Latest news

The upper body - How to maximise your results in the Gym.

  • Posted by Catherine Tumelty
  • 19 June 2017

My name is Jamie and I am the Senior Personal Trainer at Fit n Fast Southland in Victoria! It is my honour to be able to share with you some knowledge about the body and how to maximise your training in the gym!! 

I have been in the Fitness industry for 5 years now and over that time I have learnt a lot about health and wellbeing, programming and the best way to maximise each session I take to maximise the results you all see. One constant I find is my clients thirst for knowledge and wanting to know and learn more about what you can do in the gym. Personally I think it's great to take an interest in something you throw yourself into financially, physically and emotionally. 

First up I think it's really important to start with the foundations! The BODY and in particular the UPPER BODY is a great place to start. 

From an upper body perspective we can PUSH or PULL. This can be further broken down into Horizontal PUSH/PULL and Vertical PUSH/PULL. This description highlights exactly what the movement is, for example if I’m standing upright and Vertical PUSHING, I would be pressing a weight above my head.

Below is a detailed list of exercises which encompasses each aspect:

-          Horizontal PUSH exercises include: Bench Press, Push ups and Chest press. These exercises all target the Chest muscles, Shoulders and Triceps.

-          Horizontal PULL exercises include: Seated Row, TRX row and Bent Over Barbell row. These exercises target the Back Muscles, Shoulders and Biceps.

-          Vertical PUSH exercises include: Barbell Shoulder Press, Strict Press or Arnold Press. These exercises all target the Shoulders, Back, and Triceps muscles.

-          Vertical PULL exercises include: Pull ups, Lat Pull down and Close Grip Pull Down which all target the Shoulders, Back and Biceps.

As you can see from the above description there is a pattern between pushing and pulling and the muscles that need to work in each.

The reason why I mention this breakdown is because long gone are the days where you could spend limitless amounts of time in the gym focusing on certain muscle groups. Nowadays people are time poor and only allow certain pockets of their day to exercise. It is now all about being time effective in the gym and getting the most bang for your buck every time you exercise.

We now live in a time where Facebook and Instagram are filling our newsfeed with wacky/interesting/sometimes dangerous ways of exercising, as an everyday gym goer some of the content posted on these platforms are not necessary to achieve the type of adaptations your after! 

From experience and extensive research the basic theory of PUSH/PULL and the exercises outlined above are a very good foundation to build upper body strength which will lead to weight loss, muscle tone/definition. If some of these exercises are already a part of your gym routine then great, if not or you haven’t thought about structuring weight sessions into your weekly exercise schedule then starting with the above would be a great start.

In the video below you'll find my top four exercises covering the basics of the PUSH/PULL principle! Hopefully it will spark you into action and help you along the way of achieving those long term results! 

That’s it from me today everyone, I hope you enjoyed this first interaction in what I hope will be a journey of information I can share with you all for the foreseeable future!



Senior Personal Trainer - Southland in Cheltenham Vic.