The Hardest Push-up EVER?

I love push-ups.  All kinds.  Most of clients can attest to the fact that I come up with some of the craziest (and difficult!) variations of push-ups that they’ve ever seen.  But every once in a while, I like to take the simple, basic push-up and, without changing the form at all, make it one of the hardest push-ups ever.  How do I do it?  Glad you asked!


How to do the Hardest Push-up Ever

1. Assume the position.

jon pushup

2. Slowly (and I do mean slowly), lower yourself to the halfway point.  It should take you a full 15 seconds to lower down to just halfway.  Make sure you count!

3. Hold isometrically for a full 30 seconds at the halfway point.  Don’t cheat.  I’ll be watching! :)

4. Take another 15 seconds to slowly lower the rest of the way down until you are hovering just above the ground.  The only points of contact are your hands and balls of feet.

5. Hold isometrically for another 30 seconds at the bottom position.

6. Begin to raise yourself back up at an excruciatingly slow rate.  30 seconds from bottom back to the top position.

What is the secret to surviving this masochistic push-up?  Your breathing!


Jon Haas is a certified Underground Strength Coach and has been involved in the martial arts for over 30 years. He has been training in the Budō Taijutsu arts of the Bujinkan for more than 22 years and is currently ranked as a Kudan (9th degree black belt) under Jack Hoban Shidōshi.
Jon is the Head Strength & Conditioning Coach for VX Global and is a certified VX Sport Coach.

He is the owner and founder of Warrior Fitness Training Systems and author of the book, Warrior Fitness: Conditioning for Martial Arts.

Jon Haas is also a certified conflict resolutions specialist through Resolution Group International (RGI)

More PostsWebsite


  1. Very similar to what we constantly do in Systema ( The notion is to focus on tendons and ligaments, instead of muscles. Muscle growth creates tension. Tendons create strength.

  2. Hi David,

    I spent a couple years training in Systema (both ROSS and Ryabko/Vasiliev lineages). Great stuff! :)


Speak Your Mind