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The Push/Pull/Legs Routine for Best Muscle Gains

Mass-Building Basics

Push, pull and legs is a very simple, yet effective training split for anyone, ranging from those picking up their first barbell to hardened gym veterans. Push workouts include chest, shoulders and triceps. Pull workouts take care of back and biceps. While leg workouts cover quads, hamstrings and calves.

The reason it works so well is that it places more emphasis on multi-joint compound exercises than on isolation-based exercises. Don’t expect set after set of pec deck and preacher curls in this program. The main reason for the majority of these workouts being comprised of compound exercises is exercises like barbell bench press, squats and deadlifts offer the most ‘bang for your buck’. They involve multiple muscle groups and allow the most room for progression of reps and weight. This means more growth for you.

Putting It All Together

The basic premise of any push, pull and legs programme will always be similar, but there will be subtle differences for those just getting started in the gym to those who have been slinging iron for years.

The first major difference between the beginner program and the advanced program is the addition of training days. The advanced trainer will be training two days on and one day off, which allows for increased frequency of hitting body parts, leading to more opportunities for growth and recovery.

 A Sample 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…

Workout 1 – Push

Bench Press 3 X 5 – 7
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3 X 6 – 8
Incline Dumbbell Press 3 X 8 – 10
Side Lateral Raises 2 X 10 – 12
Triceps Pressdowns 2 X 8 – 10
Overhead Triceps Extension 2 X 8 – 10

 Workout 2 – Pull

Bent-over Row 3 X 5 – 7
Pull Ups 3 X 6 – 8
Barbell Shrugs 3 X 8 – 10
Face Pulls 2 X 10 – 12
Barbell Curl 2 X 8 – 10
Dumbbell Hammer Curl 2 X 8 – 10

Workout 3 – Legs/Abs

 Squats 3 X 6 – 8
Romanian Deadlifts 2 X 8 – 10
Leg Press 2 X 10 – 12
Leg Curl 2 X 10 – 12
Calf Raise 4 X 8 – 10
Hanging Leg Raise 2 X 10 – 15

The sets listed are your work sets. Always warm up properly first in order to prepare your body for the heavier work, and to help prevent injury. However another advantage of this split routine is that fewer warm-up sets are required as training each exercise/body part warms you up for the next.