Labeled as “the best workout split” by many anthletes, push/pull is certainly one of the best known and most popular training plans – and that’s for a reason. Whether you are a beginner or advanced, with the push/pull plan you can not go wrong. In this blogpost, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about this great workout split!
Basically, you have 2-3 different training sessions that you do alternately. On one day, all pressing exercises such as bench press, military press or tricep press are performed. On another day, all pulling exercises such as rowing, pull-ups or curls are performed.
In another variant of this plan, there is a third session that focuses entirely on the legs. I have only worked with a push/pull plan so far but I know athletes, that have achieved great results with a dedicated leg-day.
Why does it work?
The reason why the push/pull plan is so popular and delivers great results is simple. The individual exercises usually cover several of the muscle groups that you train in a single session. For example, during bench press, you train the triceps automatically. With every rowing-variant your biceps will be involved as well.
That has the following advantages:
- You can achieve a higher volume per muscle group
- There are hardly any overlaps between the individual muscle groups and training sessions
The latter simply means that on your push day, you train muscle groups that are barely stressed on your pull day and vice versa. This helps significantly in your recovery, especially if you train more often a week!
As an absolute beginner, I would definitely recommend a full-body plan. As soon as you have some experience though, the push/pull plan is suitable for both beginners and advanced athletes. Due to the well-thought-out splitting of the muscle groups, athletes with every level of training can achieve great results with this split!
According to the concept described above, there are many ways to structure a push/pull plan. For reference, I will describe a sample push/pull plan you can adjust according to your needs. Due to the number of training sessions, the plan is more suitable for advanced athletes. However, if you reduce the number of training sessions, you will also achieve great results as a beginner.
- Monday: Push
- Tuesday: Pull
- Wednesday: Rest
- Thursday: Push
- Friday: Pull
- Saturday/Sunday: Rest
- Bench Press: 3 x 6-8 reps
- Squats: 3 x 6-8 reps
- Incline Bench Press: 3 x 8-12 reps
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press: 3 x 8-12 reps
- Lateral Raises: 3 x 8-12 reps
- Triceps Pushdown: 3 x 8 – 12 reps
- Deadlifts 3 x 5 reps
- Barbell Rows: 3 x 6-8 reps
- T-Bar Rows: 3 x 8-12 reps
- SZ-Curls: 3 x 8-12 reps
- Hammer Curls: 3 x 8-12 reps
Experience shows that the push-day usually takes longer than the pull-day. Since I do not train with a separate leg-day, I train my legs on push-day.
Due to my triathlon training, however, I rarely train my legs with a lot of weight nowadays. Most of the time the deadlift on pull-day and some sprints as well as dynamic exercises like box-jumps are sufficient for me.
For inspiration, a leg-day could be structured as follows:
- Squats: 3 x 6-8 Reps
- Leg-Press: 3 x 8-10 Reps
- Romanian Deadlifts: 3 x 8-10 Reps
- Calf Raises: 3 x 8-12Reps
Have you trained with a push/pull-split before? What does your current training schedule looks like? Let me know in the comments!