I have been practicing pistols and pull ups for the past 2 weeks, which both require tons of tension. I just used the same breathing and tension technique to the push up and I actually did it. There was definitely some snap, crackle, and pops going on.
Strength works in mysterious ways sometimes. I strongly feel that the mind can take over and provide you with the extra strength in time of need. Especially when you have lots of built up energy inside that is ready to explode! The story of my life.