Struggling To Gain Muscles? Try Push Pull Legs Routine

Push Pull Legs: “If you are a newbie and want a training routine that will save you time in the gym and build muscles, kudos, you have come to the right place.”

People have been practicing push/pull/legs split for decades and is considered one of the best and effective workout routines of all time. For newcomers, it can be the best option for building muscles. 

The Push Pull Legs routine is absolutely the same as other workout routines because either you focus on building muscles or fat loss.

But, if you are running short of time and want to build muscles, the push-pull-legs workout routine is for you. Moreover, you can repeat it after three days. 

As the name says, you have to work out on a common training mechanism that is, push-pull-legs. It is going to save your time and efforts can hit your muscles in the most effective way. 

It means you have to split your workouts into three main sections.

The Push Pull Legs Split


The very first one is the push workout. By and large, pushing movements include your shoulders, chest, and triceps to push things away from your core. 

Training them together helps you a lot and build muscles much faster. 


The next type is the pull workout. These moments will target the back of your body, not the front. In this workout, you will hit your lats, rear delts, traps, mid-back, and your lower back. 


At the end, you will be training your legs. Muscles involved in your leg training are large and take plenty of work for you to make real progress with them. In this workout, your target muscles are glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves. 

Why do push pull legs split work so well when compared to Bro Split?

Actually, both of them have their own advantages and disadvantages. If you run short of time, the push/pull/legs split is for you. In the push/pull/legs split, you do away with any overlaps in your exercise routine. 

As I said earlier, overlap can work for some people and for some volume is the key. If you focus on bro split, you will be working your triceps and biceps two days in a row. 

Overburdening the muscles can affect the recovery period and may even oppose your efforts. Since the muscles you use to push and pull are not the same, you give your upper body rest on the legs day. 

The best thing about push/pull/legs split is that you have control over the results, so you see the growth you want.

Push Exercises

In your push day workout, you can add these exercises to your workout.  

  • Dumbbell bench press – flat and inclined
  • Barbell bench press – flat and inclined
  • Military press – dumbbell or barbell
  • Arnold dumbbell press
  • Seated shoulder press
  • Skull crushers
  • Dumbbell flys
  • Tricep extensions
  • Push-downs
  • Push-ups

In the push workout, you have posh the weight away from you. It would be great if you stick to 4-5 exercises for 6 weeks. 

Pull Exercises

In your pull day workout, you can add these exercises to your workout.  

  • Deadlift
  • Stiff-legged deadlift
  • Chin-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Pullovers
  • Barbell row
  • Face pulls
  • Upright row
  • Bent-over dumbbell row
  • Concentration curls
  • Lat pull-down
  • Dumbbell curls

This is exactly opposite the push workout. In this case, you have to pull the weights towards your body. It would be great if you stick to 4-5 exercises for 6 weeks. 

Legs Exercises

On this day, you must focus on your entire lower body. And, leg exercises can be both pull and push, but it does not matter. In your leg day workout, you can add these exercises to your workout.  

  • Leg extensions
  • Calf raises
  • Hack squats
  • Lunges – front, rear, and to the side
  • Bulgarian split squats
  • Leg press
  • Hip thrust
  • Goblet squat
  • Front and back squats
  • Leg curls
  • Sumo squat

You can choose from 4-6 exercises on leg day. Make sure you are alternating back and front squats into the same workout.

An Example Of Push Pull Legs Split Routine

Here’s a great sample workout plan that is well structured and properly balanced; and it’s sure to give you exceptional results…

Push Day  Pull Day  Legs Day 
  • Bench Press 3 sets, 6-8 reps
  • Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 sets, 6-8 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Press 3 sets, 8-10 reps
  • Side Lateral Raises 2 sets, 10–12 reps 
  • Triceps pressdowns 2  sets, 8–10 reps 
  • Overhead Triceps Extension 2 sets, 8–10 reps
  • Bent-over Row 3 sets, 5–7 reps 
  • Pull-Ups 3 sets, 6–8 reps
  • Barbell Shrugs 3 sets, 8–10 reps 
  • Face Pulls 2 sets, 10–12 reps
  • Barbell Curl 2 sets, 8–10 reps
  • Dumbbell Hammer Curl 2 sets, 8–10 reps
  • Squats 3 sets, 6-8 reps
  • Romanian Deadlifts 2 sets, 8–10 reps
  • Leg Press 2 sets, 10–12 reps
  • Leg Curl 2 sets, 10–12 reps
  • Calf Raise 4 sets 8–10 reps
  • Hanging Leg Raise 2 sets, 10–15 reps
Take rest after 3rd day and you can start the same workout routine for the next 2 days.

Means (Push, Pull, Leg, Rest, Push, Pull, rest)   


Make sure you are warming up properly in order to prevent yourself from injury as you are about to lift heavyweights. 

A Few Points To Remember For Your Push-Pull Leg Routine

As a beginner, you might be thinking to make PPL routine effective and want to gain muscles ASAP. 

So, it does not matter if you work out 3 times a week or 6 times a week. Focus on building strength. You can implement the rule of progressive overload. It means that you have to slowly and steadily challenge yourself by adding more reps or more weights to your sets.

Focus On Your Reps In Push Pull Legs workout

For gaining muscles, the rep range is usually set at 6-8 reps or 8-10reps. Because the human body builds the most strength within this range (6-8 reps or 8-10reps). 

But, if you don’t want to build muscles, your number of reps can go up to 12-15. While gaining muscles, if you are able to lift your current weight easily within the 6-8 reps or 8-10reps, try to increase weights from 2 lbs to 5 lbs at a time. 

Focus on the rest period between the sets. Taking more than 1 minute of rest while warming up will make your body inactive.

While doing 6-8 reps, you have to take 2-3 minutes of rest and while doing 8-10 reps, you need 1-2 minutes of rest.

Final Words on Push Pull Legs Workout Routine 

So, push/pull/legs workout routine really works? Of course, yes. It is effective for both beginners and advanced lifters. 

As you can track your progress in this routine, you can easily target a particular muscle group and give them the rest required. Push/pull/legs workout can actually help you get the perfect volume, intensity, and frequency. 

Vishal Thakur

Hi, my name is Vishal, an engineer turned Blogger, Copywriter and a Nutrition Expert. I love busting nutrition related myths. Welcome to one of the best nutrition blogs in India helping people get in shape in the most natural way. Well, I love reading books, dancing and listening to some of my favorite songs whenever I get time and most importantly, I love helping people.

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