The spike push up challenge

Categories: strength training

When regular push ups become too easy, it’s time to join our Spike push up challenge!

If you have done other push up challenges or think you’re too cool for school because you can do 25 regular pushups in a row or more, this challenge is for you!

You might hate us at first, but if you stick with it, you will love us in the end. True story…

What is the spike push up challenge?

The Heroic Sport spike push up challenge is a progressive training plan to increase your upper body strength. Dedicate 5-10 minutes a day for 30 days, you won’t regret it!

You can even  download a printout program to track your progress. Find it towards the end of this article.

Why do the challenge?

The push up has been an essential functional exercise for anyone interested in strength since antiquity, from Rome to India. Push ups go hand in hand with Indian clubs, and by the way, 6 awesome variations are featured in our Indian club challenge.

T spikes push up handlesUsing the spikes increase the difficulty of push ups in several ways. If you want to keep getting stronger, you have to find ways to make things harder, not simply do more of an easy thing.

You can use the T spikes or Globe spikes with this program template.

The spike hanldes add extra range of motion to regular push ups. A greater range of motion means your muscles have to work harder.
The base of contact on the floor is greatly reduced and becomes unstable, forcing your stabilizer muscles and grip muscles to switch on like crazy. Yes, you will get a forearm pump while doing push ups!

4 reasons to join the challenge

  1. You have a set of Spike push up handles, duh!
  2. They are gathering dust. Shame on you!
  3. You can’t do many reps, and want to get stronger.
  4. You need a friendly reminder to get off your butt.

Who is the spike push up challenge for?

Many people are humbled when they try the T spikes for the first time. They quickly find out that they can’t relax and hang like a wet sock as usual and still hope to get off the floor.
The T spike handles force you to generate full body tension from your fingers to your toes. Doing the T spike challenge will keep you honest and clean up your form.

If you want to join the spike push up challenge, you should be able to do at least 15 classic push ups off the floor with straight legs, and 3 spike push ups.
If you’re struggling to do 1-2 reps, do not despair. There is also a special section below to help you!

Once you realize you have no reasons NOT to do it, everything become so much simpler!

The Spike push up progressions

You have to be extra careful with spike push ups as there is always a chance for you to roll your wrists over, and land flat on your nose. Follow the progressions, you have been warned!
I demonstrate everything in the video below.

Getting used to the spikes

  • Low plank holds
  • High plank holds > add a little movement with scap push ups > marching

Need a little help?

  • Negatives (top x6-10sec, slow ecc x6-10 sec, low x6-10 sec)
  • Band assisted push ups

What is a valid spike push up?

What we are looking for are full range of motion push ups, without any pain. Depth might be different for people, but it should be constant across all your reps!

You can film yourself from the side to see if you cheat on depth.

Place the hands just outside of your shoulders. Keep the elbows pointing straight back or at a 45 angle, not to the sides.
Squeeze the shoulder blades when you reach the bottom position. Go to full extension. Do not rush. Smile!

Getting your first 3 spike push ups

If you can do 15 normal push ups with good form but are struggling with spike push ups, it’s not so much a core strength problem, but more likely grip and balance/ stability, and full body tension.

You simply need to spend more time on the basic progressions like planks, negatives and band assisted push ups.

Start with holding the low plank up to 45 seconds. Rest 1 min, repeat 3 sets. When that becomes easy, move to the high plank, same guidelines.

The next step is negative push ups with static holds. One rep takes from 18-30 sec. Set a timer for 5-10 minutes, and perform 1 repetition at the start of each minute.

If you have a resistance band, they are great to help you perform lots of volume, and grease the groove for the exercise. Hook the band in the ceiling above you, and place the band around your waist. Perform 2-3 sets of push ups short of failure, resting 1 minute between sets.

After a short time, you should be ready to crank more than 3 reps on your own, and get started on the challenge!

30 day spike push up challenge

Benchmark test

Using the form described above, do a max rep test with the spikes. This is your initial benchmark, your baseline. You will re-test yourself at the end of the 30 days and establish a new benchmark.

The number of reps you did is your RM.
Take a break for 5-10 minutes after your RM test, and you are ready to start on the 30 day challenge!


How to do the challenge

Each day, your goal is to hit a number of repetitions based on your initial RM. This target number is to be split in a specific number of sets. The total volume of push ups will increase as you get further into the challenge.
The more sets you have to achieve the target, the easier the session will feel.
Last bit of advice, avoid taking the first set too close to failure!
Rest 1 minute between sets.

Week 1

  • Day 1: RM x2 in 4-5 sets

  • Day 2: RM x2 in 3 sets

  • Day 3: RM x2,5 in 3-4 sets

  • Day 4: Rest

  • Day 5: RM x2,5 in 3 sets

  • Day 6: RM x2 in 2 sets

  • Day 7: Rest

Week 2

  • Day 8: RM x3 in 4-6 sets

  • Day 9: RM x3 in 4-5 sets

  • Day 10: RM x2,5 in 2 sets

  • Day 11: Rest

  • Day 12: RM x3,5 in 4-6 sets

  • Day 13: RM x3,5 in 4-5 sets

  • Day 14: Rest

Week 3

  • Day 15: RM x3 in 3 sets

  • Day 16: RM x4 in 5-7 sets

  • Day 17: RM x3,5 in 3-4 sets

  • Day 18: Rest

  • Day 19: RM x4 in 5-6 sets

  • Day 20: RM x3,5 in 3 sets

  • Day 21: Rest

Week 4

  • Day 22: RM x4 in 4 sets

  • Day 23: RM x4,5 in 5-7 sets

  • Day 24: RM x5 in 6-8 sets

  • Day 25: Rest

  • Day 26: RM x4,5 in 5 sets

  • Day 27: RM x5 in 4-5 set

  • Day 28: Rest

Week 5

  • Day 29: Rest

  • Day 30: Re-test your RM

Start today

If you want to increase the number of spike push ups you can do, increase your grip strength, shoulder stability and overall upper body strength, we laid out the plan for you.
Now the rest is up to you.

Build the foundation of strength with our spike push up challenge. Once you can do 20 full range of motion reps, you’ll be ready to explore new moves. Harder challenges lay ahead, with stacked feet, asymmetric, knee to elbow or cross body kick push ups to name a few!

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