This is my routine I’ve been doing for 5 months now:

  • Monday - Chest, Arms, Cardio
  • Tuesday - Back, Shoulders.
  • Wednesday - Legs, Abs, Cardio
  • Thursday - Chest, Arms
  • Friday - Back, Shoulders. Cardio
  • Saturday - Legs, Abs
  • Sunday - Rest Day

4 different workouts on the muscle groups daily 4 sets inside of each workout
Isolated exercises while progressive overloading as I kept going

At first I was just learning basics , proper form and progressive overloading slowly while on a caloric deficit to lose weight I was 200 lbs now I’m near my goal and I weigh 159 I was losing 10 lbs a month ( I took off the deficit for 1 month staying on maintenance) I was doing mostly only isolated exercises while progressive overloading

( Before working out I was 200 lbs not much noticeable muscle 😂 But still not crazy fat I have a well developed chest naturally with small arms so my stomach was just starting to get big now it’s normal where I can almost see my abs but not quite yet )

Now I’m looking to just focus more on muscle growth and I’m used to going to the gym like it’s about of my life style and not “work”

So I was thinking of changing my schedule to a PPL ( push , pull , legs ) with more compound lifting I wanted to start only hitting the gym 3 days a week so I can do a sport the days I’m not working out but I don’t understand fully how a PPL works or compound lifts other then Compound lift = hitting multi groups at once PPL= push pull legs I don’t know how to properly perform them more to say

So I need more education on it & also how could I hit each muscle group twice a week while only going 3 days a week.

I was thinking this:

  • Monday: Gym full PPL
  • Tuesday: sports
  • Wednesday: Gym full PPL
  • Thursday: sports
  • Friday: Gym full PPL
  • Saturday - sports
  • Sunday: rest day

& also what was my first type of routine categorized as cause from what I know

It’s not a bro spilt cause I’m hitting each muscle group twice a week

It’s not a full body

& it’s not a PPL cause I thought those were only example: Push = chest, shoulders , triceps Pull = back & biceps Legs day

Which isn’t like mines either

Please leave your advice…. I still consider myself a beginner so forgive me if I made any dumb mistakes throughout lmao

2 Answers 2


There's a lot going on in that question, but I'll try answering everything one by one:

  1. Compound lifts: include more than one muscle group at a time, there is not much more to it definition-wise. The most common compound exercises are: squat, bench press, deadlift, shoulder press, pull up, row. Implementing these in your workouts is definitely a good idea, since you get the most bang for your buck out of them. As for properly performing them, if you look up the proper technique online and start with manageable weights you can learn them by yourself. Film yourself or use a mirror to objectively look at your form and you'll get there.
  2. PPL: stands for Push/Pull/Legs as you already mentioned. You'd have a push (chest / shoulders / triceps), pull (back / biceps, maybe hamstrings / glutes if you're deadlifting) and a legs (quads / hamstrings / glutes / calves) workout. Usually PPL is performed as a 6 days/week routine, so you'd do Push/Pull/Legs/Push/Pull/Legs/Rest in one week.
  3. 3 days/week routine for you: As you can see, PPL might not be ideal for you. You can do a 3 day PPL, so only one workout for push / pull / legs per week each. It will be hard getting enough quality volume in like this though (around 10-12 sets per muscle group per week for beginners is recommended). You'd be better of going with a full body routine, where you could get enough volume and frequency in 3 days. If you google something like "3 days full body routine" I'm sure you'll find a good program, or if you're up for it buy one, maybe from Jeff Nippard or so (his program comes with a lot of general explanation/infos so it might help you a lot). Another alternative is an Upper/Lower split, which would have you in the gym 4 days/week.
  4. Categorizing your first routine: it doesn't really fit into any standard split category, and it doesn't matter that much either. The layout doesn't look optimal to me though.

Well if you have a sport you want to perform in then there are athleticism programs that prevent injury and develop said athleticism. I have posted one put together from Kneesovertoesguy material and that material aligns with my experience of what increases athleticism and strength.

I'll repost it here. Many weight lifters can benefit from it since it hits weak points, strengthen ligaments and tendons, improves recovery, and does not take much time or effort. Think of it as therapeutic work. The more you put in the more results in sports and in weight lifting. You can perform the program daily but 3x a week BEFORE you go do a sport is the best time if you want to keep it to 3x a week.

Since these exercises are on your sport days you can take it easy with them, just put in a little work.

Here is the sports day program; my post is flagged as spam if I repost it. I've made additions though:


The Knees over toes program is here on stack exchange: Does Active Flexibility Reduce Speed and Quickness?

On your powerlifting days you want to train full body. You should be hitting the same body parts 3x a week. The only tricky bit is picking Weight, Sets, and Reps, and which exercises you do first and last.


The links are pastebin which is just a text document repository. It's text only.

Here is the complete power lifting program so I can keep linking within stack exchange in case pastebin dies:

Pull ups are a staple that you want to hit every workout for 3 sets to failure. They're bread and butter. Do them at the beginning of every workout. Keeping rest times down is best so 1 minute is good; you want to lower this number as you progress over the years.

