The Pros and Cons of the Push, Pull, Legs Training Split

The pros and cons of push, pull, legs.

Everyone is looking for the perfect training split that will completely revolutionize their gains and bring about the best results. For each individual the results will vary, but realistically there’s no wrong way to split your training. Most training splits are designed based on the individuals ability to train on a consistent basis.

Some people love total body training, especially if they’re strapped for time. Some individuals enjoy breaking up their training on two specific body parts per training session. Really, it’s all subjective and a matter of preference.

That said, each training split has its own benefits and drawbacks. For instance, a popular training split like push, pull, legs is one that many athletes conform to. While there may be some great benefits to this training method, there are also some drawbacks to look out for in order to get the most out your training.


One great thing about the push, pull, legs program is the emphasis on training specific muscle groups. Push days consist of training all the pushing muscles including the chest, triceps, and shoulders. Pull focuses on biceps, back and is usually paired with ab work as well. Leg day consists of training the collective lower half.

This kind of split allows for some very specific focus and in turn some great recovery time for every targeted muscle group. Because you’ll be working antagonist muscles every other day, it allows the muscles from the previous day to get some adequate rest and recovery, a major key to building quality muscle.


Sounds great right? What could be the down side to training in this manner? Well, while the split still allows you to train the entire body, depending on the intensity of your training session and your lacking body parts, the split may not attack your weak points nearly as much as they should in order to allow them to improve.

For example. If you have lacking in the leg department, most of the split is focused on the upper body. The two days spent training the upper body is necessary to overall growth, but with one day to focus on your lagging legs, it can throw everything off. The split would require modification in order to give your weak points the attention that they need.

This can be compounded if your weaknesses are in multiple areas including the legs, biceps, back and triceps for example. That means additional time would be needed to be put on each aspect of the split. If the split isn’t handled properly you could easily burn yourself out, leaving little time for recovery.

Every training split is going to have its pros and cons. That’s not to say you shouldn’t be using the push, pull, legs program. It’s obvious that the training split has offered great success to many athletes, so it’s definitely something to be experiment with. You can improve your recovery with quality rest periods and proper meal replacements when you are on the go.

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Managing Editor at Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his InstagramTwitter and Facebook to keep up with his antics.

Managing editor of Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. He has been writing about bodybuilding, combat sports, and strength sports for over 8 years. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.