The Best Push Pull Legs Routine for Lean Muscle

If your goal is to add lean muscle to your frame, you should have a plan. Simply wandering around the gym following a random workout plan with your gym bro may not be the best way to accomplish your goal. "A Goal without a plan is just a wish". A workout plan should help you focus on the exercises specific to your goal without overtraining your muscles One such workout plan is Push Pull Legs routine.

In this article, I'm going to share with you the best push pull legs routine. The Push Pull Legs routine split is simplest, enduring and one of the most popular splits in the fitness community yet it can get a little tricky. Proper exercise selection is very important in the Push Pull Legs workout routine as you are performing fewer exercises, the exercise selection should be most optimum to your specific goal.

push pull legs routine

Before jumping straight to the Push pull legs workout routine, there are a couple of things you need to understand to make the most out of this routine.

Push Pull Legs Routine | Training Frequency

I m sharing Push Pull Legs routine for 3 days a week, most of you will argue that this won't be enough but training for 3 days a week is optimal for strength and muscle gain. Training alternate days allows your body to recover and put less stress on our nervous system. Train only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the workout plan and active recovery. Although If you want to workout more frequently you can follow the workout for 3 days take a day off then continue the split.

Push Pull Legs Routine | Exercise selection

The exercises in the Push Pull Legs routine will be more dominated by compound lifts and some isolation work. A compound exercise is a multi-joint movement that works on several muscle groups at the same time. Isolation exercise work for only one muscle group at a time. Performing compound exercises are the best way to work out as it burns more calories, stimulate real-world activities, improves coordination and balance. Isolation exercises are added to compensate for the parts which are not effectively trained in the compound lifts

Push Pull Legs Routine | Workout Split

As the name of the routine suggests the Push Pull Legs split involves the upper body push workout where you workout chest, triceps and shoulders together, upper body pull workout which typically focuses on biceps, backs and traps and lower body legs which target on Quads, Hamstrings and calves muscles.

Push Pull Legs Routine Sets and Repetitions

In the Push Pull legs routine, we are aiming to train for muscle hypertrophy and the scientific literature suggests that the best rep range for hypertrophy is 8-12 reps. 3-4 Working sets with 8-12 reps will be optimum for the routine. If you are below the intermediate level you can start with 3 working sets and slowly built up to 4 working sets per exercise

Push Pull Legs Routine Static Loading

Here in India, we follow a pyramid loading across the sets. This means we start with the lighter load and increase the load with the sets. In my opinion, this is not the best way to load. The problem here is before reaching the final set you have already fatigued your muscle to some extent and you will not be at our best at the final set. For the Push Pull legs routine, I want you guys to use static loading across the sets. This way you would have a better understanding of your maximum lift and it is easier to progress.

Push Pull Legs Routine Weight Selection

This is something that comes with little trial and error. You need to choose a weight heavy enough that you can do 10-12 repetitions. I don't recommend the training to failure and it is a good idea to have 1-2 repetitions in spare to avoid risk and injuries.

Push Pull Legs Routine Progressive Overload

Progressive overload is one of the most important aspects of resistance training when it comes to gaining strength. In this workout plan, you need to progressively overload the muscle. This means you need to increase the load over time. Suppose you benched 100 kg for 8 reps in the first week, on the next week you should aim to bench 105 kg for 5 reps or 100 kg for 10 reps. Once you get accustomed to the current load, you need to gradually increase the load to keep the workout intense and challenging. You can increase the load according to your strength gain for some it would be every week for some it could be more than that.

Push Pull Legs Routine


Flat bench press
Incline bench press 
Overhead press
Dumbell lateral raises
Dumbell overhead tricep extension
Cable tricep push down


Conventional deadlift
Lat pulldowns
Barbell rows
Machine rear delt raises
Preacher curls
Dumbell Hammer curls


Barbell squats
Leg press
Leg extension
Hamstring curls
Seated calf raises

The Push Pull legs workout routine has stood the test of time and it is one of the most effective ways to built muscle and get stronger. It goes without saying that workout and diet go hand in hand. You cannot outperform a bad diet. Eating a balanced diet with enough amount of protein is very imperative to your goal. Perform the push pull legs routine for 10-12 weeks to get the achieve some impressive muscle gains.

If you are looking for a science and evidence-based coach who can design a customised diet and workout plan for your fitness goal, Drop an email to

Also, check

The Best  5 Day Workout Routine for Lean Muscle
The Best German Volume Training Plan for Lean Muscle
The Best Upper Lower Workout Split for Lean Muscle
The Best Workout Plan for Lean Muscle | 3 Days a week workout

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