If you want to know about how many pushups you should do a day to build muscle, then read on.
In this article, I will cover various topics regarding pushups and muscle building. In the third section, I’ll explain in detail about how to do pushups for building your chest, biceps, triceps and shoulder muscles.
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How many pushups should I do to build muscle?
The number of pushups to do in order to build muscle will vary from individual to individual. To build muscle, you should do pushups according to your fitness level. For muscle building, you should do 2-3 times more pushups than the maximum number of pushups you can do in one go.
So, if you can do 20 pushups until failure then for muscle building, you should do 40-60 pushups over 3-4 sets. You can do 20 pushups in your first set and try to do 10-15 pushups on your second, third and fourth set.
It’s best to do three sets of pushups for muscle building. And you should try to do pushups until failure in each set.
When you do pushups until failure in every set, you can see good results in terms of muscle building and in increasing your body strength and stamina.
Related: Morning pushup routine.
Should you do pushups daily to build muscle
There are three mechanisms that make your body muscles to grow. Muscle tension, muscle damage and metabolic stress (source).
When you do an exercise like pushups, your body uses several muscle groups to perform that exercise. During the exercise, those muscles experience muscle tension which helps in the muscle-building process.
After a pushups workout, you can feel your hand muscles and biceps became stiff or you got a muscle ‘pump’ – it’s because while doing pushups, your chest, biceps, triceps and shoulder muscles get damaged and experience metabolic stress.
Another thing you should know is that doing 2-3 sets of pushups is good for muscle building but for best muscle-building results your body also needs proper rest and nutrition.
After a heavy pushup workout, your body would need 24-48 hours to repair those muscle tissues.
That’s why if you want to build muscle by doing pushups then when exercising you should go all out. In simple terms, you should train hard. Do 3-4 sets of pushups until failure. And after 3-4 sets of pushup workouts take one day’s rest.
To summarise – you should not do pushups daily if you want to build muscle. You can do pushups every other day. Or it’s best to do pushups for two days and then take one day’s rest. But on pushup days train hard.
Do 3-4 sets of pushups and do multiple pushup variations to target different muscle groups.
Here are some of the pushup variations you should do to build muscle – normal pushups, diamond pushups, wide grip pushups, decline pushups and pike pushups.
Best way to do pushups for muscle building
The best way to do pushups for muscle building is to do multiple variations of pushups to target different muscle groups. And do multiple sets of pushups until failure to get better results.
It’s recommended to do 3 sets of pushups if you want to see better results in terms of muscle building.
In the below section, you will read which types of pushup is best to build your chest, biceps, triceps and shoulder muscles.
Pushup variation to build chest muscle
There is three pushup variation you should do to build your chest muscle. You should do diamond pushups (also known as tricep pushups or triangle pushups), incline pushups and decline pushups.
Especially for building wider chest, you should do diamond pushups. To build chest muscle do two sets of diamond pushups and one set of decline and incline pushups.
Doing incline and decline pushups will help you to target lower and upper chest muscles. So if you do all three pushups you will get a well-balanced muscular chest.
To do a diamond pushup you need to joint your two thumb fingers and also joint the tip of your fingers. Your both hand should make a shape like a triangle or a diamond. Everything else remains the same as normal pushups. If you don’t know how to do diamond pushups then it’s best to watch a video tutorial. Here’s a video on how to do diamond pushups or triangle pushups.
Pushup variation to build biceps
To build your biceps, you should do two pushup variations. You should do decline pushups or feet elevated pushups and wide grip pushups.
In a wide grip pushup, you should place your hands a little bit wider than your shoulder (3-4 inches wider on each side than your shoulder length).
You can point your fingertips straight or you can point your fingertips on the side. So your inward wrist should be placed on your body side and fingertips outwards. But you shouldn’t place your fingertips backwards.
The training method you should follow to get a bigger bicep is to do multiple sets of pushups and do drop sets.
A drop set is when you do pushups until failure and after the point, you can’t do any more pushups you take 10 -15 seconds rest and again do 3-5 more pushups or do pushups until failure.
You should aim to do at least two drop sets if you want to build bigger biceps.
Here’s a video on how to properly do wide grip pushups.
Pushup variation to build tricep
The best pushup variation to build your tricep is diamond pushups or triangle pushups.
Along with the tricep, it also helps in building chest muscles. You have read about this variation of pushups earlier.
However, if you want to target your tricep and want to build bigger triceps then you should do three sets of diamond pushups.
Also, for building triceps, you should try to do maximum number of pushups in each set. It’s important that you do pushups until failure to build bigger tricep.
Related: Benefits of morning pushups.
Pushup variation to build shoulder muscle
The best way to build your shoulder muscle is by doing pike pushups and declining pushups (elevated feet pushups).
Both decline pushups and pike pushups are known for building your shoulder muscle.
If you want to target your shoulder muscle then do two sets of pike pushups and one set of decline pushups.
Here’s a video on how to do pike pushups.
You should do 2-3 times more pushups than maximum number of pushups you can do in one go to build muscle.
For muscle building, you will see the best results when you do 2-3 sets of pushups. For building your biceps and triceps you need to do drop sets.
You can also do multiple variations of pushups to target individual muscle groups. For example, you should do diamond pushups if you want to build your chest and do pike pushups if you want to build your shoulder.
To conclude – you will see better results in terms of muscle building if you do 60-80 pushups in one pushup workout session. For advanced pushup training – you should try to cross the 100+ pushup mark by doing 3-4 sets of pushups.
Read next: 10 Exercises you can do daily to stay fit.