The “Push Pull Legs” PPL Workout Routine

The Push Pull Legs Routine (PPL) is one of the most effective workout routines you can use to build muscle and gain strength. The push pull legs workout split is focused on the major muscle groups based around these movements. This article is on the basic PPL workout to get you started.  We will add more focused PPL for Hypertrophy, Endurance and Strength and Powerlifting.

Regardless if you are experienced or just starting your road to fitness, we are going to give you the know how to build and plan your best 3-day or 6-day workout split for adding muscle and building strength.

The most effective mass and strength building routines revolve around well-established splits that use barbell exercises, including the best compound movements (squats, bench press, etc.), along with effective isolation movements (bicep curls, etc.). And yes, along with a great diet and cardio to control extra calories. But if you eat clean and control your calories, you’ll need a bit less cardio.

The 6-Day PPL is not easy and you’ll need some time to adjust to the increase in work (and likely more calories). This split is a perfect solution for those who have the time and energy to achieve what you can get from a PPL routine. If you have been doing a 4-day split, you can move to the PPL, or try a 5-Day Workout Split or another 5 day routine such as the PHAT Workout Routine.

The Push Pull Legs Workout Split

We typically recommend the PPL workout for those experienced lifters who have a good understanding of both compound and isolation movements, have had success with a 5-day workout split for 6 months or more and understand the importance of balanced nutrition and diet to support muscle building. Ideally its a 6-day workout routine, however, its so flexible it can become a 3, 4, 5 or 6-day workout routine depending on your schedule.

If you’re ready for a great way to program your training, you’ve probably seen the Push Pull Legs split, commonly called the PPL. This is a classic training method, and many athletes have found it flexible and effective. The Push Pull Legs split routine is a great way to structure your weekly workouts by dividing your training into three categories:

  • Push Exercises (Chest, Shoulders and Triceps)
  • Pull Exercises (Back, Bicep
  • Legs (Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Calves).
best Push Pull Legs Workout Split

Is the Push Pull Split for Me?

There are many reasons to set up a new workout training split routine. While setting up your routine remember these 5 components (and be realistic). 

Consider the following:

1) Your strength training experience (4, 5, 6-Day Routines, diet, etc.)
2) Your personal goals (Reach a new PR, add muscle and strength, etc.)
3) Your weekly schedule (Available days to train, etc.)
4) Age and ability to rest and recover (20’s, 40’s, etc.)
5) Injuries or other health concerns. (Shoulder, back, etc.)

6 day PPL workout split routine

6 Day PPL: Build Muscle & Strength

We like to look at the PPL as a 6-Day routine. Although in concept its (2) 3-day PPL. The best part of the split is you train similar movements together. This allows you to train push muscles such as chest and triceps together, work them hard, and then give them time to recover while working pull and leg days before training them again. 

Additionally, you can easily manage your PPL Split Workout routines around to fit with your school, work or family schedules, or maybe one that will better fit with your goals. You should also you need to change your workout split every 8-12 weeks to your mind and body challenged and engaged. You can stay with the 6 day, just mix up the exercises. Don’t forget to take some de-load weeks.

Traditional 6-Day Push, Pull & Legs Routine

Day 1 – Chest, Shoulder and Triceps
Day 2 – Back, Biceps and Abs
Day 3 – Legs
Day 4 – Chest, Shoulder and Triceps
Day 5 – Back, Biceps and Abs
Day 6 – Legs
Day 7 – OFF

Push/Pull/Legs Workout Schedule

  • Newer lifters should follow the routine in an every-other-day split: Push/Rest/Pull/Rest/Legs/Rest (Repeat). 
  • Intermediate lifters should perform the routine in a 3-on/1-off split: Push/Pull/Legs/Rest (Repeat)
  • Advanced lifters should perform the routine in a 6-on/1-off manner: Push/Pull/Legs/Push/Pull/Legs/Rest (Repeat).
Push WorkoutChest, Shoulders & Triceps
ExerciseSets x Reps
Flat Barbell Bench Press4 x 6-10
Incline Bench Press3 x 10-12
Seated Shoulder Press3 x 10-12
Flat Bench Dumbell Flyes3 x 12-15
Standing Dumbell Lateral Raises3 x 10-12
Tricep Rope Pushdown3 x 12-15
EZ Bar Skullcrusher3 x 10-12
Pull WorkoutBack, Biceps & Abs
ExerciseSets x Reps
Barbell Row3 x 6-8
Neutral Lat Pulldown3 x 8-10
Dumbbell Shrug2 x 12-15
Face Pull2 x 12-15
Barbell Curl3 x 8-12
Hammer Curl3 x 12-15
Leg Raises3 x 12-15
Leg WorkoutQuads, Hams. Glutes & Calves
ExerciseSets x Reps
Barbell Squat3 x 6-8
Romanian Deadlift3 x 10-12
Leg Press3 x 8-10
Barbell Lunges3 x 10-12
Leg Curl3 x 15-20
Calf press3 x 10-12

Push, Pull & Legs Workout Nutrition

The PPL routine is better suited for someone who’s moved past the beginner stages of training, and can commit to lift weights 5-6 days a week. If you are only available for 4-days per week, try a 4 day a week split.

If you are looking to maximize muscle size and strength gains at 6-days a week, you will need to match caloric intake. High volume programs require increased calories. Try to move into about 3500 calories per day and adjust from there.

best Push Pull Legs Workout Split
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