The Definitive Guide To Push Pull Legs Split Routine

Push Pull Legs Split Routine

Have you heard of push pull legs split recently? We’re sorry, but you may have missed out some great routine! Anyhow, now you’re here! It’s time for you to learn and reap the benefits of this fantastic routine!

There is nothing magical and mysterious about this routine. Really! It only needs a few things from you. You better have some discipline, consistency, and motivation. Without this, a goal is just a wish! So, let’s start learning! Let’s begin with the basic information.

What’s A Push Pull Legs Split Routine?

If you have just heard the routine and never had anyone explain it to you, the idea is a little hard to conceive.

But, don’t worry. We’re here to guide you. This is an intermediate routine, so, prior experience is required to kick off your journey.

Anyhow, beginners can do this but must, watch extreme caution. The progression of weight lifting can be a little overwhelming and may exhaust your motivation.

A push pull legs split is comprised of three different muscle groups:

  • The first is pushing muscles. Pushing muscles include the chest, triceps, and shoulders.
  • Second is pulling, muscles. Back and biceps are the primary pulling muscles.
  • Lastly, the legs. The workouts will cover hamstrings, calves, and quads.

It sounds simple, but, to make the most out of it, there will be times that training to failure. Workouts will include a lot of compound muscle lifting rather than isolation exercises. The weights will gradually increase from easy to hard, insanely hard!

The Logic Behind the Routine

The program takes an intricate cycle for a great reason. It gives each muscle group enough rest before training them again. You won’t be targeting muscles that have been thoroughly used the other day. Your first-day workout will not be repeated until after the rest day. That is plenty of time to rest and recover.

There’s no trick here. The key is frequency, rest, and nutrition. Your muscles need to be trained frequently to get bigger and stronger. Without enough rest, you defeat the purpose of training because there will not be enough time for you to recover.

If you don’t eat enough protein, you won’t grow, if you don’t eat enough carbohydrates, you’ll grow weak. If you don’t sleep, you won’t recover fast enough and grow! It’s just practical science!

Benefits of Push Pull Legs Routine

The Amazing Benefits Of Push Pull Legs Routine

This program utilizes the large muscles and the muscle groups involved with it. This allows you to lift heavy weights while using most of your muscles.

  • A remarkable increase in strength

Isolation exercises give definition to the single muscles. But real strength comes from synergy. Training with compound muscle workouts with heavy plates will result in a remarkable strength gain.

  • Increased muscular growth

When the whole muscle groups are trained, the whole muscle groups grow. Isolation exercises focus on defining the muscles being trained. Compound exercises allow every muscle to grow.

  • Increased stamina and endurance

Imagine squatting 220lbs of barbell plates and progressing every week. There will come a time that some lighter activities will be too easy for you as you progress!

What You Will Need for Your Push Pull Legs Split Routine

Before we start on the tutorial, here are some of the things you will need:

  • Home gym with lots of plates or Gym membership
  • Calendar
  • Journal
  • Patience (lots of it!)


The Guide On Your Push Pull Legs Routine Journey

Step 1. Establish Your Push Pull Legs Split Routine Schedule

This advanced workout should be done in a three-day split. This requires you to go to the gym for three straight days and rest for one day and going for another three days. This is an eight-day cycle, so, expect that you will have a different flow every week as it will be adjusted one day forward.

Here are some of the steps you need to take when planning your schedule:

  1. List down your all your activities by the month. It’s crucial that you figure out what you will do for at least one month.
  2. Decide how many days a week you could do your workout.
  3. Plot your schedule on a calendar.
  4. Stick to your schedule.

A three-day workout schedule is a good way to start. You can do push on day 1, pull on day 3, and legs on day 5, and rest on all the other days. If you think this is too light for you, you can refer to the table below for an intense workout routine schedule.

If you choose a six day a week work out, here’s how your schedule will look.

Day of the week Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Monday Push Rest Leg Pull
Tuesday Pull Push Rest Leg
Wednesday Leg Pull Push Rest
Thursday Rest Leg Pull Push
Friday Push Rest Leg Pull
Saturday Pull Push Rest Leg
Sunday Leg Pull Push Rest

Basically, this is a 28-day cycle. Each cycle ends on the 28th day. This may be a little difficult routine, especially for busy people because your schedule would hit weekends. This is the ideal lifting schedule for maximum gains, but, it’s quite difficult to follow and fairly easy to miss.

If you decide to have five lifting days a week, here’s how your schedule might look like.

Day of the week Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4
Monday Push Leg Pull Push
Tuesday Pull Push Leg Pull
Wednesday Leg Pull Push Leg
Thursday Rest Rest Rest Rest
Friday Push Leg Pull Push
Saturday Pull Push Leg Pull
Sunday Rest Rest Rest Rest

It can be a little confusing at first. Printing it on your calendar will make it easier for you. This is a 21-day schedule, so you get to the beginning of a new cycle at the beginning of the fourth week.

