Push-up equivalent to body weight bench press?

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the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
Is there a pushup variation that's considered to be the same difficulty as a bodyweight bench press?

I sometimes see body weight bench press listed as a standard to reach but, since I don't have a bench, I was wondering if I could use a type of pushup as a standard instead?

Thanks.
 

jca17

Level 3 Valued Member
If you have access to the right size kettlebell, would you be able to work up to floor pressing half your body weight in each arm? I know its different for many reasons than a barbell bench press, but its the same idea: horizontal upper body press. Yeah, its not bilateral, so its a little easier, but you also engage another world of stabilizers and anti-rotational forces.

One arm pushup is the pushup variation that comes to mind for a strength standard kind of thing.
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
Kb floor press isn't a bad idea except I don't have a kettlebell that big. I also have a feeling that one arm pushups are further away for me than the bodyweight bench press.

Dips and handstand pushups come to mind, it's lifting your bodyweight after all, but I'm not sure how that compares to bench press in terms of difficulty and strength required.

I think I'll try to get to a gym and see how much I can bench press, and then find the most difficult pushup I can do for comparison.
 

Kettlebelephant

Level 7 Valued Member
Go to the gym and test yourself.
The last time i tested my bench i got 82,5Kg (182lbs) @ 92Kg (202lbs) bodyweight. So for the KB floor press you could assume that i'd be able to press the 40Kg with one arm, but that's definitely not the case. In fact even floor pressing the 32Kg is a ugly long grind for me.
For dips, i never tested a maxrep but i can do sets of 4-5, so i'd say a maxrep of 10-12 dips places you somewhere around a bw bench, but that's still very vague.
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
My wife has a guest pass to a local gym, we plan to go there on Saturday.

Not that's it's really important. It's just that most standards seem to involve lifts I'm unable to do for one reason or another so I thought it might be nice to have some more accessible standards to work towards.
 

Tarzan

Level 4 Valued Member
Maybe a pushup with a band strapped over you would come close. It would be a different dynamic with increasingly more tension as you get towards the top of the movement though.

I do them with my kids sitting on my back sometimes, sometimes I wish I never started down that road. Now they see me doing pushups and take it upon themselves to dive on my back from several feet away to make sure they get on there first.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
If you Google your original question (what I just did) you'll find people who, e.g., weigh 80 kg and when they put a scale under their hands and do pushups, the reading is 55 to 60 kg, depending on where they are in the pushup.

If you raise your feet some, you'll get closer to your bodyweight but by the time you'd get to bodyweight, you'd be doing an upside down military press and not a pushup/bench movement.

Try working pushups, controlled and at a moderate speed, not quick, in sets of 8 for a few sets. Then to work up to the same with your feet raised so that, at the top of the pushup, your body is parallel to the ground. If you can do a few sets of 8 of those, I'd say you'd be able to do a bodyweight bench press with very little training.

The other thing someone has to say here is that a bodyweight bench press is nothing to write home about. Most standards I see suggest 1-1/4 or 1-1/2 times bodyweight for a single, or perhaps 15 reps @ bodyweight as being at least not weak, but that's still not exactly strong bench pressing, either. I've done more than 1-1/4 times bodyweight and I'm an _awful_ bench presser.

-S-
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
Steve,

Thanks. That gives me something to work on. Then I can make a trip to a gym and see how closely the pushups match with bench press.

I realize a bodyweight bench press isn't stellar but I've seen it given as a minimal standard and I figure it's a good first step.
 

Keep Lifting

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Is there a pushup variation that's considered to be the same difficulty as a bodyweight bench press?

i think you get a closer correlation with dips than pushups - but as Steve said, "... a bodyweight bench press is nothing to write home about" and it's not a standard for anything as any beginners bench press strength program will have you blowing through a single rep bodyweight bp in the blink of an eye. Ive never heard anyone ask, "can you bench your bodyweight?", lifters tend to think in blocks, in the States we talk about plates, mostly 45s, sometimes quarters. so when you are a beginner you will be thinking 135 to get your technique, then once you start your first program, 185, then 225, then 275, then 315, then 365 then 405 and then im sure there are many in this forum who press 455, 495, etc. You very rarely see a lifter training with pushups - single arm maybe - but heavy dips are a standard exercise in any benchers routine. work on dips for a couple of months and i think you will find a bodyweight bench press to be a piece of cake.
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
Thanks for the advice.

