Pull Day Workout vs Push Day Workout (2023)

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Everyone keeps saying pull day workout or push day workout these days. But do we really know what they are and how to execute them properly?

Some of us, yes. But I know that when I first heard about it, I had no idea what they were and when I did learn, I would always forget which is which.

A common name for these workouts is a push-pull training split. This is when you do a push day workout one day and a pull day workout on another day.

Here is everything you need to know about a push-pull training split.

What is the difference between pull day and push day?

A pull day workout consists of exercises for your back and biceps. They are called pull exercises because they are performed with pulling motions. For example, when you are using a lat pulldown machine, you are pulling the bar downwards. When you are performing bicep curls, you are pulling the dumbbells upwards.

A push day workout consists of exercises for your chest, shoulders, and triceps. They are called push exercises because they are performed with pushing motions. For example, when performing a chest press, you are pushing the dumbbells straight up. When you are performing a shoulder press, you are pushing the dumbbell straight up. Triceps dips are performed by pushing your body up from a lowered position.

What exercises are on pull day?

On pull day, you will be performing back and bicep exercises.

Back exercises could be lat pulldowns, pull-ups, back rows, and conventional deadlifts.

Bicep exercises could be bicep curls, hammer curls, and alternating wide bicep curls.

There are many variations of back and bicep exercises that you can do.

What exercises are on push day?

On push day, you will be performing chest, shoulder, and triceps exercises.

Chest exercises could be chest presses, chest flies, and push-ups.

Shoulder exercises could be shoulder presses, upright rows, and lateral arm raises.

Triceps exercises could be triceps dips, skull crushers, and overhead triceps extensions.

(Video) WHY YOU NEED A PUSH AND PULL DAYS! | push & pull explained + my routine

There are so many variations of chest, shoulder, and triceps exercises that you can do.

Should I do a push or pull day?

You should be doing both a push and a pull day. It is important to do both because it ensures that you are exercising all of the different muscle groups. They could be done on the same day, if you are doing full body because you are working all different muscle groups. They can be done on different days, and this gives the muscle groups you aren’t working a rest.

Are pull exercises better than push?

Pull exercises are not necessarily better than push exercises because you need to work out all of the muscle groups.

However, stronger shoulders and better posture comes from doing more pull exercises.

Overall balance in muscle throughout the body comes from both pull and push exercises and should be done weekly.

Can I do pull exercises on push day?

It isn’t harmful to do pull exercises on push day. However, when you are exercising different muscle groups every day, it makes more sense to split the days and do your pull exercises one day and your push exercises another day.

It really just depends on your workout split throughout the whole week. If you work out by muscle groups, you should split pull and push days into two different days. If you work out and only do full body days, you can do pull and push exercises on the same day.

*Note: Make sure to leave 48 hours of rest after training each muscle group.

Why not do push and pull the same day?

You can absolutely push and pull on the same day. It is just important that you give your muscles the proper rest and recovery. If you do them on the same day, make sure to give yourself 48 hours of resting those muscles.

Does it matter if you do pull day before PUSH day?

If you are working out for general health and muscle gain, it doesn’t matter if you do a pull day before a push day. For bodybuilding and people who are very technical about their strength training, pull days should come before push day. This is because tough workouts can cause limited range of motion/flexibility in the muscles worked due to delayed muscle soreness. Getting those back and bicep muscles sore before a push day won’t affect your chest, shoulder, and triceps exercises.

How do I start a pull day?

You should start a pull day with a dynamic warm up.

This could be side twists, windmills, and walking jumping jacks.

Larger muscle groups should be worked before smaller muscle groups in every kind of workout. In this case, that means you should start with back exercises and then move on to bicep exercises.

Pull Day Workout vs Push Day Workout (1)

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How many exercises should you do on push day?

6-8 exercises. Your goals and the amount of time you have will determine the number of exercises. When doing 6 exercises, you should be performing two chest exercises, two shoulder exercises, and two triceps exercises. If you are doing 8 or more, you can sprinkle in more exercises between the three muscle groups.

(Video) Push And Pull Workout: Benefits, Training & Differences | Masterclass | Myprotein

When the exercises are performed correctly with the right amount of weight/resistance (if using weights) and the right number of reps, two exercises per muscle group is perfect.

