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Pushing And Pulling For Super Progress

Bobby Rock

Do push exercises ...

Bobby Rock

...on different days from pulls.

One of the most important aspects of a successful lifting regimen is proper recuperation time between workouts. Any given body part (with the exception of abs and calves) will require at least 48 hours of rest before you return to the gym to blast it again. If you’re training your whole body each workout, then this is a pretty easy directive to follow; simply allow for at least one full day off between workouts and you should be fine.

However, if you’re training your upper body over two different routines, you could be overtraining certain body parts if you’re not mindful of what all muscle groups are involved with each exercise. For example, if you train chest and triceps on one day, then back and shoulders the next, the shoulders are actually getting hammered two days in a row, due to their involvement with every chest movement. This is where the pushing and pulling concept can really help.

Pushing movements are those exercises that involve chest, shoulders and triceps. Pulling movements are those exercises that involve back, biceps and traps. Create two different routines around these two different types of movements, and you should never have issues with overtraining. Add some abdominal exercises to your pushing workout, and some leg exercises to your pulling workout, and you’ll have two different routines that cover the entire body and can be performed on back-to-back days without any issue.

Put it all together, and this is what a killer weekly regimen might look like:

Monday
Pushing movements, plus abs
Tuesday
Pulling movements, plus legs
Wednesday
Off
Thursday
Pushing movements, plus abs
Friday
Pulling movements, plus legs.
Weekend
Off

Don’t forget to integrate three or four 20-30 minute cardio sessions each week, like treadmill, stationary bike, or even a brisk walk. You could add your cardio to the end of each workout (always after lifting), and/or do some on your off days.

Be sure to switch things up regularly and utilize different exercises so your pushing and pulling routines are constantly changing. This prevents the body from getting too acclimated to a set regimen, and ensures that you’ll keep getting great results.

Bobby Rock is a drummer, author, educator, and a health and fitness specialist with certifications in exercise, nutrition, and meditation.

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  • I started using Bobby’s recommendations from this article, and am interested to see how it alters my workout.