push pull

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    Hi, i read on one of Robby’s post’s that he chooses one push and one pull exercise and focuses on only that for upper body. If i take hespu’s and pullups. Wont my chest be lacking work. hespu’s are one of my favorite exercises but i would like to have a nicely defined chest. Will it still grow from the inderect work like biceps during pullups and tri’s during pushups.

    Robby Taylor

    Personally I’m not too concerned about training specific muscle groups, but your concern does have merit, so I will address this.

    Firstly, you don’t have to do the same exercises every time you train. You can alternate handstand push ups with dips or some kind of horizontal pushup if you want to hit your chest more. Basically pick exercises that are most conducive to your goals. To the extent of the importance of a well balanced physique, it is important to choose a set of comprehensive goals.

    My long term goals are planche, more consistency with one arm pull up, and pressing from a back bridge to a handstand. Planche covers chest, and as far as my current regimen goes probably the most planche centric exercises are handstand push ups and back levers. Sometimes at work I will work on more planche specific drills like planche leans, tucks, etc.

    And that leads me to my next (and hopefully final) point. There are many ways to construct a workout, and even the template of an upper body push and upper body pull has some wiggle room. Most advanced calisthenics blur that line. You could do muscle ups and handstand push ups and the muscle ups would be worming your chest…even though it’s more of a pull than a push. The same could be said for the back lever.

    So get creative with your programming. Mix it up, don’t do the exact same thing every day, but have some idea of where you’re ultimately going. Personally I picked a group of exercises that are conducive to my goals (about 12 exercises, including a few barbell exercises) and sorted them into like 3 or 4 workout templates based on which exercises I could do in the same workout without wearing myself out too much to do well in all of them. And often those individual workouts dont go exactly as planned. They usually form the basis of it (often I do it as written), but sometimes I’ll do a different exercise or add another one or Something. It depends on the day, how much time I have, where I am, and if I’m training with someone else.

    Food for thought


    Thank you and happy holidays.

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