Push Pull Legs 12 Week Program for Beginners with PDF

When I was a beginner, I struggled to gain muscle in the first three months. Because I was told to follow a muscle-group split (training one muscle each day).

It was good for maintaining strength and mass but wasn’t good enough for putting on muscles and increasing strength.

That’s why I’ve researched a lot, explored several studies, and created two routines for myself. One was a full-body workout, and another was a push/pull/legs (PPL) split.

The total body workout routine helped me gain strength and endurance but was less effective for muscle gain.

Then I tried the PPL split, which helped me increase strength and mass quicker than the muscle-group split and full body routine.

I thought there could be many beginners who want to develop their physique from lean to muscular. So, I decided to hand out that routine in this article.

I’ve customized some parts from the original one and created a complete push pull legs 12 week program.

I’ve also attached a pdf at the bottom of this article so that you can download and keep it handy.

Is Push/Pull/Legs Good Routine for Beginners?

The PPL program allows you to divide your workout into three parts: push day, pull day, and leg day.

You’ll train chest, shoulder, and triceps on push day; back, biceps, and posterior delt on your pull day; and lower body on your legs day. In this way, you focus on each muscle group and train your entire body in an organized manner.

A study has also shown that split training is more effective for muscle growth compared to a total body workout plan.

So, overall it is an excellent program to build strength and muscles for beginners.

12 Week PPL Program Overview

Push Pull Legs 12 Week Program
Routine TypePush, Pull, Legs (PPL)
Program GoalBuild Strength and Mass
Workout TypeStrength Training at Gym
Frequency3 Days a Week
Program Duration3 Months
Daily Session45-60 Minutes
Suitable forBeginners
Target GenderMale and Female
Follow to Follow Next4-Day Push/Pull Workout

Push Pull Legs 12 Week Program to Build Muscles

  • Monday – Push Workout
  • Tuesday – OFF
  • Wednesday – Pull Workout
  • Thursday – OFF
  • Friday – Legs Workout
  • Saturday -OFF
  • Sunday – OFF

It’s best to perform some cardio exercises for five minutes at least to get your heart rate up and increase oxygen flow before lifting heavy. For example, you can run on the treadmill, do some bodyweight aerobic exercises, or lift light weights.

Week 1

Monday (Push Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Bomber Push-up on Bar10 x 21-min
Smith Machine Bench Press12 x 33-min
Dumbbell Overhead Press12 x 33-min
Dumbbell Lateral Raises12 x 32-min
Triceps Bar Pushdown12 x 32-min

Wednesday (Pull Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Off Block Deadlift8 x 32-min
Front Lat Pulldown12 x 32-min
Seated Cable Row12 x 32-min
EZ Bar Biceps Curl12 x 32-min
Reverse Pec Deck Fly12 x 32-min

Friday (Legs Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
DB Front Squat12 x 32-min
Leg Press12 x 32-min
Leg Curl12 x 32-min
Calf Raises12 x 32-min
Plank30-sec x 2

Week 2

Monday (Push Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Flat Bench Press12 x 33-min
Incline DB Bench Press12 x 32-min
Barbell Military Press12 x 33-min
Dumbbell Lateral Raises12 x 32-min
One-arm Tricep Extension12 x 32-min

Wednesday (Pull Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Front Lat Pulldown12 x 32-min
Seated Cable Row12 x 32-min
One-arm DB Row12 x 32-min
Chest Supported Row12 x 32-min
Alternate Dumbbell Curl12 x 32-min

Friday (Legs Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Machine Hack Squat12 x 43-min
Leg Extension12 x 32-min
Leg Curl12 x 32-min
Glute Bridge12 x 32-min
Hanging Knee Raises10 x 31-min

Week 3

Monday (Push Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Incline Bench Press10 x 42-min
Pec Deck Fly12 x 33-min
Dumbbell Overhead Press12 x 33-min
Cable Lateral Raises12 x 32-min
Rope Overhead Triceps Extension12 x 32-min

Wednesday (Pull Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Front Lat Pulldown12 x 32-min
Seated Cable Row12 x 32-min
Bent-over Row12 x 32-min
Hammer Curl12 x 32-min
Face Pull12 x 32-min

Friday (Legs Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Back Squat12 x 42-min
Leg Press12 x 32-min
Leg Curl12 x 32-min
Lunges10 x 32-min
Diagonal Chop10 x 21-min

