Jeff Nippard is a Canadian bodybuilder, powerlifters and fitness expert with over 3 million Youtube subscribers.
Jeff Nippard uses many different training splits. However, one of his favorite splits for building muscle mass and strength is the classic push / pull / legs split.
If you want to learn how Jeff Nippard organizes his “push” workouts then this article is for you!
- Part 1: The Push / Pull / Legs Split
- Part 2: Jeff Nippard’s Push Workouts
In this comprehensive guide I will teach you everything you need to know about how Jeff Nippard organizes his push workouts to build size and strength.
The push / pull / legs split is one of the most popular training splits in the world. The idea is simple: you train your entire body over three separate training days. For example:
Push / Pull / Legs Overview
- Push day = chest / shoulders / triceps
- Pull day = back / biceps
- Legs day = quads / hamstrings / calves
Jeff Nippard likes to use the push / pull / legs split in many of his training programs.
He says it is a great option because it reduces overlap between different muscle groups and it lets you train with a higher training frequency. However, it still lets you train with a decent amount of training volume.
For example, on his “push” days Jeff Nippard usually performs 2 exercises each for his chest, shoulders and triceps:
Jeff Nippard’s Push Day Training Volume
- Chest: 2 exercises
- Shoulders: 2 exercises
- Triceps: 2 exercises
One of Jeff’s favorite strategies for building muscle mass and strength is to use a 6-day push / pull / legs split. Check it out:
The Jeff Nippard 6-Day Push / Pull / Legs Split
- Day 1: Push
- Day 2: Pull
- Day 3: Legs
- Day 4: Push
- Pay 5: Pull
- Day 6: Legs
- Day 7: Off
Jeff Nippard likes this setup because you can train each muscle group twice per week. Jeff Nippard likes to use different exercises for his two weekly “push” workouts.
For example, he usually focuses on the bench press in his first weekly push workout and the overhead press in the second one.
Here is one of Jeff Nippard’s bench press focused push workouts that you can try. Check it out:
Jeff Nippard Push Workout #1
- Exercise #1: Bench press, 4 sets of 4-6 reps
- Exercise #2: 60 degree incline cable fly, 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Exercise #3: Standing DB press, 4 sets of 10-12 reps
- Exercise #4: Egyptian lateral raise, 4 sets of 10-12 reps
- Exercise #5: Tricep pushdowns (pronated grip), 4 sets of 10-12 reps
- Exercise #6: One-arm overhead cable rope extension (low pulley), 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Exercise #7: Flat DB press static hold, 2 sets of 60 seconds**
**Use a weight that is approximately 40% of your 5-rep max on the flat DB press
Here is the training video:
This is a perfect example of how Jeff Nippard likes to organize his bench press focused chest / shoulder / tricep workouts.
Jeff Nippard starts this workout with the flat bench press. Jeff likes to use powerlifting training principles in his workout routines, so it should come as no surprise that he starts his workout with the primary exercise he wants to get better at.
Jeff says that the bench press is one of the best chest exercises you can perform in the gym, even for advanced bodybuilders.
“I think that if you are able to safely bench press then you should. I attribute a lot of my overall chest development to working up to a 370 pound paused bench press at a 160 pound body weight as an all-time PR.”
After training chest Jeff moves onto his 2 shoulder exercises. He performs one overhead pressing movement, followed by one isolation exercise for his side delts.
Jeff says that the one-arm lean-away lateral raise, or the Egyptian lateral raise, may be superior to the normal standing dumbbell lateral raise for hitting your side delts.
“Here we’re leaning away into the direction of the raise. There is some evidence showing that the side delts are more involved near the top end of the range of motion.
By leaning away, you are taking further emphasis away from the rotator cuff and onto the side delts.”
Finally Jeff finishes his workout with 2 isolation exercises for his triceps. He thinks it is a smart idea to include different triceps exercises that target the lateral and long heads of the triceps for complete development. Dorian Yates was also a big fan of this approach.
“I think you want to structure your triceps workouts where you have one exercise, like a pressdown, where your arms are more at the sides. This will target your lateral head.
You also want to have one movement where your arms are overhead. This will target your long or inner head.”
