When combined with ample overload, push-ups are one of the most effective and safe functional mass builders. We can easily apply eccentric overload (lowering a heavier weight than you can lift) to further enhance this training stimulus.
The Eccentric Potentiation Push-Up
In the video, NFL Combine athlete Michael Montero performs an eccentric potentiation weighted push-up protocol using the ledge push-up technique.
The total weight on the eccentric phase (bodyweight included) is just over 500 pounds while the concentric (lifting) phase is slightly over 400 pounds.
Simply have a partner place a dumbbell, kettlebell, or sandbag on your back during the negative phase of the push-up and then immediately have them lift the weight off to allow a powerful completion of the concentric phase.
Applying this concept to push-ups not only crushes the chest, shoulders, and triceps, but also the core and spinal stabilizers because you're essentially holding an incredibly heavy plank.