You want to use slow as possible repetitions, so 5 second ascent and descent on the pull ups is good and you can probably only do 1 or 2 at this speed. If you can't do a pull up at a slow speed then speed it up until you can, but try and do it as slow as possible.

After the last set hold onto the bar for a deadhang with "shoulder blade reps". This is where you lengthen the body by relaxing into a passive stretch, then retract your shoulder blades to lift yourself up out of that passive back and shoulder stretch and then repeat the process until your strength fails.

Every 9 workouts add a set or decrease rest times by 10 seconds down to 20 seconds. Don't kip up, look up kipping; don't kip up. Use pull up variations. Behind the neck, chin ups, ultra wide. You want to get to the point where you can do 100 pull ups no problem if going at a quicker speed of repetition.

At that point add 10 lbs such as a DB between your feet and reduce the sets by 1. So if you're doing 12 sets of pull ups to failure and you test your pull up repetition max with normal or quick speed and it's 100+ repetitions, go ahead and reduce the sets to 11 and add 10 lbs. When you test and hit 100 pull ups again go ahead and reduce the sets by 1. You want to do at least 5 sets no matter what though, and at most 20 sets.

For a while sets will be increasing but eventually you hit 100 reps and you can hit 100 reps with +10 lbs pretty quickly if you can do 100+ reps with bodyweight, so the set count will shrink.

I'm going to jump right into squats and deadlifts now.

The big squat and deadlift should be placed at the end of your workout. They're difficult. You won't have the stamina to put much into the rest of your workout if you do them first. You want to alternate between doing squat and deadlift each workout, and alternate whether you do a front squat or a back squat, and alternate whether you do a conventional deadlift and a power clean.

Practice EACH of these 4 barbell exercises; The Back Squat, The Conventional Deadlift, The Front Squat, and the Power Clean; with JUST the bar for 6 workouts EACH. That's 24 workouts which is 2 months.

Get a great burn painful burn in the muscles and focus on form. 5 - 15+ minutes of this is good. Use ULTRA SLOW REPS meaning as slow as possible. Yes you want to slow down the power clean. I am not saying it will be incredibly slow but with 45 lbs it can be, and you will most definitely benefit from this.

Look in the mirror or take a video. Go hard. Perform them a bit quicker or as quick as possible if you need to.

Go ahead and take very limited rests when it becomes unbearable. 30 seconds. Just do as much as possible in those 5 - 15+ minutes without letting up.

You will make easy progress and have great mobility. You WILL increase strength as well, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. You probably have no clue how many literal farm hands walk into the gym in high school or in their 20s and squat over 400 lbs and bench over 200 lbs their first day. Endurance and Work Capacity will build up your strength and muscle size, do not believe otherwise. Relative, subjective intensity is in fact intensity.

Fact is that many strong weightlifters cannot perform quick body weight squats for more than 50 - 100 repetitions in one set. The only reason they're large is because they take steroids. If they were natural they would be much slimmer. You don't want that if you want smooth and rapid progress, and you don't want that in general. Your recovery is much poorer without endurance; you can't finish hard workouts and you can't recover before the next one without endurance in these big movements so you need to go 5 - 15+ minutes. Your legs and such will explode.

After those 6 workouts of each movement (24 workouts total) if your form has been good for at least 2 workouts you want to add 25 lbs to each side. Keep going with just the bar if you don't have 2 workouts with great form for pretty much all of those 5- 15+ minutes. You NEED mobility for the front squat and you need to develop that by doing your best to use good form and go for 5+ minutes.

How to Power Clean (Olympic Weightlifting 101)

How to Front Squat (WAYS TO KEEP YOUR CHEST UP!)

Check the rest of Squat University for the Back Squat and Conventional Deadlift. Martins Licis features on a Back Squat and Deadlift tutorial, an internation Strongman Competition winner.

Once you have 25 lbs on the bar on these movements go another 2 months, 6 workouts each exercise. After those 6 workouts test for your 1 Repetition Maximum Load at normal speed on the descent and explosive speed on the concentric "up" portion, WITH GOOD FORM, for whichever movement is up on that given day. So if you back squat that day, test your back squat max. If you conventional deadlift, test your conventional deadlift max. And so on. Slowly add weight to the bar until you feel you can't do more weight without form breaking down. That's your max.

TAKE A VIDEO OF YOUR MAX. You will break down in form here and it's important to know where.

After testing your 1 repetition maximum, rest 3 minutes then perform 2 working sets at 60% of your max with repetitions as slow as possible (will not be very easy to go over 5 seconds) going until you know your next repetition would be with bad form or you would be muscularly unable to lift it. Rest 1.5 minutes between these sets.

Then drop the weight to 135 lbs (45 lb plate on each side) for back squats and conventional deadlift, 95 lbs (25 lb plates) for front squat and 65 lbs for power cleans, and do 5 - 15+ minutes of the lift ULTRA SLOW. It's your last exercise of the day so go hard.

The 2 sets at 60% and the 5 - 15+ minutes of conditioning with the set weight will be your workout for these 4 movements for the next 6 workouts.

