Push/Pull/Legs Routine For Beginners

“Crossfit : 15.4 Open Workout” by Corey Jenkins is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0

Why this routine works great for beginners and how to get started.

Beginners are often bombarded with information, and this overload can result in analysis paralysis or worse yet, bad results that ruin the enjoyment of lifting weights.

In some of our foundational articles such as bodybuilding from home and strength training at home we talked about some of the different things you might do based on experience, budget and so on.

In this article though, we’re going to talk about the Push/Pull/Legs Routine instead. This routine or program is an excellent one for beginners for two reasons.

1. Effective Frequency
2. Volume

Effective Frequency

Effective frequency is a concept and an idea that talks about how often you can or should be lifting weights.

A beginner can’t lift as much weight as an experienced lifter and while relatively this is still effort, you’re talking about apples and oranges. One will take some serious recovery time and the other will not. So while you can be giving it your all, less strength requires less recovery when lifting at 1RM (One Rep Max) %s.


Volume is simply how much work you are doing in the gym. Reps and sets. A beginner can recover faster and therefore can get away with doing less volume in a single session, and more volume over a time period.

Push, Pull, Legs:

Utilizing this program you should be training three days on, one day off and then repeat. I recommend starting day 1 on a push, but you don’t have to.

Since you’re a beginner most of the exercises in this routine are focused on compound lifts to increase size and strength. You can always supplement in additional lifts later down the line, but I highly recommend doing this for a few months and just focus on increasing the amount of weight you’re lifting.



Your first day is almost identical to the program I outlined in our chest exercises for mass program. The main difference being we’ve added in the close grip bench press and overhead press in place of some other exercises.

Bench Press38-12
Close Grip Bench Press36-10
Overhead Press38-12



Your second day of the program will be a pull-based routine. Since you’re a beginner we will mostly be focused on compound lifts. I also find that pulling motion lifts require slightly higher repetitions, so that has also been adjusted.

Bent Over Barbell Row38-12
Upright Row38-12



For leg day you want to be focused on a bit of variety, as a beginner, this means squats, lunges and hamstring curls. If you don’t have access to all of that equipment, switch out one of these for something else or increase the number of sets on one or more of these exercises. My recommendation is to exercise in a balanced way, so try to acquire new equipment as soon as possible if you don’t have it right now.

Hamstring Curls38-12

Leave a Comment