You should either be continuously adding resistance or reps to your exercises to be getting the most out of your workouts.

How many exercises should I do on pull day?

4-6 exercises. Two back exercises and two bicep exercises are sufficient for a pull day as long as you are using enough weight/resistance and reps. However, three exercises for back and biceps is also sufficient, depending on your goals and the amount of time you have.

What happens if I only do pull exercises?

Muscle imbalances can happen if you only do pull exercises. Your back and bicep muscles will be developed but your chest, shoulder, and triceps will be weaker.

Aesthetically and physically, you want to do a pull day workout and a push day workout every week. This will give you an overall healthy and balanced appearance.

What is the best push day workout routine?

Here is a sample push day workout routine that efficiently trains the chest, shoulders, and triceps.

Warm up:

→ Side twists

→ Arm circles

→ Overhead reach


→ 2 x 12 chest press

→ 2 x 12 chest flies

→ 2 x 12 shoulder press

→ 2 x 12 upright rows

→ 2 x 12 triceps dips

→ 2 x 12 skull crushers

(Video) Your Best Push Workout for Chest, Shoulder & Triceps


→ Arm across body stretch

→ Overhead triceps stretch

→ Arms behind back stretch (with your arms straight back, hold your hands together and push arms up)

What is the best pull day workout routine?

Here is a sample pull day workout routine that efficiently trains the back and biceps.

Warm up:

→ Side twists

→ Windmills

→ Walking jumping jacks


→ 2 x 12 lat pulldowns

→ 2 x 12 back rows

→ 2 x 12 pull ups

→ 2 x 12 bicep curls

→ 2 x 12 hammer curls


→ Cobra pose

→ Child’s pose

→ Bicep stretch (put arm straight out and apply pressure to your palm with your other hand)

(Video) Push Day with Seth Feroce


A pull day workout and a push day workout are very different but can be performed with the same structure.

Key points to remember:

→ Larger muscle groups should be worked before smaller muscle groups.

→ Push and pull days can be performed on the same day but need 48 hours to rest and recover before being worked again.

→ Push and pull days can be performed once a week for sufficient muscle growth.

→ If you are getting technical, pull days should come before push days.

Everyone’s workout schedules look different. If you hate going to the gym and only want to go twice, doing full body, that’s fine. Do push and pull days together.

You love going to the gym every day? Split up your push, pull, and leg days to keep the workouts shorter.

You have to find a routine that you love and will stick to on a weekly basis. It also helps having a workout buddy to keep you accountable.

I personally do two full body workout classes every week with my friends and an extra leg day on my own. My push and pull days are always together. I personally like this because I am a pretty busy person, and I don’t like going to the gym every day. Therefore, I put it all together and make the most out of my workouts and my days off.

It is all preference. As long as you are exercising, fueling your body with healthy foods, and staying on top of your mental health, you are doing everything right.

Email hello@fitnessaligned.com and let us know how you have been incorporating your push and pull day workouts.

Related Reads:

At Home Back Workouts Using Only Dumbbells

My Current Workout Split with a Full Time Job and a Social Life

The Ultimate Workout for an Hourglass Figure

(Video) The Ultimate Push Workout For Muscle Growth [Chest, Shoulders, Triceps] (2023)

Thank you for reading

Pull Day Workout vs Push Day Workout (2)


Is push day more important than pull day? ›

Pull Throughout the Day

For healthier shoulders, better posture and stronger lifts, pull twice as often as you push. You'll be impressed with the changes in health, body composition and performance that can come about just from following this simple ratio.

Is one push and pull day enough? ›

Yes, doing one push, one pull, and one leg workout per week is enough to see results. In fact, I often recommend three to four days as the optimal frequency to build muscle and gain strength. Results may be slower, but working out three times per week is healthy and feasible for most people.

Is it better to separate push and pull days? ›

The push/pull/legs split is probably the most efficient workout split there is because all related muscle groups are trained together in the same workout. This means that you get the maximum overlap of movements within the same workout, and the muscle groups being trained get an overall benefit from this overlap.

Are push workouts better than pull? ›

The Benefits of a Push-Pull Workout Split

In sum, a push workout is one that targets your chest, shoulders, and triceps, while a pull workout targets the back and biceps. The benefit of a push-pull routine is that it allows you to rest one set of muscles, which aids in recovery and muscle growth.

