How Many Consecutive Pushups Should I Be Able To Do?

Pushups are one of the simplest forms of exercise, requiring no equipment and very little space to practice in, and yet the numbers are pretty surprising as relates to how many reps the general population can execute in a row. M&F takes a look at some of the figures and typical benchmarks that we should be aiming for.

Pushups are a compound movement, engaging an array of muscle groups including the chest muscles (pectoralis major and minor), shoulder muscles (deltoids), your abs, and the upper and lower back. You don’t need a gym membership to add them to your fitness routine, and yet a 2021 study published by found that the majority of American’s can’t achieve more than ten straight pushups in a row.

Muscular Man performing pushup with a sexy Female On His Back
Valeriya Sytnick / Shutterstock

Pushups by the Numbers

The survey used a large sample, involving 1,403 participants above the age of 18. Here’s another shocking result: the survey found that the majority of respondents who were unable to perform 10 pushups or more were actually aged 54 or younger. The data showed however, that age and gender play a significant role on the averages. Worryingly, these numbers were lower than that of a 2019 study by Livestrong,  suggesting that general fitness levels are on the decline. Whether the fall in overall pushup rep capability is down to increasingly unhealthy lifestyles or the aftermath of Covid-19 remains to be seen, but building strength and muscle is not the only benefit enjoyed by those who add volume to their pushups.

A hearty reason to increase your pushup volume

Another 2019 study found that those who could do 40 or more pushups in a row were less likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease. “The findings suggest that higher baseline push-up capacity is associated with a lower incidence of CVD events. Although larger studies in more diverse cohorts are needed, push-up capacity may be a simple, no-cost measure to estimate functional status,” concluded the report.

How Many Pushups Should I Be Able To Do Based on Age? have published some comprehensive real-world data provided by, a training and rehab studio in British Columbia Canada, and here are the minimum averages that you should be in the hunt to replicate or overtake:


  • Age 15-19 | Pushups: 18-24
  • Age 20-29 | Pushups: 15-20
  • Age: 30-39 | Pushups: 13-19
  • Age: 40-49 | Pushups: 11-14
  • Age: 50-59 | Pushups: 7-10
  • Age: 60+ | Pushups: 5-11


  • Age 15-19 | Pushups: 23-28
  • Age 20-29 | Pushups: 22-28
  • Age: 30-39 | Pushups: 17-21
  • Age: 40-49 | Pushups: 13-16
  • Age: 50-59 | Pushups: 10-12
  • Age: 60+ | Pushups: 8-10

You’ll notice that all the averages are well below 40 reps, so you will be in the elite group of pushup performers if you are able to make that target. And, if after all that training, you find yourself getting fed up with the traditional pushup, take a look at these 15 pushup variations to target more muscles.

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