When deciding on a training schedule, there are many options. Ultimately everyone wants the most effective and efficient method that suits their lifestyle and goals.
A training split is how training is organized in order to hit the desired training frequency. One training routine that is proven to be highly effective and popular is the push pull legs 5 day split.
Five Days a Week
What Is The Push Pull Legs 5-Day Workout Split?
A push pull legs split workout routine is one of the most popular training splits for intermediate and advanced lifters. It divides training into three main movements - pulling, pushing, and lower body.
This can be applied to 3-6 training days in the week. Beginners are likely to apply this to 3 days a week, but more established lifters should be doing this across 5 days because it provides a more optimal training frequency to progress.
Each day has a specific focus. This type of split increases training frequency to grow more muscle. More training stimulus means more gains as you get more advanced.
Rather than basing training on a 7 day weekly cycle, where muscle groups do not need all that time to recover, the 5 day split is a revolving cycle that means you’re training large muscle groups more often.
The split considers rest days in between as you shouldn’t train 5 days in a row. It is important to schedule rest days after a maximum of 3 days of training in a row. Any more, and you won't be recovering enough.
To follow this training program, you will need a barbell and plates, squat rack, bench press, cable machine, pull up bar, dip bar, leg press, and hyperextension machine.
Sessions should take between 60 and 90 minutes, with your training session probably taking longer as you progress.
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What Are The Benefits Of A 5-Day Push Pull Leg Split Workout?
The 5 day push pull legs split will benefit those who have a solid foundation in training and want to increase the frequency they train to progress .
Because this method requires 3 training days in a row, it is best suited to those who are intermediate to advanced.
This type of workout plan is beneficial for intermediates and above to continue to progress because each body part gets trained every 4th-5th day, which is close to twice per week.
The training intensity is higher, which increases the difficulty of training. This style of programming is the ideal amount of training stress and recovery.
This program will be very effective in building muscle mass due to the ideal amount each muscle group is trained throughout the week.
In addition, it encompasses the right amount of training stress and recovery ratio.
In a normal 7 day training cycle, there may be too long between training a particular muscle group which means you may be missing out on valuable gains.
Lifting weights is ideal for building lean muscle mass. Having more muscle mass means you will increase your resting metabolic rate and are likely to decrease the amount of body fat.
It is recommended that to see results with a program, you need to follow it for a 10 week cycle.
Workout Plan By Days
Below is an example of how to organize a 5 day push pull legs workout.
The advantages of this method are the training days are consistent and always on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Wednesday and Sunday are always rest days. The session focus will vary, but this provides consistency.
Upper/lower pectoral, shoulders, triceps
Shoulders, upper trapezius
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Upper pectoral, shoulders
Close Grip Push Ups
Shoulders, pectoral, triceps
Hanging Leg Raises
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Back, hamstrings, glutes
Pull Ups (weighted)
Lats, rhomboids, trapezius
Bent Over Row
Lats, rhomboids, upper/lower trapezius
Seated Cable Row
Shoulders, lats, rhomboids
Cable Face Pull
Rear delts, mid/lower trapezius
Lower back, glutes, hamstrings
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Quads, glutes, back, hamstrings, core
Hamstrings, glutes, lower back
Lying Hip Extension
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The rest time between sets required varies on the exercise. Heavier compound movements such as deadlifts require more rest than lighter cable work
Weights And Progression
In order to apply progressive overload to this training schedule, the weight must be added as the program continues .
However, you should never compromise form just for the sake of adding weight.
As a general rule for the heavier work, sets of 5 should be done at a weight that allows you to complete all sets and is 1-2 reps from failure on the last couple of sets.
With lighter- moderate work, 8-12 reps, you should be 2-3 reps from failure towards the end of the working sets.
As you start the program, be aware that you want to be adding weight, and you should not be going to failure too soon at the beginning of the program.
How to Do Bench Press
- Lie on a flat bench with hands just outside of shoulders on the bar.
- Lower the bar to the chest with control and press to lock out elbows.
- Back should be set in a tight arch with hips on the bench and feet on the ground.
How To Do Military Press
- Standing with the barbell set at shoulder height, assume a front rack positing with the bar resting on shoulders and elbows slightly down.
