The push / pull / legs split is one of the best training splits a bodybuilder can use. Many professional bodybuilders like Jeff Nippard have made it a core part of their training programs.
If you want to learn how Jeff Nippard programs his push / pull / leg workouts then this article is for you!
- Part 1: Jeff Nippard’s Push / Pull / Legs Training Split
- Part 2: Jeff Nippard’s Push / Pull / Legs Workouts
In this comprehensive guide I will show you how Jeff Nippard uses the push / pull / legs split to organize his bodybuilding and powerlifting workouts.
Push / pull / legs is a training split where you train your entire body over three separate workouts.
You have a “push” day where you train your chest / shoulders / triceps, a “pull” day where you train your back / biceps and a “legs” day where you train your quads / hamstrings / calves.
There are three main different versions of the push / pull / legs split:
- Option #1: The 3 day push / pull / legs split
- Option #2: The 4 day push / pull / legs split
- Option #3: The 6 day push / pull / legs split
Jeff Nippard believes the 6 day push / pull / legs split is the way to go for building size and strength.
Here is how Jeff organizes his weekly workouts using this split:
- Monday: Quads / Hamstrings / Calves
- Tuesday: Chest / Shoulders / Triceps
- Wednesday: Back / Biceps
- Thursday: Quads / Hamstrings / Calves
- Friday: Chest / Shoulders / Triceps
- Saturday: Back / Biceps
- Sunday: Off
As you can see each body part is trained twice per week. This can be a great option if you have extremely good recovery ability like Jeff Nippard.
Many other professional bodybuilders including Ronnie Coleman and Chris Bumstead have used the 6 day push / pull / legs split with fantastic results.
One of the big advantages of this split is you can hit each body part with 2 different workouts per week. This was a favorite strategy of Ronnie Coleman.
For example Ronnie would have one “back thickness” workout where he performed heavy deadlifts and rowing exercises and one “back width” workout where he focused on exercises like lat pulldowns and dumbbell pullovers.
Jeff Nippard uses a similar strategy for his 6 day push / pull / legs program.
Here is how Jeff varies the type of stimulus for each workout:
- Day 1: Chest Focused
- Day 2: Delts Focused
- Day 1: Lat Focused
- Day 2: Mid-Back And Rear Delt Focused
- Day 1: Quad Focused
- Day 2: Posterior Chain Focused
Emphasizing different muscle groups for each workout is a great way to introduce more variety to your workouts and to avoid training plateaus.
Now let’s take a closer look at how Jeff organizes each of his push / pull / legs workouts.
Here is Jeff’s first weekly legs workout. Check it out:
Jeff Nippard Legs Workout #1
- A1: Back squat, 3 sets of 4 reps @ 80% of your 1-rep max
- B1: Romanian deadlift, 3 sets of 10 reps**
- C1: Unilateral leg press, 3 sets of 15 reps
- D1: Machine leg extension, 3 sets of 10-12 reps***
- E1: Seated leg curl, 3 sets of 10-12 reps****
- F1: Standing calf raise, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- G1: Decline crunches, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- H1: Long-lever planks, 2 sets of 30 second holds
**Keep the weight light the first week and slowly increase the weight at the following weeks to prevent extreme muscle soreness.
***Use a 3-4 second lowering phase.
****Perform a single drop set on the last set.
Here is the training video for this workout:
This is Jeff’s quads-focused leg day so he starts the workout with the barbell back squat.
Jeff wants to make this more of a powerbuilding push / pull / legs routine so it makes sense to start his workouts with the big barbell exercises whenever possible.
Jeff thinks it is very important to plan out your warm up sets whenever possible. Here is the exact warm up that Jeff used for this workout:
Jeff Nippard’s Squat Warm Up Sets
- Set #1: 10% 1RM x 10
- Set #2: 30% 1RM x 5
- Set #3: 50% 1RM x 4
- Set #4: 65% 1RM x 3
- Set #5: 75% 1RM x 1-2
After the 5th warm up set Jeff performs his 3 working sets with 80% of his 1-rep max.
