The push pull legs workout, or PPL workout, is one of the most time-tested and effective ways to stimulate muscle hypertrophy (if done correctly) and a lot of people are gravitating towards this workout split more and more.
It has become increasingly popular due to the fact that it enables more frequency with each muscle group in a single week and It also happens to be one of my favorite training splits and the one that I have seen the most results with.
In this blog post we’ll discuss: what the push pull legs workout is, the benefits of push pull leg workout, how to do a push pull leg workout, and tips for beginners on how they can start doing their own push pull leg workouts.
What is the push pull legs workout?
The push pull legs workout, or PPL workout, is a revolutionary way to build muscle. Simply put, It consists of three different types of workout splits that are each done on separate days: Push movements, pull movements, and leg exercises, and I’ll break each of these down for you.
Push exercises are any movements that consist of pressing weights away from your body.
The main muscle groups that are being worked in a push day are chest, shoulders, and triceps.
Some examples of push exercises are of course, the classic bench press, the shoulder press, and tricep pull downs.
Pull workouts are done by pulling weights towards your body. Essentially, you’d be working your back muscles and biceps.
Some examples of pull exercises are chin-ups, lat pull-downs, barbell rows, or dumbbell curls.
Leg workouts are pretty much obvious. It means working out your entire lower body. (Quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves).
The benefits of the Push Pull Legs Workout.
There are many advantages of doing the PPL workout split and I can tell you first hand that I have reaped all of the benefits from following this program myself and you will too if you decide to give this a try. So here are some of the perks that come with this split:
It allows you to hit every muscle group in your body, which leads to more muscle gains as well as a more balanced and symmetrical physique.
Each of these workout splits have compound movements, which are exercises that involve using more than one muscle.
For example, on a push day, you’d perform the bench press and although it’s intended to work your pecs, your’e also working your triceps and front deltoids.
But also in the same push day, you can do shoulder presses, which also works your triceps and even upper back.
So essentially, the muscles that you’re using for press movements are getting extra attention and the increase in volume will stimulate muscle hypertrophy at a faster rate.
This type of workout can be very time-efficient depending on your schedule and you have the option to cycle this split in a couple of different ways.
If you have more time constraints, then you can do this 3 days a week. One push day, one pull day, and one leg day. (Pretty straight forward).
On the other hand, if you have more flexibility and time, then you can cycle this 6 days a week. (Example: Push, pull, legs, rest, push, pull, legs).
The 6 day split is what most people aim for because you’ll most likely notice the effectiveness more as you’re targeting each muscle with more frequency.
However, if you can’t make it in the gym at least 3 days a week, then I wouldn’t recommend the PPL split.
How to do a Push Pull Legs Workout. (Sample Guide)
Now that you understand what the push pull legs workout is, let’s take a look how to actually do it.
There are also different ways that you can structure your PPL workouts, so I’m going to give you an easy sample guide to follow.
Push Day Workout
Barbell Bench press
- Lie down on your back on a weightlifting bench.
- Grip the bar with your hands a little over shoulder width apart and keep your feet planted on the ground.
- Bring the bar down to your chest in a slow and controlled manor.
- Push the bar up while breathing out back to starting position.
Incline Dumbbell Press
- Lie on an adjustable bench set to about a 30-45 degree incline.
- Hold the weights above your head with palms forward.
- Keeping core stiff and elbows close together, lower the weight down by slowly moving arms until they hit sides of chest just below rib cage.
- Pause for second before pushing back up again.
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Hold a weight in each hand at shoulder height with your palms facing forward.
- Lift the weights overhead until your arms are fully extended.
- Then slowly lower them back to starting position.
Dumbbell Lateral Raises
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart and hold a weight in each hand.
- Keeping your core engaged, raise both arms out to the side until they are at shoulder level.
- Hold for a second before lowering back down to the starting position.
- Keep your chest up and elbows close to your ribs.
