Programming updates for March 2021 Post #2


Our test for push-ups and pull-ups will look like the following:

  1. Find your 5RM weighted plank push-ups
  2. Find your 2RM weighted strict pull-ups

Now, we don’t expect everyone to be adding external load to their push-ups and pull-ups, but we do expect to have everyone come away with where they’re at for each test. We can use bands for assistance. However, bands stretch to different lengths and have different thicknesses. Therefore, we’ve approximated the amount of resistance each band has. For the push-ups, hanging the band from a different height of the bar will give you more or less resistance (i.e. more or less stretch). For pull-ups, the height of the doesn’t matter as much. Thus, approximating your resistance to about the middle range of resistance may help guide you to estimating the right load. Again, we’re using these numbers for consistency so that when you re-test, you could attempt a different band, no band, or a different level. Here is a chart of the resistance bands and the levels of resistance they might provide. Again, these are approximations:


Band Resistance Lbs of Resistance Lowest pull-up bar (Level 1) Middle pull-up bar (Level 2) Highest pull-up bar (Level 3)
Red 10-50 10 lbs 30 lbs 50 lbs
Blue 25-80 25 lbs 50 lbs 80 lbs
Green 50-120 50 lbs 80 lbs 120 lbs


Here is an example of an athlete performing the 5RM push-up test and how to calculate his/her score using a band. We’ve also added a percentage calculation to give you an example of how we might program sets and reps based on a percentage of your 5RM weight:


Example for 5RM push-up test:
Bodyweight = 150 lbs
Resistance band = Red band @ level 2 (~30 lbs)
5RM push-up = 120 lbs (150-30 –>
bodyweight [-] lbs of band resistance @ [height of pull-up bar])
Calculation Example for using a percentage of 5RM: 5RM = 120 lbs. 120 lbs represents 5 push-up reps with a band around your torso from a “middle height” pull-up bar.

4×8 push-ups @ 80% of 5RM. :60 sec rest btw sets

120×0.8 = 96 lbs –> I need about 20 lbs more of resistance to complete all 4 sets of 8 reps. Therefore, I could add another red band on a “middle height” pull-up bar.


Here is another representation of different outcomes from the tests above using the chart provided:



Athlete A @ a bodyweight of 130 lbs 5RM push-up: Bodyweight

2RM strict pull-up: Bodyweight [-] Red band resistance @ level 1

5RM weight: 130 lbs

2RM weight: 100 lbs

Athlete B @ a bodyweight of 190 lbs 5RM push-up: Bodyweight [-] red band @ level 2

2RM strict pull-ups: Bodyweight [-] blue band

5RM weight: 160 lbs

2RM weight: ~160 lbs


Athlete C @ a bodyweight of 150 lbs 5RM push-up: Bodyweight + 20 lbs external load

2RM strict pull-ups: Bodyweight + 10 lbs external load

5RM weight: 170 lbs

2RM weight: 160 lbs



If you need to read over this twice, we totally understand!! We encourage you all to watch the following video to get a good visual representation of the standards for the test and how to score yourself: Push-up and Pull-up Standards & How to Calculate Your RM. Remember, the goal of this is to find out where YOU are at with these movements and to put a numerical value to it so that we can keep things measurable. We as coaches are here to help and guide you through this, but we also need your help as well to point you in the right direction. Have fun!!