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Push Pull Legs Workouts

What Is a Push Pull Legs Routine?

A push pull legs routine, or PPL split, is a weightlifting program where your body is split into 3 different workouts:

  • Push workout: The push workouts focus on the muscles involved in your upper body pushing motions – pecs, triceps and shoulders.
  • Pull workout: The pull workouts focus on the muscles involved in your upper body pulling motions – back, traps and biceps.
  • Legs workout: The leg workouts focus on your quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves and abs.

The main reason organizing your training this way is advantageous is because muscles generally work in pairs. For example, when you do a pull up, your back muscles and biceps are responsible for generating the force while your chest, shoulders and triceps are just along for the ride. On the flip side, when you push a heavy barbell off your chest, it’s now your chest, shoulders and triceps that are the prime movers while your “pull” muscles take the back seat.

Therefore, you can train your push muscles or train your legs when your back and biceps are still recovering, and vice versa.

Tips Before Getting Started

  • These workouts should take 60-75 minutes to complete.
  • All sets should be performed with medium-high exertion. Your rating of perceived exertion should be around an 8/10.  
  • Try to limit rest periods between exercises to 60-90 seconds to keep the heart rate elevated to maximize fat burning.  
  • Warm up Warming up is very important to get the most out of your workouts and prevent injury. Start with 5-10 minutes of easy steady state cardio and then perform the warm up exercises listed.  
  • Cool Down – Don’t immediately run out of the gym after finishing your last set. Perform 5-10 minutes of easy steady state cardio and then perform 10-15 minutes of dynamic stretching.