Week 4

Monday (Push Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Dive Push-ups on Bar10 x 22-min
Flat Bench Press10 x 42-min
Incline Chest Press12 x 43-min
Bent-arm Lateral Raise12 x 23-min
Cable Lateral Raises12 x 22-min
Bench Dips12 x 32-min

Wednesday (Pull Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Chinups6-8 x 32-min
Front Lat Pulldown12 x 42-min
Seated Cable Row12 x 42-min
Inverted Row12 x 32-min
Concentration Curl12 x 32-min

Friday (Legs Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Back Squat12 x 43-min
Leg Press12 x 43-min
Dumbbell RDL10 x 32-min
Step-up10 x 32-min
Plank30-sec x 21-min

Week 5

Monday (Push Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Flat Bench Press10 x 32-min
Incline Bench Press12 x 33-min
Pec Deck Fly12 x 32-min
Lateral Raise12 x 33-min
Shoulder Shrug12 x 32-min
Bar Pushdown12 x 32-min

Wednesday (Pull Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Front Lat Pulldown12 x 32-min
Seated Cable Row12 x 32-min
Bent-over Row12 x 32-min
Preacher Curl12 x 32-min
Face Pull12 x 32-min

Friday (Legs Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Back Squat12 x 42-min
Leg Press12 x 32-min
Leg Curl12 x 32-min
Lunges10 x 32-min
Parallel Chop10 x 21-min

Week 6

Monday (Push Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Incline Bench Press10 x 42-min
Pec Deck Fly12 x 33-min
Dumbbell Overhead Press12 x 33-min
Cable Lateral Raises12 x 32-min
Rope Overhead Triceps Extension12 x 32-min

Wednesday (Pull Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Front Lat Pulldown12 x 32-min
Seated Cable Row12 x 32-min
Bent-over Row12 x 32-min
Seated Rear Delt Raise12 x 32-min
EZ Bar Biceps Curl12 x 32-min

Friday (Legs Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Back Squat12 x 42-min
Leg Extension12 x 32-min
Sumo Cossack Squat12 x 32-min
Leg Curl12 x 32-min
Hanging Knee Raise10 x 21-min

Week 7

Monday (Push Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Flat Bench Press10 x 42-min
Pec Deck Fly12 x 33-min
Incline DB Squeeze Press12 x 22-min
DB Lateral Raises12 x 42-min
Skull Crusher12 x 32-min

Wednesday (Pull Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Chinups6-8 x 32-min
Front Lat Pulldown12 x 32-min
Lat Pullover12 x 32-min
Seated Cable Row12 x 32-min
Preacher Curl12 x 32-min

Friday (Legs Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Leg Press12 x 42-min
Leg Extension12 x 32-min
Leg Curl12 x 32-min
Calf Raises10 x 32-min
Parallel Chop10 x 21-min

Week 8

Monday (Push Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Flat Bench Press10 x 42-min
Incline Chest Press10 x 32-min
Pec Deck Fly12 x 33-min
Overhead Press12 x 33-min
DB Lateral Raises12 x 32-min
Bar Pushdown12 x 32-min

Wednesday (Pull Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Off Block Deadlift6-8 x 32-min
Front Lat Pulldown12 x 32-min
Seated Cable Row12 x 32-min
One-arm DB Row10 x 32-min
Preacher Curl12 x 32-min

Friday (Legs Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Back Squat12 x 42-min
Leg Press12 x 43-min
DB Romanian DL10 x 32-min
Lunges10 x 32-min
Plank30-sec x 21-min

Week 9

Monday (Push Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Flat Bench Press10 x 42-min
Incline Bench Press10 x 32-min
Deficit Push-ups10 x 32-min
DB Lateral Raises12 x 42-min
Shrugs10 x 22-min
Bench Dips12 x 32-min

Wednesday (Pull Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Chin-ups6-8 x 32-min
Front Lat Pulldown12 x 32-min
Seated Cable Row12 x 32-min
Dumbbell Pullover10 x 32-min
Reverse Pec Deck10 x 32-min
Preacher Curl12 x 32-min

Friday (Legs Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Back Squat12 x 42-min
Leg Press12 x 43-min
Leg Curl10 x 32-min
Step-up10 x 32-min
Calf Raises10 x 32-min
Hanging Knee Raise10 x 21-min
3-month PPL workout routine for beginners

