So, you think you can do the perfect Ranger School pushup?
Want to bet?
Dennis Smith, a former command sergeant major of the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade, decided to make a video to show just how the perfect Ranger School pushup is done.
And he should know. He has graded them as an instructor, and he’s now an owner of Uncommon Athlete, a downtown Columbus gym that concentrates on functional fitness. As part of that he runs pre-Ranger School fitness training classes to help candidates pass the tough assessment phase in which they have to do 49 pushups, among other tasks.
“The perfect pushup is hard to do,” Smith said. “And you’ve got to do 49 of them. The biggest mistake people make is they don’t go all the way down or they don’t lock out.”
So, how hard can it be?
About one in four Ranger School students don’t pass the pushup test, said Daniel Webster, who operates a social media support group for those close to Ranger School students. His support group is not affiliated with the Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade or the Army.
“Over the last four years of administrating the Ranger School Support Group, I have had hundreds of loved ones in utter disbelief that their son, brother, husband could ever fail pushups,” Webster said. “So many have said, ‘He was the pushup champ of his company,’ or ‘He could knock out 100 push ups in two minutes,’ or ‘I do not understand,’ or ‘He does not understand.’”
Watch Smith’s video and you will understand, Webster said.
“After several efforts to locate a suitable ‘perfect pushup how to’ video, there were none that addressed not only the form, but also how to achieve that form,” Webster said. “I turned to Dennis at Uncommon Athlete because I knew as former command sergeant major of the Ranger Training Brigade he knew what was expected and... how to train up for the perfect pushup.”