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!


Bodyweight Workouts – Basement Sessions – 7/19 & 7/23 – Catch up

A couple random thoughts…

  • Fantasy football season is approaching. For those of us who partake, getting ready for the draft is fun, AND, if you do a live draft with fun people, it can end up being one of your favorite days of the year. I very much miss the live drafts I used to do when I lived on the east coast with my buddies. I have to do those remote, and it sucks. Fantasy football drafts should be full of cooking out, beer, and progressively crooked name stickers on the draft board.
  • Watched the movie “Tag” on Friday. Lots of fun. Highly recommend it. I clearly like stupid comedies since I wax poetic about the merits of Happy Gilmore. So, if you enjoy movies like Happy Gilmore, you’ll enjoy “Tag.” And, it teaches a very nice lesson about long term friendships. And, its based on a true story – that makes it even more fun.
  • Lawns are annoying during heat waves. Even though you water every day (and jack up your water bill), parts of the lawn still turn brown and look awful. Really feels like a waste of time. I wonder if my HOA will allow a backyard of just sand and/or rocks…?
  • Listened to a podcast where they debated the merits of what to call your grandparents. Side note – listening to people debate the merits of stupid topics is actually pretty funny. The more thoughtful and articulate the arguments, the funnier it gets. Listening to their breakfast food draft was hilarious.
    • Such names included…
      • Grandma (or grandpa) followed by first name (ex: Grandma Jean)
      • Gammy / Gampy
      • Nanna / Pop pop
    • Not sure where I land on this topic. I know we are going with Nana for Baby Breaking’s relationship with his grandmother. That was kind of issued to us since she was already a nana from other grandchildren. Can’t derail that train. Kids get confused. I don’t know what I’ll want to be called once my kid has his own spawn. Unless something better comes along, I think my vote will be “Pop pop.” For the female side, I’m a huge fan of Me-Maw. For some reason, years of watching “The Big Bang Theory” have ingrained that in my head. Grandmother = memaw. Case closed.

Since I’ve been trying to finish out my 3 Week Yoga Retreat review, I’ve been doing that every other day. To not fall too far behind on maintaining my other strength, I’ve just been doing push/pull routines on my non-yoga and non-rest days. All of that volume should pay off in one way or another. As long as I’m getting proper rest between sessions, it can’t help but benefit me.

Continue reading Bodyweight Workouts – Basement Sessions – 7/19 & 7/23 – Catch up