The push/pull/legs workout routine is a very popular one and is used by both powerlifters and bodybuilders because it delivers great muscle building results.One of the reasons the push/pull/legs workout works so well is the fact that you give your body a chance to recover between workouts and also there is a minimal overlap between muscle groups.
Training groups of muscles with similar functions : pushing muscles (chest, shoulders and triceps), puling muscles (back and biceps) and legs on separate days will give your muscles enough time to rest so you can use maximal weights every time you hit the gym.
Take for example the pushing day : You work your chest, shoulders and triceps in one day.This gives your pushing muscles more recovery time than splitting them into separate days of the week, where you may find yourself doing triceps or shoulders just 48 hours after a heavy chest workout.
There is nothing wrong with training triceps or shoulders 48 hours after chest workout, except the fact that you won’t be able to use maximal weights to build muscle, because your triceps and shoulders will be tired after all that heavy benching you did 2 days earlier.
The Push/Pull/Legs Routine:
Day One – Pull
Deadlifts 3 sets x 5 reps
Rows 3 sets x 6-8 reps
Weighted pull ups or chins ups 3 sets to failure
Barbell or dumbbell curls – 5 sets x 5 reps
Day Two – Push
Bench Press – 3 sets x5 reps
Shoulder Press – 3 sets x 5 reps
Dips or close-grip bench press – 5 sets x 5 reps
Day Three – Legs
Squats – 4 sets x 8 – 10 reps
Stiff leg deadlifts – 3 sets x 10-12 reps
Standing or seated calf raises – 3 sets x 6 – 10 reps
As you can see, you’ll only use multi-joint movements as this is the fastest way to build muscle mass.To make this workout more intense you can make the last set of the exercises a rest pause set.This means that when you hit failure you rack the weight, take 8-10 deep breaths, and then do a few reps to failure again.You can do the rest pause method for every exercise except deadlifts and rows.For these two exercises, to increase the intensity do an extra set with the maximal weight.
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Even though it doesn’t look like much work, don’t be tempted to add exercises to the push/pull/legs split.Adding more exercises can be a quick way to overtrain.