Why does Jeff think you should plan out your warm up sets? I’ll let him answer that for you:
“These warm up sets are designed to prime you for the heavier working sets to come while fatiguing you as little as possible.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself!
For the rest of the workout Jeff uses a wide variety of quad-focused and hamstrings-focused accessory exercises like Romanian deadlifts, leg presses, leg extensions and leg curls.
Jeff says you have to be careful with the Romanian deadlifts because they can be very difficult to recover from. Check it out:
“You definitely don’t want to load these too heavy in week 1 because they can accuse an insane amount of muscle damage.
Focus on getting a solid stretch in the hamstrings and progressively increase the weight in the weeks to follow.”
Throughout the workout Jeff uses different high-intensity techniques like drop sets and 3-4 second lowering phases to challenge your muscles in different ways.
Most people don’t even realize that you get faster results when you vary the exercise tempo so kudos to Jeff Nippard for taking advantage of this.
Now let’s look at Jeff Nippard’s first weekly push workout. Check it out:
Jeff Nippard Chest / Shoulders / Triceps Workout #1
- A1: Bench press, 3 sets of 8 reps @ 72.5% of your 1-rep max
- B1: Machine shoulder press, 3 sets of 12 reps
- C1: Dips, 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- D1: Skull crushers, 3 sets of 8-10 reps
- E1: Egyptian cable lateral raise, 3 sets of 10-12 reps**
- F1: Cable tricep kickback, 2 sets of 20-30 reps
**On the last set perform a myo-reps cluster set. Perform 12 reps, rest for a couple breaths, perform 4 reps, rest for a couple breaths, perform 4 reps, and so on. Continue until you cannot perform 4 additional reps.
Here is the training video:
This is Jeff’s chest-focused push day so he starts his workout with the king of upper body exercises: the bench press.
Jeff performs the bench press like a bodybuilder with an arched back and tucked elbows. He also uses a slight pause on his chest for every rep:
“Generally, for anything over 6 reps I’ll just do a quick quarter-second pause on the chest. But the weight did feel pretty light on this day so I went ahead and did a slightly longer pause.”
Jeff Nippard likes to use a dual-factor progression scheme on the bench press. He likes to increase both the number of sets performed AND then amount of weight he is lifting to challenge his body and stimulate long-term strength gains.
Here is what Jeff’s progression looks like on the bench press:
Jeff Nippard Bench Press Progression Scheme
- Week #1: 3 x 8 @ 72.5% 1RM
- Week #2: 4 x 8 @ 72.5% 1RM
- Week #3: 5 x 8 @ 72.5% 1RM
- Week #4: 3 x 8 @ 75% 1RM
As you can see the total volume is increased for weeks 1-3 and the weight lifted is increased on week 4.
The powerlifting coach Josh Bryant uses this exact strategy with many of his bench press specialists including Julius Maddox, the strongest bench presser in the world. I guess great minds think alike!
Now let’s look at Jeff Nippard’s first weekly pull workout. Check it out:
Jeff Nippard Back / Biceps Workout #1
- A1: Pull ups (wide / overhand grip), 3 sets of 6 reps
- B1: Seated cable row, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- C1: Kneeling cable rope pullover, 3 sets of 15-20 reps
- D1: Hammer cheat curl, 3 sets of 8-10 reps
- E1: 60 degree incline dumbbell curl (supinating grip), 2 sets of 12-15 reps
Here is the training video:
This is Jeff’s lats-focused back / biceps day so he starts off the workout with wide / overhand grip pull ups.
This is easily one of the best exercises you can do for your lats. However, Jeff doesn’t stop there. He performs the exercise with an upright posture to target his lats even more than usual.
Here is Jeff Nippard discussing his pull up form:
“Because this is a lat focused workout I’m keeping a very upright posture allowing me to focus on pure shoulder abduction which will light up both the lats and the teres major of the back.”
