The other day, I was reading about a former skinny guy. As a swimmer, his puny frame was on display on a regular basis. So he started hitting the gym. But without knowing what to do for muscle growth, he ended up wasting time on calisthenics, sit-ups, and bodyweight movements without any real routine. Frustrated with his lack of progress, he went off and did some research.
And that was when he discovered the push, pull, legs PPL routine — and ended up gaining over 30 pounds of muscle. Muscle growth varies widely from person to person, and no two people will build muscle at exactly the same rate, even if they eat and lift the same.
Thirty pounds is a lot of muscle, and it may take you several years of hard, consistent effort to pack on that amount of mass.
However, none of that changes the fact that the PPL routine is a very effective training program when it comes to adding muscle to your frame. As the name suggests, the push pull legs split involves three different workouts: a push workout, a pull workout and a legs workout.
The push workout is focused on the pushing movements for the upper body, which involve the chest, shoulders and triceps. The pull workout is typically focused on pulling movements for the upper body, which involve the back and biceps. The push workouts involve exercises like the dumbbell bench press both flat and inclinebarbell bench press flat and inclineoverhead press both barbell and dumbbell flyes, and dips, along with some isolation exercises for the triceps.
The leg workouts involve exercises like the squat, leg press, leg extension, Bulgarian split squat, leg curl, Romanian deadlift and calf raise. Take the example of a pushing movement like the bench press. This exercise works not only the chest, but the shoulders and triceps as well. The idea is that you train the muscles that work together — in this case the chest, shoulders and triceps — in the same session. In both exercises, the prime movers are the back and biceps, so you train them in the same workout.
With a push pull legs split, your muscles get plenty of time days to recover between workouts. Likewise, you train your legs while your back and biceps are recuperating.
And your legs, in turn, get a chance to recover when you train your upper body. Mike Matthews of Muscle for Life covers some more of the benefits of the push pull legs routine in the video below:. 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. With the 4-day PPL 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. 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. Thursday and Sunday are rest days.
In other words, you train for three days, then take a day off. This is followed by two days of training, followed by another day off. On days one and two, you do the pushing and pulling workouts. This is followed on day three by legs. Then you have a day off. On days five and six, you do the pushing and pulling workouts again. In week two, you start with legs, followed by the pushing and pulling workouts and a second leg and push day.Average Rating A four day routine, focused on gaining body muscle, so bulking is the goal.
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Exercise Name. Barbell Bench Press. Dumbbell Decline Press. Barbell Deadlift.With so many different workout plans to choose from, it can be difficult for you to find one which ticks all the boxes. What will work best for weight loss?
What type of plan should you use whilst cutting? The Push-Pull split is our favourite because it allows both the upper and lower body to be trained every session. For example, pushes include squats, bench press or shoulder press, and pulls include deadlifts, chin ups or curls. Girls, you will love the results from training lower body every time — this will burn more calories than a body part split, and pairing this with upper body movements will help you tone up and improve definition.
To top it off, this method of training is incredibly efficient. It enables entire muscle groups to be trained whilst all the opposing muscles are recovering. Traditionally you might train chest one day, arms the next, and then shoulders the day after. In this fatigued state, you can no longer effectively train shoulders and your shoulders will be sacrificed!
With Push-Pull, the muscles are trained together in a functional group to ensure they all get an equal amount of work! The following push-pull workouts are designed to build a well-balanced physique if you are unsure of an exercise, check out the images below each workout for tips and the correct form.
Here is our suggested 2-week workout program.
How Push and Pull Workouts Can Optimize Your Fitness Regimen
Feel free to can change the days around to suit your schedule:. Be sure to let us know how you get on and send your progress photos to us via our social media pages so we can share it with our followers! Squat — top Squat — bottom Rotator cuff dumbell raises — bottom Rotator cuff dumbell raises — top Dumbell skull crusher — bottom Dumbell skull crusher — top.
