push-pull-legs-split-routine

What is Push Pull Legs Workout Routine?

push pull legs Workout Routine is a weightlifting training template that divides and conquers your muscles into groups where each group is trained separately — allowing other muscle groups to have the rest they deserve!

Muscles usually work in pairs. So when you dead-lifting, your back and biceps are doing the work while your chest and triceps are relaxing.

The push/pull/legs split ( PPL workout ) are one of the most simple and proven workout schedules around. It’s also one of the most intelligent and effective.

There are a few different versions of it that can work well, and a few different ways to structure it over the course of the week (some of which are definitely more or less ideal for certain goals and situations than others).

The push pull legs split is a weight training schedule that splits the body up into 3 groups:

  • Upper body pushing muscles.
  • Upper body pulling muscles.
  • Legs.

Each group is trained separately on its own workout day.

  • The “push” workout would train all of the upper body muscles that are involved in pushing exercises.
  • The “pull” workout would train all of the upper body muscles that are involved in pulling exercises.
  • The “legs” workout would train the entire lower body.

Who Should Use A Push/Pull/Legs Split ?

The push/pull/legs split is ideal for both the intermediate and advanced trainee.

More specifically though, if you are just starting out or have not had much in the way of results from your efforts so far, you’ll almost certainly do best with a full body workout routine, training three days per week.

Stick with this for at least six months – more if you are still progressing well.

Once you hit the intermediate stage however you’ll probably find you’ll do better with an upper/lower split routine training three or four days per week.

And this is in fact one of the best ways to train for the vast majority of the population.

Either way the push/pull/legs split is an extremely effective method of training that is certain to give you exceptional results if you apply yourself to it diligently.

The Two days Push Pull legs Program

  • Day 1: Upper Body (Push & Pull muscles)
  • Day 2: Lower Body (Legs)

With enough days rest between these two weight training sessions. For example. Monday and Friday is better than Monday and Tuesday.

Push, Pull, Legs : 3 Day Routine

There are plenty of different ways to set up a PPL routine. One of the more popular variations involves hitting each muscle group once each week. Here’s what a 3-day push pull legs program looks like:

Monday: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps (Push)
Tuesday: Off
Wednesday: Back, Biceps (Pull)
Thursday: Off
Friday: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves (Legs)
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off

Although working each muscle group just once a week is very popular, most research shows that you’ll get better results hitting a muscle group more often than once a week .

Best Push Pull Legs Routine for mass ( 4 days ppl )

With the 4 day push pull workout routine , you train for two days, take a day off, train for two days, then take the weekend off.

In the first week, the chest, shoulders and triceps are hit twice, while everything else is worked once. Week two gives you a second workout for the back and biceps, while the third week gives your lower body some extra attention.

Here’s what the 4-day push pull legs split looks like:

Week 1
Monday: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps (Push)
Tuesday: Back, Biceps (Pull)
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves (Legs)
Friday: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps (Push)
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off

Week 2
Monday: Back, Biceps (Pull)
Tuesday: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves (Legs)
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps (Push)
Friday: Back, Biceps (Pull)
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off

Week 3
Monday: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves (Legs)
Tuesday: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps (Push)
Wednesday: Off
Thursday: Back, Biceps (Pull)
Friday: Quads, Hamstrings, Calves (Legs)
Saturday: Off
Sunday: Off

Then in week four, the push workout ends up back on Monday, and you start the cycle all over again.

With the 4-day PPL routine , you do 4 pushing workouts, 4 pulling workouts and 4 leg workouts over a three-week period.

The increase in training frequency means that you’re now training each muscle group twice every seven days, which will lead to a faster rate of muscle growth than hitting that same muscle group just once a week.

The Rotating Push/Pull/Legs Split (5 Day Cycle)

Week 1

  1. Monday: Push (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps)
  2. Tuesday: Pull (Back, Biceps)
  3. Wednesday: off
  4. Thursday: Legs (Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Abs)
  5. Friday: off
  6. Saturday: Push (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps)
  7. Sunday: Pull (Back, Biceps)

push-pull-legs

The sets listed are your work sets. Always warm up properly first in order to prepare your body for the heavier work, and to help prevent injury. However another advantage of this split routine is that fewer warm-up sets are required as training each exercise/body part warms you up for the next.

Week 2

  1. Monday: off
  2. Tuesday: Legs (Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Abs)
  3. Wednesday: off
  4. Thursday: Push (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps)
  5. Friday: Pull (Back, Biceps)
  6. Saturday: off
  7. Sunday: Legs (Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Abs)

As you can see, it’s either 4 or 5 total weight training workouts per week (it varies due to the “rotating” aspect of it… but it ends up being 4 days per week the majority of the time) using a 2 on/1 off/1 on/1 off format that repeats every 6th day.

Related article:  The Plank Workout That Will Tone Your Abs, Sculpt Your Tush, and Strengthen Your Arms

This increases the frequency from once per week (every 7th day) to about twice per week (every 5th day).

This is the most effective training frequency for virtually everyone who is intermediate and advanced trainees.

