March 21, 2011 "Pray big and give God the ball. He can make our impossible shots with our eyes closed."

--Jimmy Pena

Workout of the Week: Push/Pull

Workouts come in many shapes, sizes and styles. But if you're a traditional weight training kind of gym-goer, you may want to try this 20-minute upper body workout. By training opposing muscle groups in succession, you'll be able to condense your workout while maintaining higher levels of strength from your first rep to last.

What works best for you in this case is the fact that a muscle will be stronger if its antagonist, or opposing muscle group, is contracted immediately before it. Not many techniques in the gym allow for a particular muscle to be able to make a gain in strength by indirect means like the push-pull routine. So if you do a bench press followed by a bent-over row, you’ll be stronger on the bent-over row and vice versa. The reason behind the increase in strength of the second muscle group is because there is an innate limitation of an agonist by its antagonist.

When training opposing muscle groups in this fashion it’s important to not take the first exercise to failure. Doing so will not allow you to benefit from the technique with as much success. Rather, the first exercise in the superset should be done with lighter weight with 3-4 reps. Then you rest about a minute before beginning the next exercise, increasing the weight for a heavy set (4-6 reps for example).

Exercise Incline Bench Press and High Row Barbell Overhead Press and Lat Pulldown Decline Bench Press with Low Row Triceps Pressdown and Cable Curl

Note: Do four sets of each superset, performing 3-4 reps of the first exercise and 6-8 reps of the second exercise.

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