Push-pull-legs, commonly abbreviated as PPL, is a popular weightlifting program that divides exercises into three categories: push, pull, and leg movements. The push workouts focus on the upper body pushing muscles like the chest, shoulders, and triceps. The pull workouts focus on the upper body pulling muscles like the back and biceps. Leg exercises target lower body muscles like the quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
The main benefits of the push pull legs routine include a balanced approach to working all major muscle groups, as well as allowing adequate recovery time between workouts. It also provides flexibility in terms of exercise selection and allows for variation in the exercises used to work each muscle group.
As with any weightlifting program, it’s important to adjust the intensity and volume according to your fitness level and goals. It’s also important to properly warm up before each workout and to allow adequate rest and recovery time between workouts to avoid injury and maximize results.
Advantages of Push Pull Legs
The push pull legs split has several benefits for muscle growth, strength, and overall fitness level. Push pull legs split offers many advantages such as:
- Balanced approach: push pull legs routine provides a balanced approach to working all major muscle groups, ensuring that you are not neglecting any area of your body. By incorporating push, pull, and leg exercises, you can target different muscle groups each day and achieve a well-rounded physique.
- Increased frequency: With a PPL program, you can train each muscle group 2-3 times per week, which can lead to faster gains in strength and muscle mass compared to other programs that only train each muscle group once a week.
- Flexibility: Push pull legs split allows for flexibility in terms of exercise selection. Each muscle group has a variety of exercises you can choose from, which can keep your workouts intriguing and difficult.
- Time-efficient: Because PPL is a 7-day split, it is a time-efficient way to get a full-body workout without spending hours in the gym each day. It is the perfect tool for people with busy schedules because of this.
- Improved recovery: By targeting different muscle groups each day, you give each muscle group enough time to rest and recover between workouts, which can help prevent overtraining and injury.
Overall, a push pull legs routine is a great program for muscle growth, strength, and fitness level. It provides a balanced approach to working all major muscle groups, and its flexibility and time efficiency makes it a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts.
7-Day Plan: Complete Exercise Breakdown
Day 1: Push Exercises (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps)
- Flat Barbell Bench Press: 3-4 sets of 6-12 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Press: 3-4 sets of 7-12 reps
- Seated Military Press: 3-4 sets of 6-15 reps
- Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises: 3-4 sets of 10-20 reps
- Close-Grip Bench: 3-4 sets of 10-15 reps
- Cable Tricep Push downs: 3-4 sets of 12-20 reps
Day 2: Pull (Back, Biceps)
- Deadlifts: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Bent Over Rows: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Lat Pulldowns: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Barbell Curls: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
Day 3: Legs (Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Calves)
- Barbell Squats: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Leg Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Lunges: 3 sets of 12-15 reps (each leg)
- Romanian Deadlifts: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Seated Calf Raises: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
Day 4: Push (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps)
- Incline Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Cable Flyes: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Seated Military Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Dumbbell Front Raises: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Skull Crushers: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Overhead Tricep Extension: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
Day 5: Pull (Back, Biceps)
- Pull-Ups: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Seated Cable Rows: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- One Arm Dumbbell Rows: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Preacher Curls: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Cable Hammer Curls: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
Day 6: Legs (Quads, Hamstrings, Glutes, Calves)
- Barbell Lunges: 3 sets of 8-12 reps (each leg)
- Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Stiff Leg Deadlifts: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Leg Curls: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Standing Calf Raises: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
Day 7: Rest
Science Behind PPL
The push pull legs routine is a popular weight lifting program that involves dividing the body’s muscle groups into three categories: push muscles, pull muscles, and leg muscles. The routine typically involves performing exercises that target each of these categories on different days of the week.
Muscle adaptation and recuperation are the cornerstones of the science behind the push pull legs split. When muscles are exercised, they sustain microscopic damage that prompts the body to rebuild and repair the muscle tissue, making it more durable and powerful. Muscle adaptation is the term for this procedure.
