The Smartest Push Pull Legs Routine

Follow this detailed push/pull/legs workout routine to guide your training and get you bigger.

This push/pull/legs workout routine was developed by pro bodybuilder and internationally-qualified powerlifter Jeff Nippard. The Canadian athlete holds a BSc in biochemistry/chemistry and has a passion for science.

Let’s get started.

Legs 1 (Quad Focus)

Start with a short warm up using dynamic stretches to get your blood flowing and awaken the muscles.

Pyramid warm-up

Warm-Up Set 110% of 1RMx10
Warm-Up Set 230% of 1RMx5
Warm-Up Set 350% of 1RMX4
Warm-Up Set 465% of 1RMX3
Warm-Up Set 575% of 1RMX1-2

These warm up sets are meant to prime you for the heavier sets to come whilst causing as little fatigue as possible.

Leg workout

Squat3 sets x 4 reps (80% 1RM)
Romanian Deadlift3 sets x 10 reps
Single Leg Press3 sets x 15 reps
Eccentric-Accentuated Leg Extensions3 sets x 10-12 reps
Seated Leg Curl3 sets of 10×12 reps
Followed by:
10 reps to failure
Followed by:
10 reps to failure (1/2 the weight)
Standing Calf Raise3 sets x 10-12 reps
Weighted Decline Crunches Long-Lever Planks

2 sets x 10-12 reps
2 sets x 30 seconds

Keep the weights relatively light for this first week of training.

RPE stands for Rate of Perceived Exertion and helps measure the level of intensity (exertion) a person feels during exercise. The higher the number is on the scale (which goes up to 10) the more intense the exercise feels.

tia toomey reaps back squat benefitsSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

Push 1 (Chest Focused)

Bench Press3 sets x 8 (72.5% 1RM)
Machine Shoulder Press3 sets x 12 reps
Triceps Dip3 sets x 12-15 reps
Eccentric-Accentuated Skull Crusher3 sets x 8-10 reps
Egyptian Cable Lateral Raise3 sets x 12 reps
Followed by:
Sets of 4 reps until failure
Cable Tricep Kickback2 sets x 20-30 reps

Bench press progression

To drive hypertrophy you’ll either increase the reps or the weight of the exercises you’re performing every week. For the bench press, the suggested progression looks as follows:

Week 13 sets x 8 reps72.5% 1RM
Week 24 sets x 8 reps72.5% 1RM
Week 35 sets x 8 reps72.5% 1RM
Week 43 sets x 8 reps75% 1RM

Pull 1 (Lat Focused)

Weighted Pull-Up3 sets x 6 reps
Seated Cable Row3 sets x 10-12 reps
Kneeling Cable Pullover3 sets x 15-20 reps
Hammer Cheat Curls3 sets x 8-10 reps
Incline Dumbbell Curl2 sets x 12-15 reps
man performs a pull-upSource: Ketut Subiyanto from Pexels

Legs 2 (Posterior Chain Focused)

Exercise Reps
Deadlift3 sets x 3 reps (80-85% 1RM)
Machine Hack Squat3 sets x 10-12 reps
Weighted Single-Leg Hip Thrusts2 sets x 15 reps
Nordic Ham Curls
Prisoner Back Extensions
3 sets x 10 reps
Unilateral Leg Press Calf Raise3 sets x 8-10 reps
Weighted L-Sit Hold3 sets

Push 2 (Delt Focus)

Overhead Press4 sets x 4 reps (80% 1RM)
Close Grip Bench Press3 sets x 10 reps (RPE 7-8)
Cable Crossover3 sets x 10-12 reps
Overhead Tricep Extension3 sets x 10-12 reps
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 21’s3 sets x 7/7/7 reps
Neck Flexion Extensions3 sets x 10-12 reps
biggest bench press mistakesSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

Pull 2 (Mid-Back and Rear Delt Focused)

Omni-Grip Lat Pulldown3 sets x 10-12 reps
Chest-Supported Row3 sets 10-12 reps
Rope Faceppulls3 sets x 15-20 reps
Incline Dumbbell Shrug (optional)3 sets x 15-20 reps
Reverse Peck Deck2 sets x 15 reps
Pronated Curls
Supinated Curls
3 sets x 10 reps
3 sets x 10 reps

Read more: Rep Ranges Explained: Learn How to Boost Your Strength and Hypertrophy

Watch a detailed breakdown of the smartest push pull legs routine

Learn more about the program here.

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