Goals: General strength and muscle gain.

I've got a Push-Pull-Legs (PPL) workout routine with desirable exercises from an Android app but it's actually a 6 day routine. I am wondering if I could break it into two parts weekly (PPL A and PPL B)?


  1. I can't be in Gym 6 days/week.
  2. Too much fatigue. Even though I am a beginner-intermediate with respect to my lift numbers, my DOMs are usually lasting, more so in case of pull and legs muscle.
  3. I don't wanna push too hard on days I don't have the strength or stamina. I've had a inguinal hernia surgery once and since I want to keep everything slow and steady.

2 Answers 2


Can Push-Pull-Legs be done as a 3 day/week routine?

Of course it can -- any program can be customized to be however you want. What you need to figure out is once you've implemented the program, is it still working for you and your goals.

Summary of the linked article: there are multiple ways you can skin a push-pull-legs routine. You can run it as a 3 day, 4 day, or a 5-6 day routine.

In a 6-day routine, like the one you found, you rotate through PPL twice in a week:

Mo: Push
Tu: Pull
We: Legs
Th: Push
Fr: Pull
Sa: Legs

A 3-day routine is just halving the frequency:

Mo: Push
We: Pull
Fr: Legs

If you want to stick to your Android app you could run the PPL A on week 1 and the PPL B on week 2. That would rotate through lots of workouts.

For strength training, the 3-day routine is good as it allows for lots of rest time so you can ramp up your intensity. For muscle growth you'll want more volume though so you will have to find a balance.

  • Thanks for the explanation,I did read some studies suggesting that hitting main muscles 2times per week if we can gives max results,but I think it's bit taxing on my specially on core lifts when am nearing my heavy sets ,and leads to plateau and then I sorta feel like bad for missing a lift..
    – S.D
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 2:56
  • Hitting two times per week is definitely taxing. It requires lots of sleep and proper nutrition. Start with a warm-up on the main lifts and then get the main lifts done first. If you miss a lift it just means you've got to try again (next time)!
    – C. Lange
    Commented Dec 27, 2019 at 3:10

I would strongly advice against. Consulting Practical Programming for Strength Training, one learns that the optimal recovery time for a single muscle group is somewhere between 24 and 72 hours. Go below that and you can't fully utilize your full potential plus you risk overtraining and injury. Go longer and the training effect starts vanishing. Doing every muscle group only once a week thus is a huge waste of potential, which absolutely outweights the benefit of the higher training volume individual muscle groups receive due to the split (if there is a benefit to begin with, mind you).

I think nothing beats a full body routine when you're a novice/intermediate lifter and can train no more than three times a week, so I consider Starting Strength (novice) or the Texas Method (intermediate) a good starting point for pretty much anyone. However, if you're set on your PPL split, I'd still recommend a consolidation of the routine, for example like this:

Week A:
Day 1: Push & Legs
Day 2: Pull
Day 3: Push & Legs

Week B:
Day 1: Pull & Legs
Day 2: Push
Day 3: Pull & Legs

You alternate those two weeks. That way, ample recovery time is ensured while every group is activated at least every four days. You likely need to ditch some of the suggested exercises. I would keep the big movements and dismiss the smaller isolation exercises (e.g. keep the narrow-grip benchpress and romanian deadlifts, ditch the triceps extensions and hyperextensions).

Final note: This answer asumes that you're not an enhanced lifter. With the use of steroids, C. Langes answer becomes much more feasible as, among other side effects, your body's response to training stimuli is prolonged.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.