T Nation

Opinion on Push/Pull


sorry if this gets brought up a lot but i cant find the search function.

anyways, ive been using a high volume/low frequency type program for as long as ive been training and want to switch to the opposite...low volume/high frequency. i was really impressed by TC's push/pull template but i wanted to get some opinions before starting it. im thinking of one of these two variations...

Mon - Heavy Push
Tues - Heavy Pull
Wed - off
Thurs - Light Push
Fri - Light Pull
Sat - off
Sun - off

*same template TC posted, just with an extra rest day


Mon - Heavy Push
Tues - Light Pull
Wed - off
Thurs - Light Push
Fri - Heavy Pull
Sat - off
Sun - off

*splits up heavy days to avoid a CNS overload from doing them back to back

anyone have experience with this? which option looks better to you guys?


I would do back:chest in a 2:1 ratio for better back/shoulder health and good posture. I'd recommend that to anyone. You don't want an overdeveloped chest.


I'm not trying to ball bust at all, I'm generally curious. (This may be a dumb question...)

You said you've been doing the same thing from the beginning, and it seems to be working for you.

Why change a formula that you seem to respond to?


theres a couple reasons. mostly because its getting stale and i just want to try something new. another reason is because of the nature of my job, during the summer/early fall months it gets really hectic and i cant always lift on the days im scheduled to. i figured a program where im hitting the same muscle groups multiple times per week would allow me to be more flexible.

also, if ive never done anything else, there's no way to know if the current type of training im doing is even as effective as i think it is.


That's a good point, never even thought of it that way.



Overdeveloped anterior muscles of the torso (i.e. pec major, front delts) contribute to a kyphotic posture - thoracic flexion, making the upper back tight and weak. Most of us, especially us paper pushers, operate in flexion each day. Just giving generic advice here, I would suggest pulling more than pushing due to this.

Holden, if you want to change things up a bit, try using a WSB template instead. Obviously what you are doing right now works for you, but WSB would be a change of pace.


i get what youre saying, the thing im confused about is how its any different from a program like the one im doing now where i hit each muscle group once per week. if im still doing the same workload for back and chest/delts respectively (which is slightly more work for back), why would it make a difference if im splitting that workload up twice per week?


I just wanted to give you an alternative. For instance, following a WSB template, you are training lower body twice weekly (max effort and dynamic effort / repetition) and upper body twice weekly following that same format.

Overall, the workload is relatively the same, however, its broken up differently throughout the workouts. This program worked for me and got me a lot stronger. Added nearly 80 pounds to my bench and 50 to my squat.


appreciate the tip, im looking into WSB right now. is that a Rippetoe program?


Not too familiar with Rippetoe, but I know he alternate workouts in an A & B format throughout a week.

Something like: Workout A
Workout B
Workout A

It's very low volume, even when you include warm-up sets.

Is it a viable alternative? Absolutely.

I never liked the push/pull split, one of my clients strength coaches emphasized this throughout the year and consequently my client burned out and got injured midway through his season.