My strength is definitively below the norm for some groups. Years of shoulder problems have made it hard to maintain upper body strength.

I like dips and can do them at home but am just now building the strength to be able to do them. The setbacks have been frustrating but the shoulder has been feeling good lately so I'm looking for plans and goals.
 

jca17

Level 3 Valued Member
Dan John actually suggested the bodyweight standard for bench press as something you need to be able to do. I've don't have access to a bar so I don't know where I'd be on that. He says double bodyweight DL, body weight bench press, body weight front squat as the entry level standards.
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
I think I read that article. Unfortunately, I can't do those exercises so I'm looking for alternatives that don't require gym equipment but are about the same level of difficulty.
 

Keep Lifting

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
Dan John actually suggested the bodyweight standard for bench press as something you need to be able to do. I've don't have access to a bar so I don't know where I'd be on that. He says double bodyweight DL, body weight bench press, body weight front squat as the entry level standards.
those standards that you cite came from Dan John's book Intervention - everyone interested in strength should read it - but to be clear he mentioned those "standards" as what you would expect anyone to be able to do. If you want to build strength, but dont have access to barbells, kettlebells, or are just beginning, or simply are more interested in bodyweight exercises, Pavel gives you all you need, read The Naked Warrior, get on a routine of single leg squats and one arm pushups and watch your strength soar - standards, frankly, mean nothing.
 

jca17

Level 3 Valued Member
but to be clear he mentioned those "standards" as what you would expect anyone to be able to do.
I think that's why the op wants to reach that. I don't know if I could. I don't have a barbell. I'd like to do a beginner bp cycle, but I'm sticking with S&S to reach those goals because that's what I have access to. He mentions it in Intervention and also another online article. It's interesting that he put double bodyweight DL in the same category as bodyweight bench press, where one can be achieved really quickly and the other might take someone a while. Shows his thoughts on relative importance of "upper body push" to total body strength.
 

Keep Lifting

Level 6 Valued Member
Certified Instructor
I think that's why the op wants to reach that. I don't know if I could. I don't have a barbell. I'd like to do a beginner bp cycle, but I'm sticking with S&S to reach those goals because that's what I have access to. He mentions it in Intervention and also another online article. It's interesting that he put double bodyweight DL in the same category as bodyweight bench press, where one can be achieved really quickly and the other might take someone a while. Shows his thoughts on relative importance of "upper body push" to total body strength.
to be clear - he recommends a 1.5x bodyweight DL as expected - his game changer DL is 2x and his game changer BP is bodyweight for 15 reps. if you manage to meet the Simple goals with S&S you would find that the expected numbers for BP and DL are met with ease and equivalent to a light warmup.
 
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jca17

Level 3 Valued Member
Yeah, his recommendations in the article being referenced are slightly different than his Intervention recommendations. He talks about owning bodyweight on the barbell with progressively difficult lifts. Bench Press > Front Squat > Clean > Snatch. I don't know if I'll ever get around to O-lifts. I had that impression that the BP and DL will just be a matter of learning the barbell once you reach simple goals, so that's what I'm going to stick with. Good to hear that. Thank you!
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
How about the side press? Are there recommended standards for everyone-should-be-able-to-do-this and game-changer?

The side press, as it's described in ptp, has been the best thing for my shoulder. It seems to work the right muscles in the right ways, even more so than the TGU or the kb press so I try to keep it in my workouts.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
We focus more on the bent press than the side press but both are excellent movements.

I wouldn't get too concerned about standards, be they "everyone" standards or "elite" or something else. Start where you are, try to get stronger in ways that help the rest of your life, and that's plenty.

-S-
 

the hansenator

Level 6 Valued Member
Steve,

You're right of course. Between the recent improvements in my back and shoulder, I'm just exited that I can do stuff and am looking for goals to shoot for. It just seems that the recommendations I see either involve equipment I don't have access to or exercises my body doesn't tolerate very well.
 
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