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  1. #1
    Registered User xTeTe's Avatar
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    Anyone do 5x5's with weighted pushups before?

    And wondering if you've had any success with progressive overload, gains, strength, etc.

    Since I'm stuck working out at home again I'm back to loading up the backpack with weight and doing push-ups.

    Is doing a 5x5 program...and slowly Adding weight to the bag useful as an exercise... As opposed to what you can achieve bench pressing?

    I feel like I've managed to get to the point were I've been able to add a bit of weight during the two periods the gym has been closed which is good I suppose.

    Right now I've got the backpack loaded up with 91 lbs worth of dumbbells and damn is it awkward and a pain to do this. But I hope it pays off.

    Any of you try this with any type of home workout where you didn't have gym equipment?
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  2. #2
    Registered User air2fakie's Avatar
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    91 lbs of dbs in a backpack sounds awkward and unbalanced. You'll get stronger but it's not going to directly translate to BP progress when you get back to the gym, and you'll have to build up strength again with the BP movement. IMO pushups are more conducive to a higher rep range, and you could take some weight off.

    In quarantine I've been doing weighted pushups for incline presses (decline pushups with pushup handles), 10-12 reps, but am doing them with a proper adjustable weighted vest.

    If you want to stick with 5x5, I suggest getting a real weighted vest as you get over 100 lbs - but if you're making it work for you and can maintain decent form without straining your back or joints, then carry on I guess.
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  3. #3
    Registered User xTeTe's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    91 lbs of dbs in a backpack sounds awkward and unbalanced. You'll get stronger but it's not going to directly translate to BP progress when you get back to the gym, and you'll have to build up strength again with the BP movement. IMO pushups are more conducive to a higher rep range, and you could take some weight off.

    In quarantine I've been doing weighted pushups for incline presses (decline pushups with pushup handles), 10-12 reps, but am doing them with a proper adjustable weighted vest.

    If you want to stick with 5x5, I suggest getting a real weighted vest as you get over 100 lbs - but if you're making it work for you and can maintain decent form without straining your back or joints, then carry on I guess.
    Thanks for the response. Getting into position on the floor is a pain but once in there I can manage fine. I'd like to get a weighted vest but the last time I searched they were hard to come by.

    At this point, at a minimum, I really hoping to maintain my gains in any exercise I'm doing at home, even if adding to them isn't feasible. That's why I was asking just to see if anyone is stuck trying to do this now like I am.

    I know bench isn't the same movement, but I'm hoping this is similar enough. I will say, doing this weighted pushups thing has helped work my core a ton.
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    Weak and foolish OldFartTom's Avatar
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    Disclaimer: I've no strength or gains worth speaking of...

    I've never understood weighted pushups, why bother? When you can do 40 near perfect form Push-ups in a set why not shift to diamond push-ups starting at 5 then work up to 20. When you can do 20 near perfect form diamond, then move to unequal ones, when you can do... etc etc etc progression to one arm (and variations beyond as needed).

    Why use weight when such a great chain of progressions exist to progressively increase the "resistance"?
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  5. #5
    Registered User xTeTe's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by OldFartTom View Post
    Disclaimer: I've no strength or gains worth speaking of...

    I've never understood weighted pushups, why bother? When you can do 40 near perfect form Push-ups in a set why not shift to diamond push-ups starting at 5 then work up to 20. When you can do 20 near perfect form diamond, then move to unequal ones, when you can do... etc etc etc progression to one arm (and variations beyond as needed).

    Why use weight when such a great chain of progressions exist to progressively increase the "resistance"?
    I've been trying to stick with the same program like I was at the gym. I was doing anywhere from 5x5 to 5x7s there, and I've tried to keep it the same with the limited exercises I've been doing in addition to the weighted pushups.... Rows with loaded duffle bag, split squats, etc

    I see what you're saying though with changing the body weight version into higher reps. I think there's value in both approaches, but that's why I'm here to get your guys feedback.
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by OldFartTom View Post
    Disclaimer: I've no strength or gains worth speaking of...

    I've never understood weighted pushups, why bother? When you can do 40 near perfect form Push-ups in a set why not shift to diamond push-ups starting at 5 then work up to 20. When you can do 20 near perfect form diamond, then move to unequal ones, when you can do... etc etc etc progression to one arm (and variations beyond as needed).

    Why use weight when such a great chain of progressions exist to progressively increase the "resistance"?
    There's nothing wrong with using diff variations of pushups to make them more difficult, but it's not a direct line of progression. First, some people may not want to do 20-40 reps of any pushup variation. Also, many pushup variations emphasize diff muscles the same way you would do diff press variations with weights to emphasize diff muscles, and may be able to lift more or less weight with certain ones. Regular pushups line up decently with the BP movement, and incline presses line up decently with the incline press movement, and you can progress from there by adding weight via a vest. Depends on what you're going for I guess in your program.

