Bob one technique that I have used to increase film speed that does not increase contrast is to prebathe the film prior to development in a solution of 1% sodium perborate. I know of no source to buy it. It is however easily made. Go to the drugstore. Buy a bottle of hydrogen peroxide that is used as a disinfectant. This is almost universally a 3% solution. So choose a container 3 time as big as the bottle you bought. Pour into it the hydrogen peroxide. Fill the bottle twice more with water and dump it into the container. You now have a 1% solution of hydrogen peroxide. If, for example, you started with a half pint bottle you now have approximately 750ml of solution. Add to this 7.5 grams of Kodalk or Kodak balanced alklai or sodium metaborate...3 different names for the same thing... you will now have 750ml of sodium perborate. If you are a compounder of developers you probably already have this ingredient. In fact you may also ask your spouse "Honey where do we keep the hydrogen peroxide". Mavbe she will tell you..maybe she will not...have you been nice to her recently?.
This should give a doubling of speed with any black&white film with the contrast and grain size staying the same. You treat your film for one minute in this solution and transfer it directly to your normal developer without rinsing and develop for the normal amount of time. I use the solution as one shot and discard it. Hydrogen peroxide is fairly useful in the darkroom. it os also used in hypo eliminator...not to be confused with hypo clearing agent. It is extremely effective in eliminating fixer from you photo paper. There is though some concern that it may weaken the fiber base..there are contradictory opiniuons on this matter. If you find that you want to make sodium perborate regularly or hypo eliminator and you live in an area that has a supplier for beauty salons you can buy it in gallons that us much more concentrated and it will be much cheaper for unit volume than the stuff from the drugstore.
This is as easy as falling off a log. It will reduce any necessity to push film.
There is nothing as helpful for night time exposure as 15 or more pounds of the stablest tripod you can get your hands on. I use a Majestic tripod. I believe that the only exercise I get is from carrying my gear and coughing from cigarettes..but what else you gonna do when the doctor tell you that you have a tar defficiency?