Pull Day: Two Training Day Variations

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Training each body part twice per week and not seeing the results you’re after? Within this article I’m going to provide you with my 2 “Pull” workouts I complete every week which could help you push through that plateau.

Push, Pull, Legs Routine

In order to hit every muscle group twice per week, a popular method of combining muscle groups is to split up lower body movements, pushing movements and pulling movements (to find out more about training splits, check out our article on choosing your optimal split). For each of these groups, I find the best way to maintain a variety of movements is to create 2 different sets of exercises for the same muscle group which can be carried out each week.

Movement Pattern Examples

  • Vertical Rows – Pull-Up, Lat-Pull-Down, Cable Pull-Over, Resistance Machine Vertical Lat-Pull-Down etc.
  • Horizontal Rows – Bent-Over Barbell Row, Resistance Machine Seated Horizontal Row, Bent-Over Dumbbell Row, Dead-Row etc.
  • Shoulder Accessories – Lateral Raise, Face-Pull, Rear-Delt Fly, Front Raise, Shrug Movements etc.
  • Biceps – Barbell Curl, Cable Curl, Dumbbell Curl etc.

When it comes to splitting up pulling movements into 2 different workouts, there are a few different combinations you can use. Including; vertical rows with biceps & horizontal rows with shoulder accessories. Or, vice versa. However, I prefer to actually incorporate all of the movement types into both of my workouts and instead just alter the priority of the exercises.

Two Day Example Movement Routine

Pull Day One Pull Day Two
Vertical Movement Horizontal Movement
Vertical Movement Horizontal Movement
Horizontal Movement Vertical Movement
Horizontal Movement Vertical Movement
Shoulder Accessory Bicep Movement
Shoulder Accessory Bicep Movement
Bicep Movement Shoulder Accessory
Bicep Movement Shoulder Accessory

By altering the order of my horizontal and vertical movements from day 1 to day 2, I prioritise different regions of my back; the same goes for performing bicep and shoulder accessory movements. I change these around so that I’m not fatigued when hitting one area all of the time.

As well as this, I’ll also change the exercises I use for each of the training days, and differentiate the amount of repetitions based on the aim of my workout.

Below I’ve given an example of 2 different pull-days I use. My current primary aim is to increase the strength of my back and biceps, and my secondary aim is to increase the size of my back and deltoids. With this being the case, my rep-ranges differentiate between the types of movement performed.

Two Day Example Pull Day Routine

Pull Day One Pull Day Two
Lat Pull Down - 3 x 5-8 Free-Standing Horizontal Cable Row - 3 x 5-8
Uni-Lateral Resistance Machine Vertical Row - 3 x 5-8 Bent-Over Dumbbell Row - 3 x 5-8
Bent-Over Barbell Row - 3 x 10-12 Vertical Cable Pull-Over 3 x 10-12
Seated Cable Row - 3 x 10-12 Bodyweight Pull-Up - 3 x 10-12
Lateral Raise - 3 x 12-15 Cable EZ Bar Bicep Curl - 3 x 6-10
Dumbbell Rear-Delt Fly - 3 x 12-15 Dumbbell Hammer Curl - 3 x 6-10
Dumbbell Bicep Curl - 3 x 6-10 Cable Lateral Raise - 3 x 12-15

While the above table shows my base structure for my pull sessions, I also like to incorporate some super-sets (SS) to ensure I get enough volume in when training my biceps and shoulders.

Some supersets you should consider incorporating include:

  • Dumbbell Bicep Curl SS -> High Cable (Rope) Face Pulls
  • Cable Rope Bicep Curl SS -> Dumbbell Shrugs
  • Cable Lateral Raise SS -> Dumbbell Rear-Delt Fly
  • Resistance Machine Rear-Delt Fly SS -> Bicep Barbell Curl
  • Dumbbell Hammer Curl SS -> Cable EZ Bar Bicep Curl

Take Home Message

Rotate between these two pull-day routines. Be sure to alter the rep ranges to suit your own goals!

About the Author

George Platt (BA, Hons.) is a Personal Trainer, Online Coach and Fitness/Nutrition Writer. George’s passion for physical activity and health developed from a young age after having open heart surgery. You can find out more about George via his website or Instagram: @GeorgePFitness93.

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