Why a Push-Pull-Legs Routine is the Best Bet for Building Muscle Mass
Finding the right routine to build muscle mass, whether for lean muscle or massive gains, can be a difficult process. It can require a lot of experimenting and sometimes can lead to wasted energy as you continually workout the wrong groups of muscles, thus hindering your progress. The best way to get the body you want is to follow a strict push, pull, and legs routine. This means you perform three different workouts on three different days to get yourself into optimum shape. The routine is designed to emphasize multi-joint compound exercises that work multiple muscles at once, rather than wasting energy on excessive sets of single-muscle workouts.
The makeup of the routine is pretty easy to understand based on its name. One day, you will be doing “push” exercises which focus on the chest, shoulders and triceps – think about the muscles that you engage when you are pushing something heavy. Your next workout will be composed of “pull” exercises which utilize the back and biceps. Finally, it will be leg day, covering the quads, hamstrings, and calves. Some argue that leg day is the most important in terms of quickly building mass and burning fat, but it is important to follow the entire routine to promote balanced gains.
Your first day will consist of the pull exercises. You should start with deadlifts, one of the most effective and complex workouts to help you gain mass and strength. Make sure to focus on form before adding to much weight, as improper form can lead to serious injury. Follow this up with chin-ups, and then bent over rows. Bent over rows can be replaced by Pendlay rows if desired. The final two movements will be Wide-Grip cable rows and then Barbell curls, keeping your back straight and focusing on the bicep movement.
Your second work out day is your push day. This starts with a barbell bench press. If you are a beginner, make sure to have a spotter if you are doing heavy reps. Next, you’ll do an incline dumbbell press, and then a standing military press. If you don’t have access to a smith machine, this can be done with dumbbells as well. Wide-grip upright rows are next, followed by narrow grip dips.
End your workout with cable pushdowns, making sure to keep your elbows tucked into your body to keep the workout focused on the triceps.
Leg day is your final day, and it has the fewest number of exercises, but they are often the most intense, especially for beginners. Start with back squats, making sure to keep your chest out and to push off the back of your feet. Follow these up with the leg press and dumbbell stiff-legged deadlift. Finally, perform two sets of leg extensions to round out your workout. You’ve finished your routine, and you’re ready to start all over again after a rest day.
Keep up with this routine and you should start seeing results in no time!