Despite what some “gurus” want you to believe, there’s no such thing as a 5-minute workout.  However, I’ll give you a way to add 5 tough minutes to any workout that will help to improve your overall level of fitness… Simplicity is the key to designing and implementing effective and efficient workout programs; save the complicated stuff for NASA and all of those rocket scientists.

We’re going bare-bones, old-school simple here with nothing more than 100 push-ups and a 5-minute time limit to give you a great way to end your workout, something I call “a finisher.”   Women are shooting for 60 push-ups in 5 minutes.

And ladies, don’t be intimidated by the push-up.  The push up is your friend, should be your friend.  Forget all of the high repetition dumbbell bench presses, incline presses, and chest flies; if you can nail your push-ups you won’t need to waste your time with those other exercises.  If you can do push-ups, you’ll have a better chance to have the upper body that you want than if you don’t, no matter how much time you spend on the bench. The “5-Minute Push Up Finisher” goes like this.  Do as many push-ups as you can in 5 minutes. The clock starts ticking when you dive into your first push up, and 5 minutes later tally ‘em up and see how many you did. If you want to try to blow out 40 push-ups with your first set, knock yourself out, but be aware of this one rule; guys cannot do any less than 10 push-ups – 6 for the women – in a set or the number of push-ups that you don’t count towards the final total. 

So if you go big in your first set you need to be sure that you get enough rest before you start your next set so that you can get the minimum.  The only exception to this rule is when the clock runs out before you can finish the minimum amount in a set. On the other side of the strategy coin, if you start banging out sets of 10 push-ups and go with short rest periods you still need to make sure you’re giving yourself enough time to recover in between sets. You might think getting 10 sets of 10 push-ups done in 300 seconds is easy, but the reality is that doing 10 push-ups in 10 seconds with only 20 seconds to rest is one of the tougher things that you can do. Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.


  1. I just tried it tonight for the first time. I did 151 proper pushups within 5 minutes. I have been training hard in various ways for nearly 2 years so I am not really a beginner though … However I only started training regularly using pushups less than a month ago now.

  2. @ bluebunny27.. Thats pretty good going, and average of 30 a minute. I am going to adopt this style of 10 in 10 secs, 20 sec rest and see how it goes. I am training for the RAF and need to acheive 50 in 1 minute.. I will report back on here my results 🙂

  3. Oh, and I do realise 10 in 10 secs with a 20 sec rest won’t acheive my 50 in a minute, simple maths would tell you that, I just meant I’ll use the technique to build strength and stamina for my all out 1 minute effort for that ellusive 50 🙂


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