The Push Up Master – Mr Paddy Doyle

Paddy Doyle is one of the most prolific record holders in the world when it comes to feats of fitness, strength and endurance. Since 1987, eighty one of his world records are still standing. He has been called the worlds fittest man, but he doesn’t accept that as an accurate title, saying “it’s too hard to judge, the athlete would need to be brilliant at all sports”. His style of Military Endurance Fitness Training has proved to be too much for some who have tried to train with him at his boxing and martial arts gym in the UK.

Paddy holds quite a few push up world records. World records for this common fitness exercise can be held udder many categories. In both men’s and women’s competitions, to name a few, there are:


– 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes
– 1 hour, 5 hour, 24 hour
– Days, weeks, years
– One armed
– On finger tips
– With a 50 pound weight
– Inclined

The rules that cover a proper and qualifying push up are briefly outlined here:

– Hands must be at shoulder width
– The body must be kept straight
– The elbows must make a 90 degree angle at the bottom of the motion
– Arms must be straight at the top of the motion thus completing one push up

If you can’t do a complete push up, and are completely starting from scratch, the best way to begin is to decrease the resistance by doing them from your knees. To train properly to go for breaking some of Paddy’s records…Good luck! And remember you are never too old. The famous Jack Lalanne, who once held the world record by doing 1,000 in only 23 minutes is now 93 years old and he is still at it!Here are some tips:

– Remember this is a standard, basic exercise. Keep good form
– Do as many as you can, continuously.
– After failure, rest for two to three minutes, then go for another round
– Even for your first day, do at least three sets per session
– There is a huge benefit to doing as many sessions of at least three sets over the coarse of the day
– After this “day of push ups” rest! You will be sore the next day. Wait until this dissipates before your next push up day.

Because it is very important to keep muscle balance, make sure you do some “opposite” exercises on your off days. Try pull ups. The standard ones will work, but if you can lower the bar, or raise your feet in a way that you are doing an “upside down” push up, even better.

Stretching is also very important. A good way to stretch the pectoral muscles, along with the shoulders and other muscles and ligaments that will come in to play while on your push up journey, is to use a doorway. Stand in the door with you hands up by your shoulders against the jamb, and then lean forward and hold for 10 seconds.