With sufficient time for relaxation and recovery in between workouts, the push pull legs routine enables targeted training of particular muscle groups. The body can recover from the previous workout and reassemble the muscle tissue by concentrating on various muscle groups on different days.
The push muscles in the PPL routine include the chest, shoulders, and triceps. These muscles are targeted with exercises such as bench press, shoulder press, and triceps extensions. The pull muscles include the back and biceps, and are targeted with exercises such as pull-ups, rows, and curls. Finally, the leg muscles include the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes, and are targeted with exercises such as squats, lunges, and deadlifts.
The PPL routine also allows for progressive overload, which is the principle of gradually increasing the weight or intensity of an exercise over time. This is important for muscle adaptation and growth, as it provides a stimulus for the muscles to continue to adapt and grow.
Proper Rest and Recovery
Any workout schedule should include rest days to give your body time to recoup and repair from strenuous exercise. Overtraining can result in muscular fatigue, injury, and poor performance; rest days help avoid this.
During a rest day, it’s important to give your body a break from your regular workout routine. This means avoiding any intense physical activity that puts stress on your muscles and joints. Instead, focus on low-impact activities like stretching, yoga, or light walking, which can help improve blood flow and aid in muscle recovery.
Getting enough sleep is an often-overlooked aspect of a weight training plan, but it is just as important as proper nutrition and hydration. Sleep is essential for muscle recovery and growth, as it is during sleep that the body produces and releases growth hormone, which is necessary for repairing and building muscle tissue. Inadequate sleep can impair the body’s ability to recover from workouts, leading to decreased performance and increased risk of injury.
In addition to aiding muscle recovery, sleep is also important for overall health and well-being. Chronic sleep deprivation has been linked to a number of negative health outcomes, including an increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and depression. It can also impair cognitive function and lead to decreased productivity and performance in daily life.
For weight lifters, it is recommended that they aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night. In order to promote restful sleep, weight lifters should establish a consistent sleep schedule and create a relaxing bedtime routine. This might include avoiding screens for at least an hour before bedtime, practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or meditation, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol in the evening.
It is also worth noting that sleep quality is just as important as sleep quantity. Weight lifters should aim to create an optimal sleep environment, which might include a comfortable mattress and pillows, a cool and dark room, and minimal noise and distractions. By prioritizing sleep as a key component of their weight lifting plan, athletes can support muscle recovery and growth, promote overall health and well-being, and maximize their performance in the gym and in daily life.
Any successful workout program must include proper nutrition and hydration, particularly when lifting weights. This is due to the fact that weight lifting places the body under a great deal of tension, which may cause muscle damage and deterioration. The body requires sufficient nutrients and hydration in order to heal and rebuild these muscles.
Protein is one of the nutrients that is most crucial for muscular development and repair. This is due to the fact that protein gives the body the building elements it needs to repair and rebuild muscle tissue. As a result, it is advised that weight enthusiasts eat a diet rich in protein. Beans, tofu, seafood, poultry, eggs, and lean meats are all excellent sources of protein.
Weight lifters need to eat carbohydrates and good fats in addition to protein to give them the energy they need for strenuous exercises. The body uses carbohydrates as its main energy source, while healthy fats promote general health and offer more sustained energy.
Weight lifters should also drink plenty of water because dehydration can reduce athletic ability and cause fatigue and cramps in the muscles. Weight lifters are advised to get plenty of water throughout the day and to sip more during and after workouts.
Finally, it is essential to remember that healthy eating and drinking are crucial for overall health and wellbeing as well as for the development and recovery of muscles. An immune system that is supported by a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources can help to lower the chance of chronic disease and support optimum health.
Mobility and Stretching
Incorporating stretching and mobility exercises into a weight lifting plan can provide a number of benefits for athletes, including improved flexibility, range of motion, and injury prevention.