    Plus certain variations of pushups can put uncomfortable stress on joints for some people, esp as you get older. For ex, when I was younger I used to do a good # of 1-arm pushups occasionally when traveling. Now, if I wanted to do them, before I get to 5 my elbow tendons feel like they're going to rip, and I don't even consider myself to have "bad" joints.
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  7. #7
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    If you can't macro load the push-ups or if it's just getting to be too cumbersome, consider deviating from the true 5x5 with just push-ups. You can do a double progression where you start with weights that are manageable, then progress by going up in reps each workout. When you get to maybe 15 reps, then drop down to 5 reps and add weight. The first several workouts should be easier as this is a bit of a deload. Continue adding reps again each workout, and when you get to ~15 reps again, drop the reps and add more weight . . . repeat . . . repeat.
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  8. #8
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    Progressive overload can be an increase in weight OR reps for a said exercise. If you are within 60 percent of your 1RM you should still be able to be doing meaningful work. Another option would be to buy a good set of bands and do these banded. Elitefts and Rogue has some really stiff bands that you can use to add resistance to push ups. I would think this would be a safer option than loading up the old back pack with everything and kitchen sink. Though not nearly as entertaining to watch I am sure.
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  9. #9
    Registered User xTeTe's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by shaneinga View Post
    Progressive overload can be an increase in weight OR reps for a said exercise. If you are within 60 percent of your 1RM you should still be able to be doing meaningful work. Another option would be to buy a good set of bands and do these banded. Elitefts and Rogue has some really stiff bands that you can use to add resistance to push ups. I would think this would be a safer option than loading up the old back pack with everything and kitchen sink. Though not nearly as entertaining to watch I am sure.
    Ha yeah, my wife makes fun of me when she sees me putting the backpack on and get into position.

    But excellent point on the overload with reps. Since I can manage 90 pounds now and I'm only doing 5 reps per set.. I'll probably stick with this weight and just push for more reps from here on out.

    I'm kind of at the same point with my rows. I can't fit more than about 85-90 lbs in my duffle bag now. So I'm just going to up the reps now.

    Ideally, the gyms will open in California (or at least SD County) soon and I won't have to mess with this anymore. I'm going to look once again for a weighted vest but I'm not going to get my hopes up there.
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  10. #10
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    Originally Posted by xTeTe View Post
    Ha yeah, my wife makes fun of me when she sees me putting the backpack on and get into position.

    But excellent point on the overload with reps. Since I can manage 90 pounds now and I'm only doing 5 reps per set.. I'll probably stick with this weight and just push for more reps from here on out.

    I'm kind of at the same point with my rows. I can't fit more than about 85-90 lbs in my duffle bag now. So I'm just going to up the reps now.

    Ideally, the gyms will open in California (or at least SD County) soon and I won't have to mess with this anymore. I'm going to look once again for a weighted vest but I'm not going to get my hopes up there.
    Check the big online retailers often for decently priced ones not sold by 3rd party sellers as soon as they come in stock, but it's hard since they sell out quickly. You can also invest in actual weights instead. Hard to predict when gyms will open in some areas, and whether they'll stay open - so the more you have the better even if you need to put gym equipment where your dining table currently is.
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    I would try different leverages/angles for progression.
    Feet on a block progressing to maybe a bench.
    Bands might be an option.
    Putting a band under each hand and around the back for extra tension.
    Of course you'd need the right length band.
    The ones i use i double up.
    A wight vest might be something to try but again i think it can be awkward but maybe better than a back pack.
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    I think it will translate to the BP. Your core is so much more engaged in PU. You may even see an improvement with your strength endurance. Good for you!
    Originally Posted by air2fakie View Post
    91 lbs of dbs in a backpack sounds awkward and unbalanced. You'll get stronger but it's not going to directly translate to BP progress when you get back to the gym, and you'll have to build up strength again with the BP movement. IMO pushups are more conducive to a higher rep range, and you could take some weight off.

    In quarantine I've been doing weighted pushups for incline presses (decline pushups with pushup handles), 10-12 reps, but am doing them with a proper adjustable weighted vest.

    If you want to stick with 5x5, I suggest getting a real weighted vest as you get over 100 lbs - but if you're making it work for you and can maintain decent form without straining your back or joints, then carry on I guess.
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    I USED to go heavy on weighted pullups MANY years ago. Going up to adding 135lbs. What I found is eventually the strain on bicep tendons is too much and you get overuse injuries that are hard to shake once they pop up.

    I only do bodyweight movements on pullups now, But on a lat pull dn I can indeed load up >BW and with the additional ability to shift some load to lower back, I can find a ROM that plays nice with my tendons.


    I think pullups are a KEY back movement. Nothing wrong with doing them in a progressive manner if your body cooperates!
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  14. #14
    Registered User xTeTe's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nightfly View Post
    I think it will translate to the BP. Your core is so much more engaged in PU. You may even see an improvement with your strength endurance. Good for you!
    My core is definitely seeing the benefits of doing these pushups.

    I'm still rolling with the 91 lbs in backpack doing 5x5 or 5x6 and the duffle bag rows as well.

    Seems to be working okay... but the good news is, San Diego County was just removed from the state's monitoring list and Newsom is supposed to give some guidance on reopening certain businesses including gyms today. So fingers crossed I'll be able to ditch this workout for a second time very soon.
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