T Nation

Push Pull Legs Routine


Hey guys! Im a 20-year student from Brazil and i was wondering if i can get some advice! I workout since 2013, but never have taken it too seriously, mostly about nutrition, so i consider myself still a beginner... I've always done bodybuilding routines and they've worked pretty well (i look better, got stronger and lose some bf) until last August, when i started my first internship. Since then, i've got less time to focus in the gym and started gaining some unwanted weight. But now, i've commited to a nutrition plan and i have some doubts about my training.

-Squats (Pyramid) 4x6-10
-Leg Press 3x8-15
-Reverse Lunges 3x8-15
-Hyperextesions (Weighted) 3x8-15
-Calf Raise Machine 3x12-20

- Bench Press (Pyramid) 4x6-10
- Incline Dumbell Press 3x8-12
- Dips 3x8-12
- Behind the Neck Shoulder Press 3x8-12
- Machine Lateral Raises 3x10-15
-Triceps Extensions 3x10-15

- Chin Ups 4x6-10
-One Arm Rows 3x8-12
-Wide Grip Pulldowns 3x8-12
-Machine Wide Rows 3x8-12
-Reverse Flys 3x10-15
-Barbell Curls 3x10-15

Some details:
-Cant do deadlifts, cause my gym is a little too "fitness" for that... but is the only one i can afford
-Cant do Romanian or Stiff Leg Deadlifts, cause a feel a little back pain on lowering the weight, so my doctor said that i should avoid those
-My main focus is Bodybuilding, so rest times for compounds would be 60-90 secs and for isolation 30-60
-This split is a 3 on 1 off, so i go to the gym pretty much 5 days a week

My doubts:
- I used to have the body of a skinny fat before a started working out, so i read some advices on that, and got a little worried about the small amount of isolation exercises in this program, what do you guys think ?
- I've tried a upper lower split for strenght in the past couple of months, i liked the fact that the weights got up fastly than in a bodybuilding routine, but i've missed the pump and the dynamics of a bodybuilding routine (shorter rest times, getting out of the gym in less than an hour). So my doubt is about a strenght portion on this split, i want to have it, but i dont want my workouts to get longer (cause i dont have much time on the day for it)... Any quick strenght rep-set scheme for it ?

Thanks guys!


First and foremost: forget anything you read about body types affecting your training. Being a skinnyfat or anything else has absolutely nothing to do with how you should train.

So if you can't do deadlifts, can you do rack pulls? They are a wonderful way to either start or finish your pull workout. In the beginning it's a good way to pull a lot of weight to stimulate most of your back muscles. In the end it's a good way to finish your workout and stimulate your back muscles again after first working them with other exercises.

If you want to have a strength portion AND a bodybuilding portion in this kind of workout, do one exercise of your choice in the beginning as your strength portion and finish the workout with bodybuilding style training utilizing supersets to save time. Something like:

Squat - strength
Superset 1 - Front squat
Superset 1 - Stiff-legged deadlift
Superset 2 - Leg extension
Superset 2 - Leg curl
Superset 3 - Ab work
Superset 3 - Calf work

Bench press - strength
Incline DB bench
Overhead press
Superset - Lateral raises
Superset - Triceps extensions

Rack pull - strength (if possible, you can do RDL's as well if you want to)
Barbell row
Machine rows
Superset - Chinups
Superset - Reverse fly
Superset - Barbell curls

For the strength portion, you could do something like 2 sets of 5 reps and 1 set of 5+ reps where you do as many as you can. Then add more weight next week and repeat. T-Nation has a great article about rep schemes and how to do them.


I would get a better Doctor.


I don't want to play doctor over the internet, but I would definitely get a second opinion. If you can afford it or if your insurance can cover it, find a doctor familiar with athletes and the like. Maybe that way, you can actually rehabilitate and build your self back up rather than just stop doing that forever. Hell, the problem might just be that you're not doing the exercise right.

Even if those exercises are truly contraindicated, you still need more work for the P-Chain unless you have an imbalance you're intentionally trying to fix. I find Zercher Romanian deadlifts super easy on the back. Maybe that would work for you? Some leg curls would help. I wonder if 1 legged RDL's would bother your back? RDL's with dumbbells or a trap bar don't strain the back nearly as much as the barbell exercise. You might could do more back extensions on your pull day.

Other than the lack of P-chain work, it looks good to me. And you'll most likely have to sub in new exercises, not just add them on top of what you are doing.


Agreed on the P-chain stuff. Even if you don't care about strength, your leg day is missing a whole lot. There really isn't much here that hits the glutes or hammies well. You could consider stuff like hip thrusts, GHRs, Bulgarian split squats with a forward lean, etc.