What happens if I only do pull exercises? ›

You can develop muscular imbalances

While these are important muscles, you do not want any muscle group disproportionately strong compared with the rest of your body. If you only do pullups, you will develop a muscular imbalance. Incorporating other exercises to counterbalance the pullups is key.

What should push vs pull ratio be? ›

In general, we recommend a 1:2 push to pull ratio. Simply put this means that for every push movement (i.e.- bench press) you should be doing twice as many pulls (bent over row, pull downs, etc.).

How many times a week should I do pull day? ›

"If you're balancing out your strength training with things like yoga, Pilates, running, or other activities, one push and one pull day per week will be enough to see progress." However, if you're really focusing on strength-training, it's great if you can hit push and pull twice per week, each.

How many push and pull days should I have? ›

The leg muscles include the muscles located on the front (quadriceps) and back (hamstrings) of the thigh, as well as the glutes and the calves. The push-pull style of training allows you to exercise all the major muscle groups a maximum of twice per week, assuming you train 6 days a week with 1 day off.

How many sets should you do on a pull day? ›

Perform 3 sets of 6 to 8. "If you're able to do a lot of pullups, you're going to have to strap some weight around you to get within this range," he says. Access exclusive muscle-building workouts and weight loss diets with our digital membership program. Perform 3 sets of 10 to 12 on each side.

Is it OK to do 2 pull days in a row? ›

It's perfectly fine to train the same muscle group or perform the same exercise(s) multiple days in a row. Just note that you'll need to build up a tolerance for back-to-back training.

What is the best 5 day workout split? ›

Best 5 Day Workout Schedule:
  • Day 1: Chest + (Light) Triceps.
  • Day 2: Back + (Light) Biceps.
  • Day 3: Core + Forearms + Calves + Cardio.
  • Day 4: Shoulders + (Heavy) Triceps.
  • Day 5: Legs + (Heavy) Biceps.
  • Day 6: Rest (Light core workout as an option)

What is the best workout split for strength? ›

6-day split
  • Day 1: push — chest, shoulders, triceps.
  • Day 2: pull — back, biceps, forearms.
  • Day 3: legs — quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves.
  • Day 4: push — chest, shoulders, triceps.
  • Day 5: pull — back, biceps, forearms.
  • Day 6: legs — quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves.
  • Day 7: rest.
Apr 27, 2022

Why should you push instead of pull? ›

Pushing takes less effort and makes it easier to see where you're going. Pulling stresses your shoulders and back. You should push hand trucks, carts and other loads. Pushing a load is safer because: ✓ You can see where you are going.

Why am I stronger at pulling than pushing? ›

The back muscles that are involved in every pulling movement are much larger than our pushing muscles (just think about the size of your lats compared to the size of your chest), so it makes sense to me that we are stronger at pulling.

Should I be able to push or pull more weight? ›

Understanding push to pull strength ratio

The term 'pull double what you push' may be used in and as a general strength standard. It indicates that you should be able to carry out double the number of reps in horizontal pulling exercises and with the same weight-load, you use for a similar horizontal pushing exercise.

How many pull-ups should I be able to do by age? ›

Thirteen-year-old males are expected to perform three pullups. Fourteen-year-olds are expected to perform 2 more reps for a total of 5 reps for meeting the 50th percentile. Fifteen-year-olds are expected to complete 6 reps; while 16-year-olds typically do 7 reps, and 18-year-olds do 8 reps.

Is 4 sets of 5 pull-ups good? ›

However, fit and active men should be able to do at least 4 to 8 pull-ups in one set. Fit and active women should be able to do at least 1 to 3 pull-ups in one set. Any number above 8 for men and 3 for women is very good. You are in the highest percentile if you can do 12 to 15 pull-ups or more with good form.

Are pull exercises necessary? ›

We need pulling exercises to create balance in our strength and prevent injury—both when exercising and when going through everyday life.

What is a good push pull split? ›

An example split would be: Day #1, Push: Chest, shoulders, triceps. Day #2, Pull: Back, traps, biceps. Day #3: Legs: Legs, glutes and abs.

How many push is average? ›

Average: 55-74 push-ups. Good: 75-99 push-ups. Excellent: 100-110 push-ups. Extraordinary: 111 or more.

