Bookmark This Push Workout Template

Man performs incline dumbbell bench press
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Any workout is a good workout, but if you have a goal like building muscle then a training plan makes workouts add up to more than the sum of their parts. And one of the most popular muscle-building routines is a push/pull workout plan.

The idea is to alternate between a workout that focuses on the pushing muscles such as the shoulders, triceps and chest, and one that focuses on the pulling muscles, which include the back and biceps.

Fitness coach Christian Poulos has shared his template for push days consisting of six movements. You can follow it as written, then begin to sub in variations over time to keep challenging your upper body.

Watch Poulos take you through each of the exercises in the Instagram reel below.

This workout is best completed at the gym because it consists of dumbbell exercises that require a weights bench as well as cable machine exercises. However, if you want to try this workout from home, you could use a long resistance band attached to a sturdy anchor point instead of the cable machine.

Complete three sets of every movement for 10 to 12 reps, apart from the first exercise, which is the dumbbell press, where Poulos prescribes four sets of six to eight reps. If you’re reaching the top of the rep range on every exercise, increase the weight, even if this means you can only reach the lower end of the rep range. Look to increase the reps in future sessions as your body adapts to lifting heavier weights.

An essential part of any push/pull split is a third lower-body session and we can recommend both this legs workout and leg day session to round out your plan. If splitting your gym sessions into separate push and pull workouts is beyond your level of experience, this all-in-one upper-body workout is a great place to start.

Alice Porter

Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.