Workout Tips

Muscle in Minutes: Push-Pull Combos

Push this, pull that for faster gains – and faster workouts – in the weight room.

barbell bench press

Whether you use a bodypart split, or you’re fond of full-body workouts, push-pull combos are a great tool to utilize when trying to become more efficient at building mass. Arnold was legendary for his chest-and-back superset workouts that put truckloads of muscle on his frame. Push-pull combos are also very time effective and allow you to perform a lot of work in a very short amount of time.

By training agonist and antagostic muscles in a superset fashion, you allow your pushing muscles to rest, while you’re pulling muscles are working, and vice versa. So there’s no excuse to skimp on weight, as is usually the case whenever the term “superset” is bandied about. Better to challenge your muscles with heavier loads in this way, while also increasing the overall intensity and fat-burning potential of your workout.

Push-pull combos also work more muscle at one time, causing a nice growth hormone (GH) spike form the increased blood flow for fat loss and protein synthesis to increase muscle growth.

Agonist-antagonist supersets are beneficial for the quads and hams but there may be nothing quite so satisfying as the immediate, visual benefit of a well-constructed, hard-fought, superset-heavy, upper body workout – full muscle bellies and striking vascularity the evidence of the power of push-pull.

Find out for yourself. Perform each of these workouts once a week, with at least two days of rest between each workout to optimize your gains.

PUSH-PULL SESSION 1

Exercise

Sets

Reps        

Barbell Bench Press - Superset w/

4

5-8

Bent-Over Row

4

5-8

Dumbbell Shoulder Press - Superset w/

4

5-8

Pullup

4 5-8

         

PUSH-PULL SESSION 2

Exercise

Sets

Reps        

Push Press - Superset w/

3

8-12

Lat Pulldown

3

8-12

Incline Dumbbell Bench - Superset w/

3

8-12

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

3 8-12

Do not rest between exercises within a superset. Rest 90 seconds before you move onto the next superset. Increase weight slightly on each set to keep within the rep ranges listed.

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