Straight-leg deadlift — top Straight-leg deadlift — bottom Hip thrust — bottom Hip thrust — top Barbell curl — bottom Barbell curl — top Bodyweight hamstring curl — bottom Bodyweight hamstring curl — top Decline bench leg raise — bottom Decline bench leg raise — top. Squat — top Squat — bottom Barbell bench press — top Barbell bench press — bottom Dumbell side lateral raise — bottom Dumbell side lateral raise — top Bodyweight dip — top Bodyweight dip — bottom Leg raise — bottom Leg raise — top.
Prone row — bottom Prone row — top Rear delt fly — bottom Rear delt fly — top Bodyweight hamstring curl — bottom Bodyweight hamstring curl — top Close grip chin up — bottom Close grip chin up — top Decline bench leg raise — bottom Decline bench leg raise — top. Squat — top Squat — bottom Walking lunge Walking lunge Barbell overhead press — bottom Barbell overhead press — top Dumbell side lateral raise — bottom Dumbell side lateral raise — top Leg press machine calf raise — bottom Leg press machine calf raise — top.
Glute raise — bottom Glute raise — top Prone row — bottom Prone row — top DB preacher curl — bottom DB preacher curl — top Leg press machine calf raise — bottom Leg press machine calf raise — top Leg raise — bottom Leg raise — top. Bodyweight hamstring curl — bottom Bodyweight hamstring curl — top Deadlift — bottom Deadlift — top Hip thrust — bottom Hip thrust — top Face pull — bottom Face pull — top.
About the Author: Ben.And it can be used by just about anyone to achieve many different goals — building muscle, getting stronger, or even just retaining muscle while you drop fat.
An upper body workout will normally hit your chest, back, shoulders, biceps and triceps, while the lower body workout works your quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves. Because exercises like squats and deadlifts fall on lower body day, these workouts will also hit your lower back. You can throw in ab work whenever you want, normally I like to do it on lower body days.
Training a muscle once a week can and will make that muscle bigger. The majority of research out there shows that the major muscles should be trained at least twice a week in order to maximize growth [ 1 ]. The key driving force behind muscle growth is muscle protein synthesis, which refers to the creation of new muscle protein.
After you train, your body gets busy synthesizing new muscle protein.The Best Workout Split for MAXIMUM Muscle Gains
But leaving a full seven days before you train that muscle again means that several additional opportunities to stimulate growth have passed you by. You can set up your training week in various different ways, depending on your goals and the time you have available to train. You hit the upper body on Monday, lower body on Tuesday, then take Wednesday off. Thursday is upper body, Friday is lower body and you have the weekend off. Each muscle group is trained twice a week. If you miss a workout, you can move it to the following day.
Skip the Friday lower body workout, for example, and you can just push it back to Saturday. In fact, I prefer doing my lower body workouts first. Training the legs is hard work, much harder than training the upper body. I like coming into a lower body workout fresh from a day or two of complete rest. Pressing exercises bench press and overhead press are done on upper body days, as well as chins and pulldowns for the lats.
Over the course of a month, each muscle group is worked an average of 1.Should you do the bro split and work out 5 days a week? Should you split up your routine into upper and lower body and work out 4 days a week? Alternatively, should you do a full body workout 3 days a week?
In this article I will cover the advantages of each of these workout splits and the downsides as well…. For example, when I first started going to the gym, I used what was popularized in fitness magazines and what everyone at the gym seemed to be doing; the bro-split. This workout routine is very simple in that it involves training each muscle group once per week.
The volumes in each workout are very high as the muscle has about a whole week to recover until the next time it is trained. Very few people seemed to be against this workout split. Therefore, it was the easiest thing to take up. I could base my workouts on others as there was adequate information available.
The above picture shows an example of the details of the bro-split workout. Each weekday would be dedicated to one muscle group. With the chest being worked out on Monday.
The Best Workout Splits of All Time [2, 3 & 4 Day Templates]
The back muscles worked out on Tuesday. The shoulders worked out on Wednesday. The arms worked out on Thursday. Weekends would be used to rest and recuperate until the next week.
The photo shown below of me at 18 or 19 years old demonstrates the results of the bro-workout routine after a few years of this style of training.
As you can see in this photo, I definitely made good progress:. Of course, there are many other things that contribute to your progress in the gym and these have been covered extensively in my videos. But staying on the topic of workouts. Essentially, the upper body is trained on one day and the lower body on the next. This is followed by a day off. The same two day routine is then repeated. In this split, the workouts are divided among the same time period.
