What are Some Good Push Pull Workouts and Exercises?

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question-icon-newMy friends at the gym told me that you should not do a pulling exercise and a pushing exercise on the same day. This is confusing to me since I like to train in this way for the majority of my workouts. For example, I usually do close grip bench press or some other pushing exercise while also doing standing barbell curls or other pulling exercises on the same day. Are my friends correct that I should avoid training this way and stop doing push and pull exercises on the same day?

answer-icon-newYour friends are totally incorrect on this one and I have no idea where they would get that type of inaccurate information. Push and pull workouts are one of the best training routines you can do to get an incredible lifting session in. Push pull routines work very well for building up overall muscle mass and strength. They are also a great way to design a workout routine where you can basically complete a session like a circuit training layout where you go back to back on different exercises without taking a rest break.

I personally design my entire training routine around the push-pull method and I really like being able to get a workout completed this way in easily under an hour. It’s also great to train this way if you don’t like standing around waiting for your rest period to get over before you start another set. By doing each exercise back to back, you will also create a higher caloric burn because it’s much more intense when you do not take any of the rest periods between each set. More intensity means burning more calories and this means getting leaner and more ripped!

Although the exercises you listed work completely fine for a push-pull style workout for your chest and biceps, your workout routine can be tweaked a little bit for better results. I recommend setting up your push-pull workout routine like the one below in order to work larger muscle groups per workout:

Push Pull Workout #1:

  • Monday: Chest and Back
  • Tuesday: Legs
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Shoulders, Traps and Abs
  • Friday: Biceps and Triceps

push-pull-workouts-db-pressAs you can see with this workout scheme, you will be using opposing muscle groups for each training session. When you perform each exercise in a continuous fashion during your workout, you will be letting one muscle group actively rest while you train the opposing muscle group.

For your chest and back day, when you do a set of chest (pushing movement) and then immediately go into a set of back (pulling movement), you will be actively resting one muscle group as you train the other. This works very well even though you are not actively taking a rest break between each set.

I would like to point out that this style of training is for the intermediate to advanced individual who has been training for a while and who is fit enough to complete a full workout without it becoming too extreme. The beginner will probably find this push-pull training style to be a little too intense and they should begin with more basic training methods when starting out. A great workout program for the beginner is the basic 5 day split where they train one specific muscle group per day which allows the person to really focus on a specific area with proper rest periods between each set to fully recuperate.

For the intermediate and advanced individuals who will be implementing the push-pull training routine into their overall training program, it’s also important to switch it up every few weeks. After a month or so of doing the first push-pull workout routine, it’s completely fine to use a little different training scheme and setup your push-pull routine like this:

Push Pull Workout #2:

  • Monday: Chest and Biceps
  • Tuesday: Legs
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Back and Triceps
  • Friday: Shoulders, Traps and Abs

The main concept of switching up your workout styles and training routines is to always be trying to shock your muscles with new and different stimuli to keep them growing while avoiding any type of training plateaus which can come into play when you get into the common problem of doing the same types of training, exercises, repetitions, sets and routines each and every time you step into gym. Your goal should be to always confuse your muscles to help them invoke a response so they can keep growing and getting stronger!

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