Push, Pull, Yoga, Meditate, and repeat…

I think I said previously that my week of pushing, pulling, and doing yoga was boring. 

I guess on its face, that seems true. Compared to some of the other workouts I’ve done in the past, and the variety I like to expose myself to, yeah, doing a basic push/pull and yoga routine is pretty pedestrian.

You know what though – I’m kind of digging it.

In case you are new to the terminology, and don’t know what I mean, a basic push/pull routine is pairing together a pushing movement (like a push up, dip, handstand push up, etc) with a pulling movement (pull up, row, etc). Those are two of the major movements we (as humans) do on a normal basis, so there certainly is no harm in training them. And, if you really study bodyweight calisthenics, you can find MANY different variations to pepper in and keep it fresh. To allow for proper recovery, I’m programming at least one day off between each push/pull session.

For example – I’ve been averaging about 3 push/pull sessions each week, and to keep the push side of things fresh, I’ve been alternating various types of push ups in one session (following the protocol of P90X3’s “The Challenge”), and in the next, I’ll do handstand push ups, and in yet another, I’ll do dips. In terms of pulling, I’ve been focusing on various hand positions with the pull ups, just to train from different angles.

In practice, here is how my last push/pull workout went…

I cued up P90X3’s “The Challenge” just to have some background noise, but, and most importantly, to give me defined time intervals for the movements and rest. In “The Challenge” you end up doing 8 total sets of pulling and 8 total sets of pushing. So, if I set my rep number properly, I’m getting a lot of volume. Since I hadn’t done lever push ups for awhile, and I wanted to get some extended work in with close-grip pull ups, I decided to make those my two exercises for all 8 sets. I set my reps at 8 for the level push up, and 7 for the close grip pull up. I was able to complete all of the prescribed reps, so at the end of the session, I ended up with:

  • 8 sets of 8 lever push ups = 64 on each arm
  • 8 sets of 7 close grip pull ups = 56 total
  • Burnout – 10 sets of 1 around the world chin up and 3 push ups
  • BONUS – 3 sets of 10 hanging knee raises (I felt like peppering in some core)

I’m pretty happy with that session.

On non push/pull days, I’ve been tinkering around in the Beachbody Online Yoga Studio. After having a bunch of fun with the 3 Week Yoga Retreat, I wanted to keep the yogi momentum going. I’d say I’m averaging about 2-3 yoga sessions a week. My practice is getting much stronger, and my body feels great. If you aren’t doing yoga, you really should.

Even as yoga becomes more mainstream, I think there is still a misconception that it’s about mind more than body. I was talking to a buddy of mine about incorporating yoga into his workout program, and he thought it was a suggestion for mindfulness. I told him that certainly is a benefit; however, if that wasn’t enough of a selling point, the major benefit/advantage is what it does to your body. You improve your mobility/flexibility, and it will support and enhance your primary training modes. I look forward to talking with him more about it.

I challenge any athletic person who has never done yoga to complete a 30 minute flow. Tell me at the end that you didn’t get a good workout. I dare you! Even if you don’t buy into the mind/body connection, just do it for the shear impact of the workout. It will get you. I promise.

Also in the Beachbody Yoga Studio are some sessions on meditation. This is a topic that has intrigued me since I read Dan Harris’ book called “10% Happier.”  It was a very interesting story about how he found his way to meditation, and the benefits he’s realized as a result of the practice. There is a SIGNIFICANT amount of science now that shows your brain will physically change (for the better) as you engage in the practice of meditation. Do a google search and check out some of the findings – it’s fascinating.

In the book, Dan cataloged that it took him awhile before he could feel some tangible benefit, so the take away for me is that this is a practice, and you just need to put in the time. So, I’ve been doing a 10 minute session after each workout (push/pull or yoga), and have only missed 1 or 2 days a week for the past couple of weeks. It took me a few sessions to find a comfortable posture (I tried the different sitting positions), and finally settled on laying down in corpse pose. I’m not going to say that I’ve had a breakthrough, but I’m going to say that I enjoy that 10 minutes of focus and relaxing, and I look forward to each time I do it. This is something where it can’t help but benefit me. Really – is there any way that laying down and relaxing my brain for 10 minutes each morning can hurt me? I don’t think so. Therefore, I’ll keep doing it!

 

Do you have any workout or health programs that you enjoy doing on a repeated basis? If so, please let us know in the comments below. And, if you enjoyed the article, please like and share. Thank you!

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