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Powerlifting is comprised of three exercises -- the squat, bench press and deadlift. While a pull/push program is a powerlifting training split, the term is most commonly used to refer to a powerlifting competition in which competitors only perform deadlifts and bench presses. If you're competing in one of these meets, you'll need to set your training up in a different way and master the two exercises.
The pull component of a pull/push meet is the deadlift and it's referred to in this way because you pull the bar from the floor. Start with the bar directly over your feet, grip it with your hands placed shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees until they lightly touch the bar and drop your hips until your back is straight. Lift the bar by pulling it forcefully from the floor and finish standing as tall as possible with your knees and hips locked out and arms straight. USA Powerlifting guidelines state that the bar must move smoothly with no jerking or downward movement for it to count.
Bench presses are the push aspect of a pull/push contest. Lie on a flat weight bench with a bar racked above your head. Lift the bar out of the safety pins and start with it directly above your chest with your arms completely straight. The judge will call for you to lower the bar. Take it down to your chest, and pause for a second while maintaining tension. The judge will then call for you to lift it back up. You must finish the lift with your arms straight once again. As with the deadlift, any downward movement will result in a disqualification and you must keep your feet on the floor and your butt, upper back and head on the bench at all times. There will be spotters present to aid in unracking and re-racking the bar.
Pull training involves training all your pulling muscle groups -- your hamstrings, glutes, all the back muscles, trapezius and biceps. On a pull/push training split, you will usually perform two pull sessions a week, space at least three to four days apart. Start your session with a deadlift variation, such as regular deadlifts, or sumo, stiff-legged or partial deadlifts. Perform one horizontal pull, such as barbell, cable or dumbbell rows, then move to a vertical pull -- chin-ups or lat pulldowns and a curl exercise for your biceps. You can add in extra isolation exercises for your hamstrings, glutes, traps or biceps if you feel any of these muscle groups are lagging.
Push training can either just be upper-body push training, based around the bench press, or it can include your lower body pushing muscles too -- the quadriceps and calves. Even if you're training for a deadlift and bench press only meet, it's still wise to perform some squat work in your push sessions, as squats and deadlifts use many of the same muscles, so a stronger squat can boost your deadlift. Do bench presses first, then move to an overhead press with dumbbells or a barbell. Finish the upper-body part of the workout with dips or close grip pushups. For your lower-body pushing muscles do back or front squats and seated or standing calf raises.