Many other professional bodybuilders use this exact form when performing pull ups to target their lats more. In fact this is a favorite strategy of IFBB pro Dusty Hanshaw.
He often performs his rack chins with a very upright posture and his elbows shooting straight out to his sides to target the lats more.
You can click right here for a great video of Dusty performing this exercise.
Jeff Nippard also uses the straight-arm cable pulldown to really isolate his lats during this workout. Here are Jeff’s thoughts on this exercise:
“We’re doing a lat exercise with constant tension kneeling cable pullover.
And again with the higher rep stuff I’m counting each rep with a 1 second up 1 second down tempo to keep the tension where it’s supposed to be, the lats.”
It’s almost like Jeff read my article “Tempo Training: The Ultimate Guide!” before designing this program!
Now let’s look at Jeff Nippard’s second weekly leg workout. Check it out:
Jeff Nippard Legs Workout #2
- A1: Sumo deadlift, 3 sets of 3 reps @ 80-85% of your 1-rep max
- B1: Hack squat, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- C1: Single leg hip thrust, 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- D1: Nordic ham curl, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- E1: Prisoner back extension, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- F1: Unilateral leg press calf raise, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Here is the training video:
This is Jeff’s posterior chain focused leg workout so he kicks things off with the sumo deadlift. Jeff says that you can use either the sumo deadlift or conventional deadlift for this workout. The choice is up to you.
If you are struggling with your form on sumo deadlifts then Jeff has some great words of advice for you. Check it out:
“Let’s have a look at my bar path here. As you can see the bar is moving straight up and straight down over my foot.
If you let the bar get too far in front of you you increase the moment arm at the hips which makes the exercise much harder.
Before initiating the lift pack your lats nice and tight and scrape the bar against your pins as you pull.”
After the deadlifts Jeff moves onto machine hack squats to balance out the workout a little bit.
Sumo deadlifts are very hamstrings / glutes / lower back intensive so he wants something that will hit the quads a little harder and the machine hack squat is a perfect choice.
Jeff really likes to perform this exercise for higher reps to build muscular size and improve your work capacity. Here’s Jeff dropping knowledge like it’s hot:
“Higher rep hack squats can be very helpful in building up huge work capacity on the quads.
Sense this is our main quad exercise for the day you want to really focus on allowing your knees to travel out in front of your toes.
And yes, this is perfectly safe as long as it doesn’t give you any knee pain.”
Jeff is absolutely correct when he says that it is safe for your knees to travel over your toes when you squat.
Actually this is one of the best ways to train your vastus medialis muscle, the big teardrop shaped quadriceps muscle located on the inside of your knee.
You can learn more about this muscle in my article “The Ultimate Vastus Medialis Training Guide!”
Now let’s look at Jeff’s second weekly push workout. Check it out:
Jeff Nippard Chest / Shoulders / Triceps Workout #2
- Overhead press, 4 sets of 4 reps @ 80% of your 1-rep max
- Bench press (shoulder-width grip), 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Cable crossovers (low pulley), 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Overhead cable tricep extension (mid pulley), 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Lateral raise, 3 sets of 7 reps**
- Neck flexion / extension, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
**Perform 7 full range of motion reps, then 7 mid-range reps, then 7 partial reps.
Here is the training video:
This is Jeff’s delts-focused push workout so he kicks things off with the standing barbell overhead press. This is a tough exercise but it is absolutely worth doing if you like big, strong shoulders.
After the overhead press Jeff moves onto the close grip bench press.
Jeff has his own ideas about what the phrase “close grip” really means. Check it out:
“Every time I show my close grip bench press, a bunch of people note that it just looks like their regular grip.
For max strength transfer the idea is to bring your grip in a hands width on each side.”
Jeff is basically saying that a close grip for a powerlifter who only cares about strength is different than a close grip for a bodybuilder who only cares about building their triceps.
