I think we can all agree that the push-up and bench press are both some of the most commonly performed movements in the gym. And, if we're being honest, most people need to spend more time working on their "pushups" and less time worrying about how many plates they load on the bar - but maybe that's just me.

In either case, we all know (at a fundamental level) that you need to be able to properly position your body and activate the appropriate muscle groups to get the most our of each rep. Unfortunately, many people go into auto-pilot and do the same ole' shitty movement for every rep only ingraining poor patterns. Being conscious while performing seemingly simple movements is incredibly important and often neglected.

In an effort to assist y'all in your quest for better movement and bigger numbers, I spent a little bit of time in front of the camera explaining a very simple concept that I think will really help y'all out when performing any type of horizontal press. Check it out below and let me know if you find it valuable. 

Hand-Release Pushups & Why

I'll share a secret with you.....

I am kind of a hard-ass when it comes to performing movements properly. This is a good thing...in my opinion. My athletes may feel differently. Just know that it all comes a place of love.  

Movements like the air squat and push-up are seemingly very simple and don't require a lot of thought or effort. ("Seemingly" being the keyword. Hopefully you caught that.)

These movements are intricate and demand your respect and full effort. So to help you develop these foundational pieces, let's discuss the Hand-Release Push-up.


The HRPU is a movement that came about as a way to standardize the push-up so that it could be more easily judged in competition settings. This new standard worked well for it's intended purpose, but it also opened the door to a complete lack of body control. Athletes quickly discovered that as long as the ROM requirements were met, how it looked didn't matter. Watching athletes doing HRPUs looked more like a frat party where everyone was doing the worm. WTF?!?!

 Again, ease of judging was it's original purpose, but we can use this tool to eliminate one of the most neglected variables of push-ups: Full range of motion. In doing so, you must also reinforce the proper body position and activation(A) throughout the full ROM(B). See there? A & B, not A or B.

Listen. The push-up is not a push-up unless it's performed to the full standard of the push-up. This should be a very simple concept, but it seems as though people forget this fact when they claim that they can do absurd number of reps. Usually this mystery is solved when you see said super-stud perform his/her so-called push-ups. Again, reference the video above or the one below.

Ok. At this point we should all be on the same page and understand that we DO NOT want to be that guy or girl, right? I mean, who wants to be YouTube famous for shitty push-ups?!


For the entire month of April, the athletes of TCS will be doing HRPUs exclusively. My hopes are that this complete eradication of sub-standard movement will result in one and only one way of doing push-ups. The right way. 

Not only will we be honing in on full ROM, but as we discussed above, we will also dial in on a locked-down mid-line throughout the entire ROM. Again, the right way!

I invite any of you out there to join us in our little experiment this month and send us you feedback. Feel free to add more push-up volume into your programming this month if you want, but the real focus will be on the highest quality movement when they appear in your daily workout. Simple.

Take A Deep Breath...Good. Now PUSH!

If you've spent any substantial amount of time living as a meathead, you probably already know that Mondays are the international "Chest Day", right? I remember this being the case prior to finding CrossFit and eventually doing the crazy shit I do know. The bench was the epicenter of the gym on Mondays, and you had little chance of getting your sets in before other meatheads crowded around and eventually pissed you off enough that you gave up and went to dumbbell bench.

Recently, after being inspired by a Nick Mounce warmup incorporating breathing ladders (more on this is bit), I decided that performing said breathing ladder while busting out a large volume of unbroken pushups sounded like an exciting way to mix up "Chest Day". 

I was right. It's a SMOKER!

Pushup Breathing Ladder:

  • 20 Pushups
    • 10 Breaths
  • 18 Pushups
    • 9 Breaths
  • 16 Pushups
    • 8 Breaths
  • 14 Pushups
    • 7 Breaths
  • 12 Pushups
    • 6 Breaths
  • 10 Pushups
    • 5 Breaths
  • 8 Pushups
    • 4 Breaths
  • 6 Pushups
    • 3 Breaths
  • 4 Pushups
    • 2 Breaths
  • 2 Pushups
    • 1 Breath

Now, there are a couple very important details that you need to know prior to taking this on.

1. Your pushups need to be f*cking dialed in!!! Full range of motion is an absolute requirement, however, staying on your toes is not. IF you begin to burn out (and you will...) and are unable to perform the set in unbroken fashion on your toes, quickly drop to your knees and continue performing reps. No matter what.....DO NOT stop repping out pushups until the set is complete!

2. The breaths are there to provide you with a small rest before hitting the next set. It's your job to make these breaths last as long as possible - extending the rest period out. This will only happen if you force yourself to slow your breathing rate and heart rate down. You have to do this on purpose.....otherwise you will end up hyperventilating your breaths away before you've had adequate rest. Get it?!

If you're looking for a new way to blast your chest away while avoiding the gorillas that plant their ass on the bench permanently, this pushup breathing ladder will do the trick perfectly. Not to mention the fact that perfect pushups have become nearly extinct in the gym. Why? Because they're fucking hard! Pushups have a unique ability to humble the shit out of anyone, so people avoid them and stick with what's easy.

Go against the grain - master the pushup - and you will reap a massive reward from all the hard work. Remember.....Simple doesn't mean easy.