How to Simulate the Push (PARE/POPAT Training)

The push/pull machine is a unique piece of equipment. There’s nothing else like it, and there’s nothing that simulates the feel of the machine. The only way to get better at it, is to practice on the machine itself.

Which presents a challenge. How does one prepare for a machine that doesn’t exist outside of a testing situation? No conventional gym will have the push/pull. This is especially problematic for the push, which for the majority of people, is the most challenging of the two.

When it comes to simulating the push, the closest method I’ve found is using a partner. Ideally it’s someone who is strong enough to provide a challenging resistance.

Using a partner does have a different feel than the machine, but it’s still an effective alternative. You have the opportunity to practice proper technique and footwork, as well as learning to use your whole body to push (particularly the legs) instead of relying on arms and upper body. Proper technique has been covered in a previous post, HOW TO PERFORM THE PUSH.

Watch the video below to learn how to simulate the push, using a partner:



  • Have a strong partner
  • Use a wall to brace against
  • Goal is to pin the partner against the wall and make the partner work hard to push back

And if you need ideas on simulating the pull, check out the pull simulation post here.

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