A Push/Pull workout to increase strength and stack muscle

This Push/Pull routine is the perfect way to train. It will provide you with intense and balanced workouts throughout the week, benefiting your body by increasing the frequency of which you train your muscles. This split will see you in the gym either 3 or 6 days of the week. Push/pull/legs comprises Monday, Tuesday Wednesday, resting Thursday, and then repeat.

Other typical bodybuilding routines train your muscles up to 50% less each week, as your hitting one to two body parts maximum each day. Your body’s protein synthesis needs to be regenerated every 48-72 hours, so training each body part once a week isn’t going to get you the results you want. This Push/Pull workout plan is programmed specifically to build muscle and increase all round strength whilst avoiding over training body parts. Ensuring enough time for muscle recovery to maximize your gains.

Day 1 - Pull

pull up

Pull ups – Sets 4/Reps 6

With your palms facing forward grip the pull up bar with your hands just outside shoulder width apart, the further apart the more control and stability you will have. Whilst controlling the movement pull your chest towards the bar engaging your latissimus dorsi, making sure you squeeze at the top. Slowly lower yourself back down whilst maintaining tension.

Seated T bar row – Sets 3/Reps 8

Sit on the bench with your knees at a slight bend, grasp the T bar and retract your shoulder blades as if you were pinching a pencil, sit in an upright 90 degrees and pull your elbows back, squeeze and slowly let your elbows come forward again. Keeping your shoulder blades pinched throughout to maintain tension.

Barbell Curls – Sets 4/ Reps 8-10

Grip a barbell with your hands facing away from you (underhand grip), gripping the bar shoulder width apart. Keeping your chest up and elbows in, curl the barbell up towards your chest making sure you don’t swing your body. Slowly lower whilst keeping control of the weight.

Bent Over Barbell Row – Sets 3/ Reps 8

Maintain a firm stance with your feet shoulder width apart with your toes directly under the bar, grip the barbell just outside your knees with your palms facing towards you (overhand grip). Bend your knees slightly and hinge your torso forwards at the hips, so your body is parallel with the ground. Keeping your back straight and shoulder blades pinched, pull the weight directly upwards towards your chest, squeeze at the top and slowly release whilst maintaining tension.

Close grip lat pull down – Sets 3/Reps 8 – drop set to finish

Sit on a bench with your knees under the support, make sure your knee support is at the right height, so your knees fit firmly underneath. Grip the bar with your palms facing towards you (underhand grip) 15cm apart. Keeping your chest puffed out and back slightly concaved pull your elbows down until your hands reach your chin, keep the movement slow and steady to avoid swinging. Squeeze at the bottom and slowly release.

Day 2 - Push

bench press

Barbell bench press – Sets 4/ Reps 6

Grip the bar just outside shoulder width apart with your palms facing away from you (overhand), with the bar inline with the middle of your chest. Keeping your feet firmly planted on the floor explode upwards extending your arms fully. Slowly lower the bar back down to your chest keeping tension, pause at the bottom before the next rep.

Standing Military press – Sets 3/ Reps 8

Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent, grip the bar just outside shoulder-width apart with your palms facing away from you (overhand). Whilst engaging your core, balance the barbell on your collar bones and explode directly upwards until your arms fully extend. The barbell should be directly above with your shoulders at the top of the press, slowly lower the bar back down with control.

Tricep Dip – Sets 3/ Until failure

Hold your body off the floor with your arms locked out, whilst exhaling lower yourself downwards, your chest should remain upright and elbows close to your body. Pivot your arms until a 90-degree angle forms between your upper arm and forearm, exhale and explode back to full extension.

Incline Dumbbell bench press – Sets 4/ Reps 6

Place a bench at a 45-degree angle, gripping the dumbbells with your palms facing away (overhand). Whilst pinching your shoulder blades back, hold the dumbbells in line with your chest. Explode up and extend your arms, squeezing at the top. Slowly lower the dumbbells keeping tension and pause at the bottom before repeating the rep.

Day 3 - Legs/Abs

squat

Deadlift – Sets 4/ Reps 6

Place your feet shoulder width apart with your toes directly under the bar. Whilst keeping your back straight, hinge at your hips and bend your knees to reach the bar. Keeping your chest and chin up, grip the barbell just outside your knees with your palms facing towards you (overhand). Keeping the bar close to your body at all times, explode upwards pushing through your heels, driving your hips through. Slowly lower with control to the ground.

Barbell squat – Sets 3/ Reps 8

Grip the barbell just outside shoulder width whilst the bar is racked, position the bar high on the back of your shoulders, not your neck. Pushing your chest out, un rack the bar and position your feet just outside shoulder width, toes pointing slightly outwards. Squat downwards keeping your chest up and back straight, your knees should point the same direction as your feet. Once your thighs are parallel with the floor pause and explode back upwards to the starting position.

Russian twists – Sets 2/ Reps 16

Sit down on the floor keeping your feet under a heavy object or have a friend hold them. Elevate your torso so you create a V shape with your thighs. Holding a medicine ball or weight extend your arms in front of you so they are parallel with your thighs. Whilst exhaling twist your torso until your arms are parallel with the floor, hold for a second and twist back to the start position. Repeat, twisting your body in the opposite direction.

Good Mornings – Sets 3/ Reps 12

Using the same starting position as a barbell squat, engage your core and hinge at your hips, slowly bending forwards maintaining a straight back and legs. Lower until you feel your hamstrings stretch, then raise back to the starting position.

Leg raises – Sets 3/ Reps – Until failure

Lie on your back with your hands by your sides, keeping your legs as straight as possible, raise them until your toes are pointing to the ceiling. Slowly lower them back to the starting position making sure you don’t let your feet touch the floor until you finish the set. To make this exercise more challenging try holding a small medicine ball between your feet.

Supplement recommendations

protein

After a push/pull workout like this your muscles microfibers are torn and in need of proteins and aminos to help your body repair. If you can’t get enough protein through your diet the best way to up your intake is using protein supplements. There are a huge number of different proteins out there so I know the struggle when trying to choose the right one, find out our top 10 protein powders.