Week 10

Monday (Push Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Incline Bench Press10 x 32-min
Decline Bench Press10 x 32-min
Pec Deck Fly12 x 33-min
Bar Dips8 x 32-min
Lateral Raises12 x 42-min
Bar Pushdown12 x 32-min

Wednesday (Pull Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Chinups6-8 x 32-min
Front Lat Pulldown12 x 32-min
Seated Cable Row12 x 32-min
Face Pull10 x 32-min
Hammer Curl12 x 32-min

Friday (Legs Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Hack Squat12 x 42-min
Sumo Cossack Squat12 x 33-min
DB Romanian DL10 x 32-min
Leg Curl10 x 32-min
H2L Chop (Abs)10 x 21-min

Week 11

Monday (Push Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Incline Chest Press10 x 32-min
Pec Deck Fly12 x 32-min
Deficit Pushups10 x 32-min
DB Lateral Raises12 x 42-min
Bar Pushdown12 x 32-min
One-arm Overhead Triceps Extension10 x 22-min

Wednesday (Pull Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Off Block Deadlift6-8 x 32-min
Front Lat Pulldown12 x 32-min
Seated Cable Row12 x 32-min
T-Bar Row10 x 32-min
EZ Bar Biceps Curl12 x 32-min
Hammer Curl12 x 32-min

Friday (Legs Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Back Squat12 x 42-min
Leg Press12 x 43-min
Leg Curl10 x 32-min
Step-up10 x 32-min
H2L Chop10 x 21-min
Plank30-sec x 21-min

Week 12

Monday (Push Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Flat Bench Press12 x 32-min
Incline Chest Press10 x 32-min
Pec Deck Fly12 x 32-min
Bar Dips8 x 32-min
DB Lateral Raises12 x 42-min
One-arm D-handle Pushdown12 x 32-min

Wednesday (Pull Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Pullups6-8 x 32-min
Lat Pulldown12 x 32-min
Seated Row12 x 32-min
Bent-over row12 x 32-min
Face Pull10 x 22-min
Hammer Curl12 x 32-min

Friday (Legs Workout)

ExerciseRepsRest
Back Squat12 x 42-min
Leg Press12 x 43-min
DB RDL8 x 32-min
Leg Curl12 x 42-min
H2L Chop10 x 21-min
Knee Raises30-sec x 21-min
12 week ppl program for beginners

Instructions to Follow this PPL Workout Plan Effectively

  1. Progressive Overload: It’s best to increase the loads, the number of reps, and sets gradually to scale your fitness level and progressively increase strength and build muscles.
  2. Pre-Workout Meal: For an effective training session, you should have your meal 30 minutes to 2 hours before the training, depending on what kind of food you consume.
  3. Post-Workout Meal: It’s good to have some high-protein foods and supplements after the workout to rebuild muscle and increase mass. I suggest consuming 40-50 grams of protein and one gram of carbs per kg of your body weight for optimal results (it is only an example, a nutritionist can help you better in this case).
  4. Cardio: It’s best to include cardiovascular exercises to build endurance and tone muscles. For example, you run on the treadmill, use a stationary bicycle, and other equipment to perform aerobic training.
  5. Adjustment: You can include and exclude some exercises from this program as well as adjust the rest and workout duration, depending on your fitness level.
  6. Add a variety of exercises: It’s best to include a variety of exercises in your program to make it enjoyable and effective. You can integrate various exercises from the list of PPL workouts.
  7. Train when you feel energetic: It is best to work out when you feel physically and mentally active to give your best.
  8. Keep going: Repeating the same thing for a considerable period can be boring, but you must be disciplined to accomplish the best result.
  9. Affirmation: Imagine and affirm that you have an incredible physique, as it can help you train consistently and achieve your fitness goal faster.
  10.  Keep yourself hydrated: Keeping yourself hydrated during the workout is crucial for an effective workout session. Research show that it helps prevents uneasiness and injuries and boosts performance.

Download 12-Week PPL Routine PDF

You can also try the following alternate workout programs:

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Author
Murshid Akram
I'm a certified personal trainer, fitness blogger, and nature lover. I always learn more about exercise science and human anatomy so that I can provide the best information possible. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.