Once again Jeff is absolutely correct. Many world-class powerlifters including Vincent Dizenzo will use a “close grip” that is still wide by most people’s standards.
For this workout Jeff uses some high-intensity training techniques like drop sets on his accessory exercises. Jeff has some mixed opinions on drop sets. Check it out:
“While the research doesn’t show much of a benefit for doing drop sets, I still think that it’s important to push yourself like this periodically, especially as you get more advanced.
That’s because it gives you a reference for what all-out really means.
Once you experience a tough set like this it gives you a reminder that maybe you haven’t been pushing yourself as hard as you really think.”
Jeff correctly points out that the results from scientific studies don’t always match up perfectly with what hardcore bodybuilders and powerlifters see in the real world.
If you have something that is working for you then use it, even if the science doesn’t validate it 100%. You don’t need a study to show that getting kicked below the belt sucks and you don’t need a study to show that drop sets are helpful for building muscle!
Now let’s look at Jeff’s last weekly pull workout. Check it out:
Jeff Nippard’s Back / Biceps Workout #2
- A1: Lat pulldown (wide / overhand grip), 1 set of 10-12 reps
- B1: Lat pulldown (medium / supinated grip), 1 set of 10-12 reps
- C1: Lat pulldown (narrow / neutral grip), 1 set of 10-12 reps
- D1: Machine chest supported row (wide / overhand grip), 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- E1: Standing rope cable face pull, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- F1: 45 degree incline DB shrug, 3 sets of 15-20 reps
- G1: Reverse pec dec, 2 sets of 15 reps**
- H1: Ez-bar curls (wide / pronated grip), 3 sets of 10 reps, no rest
- H2: Ez-bar curls (wide / supinated grip), 3 sets of 10 reps, 1-2 minutes rest
**Perform 15 reps with a protracted scapula, then rest 15 seconds and perform 15 more reps with a retracted scapula.
Here is the training video:
For this workout Jeff Nippard uses a variety of exercises and techniques to focus on his mid-back and rear delts.
For his first exercise Jeff uses a modified version of a mechanical advantage drop set. He performs three different types of lat pulldowns where he progresses from the hardest version to the easiest version. Check it out:
“The idea here is that as your lats fatigue from set to set, you get a little more biceps assistance.
Grip 1 is the hardest when your back is the least fatigued, grip 2 should feel a little easier and grip 3 is easier still.
You should be able to hit the same weight for the same reps even as your fatigue builds.”
Mechanical advantage drop sets are a fantastic tool for building muscular hypertrophy. Christian Thibadeau and Charles Poliquin are both big fans of this technique.
You can read more about them in my article “Mechanical Advantage Drop Sets: The Ultimate Guide!”
During this workout Jeff is very careful to avoid exercises that tax his lower back too much. Jeff focuses on rowing exercises like machine chest supported rows and cable face pulls rather than barbell rows or t-bar rows to keep his lower back fresh.
This makes sense because he is already using a lot of heavy lower body exercises throughout the week like squats and deadlifts.
Here is Jeff dropping some knowledge bombs:
“I’m using a machine here because I can push a bit closer to failure without the same demand on the smaller stabilizers.
This isn’t always a good thing because you do want to strengthen those stabilizers as well.
But on a powerbuilding program there’s always so many free weight exercises that using some machines on the hypertrophy weeks isn’t a bad idea as well.”
The bottom line is Jeff Nippard put a lot of thought into his 6 day push / pull / legs program.
I know Jeff would disagree with me but I don’t think this program is a great choice for the average trainee. In my experience most trainees struggle to make progress training 6 days in a row.
However, if you have above-average recovery ability and are ready to work hard then go ahead and give this program a shot! It works great for Jeff Nippard and it may work great for you too.
Here is the original gangster Mark Twain dropping some next level truth bombs that will blow your mind:
“I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can’t find anybody who can tell me what they want.”
Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!