Tip: 2 Minutes of Misery

Combine a plate push with push-ups and what do you get? One of the best conditioning combos in the history of armpit sweat.

The Plate Push/Push-Up Challenge

Conditioning is a necessary evil. Although the bulk of your program should revolve around strength training, you don't want to be that guy who can squat 600 pounds but gets winded walking up stairs.

Sometimes you just need to kick the shit out of yourself to build your work capacity and find out what you're made of. When you're pushing your limits, go with low impact, simple exercises that decrease the potential for injury.

This challenge is one of the most brutal full-body challenges that I've tried in a while. All you need is some turf or carpet, a 45-pound bumper plate, and some willpower.

How to Do It

  1. Push a 45-pound plate for 5 yards and then do 5 push-ups on the plate. Don't let your hands leave the plate for any reason.
  2. See how many 5-yard plate pushes/push-ups you can do in two minutes.
  3. Record the total number of yards and aim to beat your score the next week.

Why This is Awesome

  • The metabolic stress accumulated during this challenge will build your quads and shoulders.
  • It's low impact. You'll be torching your muscles, not your joints.
  • It's low skill. That allows you to put forth maximum effort without much risk of injury.
  • It's long enough to be brutally taxing on your anaerobic energy system, yet broken up into short bursts of energy which allows you to keep the intensity high.
  • It's great for developing mental toughness and grit, which will transfer into all your other lifts, as well as life in general.
  • Doing this weekly and trying to increase your distance will give you something to improve upon each week.
TJ Kuster is a certified athletic trainer (ATC) and certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), specializing in mobility and injury prevention. He coaches at Method Sports Performance in Bloomington, IL.