Why have I created this article showing you the best push pull workout routine you can do? Because they are one of the simplest yet most effective ways in making sure you have a well-balanced workout enabling you to pack on size and strength.
Following your typical bro split (training one to two muscle groups per session) is still one of the most effective ways to build muscle around. However, if you follow a solid and well-programmed push pull routine than the results can be incredible.
Try this routine that will focus on all your muscle groups, so you get to achieve balance in your entire body. In turn, you will move better, look better and lift more than you have ever imagined.
Push-pull workout routines will require you to perform a set of push exercises today. This will be followed by a set of pull exercises tomorrow.
Do you know what’s the awesome thing about these push pull workout routines? You can perform them, either, 2, 3,4, or 5 days a week making it incredibly easy to fit your training around your schedule.
However, for maximum results, I personally recommend no less than 4 days a week.
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Brief Overview of Push-Pull Workout Routines
Some of the most important things you should know about these routines is that:
- Push-pull workouts allow you to build muscle and gain strength without exerting too much stress and pressure on your body parts.
- These push-pull workout routines allow you to engage in physical exercises more often and increase your fat-burning capabilities.
- Finally, they give you a couple of options. You can follow traditional recommended exercises or come up with a workout that addresses your goals and is suited to your body and fitness level.
Benefits of A Push-Pull Workout Routine
When it comes to training, I’ve experienced a great deal of bodybuilding and powerlifting routines. As I have said before my go-to routine will always be a 4-day workout split or 5-day workout split, hitting each muscle group just once a week.
However, whenever I need a change of pace, a push pull workout never lets me down.
Yes, this may seem like a basic training regimen but you will certainly have a lot of benefits to gain from it. As I’ve mentioned, you focus on doing push exercises in one training session and then you move towards pull exercises in the next.
Check out some of the benefits that this type of training offers:
With push-pull workout routines, you avoid putting too much stress on body parts.
When you’re always sore and fatigued after a hard training session, many people might tell you that you’re training too hard.
However, overtraining isn’t a very common thing.
Even if it does happen to you, it would take months of you pushing too hard and engaging in extremely intense, physically demanding exercises.
On the other hand, what happens more often is exerting too much stress on your body within a short time. This absolutely slows down the recovery progress.
The push-pull system will do the opposite for you. It will allow your muscle groups to experience complete rest and recovery if programmed right.
That’s why following my push-pull workout routine below will allow you to avoid all of these unfortunate circumstances.
When you train the traditional way, you’ll likely be engaging the chest on the first day, the shoulders during the next, and then the triceps, and so on.
Although I love a one muscle group a day training split, if its a poorly designed routine you will quickly run into pitfalls.
By doing push-pull workout routines, you’ll be able to group all the muscles needed for pulling (like your back and biceps) and all the muscles needed for pushing (like your chest and triceps).
Overstressing your muscle groups often leads to injury. Try keeping a good balance between push and pull exercises. This will help avoid overworking your muscles and give you sufficient time to recover between workouts.
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Push-pull workout routines can burn extra fat by increasing your physical fitness.
As mentioned, the push-pull system allows you to separately train your body parts depending on their function, whether it’s for pushing or pulling. This way, you can train more often as a whole set of muscle groups will have ample recovery time until you hit them again.
When you split your workouts based on push and pull movements, you won’t be training the same muscle groups in two consecutive days.
Also if you’re dividing a full-body workout into two, there’s a better chance that you’ll be compelled to continue with your training regimen and hit the gym more frequently.
As a result, you will natuarally increase your physical fitness level and your fat-burning capabilities.
Disadvantages of Push-Pull Workout Routines
As with many, if not all, of training routines, the push-pull system also comes with possible issues.
If not done properly, you might fail to engage some muscle groups.
When you perform certain push-pull workout routines, exercises like squats, rows, deadlifts, and benching are often performed first. You will likely end up engaging your biceps, triceps, forearms, and posterior delts when they’re already sore and fatigued from performing the big daddy lifts first all the time. Meanwhile, your quads, back, and chest are still in a well-conditioned state.
A possible solution to this is to keep the order of movements varied. Think it through as to when to perform the bigger lifts to make sure there is a complete balance between all muscles
You might put a strain on your CNS, especially after physically demanding exercises.
These include intense deadlifts, presses, squats, and pull-ups that weigh heavily on your body and nervous system. You should have at least 48 hours to rest and recover between your push-pull workout routines where these movements are frequently performed.