Do I do biceps on pull day? ›

The typical pull day workout consists of upper-body exercises that utilize a pulling motion. They primarily engage the biceps, forearms, and back muscles.

What should a pull day look like? ›

With that in mind, here's the best pull workout routine:
  • Barbell Deadlift: 3 sets of 4-to-6 reps with 2-to-3 min rest.
  • One-Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets of 4-to-6 reps with 2-to-3 min rest.
  • Pull-up: 3 sets of 4-to-6 reps with 2-to-3 min rest.
  • Alternating Dumbbell Curl: 3 sets of 6-to-8 reps with 2-to-3 min rest.

Is A Bicep Curl A push or pull? ›

Examples of pull exercises include the biceps curl, hamstrings curl, and lat pull down. Pull exercises are the opposite of push exercises—eccentric contractions that involve lengthening the muscle and controlling resistance as you move connection points further apart.

What is the best 4 day workout split? ›

  • Monday: Chest/Triceps. Tuesday: Off. Wednesday: Quads/ Hams. Thursday: Shoulders/Triceps. Friday: Off. ...
  • Monday: Quads/Hamstrings. Tuesday: Chest/Triceps. Wednesday: Off. Thursday: Off. Friday: Back/Traps/Calves. ...
  • Monday: Chest/Biceps/Abs. Tuesday: Quads/Hams/Abs. Wednesday: Off. Thursday: Shoulders/Triceps. Friday: Off.

Is Push pull legs 3 times a week enough? ›

For most people, the Push Pull Legs split should be done 3-5 days a week. For most trainees, a on a one on, one off cycle is sufficient, thus hitting each muscle group once every five days.

Is 3 sets enough to Build muscle? ›

If you're trying to build muscle and get bigger, doing sets of 3 or sets of 5 or sets of 10 will ALL help you get bigger, if you're eating enough to get bigger! If you're trying to lose weight, it doesn't matter if you do sets of 15 or sets of 5 if you are consistently overeating by 1,000 calories a day.

What should I superset on pull day? ›

superset pull ups (10-12 reps) with lat pull downs (12-15 reps) - 5 sets. superset bent over barbell rows (8-10 reps) with incline bench dumbbell rows (10-12 reps) - 4 sets. superset seated close grip cable rows (10-12 reps) with single arm dumbbell rows (8-10 reps each side) - 4 sets.

Is 3 sets of 8 enough? ›

You can still build muscle with 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps — provided you train close to failure and progressively overload. But it isn't the most optimal, instead: Choose your rep range based on the exercise — the larger and more the muscles involved, the lesser the reps. Even then, don't venture below 3 reps or above 30.

Which muscles should not be trained together? ›

A typical two-day split, for example, works your lower body one day and upper body the next day. Or you can work your pushing muscles — chest, shoulders and triceps — one day, then your pulling muscles — back and biceps — the other day.

Is it OK to combine push and pull day? ›

Yes, when programmed properly this can actually be one of the most efficient methods of training. I recommend performing them as alternate sets rather than alternate exercises. This is a very efficient form of training, plus you'll double your rest time between sets of the same exercise.

Can I hit biceps two days in a row? ›

There are a lot of muscles in the arms, so it's okay if you're working your biceps, followed by triceps the next day, and then your delts the following day. This allows each muscle group time to rest and rebuild, which is necessary if you want to see results.

What split do most bodybuilders use? ›

The Push/Pull/Legs Split

The most popular way to combine your muscle groups into a three-day split is probably the Push/Pull/Legs (PPL) split. That entails training your pushing muscles (chest, shoulders, and triceps) on day one, pulling muscles (back and biceps) on day two, and legs on day three.

What is the Arnold split? ›

The Arnold split is a six-day workout split in which you train the chest and back, shoulders and arms, and legs twice per week. It's a muscle-building program that's designed to help you increase muscle mass and improve your physique. Because of its high amount of volume, it's only for advanced lifters.

What training split is most effective for hypertrophy? ›

The Upper/Lower Split Maximizes Hypertrophy

This is best explained by the fact that splitting lower- and upper-body sessions allows for more training. With two workouts per muscle each week, you can include more sets, reps, and weight. This increased volume is always better for hypertrophy than a lower training volume.

