Just wondering if anyone has experimented in changing the reps and intensity of the 5 movements every couple of weeks. It seems that just shooting for 50 reps of pushups every workout would lead to a plateau after a while. Most experts recommend changing things up like muscle confusion ( to steal from Tony Horton)
Through Pavel Tsatsoulines different books I have found an easy way of applying perodization: three workouts a week where workout 1 is quite easy (just doing the basic move at an easy stage) workout 2 is moderate, a workout with the heart pumping rather high, and workout 3 is a balls to the walls ninjakickinthe head workout. To get strong, do 3-5/8 reps in 3-5 sets. Vary the exercise to get variation/periodization (Pavel varies the amount of sets/reps). This can easily be done with all basic exercises.
Example w pushups and squats:
1) Knee pushups, box squatss
2) Normal pushups, normal squats (air squats)
3) Assisted one arm pushups, assisted pistols
When I can do 20 something of a certain exercise any given sunday (i.e. 20 normal pushups without warmup or any real fatigue afterwards) I make that my exercise day 1 basis. For me, 20+ reps is boring and waste of time (provided that it is not a HIIT workout/conditioning). Also, consider that the basic movements can be varied with some equipment. The horizontal press (pushups) can be done through bench press, dips etc. and the shoulders can be done through military press, kettlebell work and handstand shoulder press. A vertical pull can be deadlift, heavy kettlebell swing and light sumo dead lift high pull.
Just make sure that day 1 is EASY, a walk in the park. Day 2 is a "normal" workout and day 3 is when you go ninja.
It really boils down to exactly what you're trying to get out of the movements. But I'd say that to continue to get results you need to continually progress the movements. With lifting this is easy - just add more weight to the bar. Bodyweight work requires a little more ingenuity.
Just changing things for the sake of it (like in most Beachbody programmes) seems pointless.
I usually strap on some ankle weights on pullups and a weight belt on pushups every few weeks to shock the muscles, seems to help.
Check out Convict Conditioning. It has some of the best bodyweight strength progressions I've ever seen, and everyone from Pavel to Gray Cook endorse it. 50 pushups is impressive, but I find a single one-arm pushup to be even more so (not there yet, but I'm working on it!).