Did you test your max pull ups and push ups on Friday? If not, you may want to do a quick pre-assessment of where you are this week, because for the next six weeks, we’ll be focusing on improving your pushing and pulling strength.

Each weekday, we will include some exercises to build solid shoulders by working the small stabilizing muscles that do not get enough attention. These movements will help prevent shoulder injuries by creating more balance among muscles. After these stabilization exercises, we’ll perform work sets of specific movements to improve your pulling, pushing, rowing, and overhead pressing. 

On Mondays and Thursdays, consistent pull up and push up sets will be performed. Please follow the rep schemes carefully, as these should NOT be max effort days. There should be no failed sets–but rather, all sets should be consistent in form and reps. It may take a week to figure out your appropriate weight choices. Please see below to get an idea of where you should start on your pull up and push up sets:

Based on Pre-test


0-4 Strict Pull ups = Band

5-8 Strict Pull ups = Body weight sets for 3 weeks, light weighted sets for weeks 4-6

More than 8 Strict Pull ups = Weighted Pull ups (Increase every 2 weeks)


0-10 Push ups = Incline on Box

11-15 Push ups = Bodyweight sets, light weighted sets weeks 4-6

More than 15 Push ups = Weighted sets (Increase every 2 weeks)

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, sets of dumbbell rows and presses will be performed. Please use the first week to determine appropriate weights and stay with those weights for at least two weeks. Then slowly build up if you are able to keep full sets with good form. Use this as an opportunity to build more volume into your training with these movements–do not use them as your max effort strength days. Sets for all movements should move relatively quickly–weights should not be so heavy as to require several minutes of rest between sets. 

On Wednesdays, we’ll work on progressions of rope climbs and handstand push ups. Again, pick a level where you can keep moving. These are warm-up movements, not your workout. 

At the end of the 6 week cycle, we’ll retest your pull ups and push ups to see how much progress you’ve made. Cheers to another month of getting stronger! 

Categories: New Focus