Personal Trainer | What is a Push/Pull day?

In a previous blog post, you may remember that I had called in the big guns to help level up training. 

Incase you needed a refresher of the big guns – Chris Gee from Urban Instinct Personal Training

A few weeks ago as we walked into the gym I casually asked”What are we working on today?”. The response of a push pull day definitely caught me a little off guard and I did feel a tad stupid having to ask what body part that was. If you aren’t sure yourself what a push pull day is let me save you some embarrassment. 
First of all, it isn’t a muscle (*phew* passing anatomy for sport wasn’t a fluke) it’s a method of training. 

I’ve only ever known to focus on specific muscles in training as opposed to motions.  

This method, as I was informed by Chris, was an effective way of training our bodies in a way that is consistent with how we use them in every day life and focuses on groups of muscles used to action certain motions. 

Imagine pulling open a door and all the different muscles that are engaged in order to complete that action – there are multiple muscles working in conjunction with each other. 

Beware the side effect of extreme facial expressions.

As the exercises tend to involve more compound movements you will  find that you are able to lift heavier weights but the idea is to alternate the heavy focus. Meaning one session would consist of heavy back (pull) exercises coupled with lighter chest (push) exercises and vice versa on the second day. 

Bent over row – pull exercise

For the movements associated with the heavy focus you want to migrate towards sets of 5 for 5 reps or something similar. 

Whereas the opposing, lighter movements should take on the more standard 3 sets of 8-12 reps. 
I am loving the incorporation of a push/pull day into my split, one of the main reasons being that the session is made up of only 6 exercises i.e. 3 back (pull) exercises and 3 chest (push) exercises. The reduction in exercises means that I don’t fatigue as quick and I can finish each movement strong. 

What would usually be done over a period of 3-4 days has been condensed into 2 days.

Honestly, the results that have surfaced following the short period of inclusion of this form of training are quite exciting. 

The most notable being the definite progression in strength. There have been more PB’s hit over the past few weeks than in any other period of my training! 

Chest has never been a workout I have enjoyed and an area that has always remained particularly weak for me; struggling to lift the bar on its own weak. That isnt the case any more though, I have added weight to the bar and I can now execute bench press with strength, good technique  and confidence. 

Evidence of some physical gains aswell as strength gains. Tiny waist come at me!

If you are looking to increase your strength and build muscle then it may be beneficial for you to consider incorporating a push/pull day into your regime. The beauty lies in that this is actually really easy to do. 
There are hundreds of exercise variations to consider including, which makes keeping workouts fresh and exciting that much easier given that only 3 per action are required! 

Dont worry though, I would have struggled finding a starting point if left to my own devices so I’ve got you covered with  some potential options to get you going:

Push 

  • Incline bench press
  • Cable flys
  • Dumbell press
  • Wide grip/close grip bench press

Pull

  • Bent over rows
  • Lat pull downs
  • Seated rows 
  • Pull ups 
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