Fitness Articles

The Push-Up Test

A DIY Fitness Assessment

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Ratings for Women (Modified Push Ups), based on Age
  20-29 30-39 40-49 50-59 60+
Excellent >48 >39 >34 >29 >19
Good 34-48 25-39 20-34 15-29 5-19
Average 17-33 12-24 8-19 6-14 3-4
Poor 6-16 4-11 3-7 2-5 1-2
Very Poor < 6 < 4 < 3 < 2 < 1

Maybe you’ll find that you’re doing really well. But even if you weren't able to do enough reps to register on the chart, that's OK. Everyone starts somewhere! Just try to improve gradually over time from where you started. Remember, you are looking for improvement in yourself, regardless of what a chart says or how many repetitions someone else can do.

How to improve: To improve your scores in this test, focus on strength training the specific muscles of the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Good exercises that target these muscles include:
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About The Author

Jason Anderson Jason Anderson
Jason loves to see people realize the benefits of a healthy, active lifestyle. He is a certified personal trainer and enjoys running races--from 5Ks to 50K ultramarathons. See all of Jason's articles.

Member Comments

  • OMG I did 50 modified pushups in 1 minute. Arms are burning. I'm 53 years old. Feels pretty good. For those who are not there yet. Don't give up I've been working out for over a year.... not real steady until the last couple months. Its worth it. - 6/18/2015 8:55:11 AM
  • STEPHANIEAND
    To the guy who posted he could only do 22 modified pushups in a minute, here is some encouragement. I was around that range when I started practicing (I'm a girl) a few months ago. I can now do 50+ modified pushups in a minute, or about 13 real ones. So if you keep at it, you will def get stronger. Having said that, yeah I'm 29 and a girl, and stronger than you are. So there's some more motivation to work out if you need it. :) - 2/13/2015 3:49:55 PM
  • RYANF1
    This is kind of embarrassing but I figured I might as well be honest and share it in case it helps anyone. I'm a 38 year old guy, and I'm definitely out of shape (I'm not fat or super skinny, I just don't work out, like ever). I tried the test and I could do about 3 regular push-ups before my arms just wouldn't do anymore. So I switched to modified (yes, the so called dreaded "girl" pushups, don't judge) and managed 22 of them before I couldn't do anymore. Which puts me basically in the average range for a 20-something girl. Yikes that sucks! So, like I said, pretty embarrassing, but also a wake up call. I used to be pretty strong in college, but obviously, that is not the case anymore. So definitely a wake up call to get to the gym! - 2/9/2015 4:42:31 PM
  • I started this test last year and took it as a challenge to do every day ^_^. I could only do 18 when I started and now I can do 51. Going to move from modified to regular and try to match that number! Age: 26 - 2/9/2015 3:21:05 PM
  • Why is the portion of the chart for women in the older age groups blocked out by another ad which can't be moved away???????? I did the test, I'm almost 70, and I rated well for the 40 age group but I can't see what was listed for my real age group. Please, please, keep the ads off to the side! - 12/7/2014 2:21:18 PM
  • FOXGLOVE999
    I can't do push ups, never have been able to, not when I was 115 pounds, not now, not ever. I can do a lot of things that others can't, but this is not one of them. - 9/30/2014 9:58:43 AM
  • Can't read the chart for women 50-59 because the How Fit Are You? link is blocking that part of the chart. Any way they can reposition so I can see how I did? - 9/28/2014 10:47:33 AM
  • I started doing pushups and crunches when I started this weight loss program. I am 62, soon to be 63 and I used to roller speed skate, ride bikes over 250 a weekend plus at least 150 during the week, then I trained for triathlons. Gosh, I even used to be able to do one handed pushups, pushups with a clap, you name it. I lifted 150# three times, not once but a few times. I couldn't do one push up in July when I started SP. Now I can pump out 2 sets of 15 modified pushups quite easily. My favorite thing was running/jogging. I loved the 15k the most. I ran in the Disney marathon (my first and last marathon), but I did several 5k, 7k, 15k, half marathons and many, many triathlons. It is disheartening to think I can no longer run, heck I can barely walk 1/4 mile due to the bad knees. Had a Total knee done in 2010 and it never did bend all the way nor straighten out all the way! And it buckles at will. Doc said no pounding (jumping, running etc) or it won't last 20 years. However, I do my walks (marching) here at home and do quite nicely! At least when the ole knee buckles I have something to hang on to! Oh, I've also torn the meniscus in the other knee and have bone on bone pain in it! However, I am optimistic. As long as I can do the walk videos/training videos and work out i.e.pushups,crunc
    hes etc. I'm going to keep this weight at a normal level! :) I just love the timed push up. I definitely will try that! I love SP.. :) - 8/30/2014 7:58:39 AM
  • I managed 52 in a minute, probably could have hit 55 but I was using the stopwatch on my phone and it messed up. Pretty proud of myself :D - 7/18/2014 4:43:24 PM
  • JEHOHANAN
    To all of the ladies who are dissapointed about the push up protocol you must recognize that the physiologies of the two sexes differ there's just no way around that. I'm not sure that I recall correctly but the IDF (Israeli Defence Force) and/or the US Army indicates a male advantage of 20%aerobic and 25% anerobic. This is after Basic training during which the females considerably closed the gap that existed at recruitment level. Just google this, Gender Differences in Physical Fitness of Military Recruits .
    Personaly I managed 31 push ups which is excellent for my 75 years. It wasn't that long ago (seems like yesterday) that I could do that on either hand. Since then I have aquired osteoarthritis and it's not gonna get any better. Over the past 12 to 15 years I have lost 25kg of muscle mass mostly in the upper body. When I was 50 I was drawing a 100 lb Longbow 400 times a session now I cannot get between the bow, any bow and it's string at all. I'm still fitness concious however and life goes on hopefully with a laugh or two.

    - 4/17/2014 12:30:35 AM
  • Good ideas. Thanks - 1/18/2014 6:32:41 AM
  • 17 and I'm 30. Not the best but better than I'd have guessed. Going to work up to average for my age at least. - 1/3/2014 3:29:13 PM
  • As Gomer Pyle said "Surprise, Surprise" I found out that I am in the GOOD range!! - 12/30/2013 11:25:40 AM
  • How sad is the world.....I can't do one. LOL Well, only one way to go from here right? Up!! - 12/29/2013 1:10:18 PM
  • Wow, in this case I am glad to be average!!
    - 11/13/2013 5:11:37 PM

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