T Nation

Substitutions for Paul Carter's Agonist/Antagonist Split


#1

Looking for some suggestions on a few substitutions for a push pull split that Paul Carter wrote about.

The program is listed below. I’m only seeking substitutions because Ill be working out at home and don’t have the equiptment right now to do the program exactly as written. I have a squat rack, and a bench that I can do leg extensions with, but I need to substitute the tbar row, lat pull down, straight arm pull down, triceps pushdown, and triceps extension with rope. Also wanted to add deadlifts, as they are my favorite, but wasn’t sure what day they would be best to do on.

Day 1 – Horizontal Push/Pull
Exercise Sets Reps
A1 Bench Press * 70% of your max 5 8
A2 Barbell Row * 5 8
B1 Incline Press 20% less than bench press 3 8
B2 Chest Supported T-Bar Row 3 8
C1 Pec-Deck Flye or High Incline Dumbbell Flye 3 10-12
C2 Rear Lateral on Pec-Deck or High Incline Bent Lateral 3 10-12

Day 2 – Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
A1 Leg Extension 5 12-15
A2 Seated Leg Curl 5 12-15
B Squat * working up to a ballbuster final set 4 8
C Stiff Legged Deadlift working up to a final heavy set 4 6

Day 3 – Vertical Push/Pull
Exercise Sets Reps
A1 Standing Press working up to a max-weight set 5 6
A2 Chin-Up add weight if you can 5 6
B1 Seated Dumbbell Press 3 8-10
B2 Lat Pulldown 3 8-10
C1 Plate Front Raise 4 10-12
C2 Straight-Arm Lat Pulldown 4 10-12

Day 4 – Arms
Exercise Sets Reps
A1 Standing Barbell Curl 4 10-12
A2 Triceps Pushdown 4 10-12
B1 Bent-Over Barbell Concentration Curl 3 10-12
B2 Leaning Triceps Extension with Rope 3 10-12
C1 Incline Dumbbell Curl 3 10-12
C2 Seated Dumbbell French Press 3 10-12


#2

[quote=“d_n, post:1, topic:218624”]
I need to substitute the tbar row, lat pull down, straight arm pull down, triceps pushdown, and triceps extension with rope.[/quote]
I’d probably go 1-arm dumbbell row or reverse incline 2-dumbbell row for the t-bar, more chins again instead of pulldowns, DB or barbell pullover (on a decline if possible) instead of stiff-arm pulldowns, 2-arm kickbacks or lying French press instead of pushdowns, 1 or 2-arm overhead extensions or seated French press instead of triceps extensions.

On leg day in place of stiff-leg deads. Won’t be fun, but it’s doable. Doing them on one of the days you hit back wouldn’t be in line with the concept of the program. Or stick with just the squats and stiff-legs for 8-12 weeks, or however long you do the program, and then get back to deads after.


#3

thanks for the suggestions, I think the alternative lifts will work out great. As for the deadlift, I’ll see how it goes with substituting the stiff legged deadlift, my other thought was doing it on arms day which for me would be friday, which would give me a two day before my monday workout.

mon h push pull
tues legs
wed vertical push pull
fri arms


#4

That would be completely random. In this kind of split, deads would go on leg day or one of the days with other back/pulling work.

But again, that’s getting away from the “spirit” of the routine. Not a terrible thing to do sometimes, but if you’re doing a program, it’s usually best do the program as close to how the coach designed it before tinkering too much.


#5

All good suggestions. I would make sure to use a bench support for the rows, they are in the program for a reason (likely to save your lower back). I quite like “front lever rows” done carefully as a replacement for the straight arm pulldowns to really target the lats.

I think they’re called Shank Levers here. I like the kB version best. Try them before you dismiss them.


#6

Good call on the lever row. Reminded me of Thibs’ stiff-arm DB row, another good option (crazy isometric contraction on the tris though).