4-Day, Push-Pull Workout for Strength, Endurance, and More (Part 4 of 4)

BY Marc Miller TIMESeptember 17, 2016 PRINT

These push and pull workouts will enhance your performance, both in sports and in daily life. They will help build total body strength, power, and endurance, and facilitate fat loss.

The opposition of push and pull in combination with the explosive, rotational, and bridging moves will work your whole body in a functional type of way, so chasing after kids or running up and down the subway steps will be easier.

The circuits are also designed to get your blood flowing between your upper and lower body, which helps drive metabolism and calorie burn.

There are two circuits per workout. Perform each circuit four times with a 45-second rest between each exercise.

In weeks five to eight, the second circuit can be progressed by doing 12 reps on the first set, 10 reps on the second set, eight reps on the third set, and six reps on the fourth set. This progression will allow for more weight to be used in each set. More weight used means more strength, muscle gain, and fat loss.

Regarding what weight to use to start, experiment using no more than 25-pound dumbbells and 8-kilogram to 10-kilogram kettlebells.

These workouts are for people with intermediate to advanced fitness experience.

(Infographic by Inga Longauerova/Epoch Times; Photo by Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)
(Infographic by Inga Longauerova/Epoch Times; Photo by Benjamin Chasteen/Epoch Times)

Circuit 1 

Dumbbell Jump Shrug

  • Start by holding the dumbbells at your sides in a neutral grip (palms facing in toward the body).
  • From a standing position, lower the dumbbells past the sides of your calves by slightly bending your knees and pushing your hips back. Keep your lower back straight and your eyes up. The movement should look like you are leaning forward to “look out a window” rather than “sitting on a chair.”
  • From this position, push into the ground as hard as possible to extend your torso and jump off the ground. Make sure to forcefully shrug your shoulders to aid in the movement of the load. Your arms should be kept almost completely straight during the entire movement.
  • Attempt to land as flatfooted as possible. Absorb your landing by bending your knees and pushing your hips back. The landing should be absorbed by the hips rather than the knees. This is why we attempt to land flatfooted.
  • Do four sets of 10 reps. Rest for 45 seconds between each set.

 Kneeling Cable Reverse Wood Chop

  • Set the height of a cable weight stack to the bottom position.
  • Grab the handle of the cable weight stack with both hands, and kneel on a pad or towel so that the knee closest to the weight stack is down and the knee furthest away from the stack is up.
  • Hold the cable handle out in front of you and then rotate and stretch downward toward the machine until the muscles of your back start to stretch.
  • Drive back and up, keeping your arms extended.
  • Keep rotating until you feel the cable wrap around the back of your shoulder/armpit.
  • Keeping the arms straight, rotate back to the starting position in a controlled manner. The exercise should resemble swinging a golf club with straight arms.
  • Do four sets of 10 reps per side. Rest for 45 seconds between each set.


  • Start lying on your stomach on the floor.
  • Prop yourself up onto your elbows, making sure to keep them lined up under your shoulders. Your feet should be shoulder width apart with toes on the ground.
  • Lift your hips off the floor and try to keep your shoulders, hips, and legs aligned.
  • Concentrate on pressing the navel into the spine while maintaining a relaxed breathing pattern. Keep your head in a neutral position during the exercise by looking at the floor.
  • Do for sets holding each for 30 seconds. Rest for 45 seconds between each set.

Circuit 2

One-Arm Cable Lat Pull Down

  • Place a single handle attachment on your lat pulldown cable stack.
  • Grasp the handle in a neutral grip (palm facing toward the body) and sit down on the lat pulldown seat.
  • Pull down until the handle is even with your shoulder.
  • After reaching peak contraction, stretch the arm back up and repeat.
  • Do four sets of 10 per side. Rest for 45 seconds between each set.


  • Place the bar on the ground and grip it using a pronated, shoulder-width grip (hands facing away from the body).
  • Set your torso tall and raise your shoulders up as you extend your arms and drive your hips down.
  • Set your core in this position and forcefully drive your feet into the ground as you raise your shoulders and extend your knees.
  • After reaching a standing position, return the bar to the ground by reversing the movements in a controlled manner, making sure to bend your knees and set your hips back on the descent. Keep your torso as vertical as possible.
  • Do four sets of 10. Rest for 45 seconds between each set.

Prone Grip Standing Cable Row

  • Place a straight bar attachment on your cable weight stack. Adjust the height of the bar to be in line with your upper abdominal region.
  • Grab the bar in an overhand grip (palms down), with hands approximately shoulder width apart.
  • With your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, and abs tight, pull the bar toward you until it touches your lower rib cage.
  • Extend your arms back out until they are completely extended.
  • Do four sets of 10. Rest for 45 seconds between each set.

 One-Arm Kettlebell Swing

  • Hold a kettlebell in one hand and lower to the power position. The shoulder of the arm holding the kettlebell should be forward and the arm in contact with your inner thigh. Your hips should be back.
  • Swing the kettlebell using your hip extension to drive the weight up. At the highest point of the swing, the weight will feel weightless.
  • Let the kettlebell fall back to the starting position (make sure your forearm contacts your inner thigh as you swing through your legs) and repeat using the momentum of the first swing to drive the next repetition up.
  • Do four sets of 10 per side. Rest for 45 seconds between each set.

Marc Miller is a New York state-licensed physical education instructor and a certified strength and conditioning specialist. He has a master’s degree in physical education, biomechanics, and sport sciences. He is currently accepting new clients for training at their location of choice or at Independent Training Spot, located in the Flatiron District.


Marc Miller
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