Alternating push-pull exercises, commonly called “‘supersetting,” is my favorite type of exercise format. You work opposing muscle groups, back-to-back. And your age doesn’t matter. The concept is the same, regardless.
Push-pull supersetting is efficient because the muscles used for pushing are resting while those used for pulling are working. And vice versa.
For example, let’s say you want to work your arms using the push-pull protocol. The pushing exercise might be triceps extensions; the pull could be a biceps curl. You would do the triceps extensions right after doing the biceps curl.
The number of sets you do is an individual matter. Select the number in accordance with experience and/or age. You could be doing just one set of each exercise, or two, three, or even more.
There’s no need to rush with push-pull. But don’t dawdle either. Develop a rhythm and keep it going. If you’re doing three sets or more of each exercise, rest a couple of
minutes between body parts. If you’re doing only one or two sets, move on to the next grouping without much pause.
Here’s a sample of how a total-body push-pull workout of supersets might look. After a brief warm-up, you’d begin. For the push, you’d do an overhead press; immediately followed by the pull, a lat pulldown. If you’re doing more than one set, you’d repeat the press and pulldown, back and forth, according to the number of sets you decide on.
Shoulders & Upper Back
- Overhead press
- Lat Machine pulldown
Chest & Back
- Bench Press or Push-ups
- 1-arm Rowing
Abdominals & Low Back
- Squats or Leg Press
- Straight legs Dead Lift or Leg Curl
Then do one set each of a neck exercise and a calf exercise, followed by some relaxed stretching and you’re finished.
supersets are used by both bodybuilders (they love the “pump”) and all-around physical fitness trainees. And age is not a factor. Push-pull supersets workouts are a very efficient way to train.
Traditionally, the exercises are done with free weights. However, health club exercise machines or at-home resistance bands work well too.
To find more about supersets, go here.
Stay healthy. Stay fit.
Senior Exercise Central
Photographs: Subscribers have asked when the newsletter photo at the top of the page and my website pictures were taken. Well, I was a mere 70 years old then. I’m 87 now. Though I remain active, I am no longer nearly as strong or muscular as I was 17 years ago. —LF
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The Gray Iron Fitness Newsletter is a free publication sent twice monthly to subscribers. The purpose is to provide honest and realistic fitness information for people age 50 and above.
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