Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
July 23, 2017
One of the toughest things about creating a good workout is creating a workout which will work just about every muscular fiber in your body. You can easily walk into any gym and do a whole bunch of bench presses or something, working your guns and trying to show off to the boys. Or may be just take a spot on the squat machine and try to get that mythical rear end you so want. My favorite thing people do is focus on their biceps, curling until the cows come home and looking at their arms bulge and swell so it can mess up these “smedium” shirts they are wearing. Vanity is prevalent at just about any gym, but this is why you choose to workout smarter. Okay, there was a hit of jealousy from me, because I am still pretty soft and such and getting rock hard appendages has been a struggle for me. But I’m not going to stop working. As the classic saying goes, this is a marathon, not a sprint. Now one thing I do know full well about is that focusing on one body aspect can give you limited results. Unless you are a body builder or something or have a well defined workout regime where you literally work out every day and can work a specific muscle group, initiating that balance in the workout is key to your overall health. This is why you need something that is commonly referred to as “push/pull” in the industry. Now you have probably heard this referred to quite often, and this is definitely a good buzzword when you do work at Parsons Training. Any trainer worth their weight in gold will get you into one of these types of routines, especially if you are doing multiple workouts a week. So strap on to your seat and see what is in store for you.
Now here is a basic lowdown of the push-pull method, which is nicely described in this article. http://www.mensfitness.com/training/workout-routines/push-pull-routine-gain-muscle-and-simplify-your-training Jon has always gotten on my case about my own personal workouts, mainly because I always seem to skip out on the pull aspect of working out (more on that later…but I also hate doing overhead stuff, which is another staple I must subject myself to). Push-Pull basically works all aspects of your body, and the designation is determined on which muscle groups you decide to focus on. In general, each primary muscle group is considered to be either a push muscle group or a pull muscle group. A push muscle group is defined as a muscle group in which the muscle tissue contracts when the weight is pushed away from the body (defined as the concentric portion of the movement). So to put this simply, when you do a bench press (or a floor bench press, which is becoming staple here at Parsons Training) you are doing a good push movement. Overhead presses and push-ups can also be considered a good push movement as well. As a result the muscle tissue lengthens when the weight is returned to the original position. Basically, the muscle groups in those two aforementioned workouts are the pectorals and the shoulders. Some other groups that get some work are the triceps, quads and lateral and medial delts. So doing workouts—especially the bench press and push-ups— are good for you even if you are like me and absolutely hate them! So say hello to your push muscle groups. Since we now have a good idea what the push is, what exactly is the “pull?”A pull muscle group contracts as the weight is pulled toward the body (the concentric portion of the movement) and lengthens as the weight is extended away from the body (the eccentric portion of the movement). Pull workouts are some of my least favorite things in the world, mainly because they put the most work into body than any of the other types of work outs. You are putting a lot of work into these particular areas, namely the back, biceps, rear delts, traps, forearms and hamstrings. All of these movements are the foundation of weight lifting and working out. If you take the proper steps in making these work for you, you will create some good results out of this. Right here is some good tips on establishing a good workout routine utilizing the push pull method. http://www.aworkoutroutine.com/push-pull-legs-split/
Now here is the bottom line…it all depends on how you want to approach this particular method. For me, I try to do a good combination of work in both the push and the pull. Doing a back squat is a perfect way to get your push-pull on, for you are working your push muscle (quads) as well as your pull muscle (hamstrings). Since this is a tough lift, it is always good to work this one in early in the mis, primarily to help with your energy and also your max-out potential. All over the internet, people will suggest to you to maintain a strictly push and pull method, separating the specific methods across a full workout session. I have never been one to follow this idea, but considering my weight and my desire to push some better results, going into this particular idea would be good for me. Focusing on one type of muscle group per day (or per session) has some good benefits. Unless you are like me over the past few weeks, where I have been doing a lot of W.O.D.S. and circuit style training, this could be a nice break from the routine. This past Thursday, I was doing a lot of push pull during my session with John Shaver. We started off with a seemingly endless stream of back squats, where I pushed myself to 235 pounds n the deep squat (and yes, this is not that much but for me on the deep is pretty impressive). We also did some good, intense pushing-pulling action, doing five rounds of power cleans, squats and elevated sit-ups on the GHD. Either way, it was a heck of a workout and I definitely got the most out of it. If you strictly want to focus on push or pull muscle groups, this will definitely help you in your fitness journey for you will not overwork certain muscle groups and you will allow yourself to get some active rest. Remember, overworking yourself is not a good thing, for getting hurt is a rally good way to throw a monkey wrench into the entire workout regimen.
Next week we will get into more specifics about how to work the push-pull method when it comes to the deadlift. Deadlifts are routinely considered pull exercise, especially since so much of the movement stretches the lengths of your body moving forward. So until next week, keep doing those push-pulls!
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
About Our Blog
Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.