How To Do Weighted Pushups – Video

Weighted Push-Ups

Push-ups are a powerful exercise for building a powerful chest.

What makes push-ups superior to the bench press, is that push-ups are more of a whole-body exercise. You have to engage your abs and your legs to hold your body straight while it moves through space.

The only downside to push-ups is you can't adjust the weight as easily as you can with the bench press. But the solution to that is the weighted push-up.

Here's a video that shows how to do the weight push-up:

Backpack Weighted Pushup, 105lbs

Personally, I prefer to use a set of weight plates. Get yourself a durable backpack, stuff it with the plates and crank out those pushups.

Put in enough weights so you can only do 3-4 sets of around 8 reps. Rather than increase your reps over time, it's better to gradually increase the weight. This conditions your body to get stronger and grow more muscle, as opposed to focus on increasing endurance.

18 thoughts on “How To Do Weighted Pushups – Video”

  1. Dear Garry, thanks for this.

    I am actually doing this since I have no access to gym currently.

    In one workout, I do 4 sets of weighted dips followed by 4 sets of weighted pushups (incline), and finally 4 sets of regular weighted pushups. I do this three times a week…. will this be enough for proper chest/arm/shoulder development?

    • Hi Andy

      Sounds like you are overtraining your chest and triceps. If you are a beginner or intermediate trainee, I highly suggest you pick one compound chest exercise that works the whole chest (e.g. bench press, weighted pushups, dips). Do 3-4 sets of 10 reps with this, then if you like you can add in one set of an upper chest exercise at the end. I would recommend an isolation exercise here like dumbbell pullovers, to spare the triceps.

      As a beginner/intermediate trainee, my advice is to simply choose one main exercise to grow your chest as big as you want it. Then, when you have the size you want, you can start doing multiple different exercises to shape up your chest.

      3 times a week is good :)

  2. Dear Garry, thanks for the insights.

    I am surprised to hear that overtraining applies to bodyweight movements as well … i thought it only applied to weights. Since I am only doing bodyweight stuff like dips/pushups, i thought it would be fine to do three compound movements per workout. But you feel just one compound movement is enough?

    • Hi Moorthy. Yes, weighted pushups can be just as effective as the bench press, if not more. If you are looking to add mass, then I suggest you reduce the weight slightly, so you can do multiple sets of 8-12 reps.

        • Pushups and the bench press have very little back involvement. Dips do have some decent back involvement, but they focus more on the chest. I would suggest adding in a good back exercise, such as pullups, chinups, or bent over barbell rows.

  3. thanks, sir, I understand push should be followed by pull exercises. So let’s say I do dips for chest/triceps, dumbell rows for back/biceps. Will secondary muscles used in these two exercises include delts, traps etc?

    Are these two exericses good for a complete upper body workout?

  4. Dear Garry, love your site. I’ve always done pushups but am afraid to use backpack for fear that it might tear up because of weights. But without weights, pushups is useless. Is there any sturdy backpack that u can suggest, which I can buy online (since I am from India)? Thanks a ton, Garry.

    • Hey Ram. I’ve never ordered anything to be sent to me in India, so I can’t help you there. The backpack doesn’t have to be super-sturdy, because you’ll be in a horizontal position most of the time. There won’t be too much strain on the straps like when you are standing up with a loaded backpack.

  5. Hey Gary, I started doing weighted pushups. I do it 3 times a week and i must I’ve only been doing it for a week. I do 3 sets of 8 reps and do a 30sec rest between each set. Is this ok how long should you rest between sets.

    • Hey fulan, how long you rest depends on what you’re trying to achieve. If you are looking to grow muscle, then rest anywhere from 30 to 60 seconds for upper body exercises. If you are looking to get stronger, then rest longer, from 2-3 minutes or longer. You can get more details in my program, the Chest Sculpting Blueprint, here:

  6. hi Garry there is something I observed about my nipples during cold weather my nipples sink for a period of time and also when I do hiit it’s sink also but comes back is this a good or bad sign

    • Hi Joshua

      The reason your nipples shrink after exercise or after a cold shower, is because of a redirection of blood-flow away from the surface of your body. Exercise causes blood flow to be redirected to your muscles and away from your skin, while a cold shower redirects blood flow to your core and again, away from your skin.

      This is neither a good or bad sign.

    • Hi Waleed. Yes, the kettlebell swing does help get rid of man boobs. It targets the whole body–your legs, hips, lower back, shoulders and chest.

  7. Hi Garry,
    I saw in the ChestSculpting Blueprint that you could do normal pushups instead of bench press. My question is that do you do the same number of reps or do you do less than what it says to do in the phases?
    Any help would be humbly appreciated.
    Thank you,
    John G

    • Hi John.

      Stick to the same set and rep scheme. If you find pushups too easy, then increase the weight using a back pack full of weights, or a weighted vest.


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