Stretching can help to increase flexibility and range of motion, which is important for weight lifters who need to move through a full range of motion during exercises to target all of the muscle fibers. Improved flexibility can also help to reduce the risk of injury, as it allows the body to move more easily and effectively through different planes of motion.
Mobility exercises are designed to improve joint mobility and stability, which can also reduce the risk of injury and improve overall performance. These exercises can help to correct muscle imbalances and improve posture, which can lead to better form and technique during exercises. This can ultimately lead to increased strength and power, as the body is able to move more efficiently through different exercises.
Stretching and mobility activities can have psychological advantages in addition to physical ones, such as lowering stress levels and fostering relaxation. These movements can ease tension in the muscles and boost circulation, which can help people feel more relaxed and less stressed and anxious.
It is recommended that weight lifters incorporate stretching and mobility exercises into their workout plan at the beginning or end of their workout, or even on rest days. These exercises might include dynamic stretches, static stretches, foam rolling, or yoga.
By incorporating these exercises into their routine, weight lifters can improve their flexibility, range of motion, and overall performance, while also reducing the risk of injury and promoting relaxation and stress relief.
When an athlete trains too frequently, intensely, or for too long without enough rest and recovery, overtraining happens. In addition to decreased effectiveness and a higher chance of injury, this can also cause symptoms like fatigue, irritability, and a weakened immune system.
In addition to overtraining, neglecting to give yourself enough time to recover can also slow down your development and raise your risk of getting hurt. In order to rebuild muscle tissue and restock energy reserves, the body requires time to relax and recover in between workouts.
Athletes who don’t give themselves enough time to recuperate may not be able to give their best effort during their subsequent exercise and may experience symptoms like soreness, fatigue, and poor performance.
To avoid overtraining and not allowing enough time for recovery, weight lifters should aim to incorporate rest days into their workout plan. This might include taking one or two days off per week to allow the body to rest and recover.
It is also important to listen to the body and pay attention to any signs of fatigue or overtraining, such as soreness, decreased performance, or lack of motivation. If these symptoms are present, it may be necessary to take a break from weight lifting or reduce the intensity and duration of workouts.
Using Improper Form in Favor of Heavy Weight
Many weight lifters make the error of neglecting proper form and technique in favor of lifting heavier weights. While lifting more weight can be rewarding and may result in greater muscle gains, doing so also increases the risk of injury and slows down development over time.
The danger of injury rises when improper form and technique are used because they put too much strain on the tendons, ligaments, and joints. Additionally, it can result in muscular imbalances, which can harm effectiveness and cause additional injuries.
To avoid neglecting proper form and technique, weight lifters should focus on mastering proper form before attempting to lift heavier weights. This may involve starting with lighter weights and gradually increasing the weight as proper form and technique are mastered.
In addition, weight lifters should aim to work with a qualified trainer or coach who can provide guidance and feedback on proper form and technique. This can help to ensure that the exercises are being performed correctly and can help to prevent injury.
Finally, weight lifters should also pay attention to their body and listen to any signs of pain or discomfort. If an exercise is causing pain, it may be a sign that proper form and technique are not being used, or that the weight is too heavy.
It may be necessary to take a break from the exercise or seek guidance from a trainer or coach to ensure that proper form and technique are being used.
Wrapping this Up
The push pull legs routine is a science-based weight lifting program that allows for targeted training of specific muscle groups while also allowing for adequate rest and recovery between workouts.
By dividing the body’s muscle groups into push, pull, and leg categories and focusing on different muscle groups on different days, the push pull legs split promotes muscle adaptation and growth while reducing the risk of injury and overtraining.
But it’s vital to keep in mind that good nutrition (and potential supplementation), hydration, sleep, as well as form and technique, are also crucial elements of an effective weight lifting program. People can maximize their muscle growth, avoid injuries, and reach their fitness objectives by including these elements in a well-rounded fitness routine.