T Nation

Is This Enough Pulling?


so I want to make sure that I’m doing enough pulling in my routine, I’m actually much more interested in pulling excercises, this is a breakdown of my workots.
The number of reps sometimes is higher than the simple sets x sets math because I’m also counting the warmup sets. For 5/3/1 main lifts I’m doing an average of reps:

DAY 1:
-OHP 5/3/1: around 25 reps, pushing
-Dips 5x5: 30 reps, pushing
-Cable cross 5x10: 50 reps, pushing
-band pull aparts: 70-80 reps, pulling (?)
-face pulls: about 60 reps, pulling
+100 band pull aparts before going to bed
TOTAL: 105 reps pushing, 60 reps pulling, 170-180 band pull aparts

DAY 2:
-Deadlift 5/3/1: around 25 reps, pulling
-Snatch Grip DL 5x10: 50 reps, pulling
-Kroc Rows x2: 35-40 reps, pulling
+100 band pull aparts before going to bed
TOTAL: 110-115 reps pulling, 100 band pull aparts

DAY 3:
-Push Press 5/3/1: around 25 reps, pushing
-Dips 5x10: 55 reps, pushing
-Behind the Neck Press 5x10: 50 reps, pushing
-band pull aparts: 60-70 reps
-chinups: 50-60 reps
+100 band pull aparts before going to bed
TOTAL: 130 reps pushing, 160-170 band pull aparts, 50-60 reps pulling

DAY 4:
-Front Squat 5/3/1: around 25 reps, pushing
-Back Squat 5x10: 50 reps, pushing
-Romanian Deadlifts 5x10: 60 reps, pulling
+100 band pull aparts before going to bed
TOTAL: 75 reps pushing, 60 reps pulling, 100 band pull aparts

+once a week I do farmer walks and once a week overhead carries at the end of the workout + abs twice a week (mostly leg raises)

WEEKLY TOTAL: 310 reps pushing, 280-290 pulling, 520-550 band pull aparts

not 100% sure if band pull aparts are considered a pulling movement, I think they are but I seem to recall someone mentioning them being like a pushing movement for the rear delt.
goes without saying that snatch grip dls, kroc rows and romanian deads are on average much heavier than bodyweight dips, cable cross and back squat


Pretty sure you’ve got enough pulling in there. I think the whole push to pull ratio idea gets more focus than it needs.

Yes, absolutely your back is a must to train and I get it that a lot of people overlook it. However, as long as you attack your back with the same intensity and focus as your other lifts you should be fine. You don’t need to worry about how many pulling reps vs pushing reps.

Just as an example, I use 531. I do 25 pull aparts between each of my first three warmup sets on every press or bench day. I do pull-ups between the first three warmup sets of DL, and fatman pull-ups between the first three warmup sets of squat. Then on Monday I do 50 total reps of t-bar rows and 50 total reps of shrugs (in terms of back). On Thursday I do Kroc rows (25-30 reps) and sometimes some lighter DB rows afterwards and 100 total reps of shrugs.

Next year I’m going to experiment with adding more rows (100 total on Monday, however many I need on Thursday to get a total of 50 after Kroc rows with a lighter DB) just to accelerate back growth, but what I’m doing currently seems to work fine.


For years I too thought there had to be a 2:1 ratio of pressing and pulling (or whatever is being bandied about the internet these days). It’s not true.

Your body doesn’t work like that. While it’s important to do rows/chins (and other lifts) - thinking that you need to do some in order to “balance” your body isn’t quite right. A row is NOT the opposite of the bench press or press is to the chin/pull-up. It’s like how people eat a candy bar and think they can do “X” to burn it off. After you spend a few decades in this business you just let it all go and realize how full of shit all the lies are.

You need enough pulling exercises to achieve your goal. I don’t like how you program your training but if you have had amazing success with it, so be it.

Most problems like injuries, etc. do not revolve around not doing X amount of pushes to Y pulls. Its shitty programming, shitty technique and really shitty coaching.


Keep in mind the 531 sets are usually mostly warmups, work sets are what mostly counts if your balancing exercises. Also I wouldn’t count the lower body days unless your making up some upper body volume, I think the push/pull ratio is only talking about horizontal and vertical arm movements. RDL is not really the opposite movement of a squat.


Thanks everyone for the inputs, in terms of intensity I definitely feel that the pulling work is on par or more than pushing.
As for training programing… waaay too early to say. I’ve just finished the first month, gotta say I liked it a lot and it had some very nice results


From what I see in that plan is more than enough pulling. With that many band pull-aparts you have nothing to worry about. One thing to watch is how much work the bicep tendon is getting. I have tried high frequency plans in the past and more than 2 moderate volume training sessions with a pulling focus can cause irritation.


Now that you mention it - I’ve had some mild stiffness for a few days in a bicep. Like the edge of the right bicep, where it attaches to the forearm, I could feel it stiff when fully outstretching the arm.
Nothing that prevented me from training, but I think it happened for two reasons:
-Deadlifts with mixed grip (it was the 3+ day), I’m not sure but I could have bent a bit the arm
-On the same day I felt grip failing and breaking the form during last reps of Kroc Rows, I think I’ve forced them with the arm

I’ve bought chalk, it should allow me to use a double overhand on deadlifts for a few more cycles, in the meanwhile I’ll practice the hook grip. Gonna use chalk on snatch grip DLs, Kroc Rows and when I work hanging from a bar.
Grip has been the thing I’ve struggled the most in these weeks, not that it actually prevented me from completing excercises but I noticed that grip fatigue built up VERY quickly when doing abs hanging from the bar after deads and rows.