What split does CBUM use? ›

Chris Bumstead trains 6 days per week using a traditional bodybuilding bro split. He trains one major muscle group each workout, such as his chest, back, or quads.

How many reps to build muscle? ›

Reps for muscle growth

In order to get bigger and stronger, you must ensure your muscles work harder than they are used to. Generally, between 6-12 reps for 3-6 sets will help to build overall muscle size.

Does it matter if you start with push or pull? ›

Pull Day Before Push Day

Tough workouts can produce DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness), which can decrease range of motion or flexibility of the muscles. Take advantage of that restriction by getting the upper back muscles mildly sore before a chest workout. This won't affect your chest or pushing work.

How do you avoid push and pull? ›

7 Ways to Overcome a Push-Pull Dynamic in Your Relationship
  1. 1) Recognize That the Problem is the Cycle, Not Your Partner. ...
  2. 2) Reckon With the Costs of the Dance. ...
  3. 3) Honor Each Others Differences and Needs. ...
  4. 4) Anxiety Is the Problem, So Managing Anxiety Is the Solution. ...
  5. 5) Share Power. ...
  6. 6) Question Your Assumptions.
Aug 8, 2018

Why am I strong but can't do pull-ups? ›

And if you can't do pull-ups, this may be why: Not being able to hold onto the bar through lack of grip strength. A lack of latissimus dorsi (large back muscle), spinal erector (lower back stabilizer muscles), abdominal muscle, and biceps strength. A lack of “mind-to-muscle” connection.

Why are pulling exercises so hard? ›

Pull-ups are so hard because they require you to lift your entire body up with just your arms and shoulder muscles. If you don't already have significant strength here, this can be quite a challenge. Because a pull-up uses so many muscles, you need to have the holistic upper-body strength to perform them.

Is pulling more difficult than pushing? ›

On the other hand if we pull an object, then the vertical component acts in the upward direction, reducing the force of friction. So, when there will be less force of friction, it is easier in that case to move the body. Hence, it is easier to pull than to push a body.

Is push pull the most effective? ›

The push/pull/legs split is probably the most efficient workout split there is because all related muscle groups are trained together in the same workout. This means that you get the maximum overlap of movements within the same workout, and the muscle groups being trained get an overall benefit from this overlap.

Which is safer pushing or pulling? ›

It is safer to push rather than pull. Keep your back straight and bend your knees. Do not twist at your hips to push, but rather keep your core tight and use your legs and body weight to move the object. Face the load squarely rather than at the top or bottom of the object.

Does push or pull burn more calories? ›

The calorie-burn differences were dramatic. For push-ups, it increased from 4.1 calories per minute to 8.56 calories per minute. Curl-ups increased from 4.09 calories per minute to 7.29; lunges from 5.28 calories per minute to 9.33; and pull-ups from 4.03 calories per minute to 9.95.

Is it okay to do push and pull day together? ›

Push/pull together: You can also bring both movement patterns together and do one workout that incorporates both pushing and pulling exercises for a balanced workout. This can focus on your upper body, lower body, or both.

Can I do PPL in one day? ›

"Even three days a week could be a stretch. In that case, you may want to do full-body — doing PPL in one day for it to be the most optimal training for you — but, everyone can do it.

Is PPL once a week good? ›

PPL is very effective, however I would recommend doing PPL twice a week, so that you can hit every muscle group twice. As long as you have compound movements in every session as well as a few isolation, with adequate sets and reps, this is should a pretty good routine to follow.

Is the Bro split effective? ›

Additionally, if you program properly, you can also allow adequate time to recover between sessions so you can continue to train effectively. So, the answer is yes, Bro Splits can be effective. However, there is not anything specifically magical about splitting workouts this way that makes them vastly superior.

Can I mix push and pull workouts? ›

Push-pull combos are also very time effective and allow you to perform a lot of work in a very short amount of time. By training agonist and antagostic muscles in a superset fashion, you allow your pushing muscles to rest, while you're pulling muscles are working, and vice versa.

How do you split up a push and pull Day? ›

The push pull split involves breaking your workouts into push days (both upper/lower body push muscles) AND pull day workouts (both upper/lower body pull muscles). It is typically done as a 4 day split, with 2 push sessions and 2 pull sessions per week.


1. The Best Science-Based PUSH Workout For Growth (Chest/Shoulders/Triceps)
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