Bodybuilding is an art of sorts. It can be approached in one in a different number of ways, depending on how much time you have to train, your fitness goals, and genetics. Professional bodybuilders have the luxury of training one muscle group a day. For the rest of us mortals, a split routine proves to be more effective.
A push/pull program is an example of a split routine. Basically, it calls for training those muscles involved in pushing movements in one, and those that pull in the other. This routine is very effective and can be used by a bodybuilder of any level.
Advantages of Push/Pull Program
This program carries with it some distinct merits. First off, it forestalls overtraining. Since you never really work out one body part repetitively, it allows you enough time to rest and recover. The chances of those fragile joints getting injured, such as the rotator cuff, reduce exponentially.
The routine affords you the luxury of hitting the weight room more often because there will always be a new set of muscles to challenge. There will be little to no overlap in the muscles targeted.
A push/pull routine enables you increase your overall physical fitness. As you are separating your body parts based on how they function, each muscle group receives its special attention. You are able to achieve a more balanced physique that serves a practical purpose.
Planning your Split Routine
Ideally, you should set one day to target your pulling muscles only. If you insist on working your pushing muscles on the same day, you purpose of the split is defeated.
You can work out two days a week with a typical push/pull routine if your time is really limited.
A typical program will look like this:
Push – For chest, shoulders, quads, calves and triceps
- Bench Press- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Squats- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Tricep push downs- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Overhead press- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Calf Raises- 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Pull – For back, biceps, hamstrings and abs
- Pull Ups- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Bent Over Rows- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Stiff legged deadlifts- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Bicep Curls- 4 sets of 8-12 reps
- Crunches-4 sets of 10-15 reps
You can tweak your program as you see fit if it works towards your end goals. Once you venture past the two-day routine, you might experience some overlap, but that is okay as long as it is not exaggerated.
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