For faster muscle recovery, have a go at consuming intra-workout supplements plus post-workout formulas. These blends are great for repairing damaged muscle tissues. They also allow you to preserve the lean muscle you’ve worked so hard for.
It’s also best if you take a week, let’s say every fourth week of your training regimen, with which you reduce your training volume by half.
Sample Push-Pull Workout Routine
I have here a sample of a push-pull program that you may find useful. Top strength coaches like Charles Poliquin use similar routines to great effect.
- Heavy push on Monday
- Heavy pull on Tuesday
- Rest day on Wednesday
- Light to moderate push on Thursday
- Light to moderate pull on Friday
- Rest day on Saturday
When Sunday comes, you can start again with the heavy push exercises, and then heavy pull exercises for Monday, and so on. In an 8-day period, some athletes and lifters can use a third day as an additional rest day and make the most of only 5 workouts rather than 6 workouts as set as an example above.
Heavy push on a Monday
- Front squat– 8 sets of 3 (get in position, begin with the bar at the lowest in your range of motion, and lift up)
- Smith Machine bench press – 8 sets of 3 (with a wide grip, you bring the bar to your neck merely inches below the chin, like what professional bodybuilder Vince Gironda used to do. Don’t worry, the Smith machine does allow you to bring the bar close to your neck and chin safely. This makes benching a suitable movement for your chest instead of your triceps.)
- Standing overhead press – 8 sets of 3
- Dips – 8 sets of 3 (with which forearm grazes biceps while in the down position)
- Machine Standing Calf Raises – 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 10
Heavy pull on a Tuesday
- Deadlift – 8 sets of 3
- Alternating dumbbell twist curls – 8 sets of 3
- Weighted pull-up – 8 sets of 3
- Straight-leg deadlift – 8 sets of 3
- Serratus crunch – 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 10
Rest day on Wednesday
Light to moderate push on Thursday
- 45-degree Leg Press – 4 sets of 6
- Power Lunges – 4 sets of 6 on each leg
- Dumbbell Tricep Press – 4 sets of 6 (tuck in your elbows well to emphasize triceps)
- Pec Flye Machine – 4 sets of 6
- Tricep Cable Pushdown – 4 sets of 6
- Dumbbell lateral raise – 4 sets of 6
- Overhead barbell shrug – 4 sets of 6
- Seated calf extension – 3 to 4 sets of 15 to 20
Light to moderate pull on Friday
- Romanian Deadlift – 4 sets of 6
- Straight bar Bicep Curls – 4 sets of 6
- Bent-Over Barbell Row – 4 sets of 6
- Lying Leg Curl – 4 sets of 6
- Unilateral Dumbbell Shrug – 4 sets of 6
- Rear Delt Flye – 4 sets of 6
- Cable Crunch – 3 to 4 sets of 8 to 10
Rest day on Saturday
Tips to Effectively Perform this Push-Pull Workout Routine
- Always consider the 8 sets of 3 workouts. By using about 85% of your 1 RM (repetition maximum), what I call an “honest weight,” you can feel the burns not during training but later throughout the day.
- In most cases, you can observe that the total number of reps is always equal to 24 regardless of which set or rep scheme has been laid out.
- On heavy training days, expect 60 seconds as rest intervals between sets. For light to moderate training sessions, have 45 seconds of rest.
- It may be an issue if you group two highly intense workouts consecutively. I recommend you do them early on in your training week when you’re still well-conditioned and really strong to perform them. Since you’re working on different muscle groups on different sessions, and there’s no overlapping that happens, there shouldn’t be a struggle.
- When it comes to calf work and the number of reps it should take, exercises that require you to bend your knee, such as seated calf extensions, need higher reps to grow. This will give these muscle groups ample time to grow and build due to a long time under tension. Meanwhile, straight-leg calf exercises respond much better to lower reps.
For the most part, The sample reps and sets I have outlined above will work wonders for you, however, everybody’s mindset and needs are different. Rather than doing 4 lots of 6 reps, you may be better suited to doing 2 lots of 12 reps. Make sure you follow the basic principles but play around with the reps and sets over the first few weeks.
You get to engage all of your body parts several times a week without putting too much stress on your body. All this added recovery will help you grow, grow, grow.
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Hi, I’m David and I believe absolutely anyone can achieve the body of their dreams. I’m a qualified health and fitness coach and have been helping clients achieve their dream bodies for 15 years. Whether you are looking to get beach body ready, compete in a bodybuilding show or simply to improve your confidence and wellbeing, I can help.