For just building muscle and looking awesome, I think this split is great. That’s why it’s one of the split options I use within my own training.

The fact that this split is done over a rotating 5 day cycle means the days you do and do not work out on, will constantly change from one week to the next.

This lack of stability could be a very big problem for many people from a scheduling standpoint. It’s allowing us to reach that optimal training frequency we want to reach, but what it has in training frequency, it lacks in convenience and ease of scheduling.

The Best Push Pull Legs 6 Days Routine

For crazy people like me where you are simply doing push-pull-legs twice in a single week.

By the way, as a natural weight lifter (no steroids!), you shouldn’t be doing any more than six weight training sessions per week. You will run the risk of over-training and burning yourself out. Been there done that!

And keep your weight training sessions to 1 hour. Don’t do anymore than 1 hour because, for natural weight lifting, it becomes counterproductive.

And six-day training weeks does not make them better than three-day training weeks. A well-structured 3-day per week program beats the pants off a shitty 6-day per week program, any day.

Here is a sample template:

  • Day 1: Push
  • Day 2: Pull
  • Day 3: Legs
  • Day 4: Push
  • Day 5: Pull
  • Day 6: Legs
  • Day 7: Plan your next vacation! 🙂

The Classic Push/Pull/Legs Split (7 Day Cycle)

push pull legs

  1. Monday: Push (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps)
  2. Tuesday: off
  3. Wednesday: Pull (Back, Biceps)
  4. Thursday: off
  5. Friday: Legs (Quads, Hamstrings, Calves, Abs)
  6. Saturday: off
  7. Sunday: off

There are 3 total weight training workouts per week done in an every-other-day format with 2 days off at the end. This makes this by far the most convenient and easy-to-schedule version of this split.

This also means that each muscle group is trained just once per week (or once every 7th day). This is where this split starts to become not so good.

That it is the least effective weight training frequency. It can still work if everything else is done right. It’s just not what works best for the majority of the population.

While this classic version of the push/pull/legs split is terrific in terms of convenience and easy scheduling, it’s not good in terms of training frequency per muscle group/exercise.  I wouldn’t really recommend it if you are looking to build muscle, increase strength or improve performance.

A once-per-week frequency like this is actually suitable if your primary goal is to mostly just maintaining muscle and strength you currently have.

The Push Legs Pull Workout

A common variation of push pull legs is push legs pull (PLP).

This setup gives your upper body more time to recover in between workouts but your lower body less time, which means that it’s best suited to people that are more concerned with upper body development than lower body.

Here are several ways to set it up:

The 3 Day Push Legs Pull Routine

This gives your upper body a little more recovery time than the normal 3-day push pull legs routine.

Monday

Push 1

Wednesday

Legs

Friday

Pull 1

The 4 Day Push Legs Pull Routine

Even though push legs pull tends to favor upper body recovery, you can still use a few different variations to change its emphasis.

Here are a couple examples:

Upper Body Focus

Monday

Push 1

Tuesday

Legs

Thursday

Pull 1

Friday

Push 2

Lower Body Focus

Monday

Push 1 (alternate with Push 2 every other week)

Tuesday

Legs

Thursday

Pull 1 (alternate with Pull 2 every other week)

Friday

Legs

The 5 Day Push Legs Pull Routine

If you want to push whole-body volume and intensity a little more than with the 4-day routine, this is for you.

Upper Body Focus

Monday

Push 1

Tuesday

Legs

Wednesday

Pull 1

Thursday

Push 2

Friday

Pull 2

Lower Body Focus

Monday

Push 1

Tuesday

Legs

Wednesday

Pull 1

Thursday

Push 2

Friday

Legs

The 6-Day Push Legs Pull Routine

If you want to work most on upper body development during your next bulk and are willing to put in the work, this is a fantastic routine.

The same rules apply here as earlier: I don’t recommend this if you’re in a caloric deficit or if you don’t generally feel rested and fresh. It’s best for when you’re fully rested, fed, and ready to train.

Here’s the routine:

Monday

Push 1

Tuesday

Legs

Wednesday

Pull 1

Thursday

Push 2

Friday

Legs

Saturday

Pull 2

Push/Pull/Legs vs Push/Legs/Pull

as we saidThis split can also be done with the workouts in a slightly different arrangement. Specifically as push/legs/pull instead of push/pull/legs.

Both versions are equally effective, and this modification is mostly only relevant when using my preferred rotating 5-day-cycle version. However, there are a couple of small differences and reasons for making this change.

  • Push/Pull/Legs ensures that the “legs” workout (which is typically the hardest/most physically and mentally demanding workout of the week) ends up always having a rest day before and after it. The downside is that the “push” and “pull” workouts are always done on back-to-back days.
  • Push/Legs/Pull pretty much eliminates ALL potential issues. The main downside here is that the “legs” workout no longer has that nice rest day before it.

Conclusion: Go With Your Goal

  • For strength-focused lifters, three times a week works best.
  • For guys looking to build mass, four times a week is money.
  • For those wanting to improve body composition quickly, six days a week will get the job done.

You Can Also See The Push Legs Pull Routine On This Video:

 

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