of push ups males and females can perform at their peak at ages 30-39. However, after that, it starts to decline as expected.

Also, this data shows the different capacities of people doing the push ups. Gym enthusiasts and fit people belong to the Good and Excellent category. On the other hand, obese and overweight people may perform Poor to Very Poor. In your case, which group do you belong?

According To Fitness Gurus

According To Fitness Gurus

Fitness Coaches also have their standards for determining the number of push ups that an individual must perform. There are a lot of factors taken into consideration when they put up these numbers.

For example, American College of Sports Medicine was able to gather data based on the point of failure. They allowed several groups of individuals perform push up to the point that they cannot do another one. Rests are allowed provided you stay in the “top” position.

However, if you lie down, the test is over. Based on the results, they established categories such as “Good,” “Needs Improvement” or “Excellent.” Below are the results as published in Live Strong:

  • 24-29 push-ups for ages 20-29
  • 19-23 push-ups for ages 30-39
  • 13-18 push-ups for ages 40-49
  • 10-13 push-ups for ages 50-59
  • 9-10 push-ups for ages 60-69

Another Fitness Organization, the National Strength and Conditioning Association, released their own data:

  • 24 push-ups for ages 20-29
  • 19 push-ups for ages 30-39
  • 13 push-ups for ages 40-49
  • 10 push-ups for ages 50-59
  • 9-10 push-ups for ages 60-69

These numbers are actually the lower end on of the range provided by the ACSM. However, it is worth noting that none of these organizations claim that their data is the universally accepted standard.

According To The Military

According To The Military

Did you know that the number of push ups that you can perform determines your admission to the military? In fact, every branch of the armed forces have their standards based on an article from Military:

  • Air Force

Males should perform 45 push ups while females must do 27 to graduate from basic training

  • Army

Minimum standards set is 31-35 rep for men ages 17-26. For females of the same age, 11-13 rep will do

  • Coast Guard

29 standard push ups for male and 15 for females within 60 seconds

  • Navy

Needs a minimum of 46 push ups in 2 minutes to be admitted

  • Navy Seals BUD/S

If you want to be a member of this elite force, you must be able to perform 42 reps in 2 minutes. This is just a piece of cake for the majority of applicants who can do 80-100 reps


There is really no exact number of reps that you need to do. You can’t simply push yourself to perform the number of reps just because experts recommended it.

Listen to a very reliable expert – your body.

If your body says, it can still manage more, by all means, add more reps. However, if you think you’ve reached your limits, take it easy and do more next time. Do the following to help you improve your number of reps:

  • Eat healthy
  • Build your stamina
  • Rest

As you go along, you will notice a huge difference of what you can today compared to what you can before.

Did you like this article? Please let us know by leaving your comments below.

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Jake Tyler
Hi all, I’m Jake Tyler, over the past decade I’ve been working strong on my personal fitness levels. From the age of 16, I have been a kickboxer, and I’ve built up an incredible passion for fitness & self-improvement. This experience has led me to a career in personal training and health & fitness.

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