After 6 workouts of each individual movement (24 total) you want to retest your max again, and do 3 working sets at 70% of your max slow if possible after resting from your max for 3 minutes. You should rest 1.5 minutes between 'working sets'. After doing these working sets drop the weight to 185 lbs for back squats and deadlifts, 135 lbs for front squats, and 115 lbs for power cleans and go for 5 - 15+ minutes ultra slow.

Don't let anyone tell you this is slow progress. Every weight lifter reaches a point where progress is slow slow slow because they have no solid foundation of conditioning. Don't listen to them at all. Your progress should be pretty quick anywho, but don't let anyone mess with your programming. Defend your program. Keep hands out of the pot.

Every 6 workouts (24 total) you want to test your max and increase the number of work sets you do OR decrease the rest time between sets by 15 seconds, down to 30 seconds after a couple years. You can also increase the % of max you use but that should remain the same until you are doing 8 sets with 30 seconds of rest -- then you can increase the % by 10% up to 80% and cut the sets down to 5 and increase the rest by 30 seconds to 60 seconds of rest. Get up to 10 sets with 30 seconds of rest at 80% of your max and you will be over 220 lbs of muscle, no doubt.

The amount of repetitions will always be "to failure" and the conditioning weight should go up very slowly; 10 lb increases for back squat and deadlift every 6 workouts, and 5 lb increases for front squat and power clean every 6 workouts. If you can go past 15 minutes of conditioning with the weight then do it.

Okay now everything between pull ups and the big movements.

Push ups. Yes push ups, not bench. Weight is weight. Your abs aren't used when doing bench though and so you should do push ups. Same routine as pull ups in fact, but elevate your hands so you can sink your chest into the movement. You can use 2 platforms or the end of large flat dumbbells or a stack of plates for each hand. You want your chest to reach past your hands eventually. ULTRA SLOW as possible.

3 sets to failure and every workout. Always go as hard as possible on the last set. After 9 workouts add a set or decrease rest time. When you reach 100 repetitions when you test them at normal speed go ahead and take a set off and add 10 lbs. Get a weight vest or place the weight on your low back. You want to do at least 5 sets, no more than 20 sets, and have at least 20 seconds of rest time between sets.

on SQUAT days you want to do a horizontal pull. In particular you want to do 1 hand Dumbbell Rows. Test your max on each side. Base the % numbers on the stronger side. Perform 2 work sets at 60% each side going as slow as possible for as many reps as possible. Make sure to use full range of motion and hold at the top. Use 1.5 minutes of rest.

Every 9 workouts of this movement retest your max and increase the set count by 1, or decrease the rest time by 15 seconds. At 8 sets and 30 seconds of rest decrease the sets to 5, increase the rest to 1 minute, and increase the % to 70% of your max.

After performing your work sets drop the weight to 40% of your max and perform 5 - 15+ minutes as slow as possible as much as possible.

If it is a deadlift or powerclean day, you want to perform a vertical push motion. That means overhead press. Use an empty barbell or some sort of bicep curl bar if your gym is busy for 5 - 15+ minutes. Slow as possible. Elbows out to the side.

After 9 workouts of this movement test your max. Go ahead and use 60% for 2 sets, slow as possible, 1.5 minutes of rest between. Then drop the weight to 40% and perform 5 - 15+ minutes of ultra slow repetitions. When you're done with the 5 - 15+ minutes, put the 40% back up to lock out and do scapula extensions and retractions. Pack the shoulder then extend it for reps. Do this until you lose strength.

Don't bend your back too much when performing overhead presses. You can lean back a bit but you've already done a horizontal push in this workout so keep it vertical. Drop the bar ALL THE WAY DOWN every repetition and ALL THE WAY UP. Also, you should start with the bar on your shoulders but bring it behind the neck for half or so of your reps once you start.

You need to practice going behind the neck with the bar though for those 9 workouts.

AFTER YOU SQUAT OR DEADLIFT there is still 2 more things for you to do. Grip work and Arms. That means taking some small amount of weight and performing wrist extensions, wrist curls, and wrist 'twists' for 6 - 20+ minutes; and Doing 2 sets of bicep curls and tricep extensions using 70% of your max, reps to failure. Slowest is best.

For wrist twists you want to hold the dumbbell handle closer to one end so it's heavier on one side. Use 5 lb dumbbells for each movement and burn. Note that whether the heavier side is on the thumb side or pinky side changes the movement. That's about 4 different grip exercises so perform each exercise for 1.5 minutes each hand starting out and work up to 5 minutes each. After hitting 5 minutes increase the weight by 5 lbs.

Every 4 weeks test your bicep and tricep cable extension max. 2 sets to failure with 70% every workout. Go slow as possible.

Buy some finger extensor training bands as well, to use at home for 5 minutes each hand.

That's the whole workout. If you aren't progressing then try harder or set rep goals so you know when you need to try harder. Get more reps out. The weight progression is programmed in. Good luck.

  • If your pastebin link is just a text version of another one of your answers (e.g. this one), you can link to your own answers as well.
    – C. Lange
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 4:09
  • okay I think it's all good now
    – user37464
    Commented Dec 28, 2021 at 4:41

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