Here is one of the most effective workouts for building muscle mass. It’s designed for natural athletes with several months of training experience – intermediate or advanced bodybuilders.
PPL is a heavy 3 days per week routine. We focus here only on the few most important exercises, heavy weight and not much volume. Each body part will be trained only once a week what will give us plenty time for recovery.
For the best results I recommend training in Monday, Wednesday and Friday. If you wish to choose different days do so just remember to take day off for rest between sessions.
You can swap these days and train Legs in Wednesday and Pull in Friday or start a week from Pull for example. There’s no big difference. I like to train legs in a middle of the week – it gives me more time off between upper body training. Example:
Monday – Push,
Tuesday – Off,
Wednesday – Legs,
Thursday – Off,
Friday – Pull.
Reps, Sets and Intensity
High intensity – we’ll be using heavy weight during this workout therefore number of repetitions will be relatively low.
- 8 – 5 reps for each exercise,
- 4 sets for each exercise,
- Heavy weight – 75% – 90% of your Max.
- Straight sets – the same weight each set.
In practice it will look like this: Bench Press 4×7 (4 sets of 7 reps) or 4×5 (4 sets of 5 reps). I recommend starting workout from 4 sets of 8 repetitions, after few weeks while increasing weigh drop reps to 7, after few more weeks to 6 and then to 5 repetitions.
We’ll be implementing straight sets for a change – the same weight throughout each exercise. For example: Military Press 7/7/7/7 – start from weight you can easily lift seven times; do 3 more sets with the same weight of course taking the rest in-between. It might happen that in last sets you’ll not be able to perform as many reps and you’ll do only 6 or 5. This is normal; we’ll not be as strong at the end of exercise.
Keep adding weight each week. Small increments – 5lb (2.5kg) to each exercise or try to do one more repetition than on a previous session. Constant progress is essential to make muscles grow.
Push (Chest, Shoulders, Triceps)
Pull (Back, Biceps)
Legs (Legs, Abs)
- Stiff Leg Deadlift,
- Calf Raises (4×10),
- Hanging Leg Raises (4×10)
Warm-up and resting time between sets
As a warm-up perform some low intensity cardio work like 10 minutes on stationary bike, treadmill or skipping rope. After that do 2 light sets of 8 repetitions with moderate weight before training each muscle group.
Resting time between sets should be between 60-120 seconds. Take no more than 2 minutes.
This routine should last around 8-12 weeks however you can use it as long as you are making gains and are able to increase the weight – in other words – till you stall.
Push – Pull – Legs is a really good workout and you’ll gain some serious muscle mass if you’ll stick to it. Remember about proper nutrition and don’t add any more exercises to it unless you really have to. Keep them to minimum anyway. This workout has to be short, heavy and intense with plenty of recovery; and that’s why it’s extremely effective for natural athletes in building muscles and increasing strength.