T Nation

Push/Pull Split


Push/pull splits seem to combine the benefits of splits and full bodies more or less, and look perhaps like a nice transition ground between the two. How does this look to you?

Incline Bench
Military Press
DB Lat raises
Triceps rope pushdown

Hamstring curls?
Rear delt DB raises
EZ bar biceps curls

So that works out at 4 workouts per week, probably Tues/Sat PUSH, Thurs/Sun PULL. Hitting each muscle group 2 x per week more or less.

What do you chaps think?


I use a push pull split between my FBT (5x5)and fullbody split for a transition. That works really nicely. I normally do a few more movements but that would depend on the rep range. If all of these were low rep ranges 4 - 6 then perhaps this is enough movements since the fatigue will be very high from the exertion. If lighter weights and higher reps then I would probably do more movements.

If working in higher rep ranges I would add more for the legs. Also I would add an additional movement in on tricep / bicep and squeeze in something for calves / forearms. I like to try and keep a unilateral movement in if I can. I would probably add in step ups or one leg extension to push day along with a calf movement. Maybe a dumbell tricep extension to finish them off. Pull day I would get in lunges or leg curls and maybe an incline dumbell curl or concentration curl. I always do direct forearm work as well, dad wasnt Popeye, so maybe some wrist curls to finish it out.

Also I like facepulls or even widegrip rows more than rear delt DB raises but that is my preference. They just dont seem to work as well for me but to each his own.

My 2 pennies. Good luck!


How many sets are you doing, and whats the rep range?


Was gonna go for 3x12 or 4x8.

Also, might tweak it do add in some extra hamstring work, as I feel these might be lagging as only the deadlifts are working em. This might avoid my worry of slightly overdoing the back work.

PUSH: Squat, Bench, Military Press, Incline, Triceps rope pushdown, DB lat raises.

PULL: Deadlift, Chins, DB BOR, HS curls, Biceps EZ bar curls, Rear delt DB raises (or face pulls).

How's this look now?


For the most part it looks solid. But why 2 Bicep movements and only 1 tricep? Either add 1 more tricep movement, or remove 1 bicep movement.

However, I still say that just because something looks good on paper might not mean that it'll turn out great in the real world. The best way to find out is to give it a shot.


Sorry, "2 biceps movements"? Other than the EZ bar curls, which do you mean? ''HS curls'' refers to hamstring curls, if that's what you meant?


also, is this enough leg work?


For push day, you have 2 redundant exercises. Bench press and Incline press. I'd either switch that to a quad isolation exercise, like leg extensions, or to another chest exercise, more isolation in nature, such as flyes. I don't believe compounds hit "everything" and the iso's can finish them off.

I didn't realize HS meant hamstring. It usually means "Hammer Strength", a brand of weight lifting machines.


OK, so how about:

Bench Press
Military Press
Quad extensions OR cable pec flyes (hmm, which recommended?)
DB Lateral raises
Triceps rope pushdowns

Hamstring Curls
EZ bar curls
rear delt raises


It looks fine.

Base your exercises on where you need it most. Choose leg extensions if you feel you need more quad work, or choose flyes if you need more chest work.


I've been following a push/pull recently, my split was as follows:

A- Front Squat
B- DB Press
C- Push Press
D2-Sissy Squat
E1-Box Jumps
E2-Lat Raises

A- Deadlifts
B- Weighted hammer grip Chins
C2-DB row
D1-Good Mornings
D2-DB curl

Followed that on a 3x8 scheme, adding one set on the first 5(4) exercises each week for 3 weeks and then deload every 4th week.
Worked nicely for me


find out what works better for your back, chins or rows, and put that first, my back really likes rows so i do those first, just whatever you respond to better.


I did the ''pull'' day yesterday:

Deadlifts (12, 10, 8)
Chins (12, 10, 8)
Hamstring Curls (12, 10, 8)
DB BOR (12/12, 10/10, 8/8)
Rear delt DB raises (12, 10, 8)
EZ bar biceps curls (12, 10, 8)

Have to say it felt really good. Felt the pump afterwards nicely and I'm looking forward to the ''push'' session tomorrow! Just a couple of questions though, I'm not sure about the frequency that would be best. Would I be best off just going with pull - off - push - off (repeat), giving myself each type of workout every 4 days, or sticking to a strict 4 workout-a-week plan like off-push-off-pull-off-push-pull? Would that extra day of rest a week make all the difference? Or is it just a missed chance to grow?

Also, is my rep-range OK? I picked a weight that i could just about manage 12 reps at, then did 12-10-8 at that weight. Pushed me pretty hard! Then it's time to up the weight when that 12-10-8 is achieved.

Finally, this works out at about 18 sets per week for back, and will be about 12 for chest, 9 for shoulders (including 6 sets of iso) and around 3 for each arm group, with about 9 for legs. This look like an OK pattern?



Is it correct to assume that your goal is to gain muscle mass while simultaneously developing strength? Or are you favoring muscular gain over all else...

If the first is true I would jack down the reps on your first main compound exercise... Take it from Westside and work up to a maximal one time lift... or use Heavy Methods like Waterbury and try and 8x3 or 10x3 for your first main exercise.

However, in all honesty the rep ranges look "good", its your good choice in exercises though that I'm impressed with. Nothing really bullshit or fancy about it.. I like that lifting heavy and simple without ridiculous rep ranges / intensification techniques.

If you will though... I do a maximal effort pull on my push hypertrophy days. Meaning I'll do work up to my max deadlift and then the rest of the workout is spent doing hypertrophy/repetition work for pushing. Vice versa for my max effort push followed by rep. work for my pull. Just some food for thought...
Goodluck though... keep lifting hard and simply!


I did the PUSH session today, and it went pretty well- felt an awesome pump in the chest, shoulders and triceps at the end:

(12-10-8 for all)

  1. Squats
  2. DB (flat) Bench
  3. BB Military Press
  4. DB incline bench/flyes (bench press upwards, while moving hands so palms facing each other and squeeze at top)
  5. DB lateral raises
  6. Triceps rope pushdown

With my push-off-pull-off pattern, this gives me 4 days of recovery, so I'd guess this is enough recovery time.