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Push/Pull/Legs Critique

Hello everyone.

Lurking round here and bodybuilding for quite some time. Going to try to invest myself in these forums because I’m sick and tired of not making the gains that I want.

Stats:
25 years, male, 5’8, 175 lbs
15%-16% bodyfat - measured from calipers and electronically

Goals (Open to feedback):
I went on a cut from 170 to 155 before and I just looked exceptionally lean. I don’t think I had the mass to even make it look good. Therefore…even though I’m a bit chubby, I’m looking to bulk up to 185.

OR. Cycling between 6 weeks of bulking/cutting (not sure which to commit to)

Diet:
From what I understand, I strive to fit macros and go on 500 calorie surplus. high carb low fat on training days, switched on rest days, protein kept high all days (165 grams)

Now…the part that I’m concentrating on is making sure I set myself up for success with the right training regime.

Here’s what I currently have. I’ve been reading posts about push/pull/leg splits but I want to make sure that my take on it is correct and/or what I can do to make it better (or suck less)

Taken from my last week’s workout log

LEGS:
Squats: 2 sets 6R, 2 sets 5R
Romanian deadlift: 1 set 7R, 4 set 6R
Leg Press: 2 sets 8R, 3 sets 7R
Calf raises: 2 sets 7R, 2 sets 6R

PUSH:
Flat BB Bench: 4 sets 5R
Incl DB BP: 3 sets 8R, 2 sets 5R
DB Shoulder Press: 5 sets 5R
DB BP: 5 sets 5R

PULL:
Bent BB row: 5 sets 8R
Deadlift: 3 sets 7R, 2 sets 6R
One armed DB Row: 3 sets 10R, 2 sets 8R
BB Curl (Close gripped): 1 set 8R, 4 set 6R

After taking the time to write this…I just realized that my rep ranges are all over the place.

so concerns

  1. What’s a solid rep range I can stick to (5-6?)
  2. Is there enough volume/balance? What should I add/take out?
  3. Consider it a 3 day split/week. Open to more training but I train BJJ 2-3 times a week so I wanted to keep that.

Thanks everyone who took the time to read this. I’m open to all feedback and ready to learn

Here are my thoughts:

Per your diet: staying in a caloric surplus of 300-500 calories is a good idea. For the next 1-2 years, you should only stay in that range. Call it a ‘lean bulk’.
You don’t have to constantly get big,then cut, then get big, then cut. You could just have a smooth linear progression of weight-gain. Doesn’t that sound better?

Per your training: The PPL routine is a good idea, but I don’t think your exact routine is a good idea. There are many things you can improve, from exercise-choices all the way into rep-ranges like you mentioned.

For example, on your pull day, you have dead-lifts, but I would almost certainly put DLs on your ‘Leg Day’, and add some more lat work/upper-back work to your pull day. I would create 2 leg days, LegA and LegB.
LegA= Squats
LegB= Deadlifts.

This could be an example of what a proper PPL could look like:
Push:
DB/BB Incline Bench
DB/BB Decline Bench
Cross-Overs/Flies
DB/BB Delt Presses
DB Lateral Raises

Pull:
Straight-Arm Lat Pull-downs
BB/DB Rows
Lat Pull-downs
Face-PIlls
Rear-Delt

Legs-A:
Front Squats
Romanian Deadlifts
Calf Raises
DB Lunges/Leg Press/Hack Squats

Legs-B:
Traditional/Sumo-Deadlifts
Hack Squat
DB Lunges
Leg Curls

You can replace most of these exercises with other exercises, but the main idea of hitting certain movements still exists.

For example, on pull day, you definitely need at least 1 row and 1 pull, but in what form those pulls/rows come from, doesn’t really matter that much.

As far as your rep ranges go, it really depends on the exercise you are performing.
I wouldn’t deadlift more than 5-6 reps, but on straight-arm lat pull-downs I would go as high as 15, however on rows(or regular lat pulldowns), I wouldn’t go higher than 7-8.

So really, it’s exercise specific. But a good rule is, if you can get 8 reps, you should just stop and save that energy for the next set, which should include a small bump-up in weight.

In conclusion, here is a good resource to learn A LOT about the whole process:

I didn’t add any ‘curls’ or ‘pushdowns’ because I’m not a big fan of bicep isolation work but you can obviously add it to your own routine as you see fit.

thanks alot claudan. any reason why you substituted front squats for back squats? I’m quite attached to them since I’ve hard so much about it being an important lift

[quote]majesticstruggle wrote:
thanks alot claudan. any reason why you substituted front squats for back squats? I’m quite attached to them since I’ve hard so much about it being an important lift[/quote]

Obviously I’m not Claudan, but, my guess is that:

Front Squats
Romanian Deadlifts

Taken together, this target the front of the legs with the front squats, and the back of the legs with the RDLs. I say “front and back” because it’s more than just the quads and hamstrings.

For some people, back squats are mostly posterior chain; for others, it’s more quads.

However, back squats are good. But that’s the sense I can make of that plan.

[quote]majesticstruggle wrote:
thanks alot claudan. any reason why you substituted front squats for back squats? I’m quite attached to them since I’ve hard so much about it being an important lift[/quote]

Squats are great. I prefer front-squats because they are slightly more quad-stimulating than back-squats.

I’m 6’2, so front-squats work better for me than squats(back-squats).

In the end, it’s all about finding the exercises that YOU prefer, that make YOU feel good, and that YOU can nail good form on.

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[quote]majesticstruggle wrote:
thanks alot claudan. any reason why you substituted front squats for back squats? I’m quite attached to them since I’ve hard so much about it being an important lift[/quote]

Obviously I’m not Claudan, but, my guess is that:

Front Squats
Romanian Deadlifts

Taken together, this target the front of the legs with the front squats, and the back of the legs with the RDLs. I say “front and back” because it’s more than just the quads and hamstrings.

For some people, back squats are mostly posterior chain; for others, it’s more quads.

However, back squats are good. But that’s the sense I can make of that plan.[/quote]

well said.