You can formulate your own schedule and use this as a pattern. You can freely choose how many you work out every week. Although, you may have a slower gain with fewer days of workout. But still, this is an intense routine and involves heavy weights. Essentially, you will gain mass at your pace.

Step 2. Create Your Workout Routine

Remember, the focus of push pull legs routine is to maximize compound exercises most of the time. Expect the basic exercises many people hate to do because it’s too simple!

You can try out the following exercise to get the feel of how this program works. When you feel like this is too easy for you, you can add more advanced and more difficult exercises as you progress. Here’s our suggestion when you are just beginning:

Push Pull Legs
Pushups Pullups/Chins Squats
Bench Press Barbell Row Lunges
Overhead Military Press Barbell Curls Deadlift

These are common workout routines, and many people fail to take advantage of them. You can do five reps of five repetitions to all the exercises except for the push ups and pull ups/chins. You can do them to failure.

These exercises alone can build huge muscles! But you can add a few more exercises that fit the category. This example can be done in about half an hour, and you’re done!

If you want to see a sample push pull legs split routine in action, watch this video:

Step 3. Select A Suitable Progression You Can Keep Up With

This is the part where you should grab a pen and take notes! (or just take mental notes if you’re good at that!). But seriously, progression has to be planned and written or printed. It’s easy to lose track of it, so you have to journal it.

Here’s how you progress:

  1. Determine your one rep max.
    (One Rep Max: It’s as simple as it is. This lifting way beyond your regular weights and doing one repetition. If you can do one more, the weight is not enough.)
  2. Choose a comfortable starting range based on your one rep max. You can start with 60-80% on your one rep max and progress from there.
  3. Note the weights you lift on your journal for easy reference on when and how much weight to add.
  4. Add 5lbs to every exercise as repeat a cycle.

For intermediate lifters,70-80% of your one rep max is a good start. Starting below this percentage will feel too easy for you.

For beginners, 50-60% is a good weight to start with. This way, you will have plenty of room to familiarize yourself with the routine as you progress.

You can do 3-5 sets of each exercise. But we advise that you do a progression in the number of repetitions and sets too. Here’s an example. If you can do a 100lb squat at one rep max, here’s what you can do:

Squats Weights Reps Sets
1st session 80lbs 5 3
2nd session 80lbs 5 4
3rd session 80lbs 5 5
4th session 80lbs To failure To failure
5th session 85lbs 5 3
6th session 85lbs 5 4
7th session 85lbs 5 5
8th session 85lbs To failure To failure

Training to failure makes sure that you have really maxed your routine!

Note for beginners: We suggest you follow this schedule to get the feel and perfect your form as you progress. Adding weight is the easiest part. Lifting it is the hard part. Don’t rush it. Injuries mean the setback.

Step 4. Watch What You Eat

If you want to get bigger and stronger, working out is just a third of the equation. If you work out consistently, you will have a promising result. If you add the other two-thirds of the equation, you will reach your goals faster!

Nutrition determines how much building blocks your muscle gets. There must be balance in the macro and micro nutrients consumption! Eating less or overeating will not give you the result you envision! To give your body what it needs, you may want to follow the steps below.

  1. Determine body mass index to compute how much calories you burn passively.
  2. Add the estimated calories you burn while working out to see how much calories you burn every day.
  3. Plan what you eat accordingly.

Carb For Bodybuilding


A typical bodybuilder’s macronutrient ratio is 25-35% protein, 15-25% fat, and 40-60% carbohydrates. Don’t forget to add greens to your diet to get vitamins. You can also supplement with multivitamins to boost the absorption of nutrients from the food you eat.

Step 5. Make Time For Rest

The last third of bodybuilding is rest. There will be times that rest will feel like slacking off. Fight the urge to go to the gym! It won’t be beneficial for your muscle when you train non-stop. Your muscles will not have enough time to recover and grow!

Make sure that you rest on your rest days and eat healthily. This is the time for your muscles to recuperate from the insane training routine you did!

For intermediates and veterans, taking a break for a few days every 6-10 weeks, or about eight weeks, is a surefire way to make huge progress. Yep, resting can kick your progress too! Many people might not have tried this.

If you have been hitting the gym for a few months straight, try resting for a week. You will be surprised at how much stronger you will recover after this one week off the gym.


Working out is fun. It’s also productive and empowering. Reaching your milestones a few steps at a time can keep you motivated so don’t forget to keep track of your workout.

This push pull legs split routine an amazing program. Now you know the basics of this split routine. We assure you this. Once you try it, you will love it. Among the many types of workout programs, this is one of the most effective that delivers noticeable changes in a few weeks!

You will be surprised at how much strength you can become each passing week! In a few months, you will see how much you are able to grow! Make sure to note measurements and note progress to see the difference.

Lastly, if you follow a healthy diet and take the time to rest, your gains will be off the charts!

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