- Press up overhead until elbows lock, then lower with control.
How To Do Weighted Dips
- Using a weight belt, add weight around the waist.
- Grip the dip bar around shoulder width and bend elbows back.
- Lower chest so the upper arm is horizontal, then press to lock elbows.
How To Do Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
- Set the bench at a 45-degree angle.
- Holding two dumbbells, lean back on the bench with dumbbells starting at chest height.
- Press the dumbbells above your chest until your elbows lock out.
How To Do Close Grip Push Up
- Assume a push up position on the floor with hands close to your chest.
- Holding a strong plank position with straight arms, bend the elbows back and lower chest to the floor.
- Push until the elbows lock out.
How To Do Hanging Leg Raises
- Hanging from a pull up bar, engage your core and pull your legs up to a horizontal position.
- Your upper body should not swing.
- This can be done with bent or straight legs.
How to Do Deadlift
- Standing above the loaded barbell, grip just outside the shins.
- Make sure shins are approximately vertical, the back is tight, and use the legs to push to a standing position keeping the bar close.
How To Do Pull Ups
- Hanging from the pull up bar with hands in an overhand grip and just outside shoulder width, start with the elbows straight.
- Next, engage the lats and pull the chest up to the bar.
- Lower back down with control until elbows are straight.
How To Do Bent Over Row
- With the barbell loaded on the floor, grip it just outside the shoulders and stand upright.
- Push the hips back and allow the bar to travel away from the body.
- The torso should be at 45 degrees.
- Pull the elbows back and row the bar to the chest.
How To Do Seated Cable Row
- Sit on the cable row with legs slightly bent, hinge forward to grip a close grip handle attachment.
- Pull elbows tight with the body, squeeze shoulder blades, and then return to the start position.
How To Do Cable Face Pull
- Attach the rope handles to above head level.
- Grip the handles and stand away from the cable machine.
- Pull the elbows high and back so your face is in the middle of the rope, and contract the upper back muscles.
How To Do Hyperextension
- Using the 45-degree hyperextension machine, secure the ankles and ensure thigh support is below the hip.
- Start with the upper and lower body in alignment, then hinge at the hips and bend the torso to the floor.
- Contract the hamstring and glutes and pull yourself back to the start position.
How to Do Back Squat
- With the bar positioned on the top of your back, step away from the rack.
- Keeping the back tight and core engaged, squat down by bending at the knees and hips, then standing to the starting position.
How To Do Romanian Deadlift
- Take the barbell from the floor to the standing position.
- With the knees soft, hinge at the hips and let the bar travel towards the floor, keeping the spine straight, then use the hamstrings to stand tall.
How To Do Leg Press
- Lying on the bench, place the feet on the middle of the leg press plate at hip-width.
- Bend the knees towards the chest while keeping your back flat on the bench and press to straighten the knees.
How To Do Walking Lunges
- Using dumbbells in either hand, keep the torso upright and lunge forwards, bringing both feet together before repeating and moving forwards.
How To Do Calf Raises
- Standing on a platform and holding dumbbells in either hand, come up onto the balls of the feet then flex the foot so the ankles go below the platform.
How To Do Lying Hip Extension
- Lying on the floor with straight legs, pull the legs upwards and raise the hip of the floor until the legs are vertical, then lower with control and repeat.
5-Day PPL Workout Routine FAQs
Not necessarily; you can do push and pull days consecutively. The maximum amount of consecutive training days on this type of split should be 3 days in a row, and then a rest day is needed to ensure proper recovery.
A 6 day split for push pull legs can be done, but it comes with some downsides. Firstly, the training frequency with this split is great as each muscle group gets trained every fourth day exactly.
However, a 6 day split is very hard for most people to achieve due to scheduling issues, and the lack of recovery means only a small minority of people will benefit from 6 days PPL training.
Beginners tend to do better with full body training routines when starting due to the high frequency and will see more improvement when starting.
However, a beginner could start out with a 3 day PPL routine if there is not sufficient recovery on full body training programs.
If you have been lifting for a while and want a program where you can continue to improve, then the push pull legs 5 day split program is going to get you results.
There are many ways to keep progressing to grow lean muscle, but a major reason to choose this split is it provides an optimal amount of training frequency to grow.