T Nation

Push, Pull, Legs for Size and Strength

Hey Team,

I’m currently in a programming rut for creating size and strength simultaneously with PPL split 6 days a week. A few questions I have are:

  1. When in the strength phase (3x6-8 reps on main lifts) am I able to still throw in hypertrophy work (4x8-12) just to bring up lagging body parts? Ex.

  2. BB Bench 3x6-8

  3. OHP 3x6-8

  4. Cable flies 4x8-12

  5. Lateral raises 4x8-12

  6. Am I able to use the listed rep ranges above but add in different variations of the lifts for the 2nd workout of the week during this phase lasting about a month?

  7. During the 2nd phase (hypertrophy) do I still lift heavy for one exercise to send the signal of keeping strength while adding techniques such as rest/pause, drop sets, etc to the other lifts?

  8. BB Bench 3x6-8

  9. OHP 4x8-12

  10. Cable flies 4x8-12

  11. Lateral Raises 4x8-12

  12. Are there any programming books that can be recommended that I read as an athlete and future coach?

I think you’ll need to fill in more details of the program you are planning for anyone to be able to critique it. Ideally some background on yourself and your stated goals as well as a more thorough description of the entire program, including whatever work you do to compete in your sport.

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CT has a program on his ThibArmy site called “Optimal Strength Training for the Natural Athlete”. It’s a 6 day PPL program. Look it up, probably a perfect fit for you.


If you are doing 6 days a week I would do something like this…
Push day 1 focus on heavy compound chest movements and hit high rep should and tricep movements.
Push day 2 focus on heavy shoulder and tricep movements and high rep chest.
Pull day 1 rear delt traps focus some back
Pull day 2 back focus some rear delt/traps
Legs 1 squats quad focus/ some light hams
Legs 2 deadlifts hamstring focus/ light quads

Just progressive overload your heavy exercises.

You can and probably should, for sure. However…

These workouts are so nearly identical, it’s not an example of “one workout for strength, one workout for size.” If you think it is, then you should definitely not be designing your own program. Use any pre-written plan by a more qualified coach until you get a better handle on what’s what.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Program Design

Program Design for Dummies

Program Design 101

How to Design a Damn Good Program Part 1 and Part 2

How to Build Your Own Training Program

I’d also recommend the trainer’s manual from ISSA, NSCA, ACSM, or other decent certification agency.


Dan John’s book esp Never Let Go and From the Ground Up(gives away for free!)


Thanks Chris,

I will start reading these today and jump on the PPL split thib wrote on tnation. I will be checking back in with you.

Never knew about that, looking at different programs myself.

Thank you.