Putting your program together – Push and Pull
Creating a new training routine you have to look at the basic forms of movements your body can perform.
Here are 6 different directions of movement, covering almost the entire musculature.
- Horizontal push away from the body (e.g., bench press / dips)
- Horizontal pull towards the body (for example barbell row)
- Vertical push away from the body (e.g., shoulder press)
- Vertical pull towards the body (e.g., pull-ups)
- Push movement of the lower body (for example squats)
- Pull movement of the lower body (e.g., deadlift)*
*a case can be made that deadlifts are a push and not a pull movement of the lower body
With an exercise for the respective direction of movement, you can already achieve a complete training of your entire body. A sample plan can be found in Fig. 3.
|Fig.3: Minimalistic push pull routine|
|Workout A||Workout B|
|Barbell Row||Weighted Chinups|
|Each exercise with 3-4 sets, 8-12 repetitions.|
Many will wonder why this minimalistic plan does not include targeted exercises for the arms. Quite simply put: the fact that the biceps are heavily loaded with the chin-ups and the triceps with the dips, the training regimen requires no further work for the arms. A case can be made that the arms would be over-stimulated or over-trained in this way.
However, it would be different if chin-ups were replaced by wide-grip pull-ups and dips by bench press. Here, the arms would still be involved as synergists, but the distribution of stress and load of the movement would be much lower to the arms. Therefore, supplementing with a biceps and triceps exercise might make sense in some cases. Anyway, one should always keep in mind that every exercise plan can be individually tailored and customized to your specific goals and needs.
|Fig.4: Extended push pull routine (arms)|
|Workout A||Workout B|
|Barbell Rows||Wide-grip pull-ups|
|Each exercise with 3 sets, 8-12 repetitions.|
One thing is obvious: If one compares both of these routines with a typical beginner’s training regime, which contains of 10 machine exercises with 3 sets each, then above plan has a much lower volume. Nevertheless, I guarantee you will have a much better training effect with those basic and minimalistic routines.