After writing about push-ups a few days ago, I wondered what the world records are for this exercise. They are shocking, beyond imagination. It turns out that there are many records depending upon how many arms used, palms or fingertips, repetitions performed in one minute, five minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, a day and even a year.

Now that I have started doing them again two or three times a week, I am up to (or down at) 33 to 38 non-stop. The non-stop world record is 10,507! This is NOT A TYPO. Yes, over 10,000. Can any of you even grasp that kind of fitness? I can’t.

Here is a page that will show you how many the national average is for your age and gender. Just type in your age and number of repetitions you can do and hit the “Calculate” button. You’ll also see how to do a push-up—notice it can be different for women.

Another great page I found is written by a former push-up passionado, Charles Linster, who held the record of 6006 for about 10 years. He writes here about his quest to do more and more push-ups until he finally became the world’s supreme push-up achiever. It’s all so interesting. He has even written one or two books about it.

One of the memorable excerpts from his page is as follows:

“Solace was found in the words of Jascha Heifetz, the concert violinist, who said, “There is no such thing as perfection, there are only standards. And after you have set a standard you learn that it was not high enough. You want to surpass it.” In an effort to be able to perform calisthenic totals close to my personal bests anytime, I established daily minimum repetitions for all of my exercises and began to increase those minimums.

“Late that fall and the following winter, I tried out for and earned positions on both of New Trier’s Freshman and Sophomore Gymnastic Squads. During a January practice, a member of the varsity team told me that he didn’t believe my push-up total and challenged me to perform 100. Picking up the gauntlet, I made a believer out of him. Successfully meeting this challenge energized me. Still flush with victory and feeling especially “good” during my workout the next day, I performed 222 push-ups. Twenty-four hours later, I still felt “good” and shattered my performance of the day before by ticking off 333 push-ups. Two weeks later, the “good” feeling returned and I executed 444.

“I owed my January push-up records to Heifetz’s maxim of raising standards. Every day I performed at least one more push-up than the day before. I was like a mountain climber, using these minimums as “base camps” from which I could launch new push-up heights when feeling “good.” But the greatest result of my three new personal bests was the breaking of a psychological barrier. Until that time, I was convinced that records could only be broken by small increments. By more than doubling my personal record in less than three weeks, I knew that I didn’t have to settle for being merely good at the push-up, I could be great.”

Now check out these mind-and-body boggling push-up achievements. You can read about more of them and find links to details of many right here :

WORLD RECORDS

* non-stop: 10,507; Minoru Yoshida (JAP), Oct 1980
* one year: 1,500,230; Paddy Doyle (GBR), Oct 1988 – Oct 1989
* 24 hours: 46,001; Charles Servizio (USA), 24/25 April 1993 at Hesperia
(new record claim, not yet verified: Jeffrey Warrick (USA), 46300)
* 1 hour: 3,877; Bijender Singh (IND), 20 Sept 1988
* 30 minutes: 2,354; Rolf Heck (GER), 13 Nov 2000
* 10 minutes (women): 450; Alicia Weber (USA), 24 May 2009 in Clermont, Florida, USA
* 5 minutes: 441; Giuseppe Cusano (GBR), Loftus Road Soccer Stadium at the Fulham v. Portsmouth game on 24 Nov 2003
* 3 minutes (women): 190; Renata Hamplová (TCH), Record Festival Pelhrimov 1995
* one minute: Record claims up to 199 in one minute have been made. We do, however, not continue to publish these record claims, because it became impossible to judge about the correctness of the exercises at this speed.
* one-armed, 1 hour: 2521; Paddy Doyle (GBR), 12 Feb 1990 in Birmingham
* one-armed, 30 minutes: 1382; Doug Pruden (CAN), 30 July 2003 at the Body Quest Health Club Edmonton
* one-armed, 10 minutes (women): 105; Alicia Weber (USA) on 6 March 2010 in Clermont, Florida (USA)
* one-armed, on back of hands, one hour: 677; Doug Pruden (CAN) at the Body Quest Health Club Edmonton, 9 Nov 2005
* one-handed handstand pushups: Yury Tikhonovich (Russia) did twelve pushups while standing on one hand in June 2006 at the Starclub variete in Kassel (Germany). He repeats this feat almost every day in the rehearsal for his show
* on fists: 5557 (in 3:02:30 hours), Doug Pruden (CAN), 9 July 2004, Body Quest Health Club Edmonton
* on back of hands, 15 minutes: 627; Paddy Doyle (GBR), 8 November 2007, Stamina’s Boxing Self Defence Gym, Erdington, Birmingham
* finger-tips, 5 hours: 8,200; Terry Cole (GBR), 11 May 1996 in Walthamstow
* one finger: 124 Paul Lynch (GBR), 21 April 1992 in London
* with hands on raw eggs: 112; Johann Schneider (AUT)