That is to say, going through the split twice still spans 5 days when you include the rest day in between. The weekends can be used to rest and recuperate as seen before.
Its tempting to take less breaks, for example one day on the weekend instead of two. But keep in mind that rest is just as, if not more important then exercise. Your body absolutely needs those days off to rebuild your muscles and prepare for the next workout. Not giving the body sufficient time to do this is guaranteed to result in decreased performance and overall results.My first ever training split was a full body split.
This was not intentional, it just seemed natural to me. I trained 5 times a week with mostly compound work such as benching and squats as well as light isolation work thrown in for good measure. Obviously, I grew, as a novice lifter you can practically look at weights and grow provided you are stuffing your face with food and sleeping ok.
First I will give you a brief intro to each and explain their inner workings. Full body workouts are the simplest of the three, you work each muscle group in a give session. There are no divisions in exercise selection based on muscle groups. The characteristics of full body splits:. This set-up is commonly used with novice weight trainers as it allows ideal frequency which I will discuss later and is extremely simple to schedule. Movements are usually altered workout to workout, e.
Monday is bench day, and Wednesday is overhead press day. Upper lower splits categorise each workout between upper body muscles and lower body muscles. They are still incredibly simple to program and can be done with a 1. To summarise:. This set up is typically programmed for intermediate to advanced weight trainers but could still be used for novices with a few alterations made.
Upper body workouts typically consist of pushing and pulling movements such as OHP, bench press, rows. Whereas lower body workouts consist of squats, dead lifts and abdominal work. This variation scales back the frequency slightly to 1.
The frequency ranges from x a week per body part which is the least frequency of the two splits. This is can be used by groups of all training experiences. As you can see the frequency has been bumped up to around 2x a week per muscle group, which is far more ideal. When choosing any training split, the first consideration should be how frequently you are going to be training.
Now, I am not talking about total training sessions per week, but the number of times each muscle group is individually being hit during the weekly cycle. Why is frequency important? This is crucial for muscle growth as after the hour window is over, protein synthesis returns to baseline levels and you are therefore not growing any muscle tissue.
Another consideration to make is the management of volume and intensity in relation to frequency. Volume is the driving tool behind the stimulus needed to grow and adapt to your training sessions. If you do not have sufficient volume in your weekly training cycle total number of repetitions performedthen you will not elicit a great enough training stimulus for your body to grow from.Olympia, he worked out twice daily and hit body parts three times per week not counting calves and abswhich he trained daily.
Not everyone had the luxury of hitting the iron twice daily, but almost every bodybuilder was working body parts every other day. Splits that stressed muscles twice per week were the norm. In any split in which your workouts are spread over three consecutive days, typically one day is devoted to legs. Then the question is, how do you organize your upper-body work over the remaining two days to maximize rest for each muscle?
This is because front delts and triceps assist on chest presses and dips and rear delts and biceps assist on almost every back exercise. Any split that results in this double-stress for shoulders and arms is going to severely reduce your growth-inducing recuperation for those areas.
The best solution to this quandary is the push-pull system. Exercises in which your elbow joints are straight at contractions bench presses, shoulder presses, pushdowns, etc.
Exercises in which your elbow joints are bent at contractions T-bar rows, pulldowns, barbell curls, etc. Pushers and pullers are divided into separate workouts. So, you work chest, front delts, and triceps in a push workout, and back, rear delts, traps, and biceps in a pull workout. This allows you to train body parts twice weekly or twice every eight days with sufficient time to recuperate between workouts.
Push this, pull that for faster gains — and faster workouts — in the w How often should you be trained? How much rest do you need? We've foun Get a good workout at home with basic gym equipment and your bodyweight. These old school bodybuilders paved their own path with their own exercises. Use these dumbbell exercises at home to build up your muscles for greater strength.
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Training 8 Innovative Exercises Created By Legendary Bodybuilders These old school bodybuilders paved their own path with their own exercises. Training 5 Best Dumbbell Exercises For Strength Training Use these dumbbell exercises at home to build up your muscles for greater strength.