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Push/Pull Lifting System for Sports

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Introduction to the Push/Pull Lifting System for Sports

As far as I know, the push/pull lifting system originated with Mike Stone, who as of this writing teaches at Eastern Tennessee State University (Dr. Stone is kind of a legend in the strength and conditioning field). It seems that practitioners who have come out of the ETSU system continue to use the push/pull system in their programming, most notably Dr. Brad DeWeese who trains USA Olympic bobsledders (I suppose this supports its efficacy).

I think the strengths of the push/pull system are the division of lifting days into push days and pull days (I think this grouping is helpful for our brain and it’s control of our muscles) and the incorporation of various Olympic weightlifting and Olympic weightlifting derivative exercises. These exercises seems to have a positive transfer to jumping and sprinting.

The push/pull system has various phases, including a return-to-fitness phase, strength endurance phase, maximum strength phase, absolute strength phase, strength-speed phase, speed-strength phase, and a peaking phase.