- Push down at a steady and controlled paste until arms are fully extended.
- Pause and then slowly go back to starting position.
Pull Day Workout
- Stand under a pull up bar.
- Leap up with your hands shoulder width apart and palms facing away from you.
- Pull yourself up to the bar to about chest level. Slowly lower yourself back to starting position.
- Start by standing with the bar going midway across your feet.
- Slightly bend your knees and position your torso over the barbell.
- Grab the bar using overhand grip about shoulder width distance.
- Pull the bar towards your belly button while keeping your shoulders and back retracted.
- Pause for a second and then slowly lower the bar back to starting position.
Close Grip Lat Pull down
- Grip the bar using a close grip cable attachment keeping your torso upright.
- Pull the bar down to your upper chest with your elbows close to your sides to engage your lats.
- Pause for a second and the slowly raise the bar back to starting position.
Seated Machine Row
- Sit on the bench from the seated row machine keeping your feet flat on the ground.
- Sit straight up and ensure that your arms are fully extended.
- Pull the attachment towards your core while retracting your shoulders and keep your elbows close to your sides.
- Once the attachment as at your core, pause, and then slowly release the attachment back to starting position.
Standing Barbell curls
- Stand straight while holding the barbell with your hands about hip width distance and using an underhand grip.
- Curl the bar up to about shoulder height, keeping your biceps fully contracted
- Pause for a second and squeeze your biceps.
- Slowly lower barbell back to starting position
Leg Day Workout
- Start by positioning the barbell on your traps.
- Your feet should be about shoulder width apart and toes pointed out slightly.
- Lower yourself down as if you are going to sit in a chair, making sure that your back stays straight and push through your heels to come back up.
Stiff Leg Deadlifts
- Stand with the barbell on the floor and positioned at about mid-foot.
- Your legs should be shoulder width apart, push your hips back, and bend your knees until you reach hamstring flexibility.
- Keep your back straight, push through your heels, and come back up to starting position.
- Start by standing with feet hip width apart and holding a weight in each hand.
- Step forward with your left leg, lowering your hips until both legs are at 90 degrees.
- Make sure that your front knee is directly over your ankle and push through your heel to come back up to starting position.
- Repeat the same steps with your other leg.
- Start by holding the barbell on your traps with your feet shoulder width apart.
- Hinge at the hip to lower your torso until it is parallel to the floor.
- Keep a flat back throughout the movement and push through your hips to come back up to starting position.
Standing Dumbbell Calve Raises
- Start by standing with feet hip width apart and a weight in each hand.
- Slowly raise up on your toes, making sure to keep your knees slightly bent.
- Once you are standing on your toes, pause for a second and then slowly lower back down to starting position.
Note: You can mix up the PPL workout differently if you’d like, or you can follow the workouts that I have provided above.
Tips for beginners starting a Push Pull Legs Workout.
If you are a beginner and are just starting to build your own push pull legs workout, here are some tips for you:
-Start light and work your way up. It’s important to start with a weight that you can handle and increase the weight as you get stronger.
-Focus on proper form. Make sure that you are doing the exercises correctly to avoid any injuries.
-Take rest days. Giving your muscles time to recover is essential for growth.
-Drink plenty of water. Hydration is key for optimal performance.
-EAT! You need to make sure that you are providing your body with the nutrients it needs to grow muscle.
The push pull legs workout is an incredibly effective way to build muscle size and symmetry. By following the tips listed above, you can start doing your own push pull leg workouts with confidence.
If you’re looking for a way to build muscle that is both effective and efficient, then it may be time to consider the push pull legs workout.
This type of weightlifting routine combines exercises that target your major muscles groups in an effort to stimulate muscular hypertrophy.
This workout is also perfect for beginners and experienced lifters alike, as it can be adjusted to accommodate any level of fitness. Give it a try today and see the amazing results for yourself!
Has this article helped give you some inspiration or motivation about building up those muscles? Leave a comment below!