From intermediate to advanced lifters, from advanced to pro bodybuilders & weightlifters, one thing is pretty common. Almost every one of them follows the same workout routine which is nothing other than Push Pull Legs workout routine. If you have past your beginner & novice stage in weight lifting and training with enough full body workout routine and upper/lower body split workout routine then it’s the time you should evolve your workout routine to push pull legs workout routine which is proven to be the best and most effective workout routine out there in the fitness and bodybuilding world. Let’s know what push pull legs workout routine is, how to follow it in a proper way and most importantly, why it is so essential for muscle building.
What is Push Pull Legs Workout Routine?
The full name of Push Pull Legs Routine is Push/Pull/Legs Split Workout Routine although most people know it by the short form which is, PPL workout. It’s a 3-day split workout routine because you have to split all the muscle groups in 3 parts. The first part is called push because the term “push” refers to the workout where you have to push the weights to target your muscles like chest, triceps & shoulders. The second part is called pull because the term “pull” indicates to the workout related to back and biceps muscles in which you have to pull the weight. And, the third part is simply legs which doesn’t matter whether it’s a push workout or pull workout, you just have to hit all the lower body muscles in that day from quads to hams & from glutes to calves. So, as this is a 3-day split workout routine, you have to follow this 2 times in a week which means 6 days a week.
Why is Push Pull Legs so Important for Muscle Building?
We have earlier mentioned that push pull legs workout routine is maybe the most effective workout routine till now in the fitness and bodybuilding world. The reason is pretty simple. All the related muscle groups can be trained together in the same or similar workout. To clarify it, let’s take an example. If you bench press, your chest is the primary muscle that is targeted but the secondary muscles involved during this exercise are shoulder and triceps. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can build significant amount of muscle in your shoulders and triceps by doing bench press. But, it’s also true that as the secondary muscles, they will be warmed up and pumped for their specific exercise like shoulder press and triceps extension beforehand so you don’t need to bother about warming them up again with lightweight exercises.
Same thing goes for pull day which is for back and biceps. When you perform Lat pulldown which is a staple back exercise, your biceps are also involved and get their warm up beforehand from this exercise so that when you go for biceps workout, you don’t need any warm up sets or exercises. Now, you may have understood that it is proven, chest, shoulder and triceps are three related muscle groups that should be worked together with push workout while back and biceps are 2 related muscle groups which should be worked together with pull workout. Hitting related muscle groups not only saves your time but also provides you an extra edge in muscle building as maximum overlap of movements within same exercises is achievable.
Push Pull Legs Routine Provides Optimum Recovery Time
Another reason why push pull legs workout routine is the most effective is because, you can train the related muscle groups 2 times in a week which is optimum for muscle growth. Why? Because, it provides you the perfect time for muscle recovery and we all know how essential recovery is for muscle building. From all the scientific researches and studies over the decades, it is now proven as well as crystal clear that after a proper workout, muscle groups need minimum 60 hours to maximum 72 hours to recover fully.
So, with push pull legs routine, you can easily get that maximum window of muscle recovery for muscle growth while other workout routines provide less recovery time or more. Full body workout routine for example, lacks muscle recovery due to the fact that you have to hit every muscle with one-day interval so you can get a maximum 48 hours of muscle recovery which may not be enough for your muscles if you perform intense workout sessions. On the other hand, bro-split workout routine provides more than enough rest time which is double then PPL and so, it is not so effective for gaining muscles until you are a processional bodybuilder because you make your muscles idle with the huge amount of 6-day/144 hours rest time.
How to Follow PPL Workout Routine in The Best Way!
As push pull legs workout routine is a 3-day split routine, you have to perform PPL 2 times a week that means you have to workout 6 days per week and your workout routine should be like this:
- Monday: Chest, Shoulder & Triceps
- Tuesday: Back & Biceps
- Wednesday: Legs & Abs
- Thursday: Chest, Shoulder & Triceps
- Friday: Back & Biceps
- Saturday: Legs & Abs
- Sunday: Rest
If you want, you can also replace them like you can train back and biceps on Monday while the others on the rest two days but keep in mind, whatever changes you make, you have to stick with it because repeated changes within a week or even a month lead to injury, lack of muscle recovery and ultimately leads to lack of muscle gain. Anyway, I would not recommend to change or replace them as the days don’t matter actually until you have a busy schedule on a particular day or something like that.
Best Tips to Follow Push Pull Legs Workout Routine!
Now, let’s discuss how you can follow this workout routine in details. First and foremost, always remember that you have to target the bigger muscle groups first then the smaller one that means, if you are performing pull workout today, you have to target back first then biceps. Same goes for push day and legs.
Include 3-4 sets of 3-5 workout for a single muscle group is more than enough. In those 3-5 workout, you should include 1 or 2 compound exercise for every major muscle groups like for back, it’s Barbell Row; for legs, Barbell Squat and for chest, it’s Bench Press. Including compound exercises in your workout routine not only helps you to gain enough muscular strength for heavier weight lifting but also targets other related muscles very well.
After warming up, start with those compound movements when your energy is full so that you can perform those heavyweight exercises with all your stamina and intensity. Then after that, you can go for a couple of isolation exercises that only target the specific muscle groups.
Let’s take a brief example for better understanding. Suppose, today is your pull day which means you have to train back and biceps today. So, after warming up, you should perform compound exercises like Deadlift and Barbell Row first. After that, you can go for isolation exercises such as Lat Pulldown, Single-arm Cable Row etc. After performing 3-5 back workout like this, you can then start your biceps workout without any warm up sets because they are already warmed up while you are training for back right? Now, as biceps are a small group of muscles, you have to do a few isolation exercises for them such as Biceps Curl, Hammer Curl, Preacher Curl etc. In this way, you can perform your workout routine the best way possible for greater muscle growth in terms of size and strength.
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Therefore, hopefully you have understood how Push Pull Legs Workout Routine works and why it is so important for muscle building for an intermediate level or pro level athlete as well as bodybuilder. If you follow this PPL routine as per the tips mentioned above, it will surely be very much helpful for your muscle gain. Lastly, if you have found this article helpful, let us know by expressing your valuable thoughts in the comment section below. Thanks for visiting and appreciating our work.