Jeff Nippard likes to perform one bench press focused “push” workout each week. However, he often changes the accessory exercises from one week to the next to keep things interesting.
Here is another one of his “science based” push workouts that you can try. Check it out:
Jeff Nippard Push Workout #2
- Exercise #1: Bench press, 3 sets of 8 reps
- Exercise #2: Machine overhead press (pronated grip), 3 sets of 12 reps
- Exercise #3: V-bar dips, 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Exercise #4: Barbell skull crusher (behind head), 3 sets of 10-12 reps**
- Exercise #5: Egyptian lateral raise, 3 sets of 12 reps****
- Exercise #6: Cable tricep kickback, 3 sets of 20-30 reps
**Use a 3-second lowering phase on each rep
****Perform 12 reps, take a few breaths, perform 4 more reps, rest a few breaths, perform 4 reps, continue until you cannot perform 4 more reps
Here is the training video:
As usual Jeff starts the workout with the competition bench press. After that he moves onto his different accessory exercises for the chest, shoulders and triceps.
In this workout Jeff uses a machine exercise for his overhead pressing movement. Here is his reasoning:
“I’m opting for a machine variation here because when you train with a powerbuilding approach, all of the heavy free weight movements can take a toll on the joints and the smaller stabilizer muscles.
For a hypertrophy week, I like to use machines because you can train closer to failure without the exercises being too taxing.”
After the machine overhead presses he moves onto some full range of motion dips. Jeff says dips are fantastic because they let you train your chest, shoulders and triceps through an extremely large range of motion.
“The idea here is to make up for any so-called range of motion deficit from the powerlifting style bench press technique.”
By now you should have a good idea of how Jeff likes to organize his bench press focused “push” workouts. Now let’s look at some sample overhead press focused workouts. Check it out:
Jeff Nippard Push Workout #3
- Exercise #1: Barbell overhead press, 4 sets of 6-8 reps
- Exercise #2: Bench press (medium grip), 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Exercise #3: 30 degree incline DB fly, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Exercise #4: Cable rope upright row, 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Exercise #5: Standing band lateral raise, 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Exercise #6: One-arm cable overhead extension, 4 sets of 12-15 reps
- Exercise #7: Medicine ball push ups, 2 sets to near failure
Here is the training video:
Jeff Nippard is a big fan of the classic barbell overhead press. It’s not one of the primary exercises performed in a powerlifting competition.
However, Jeff thinks that it is a fantastic exercise and should be included in almost everyone’s training program. Check it out:
“Activation patterns tend to be higher with dumbbell pressing variations.
However, I prefer to use barbell overhead presses from a pure strength perspective as they allow an easy, steady application of progressive overload.”
After the overhead presses Jeff moves onto different accessory exercises for his chest, shoulders and triceps. As usual Jeff tries to stick with about 2 exercises per body part.
Jeff actually uses the bench press as one of his accessory exercises for this workout. He says that using a closer grip has many advantages, as it places increased emphasis on slightly different muscle groups.
“Research shows that using a close grip elicits greater activity of the clavicular, or upper part of the pecs.
So if your upper pecs are lagging, consider bringing your grip in to a shoulder-width grip, at least once per week.”
Finally Jeff finishes the workout with some high-rep bodybuilding work, including a brutal shoulder superset and some targeted chest and triceps work. Here are Jeff’s thoughts on optimal training volume for the triceps:
“I think that one triceps isolation exercise is enough for most people.
However, if your triceps are really lagging, then you may want to throw in another movement for 2 or 3 sets.”
Here is another one of Jeff’s shoulders-focused push workouts that you can try. Check it out:
Jeff Nippard Push Workout #4
- Exercise #1: Barbell overhead press, 4 sets of 4 reps
- Exercise #2: Bench press (medium grip), 3 sets of 10 reps
- Exercise #3: Cable crossover (low pulley), 3 sets of 10-12 reps**
- Exercise #4: Cable overhead triceps extensions (mid-pulley), 3 sets of 10-12 reps
- Exercise #5: Standing DB lateral raise, 3 sets of 21 reps****
- Exercise #6: Neck flexion / extension machine, 3 sets of 10-12 reps
**On the last set train to failure, then drop the weight by 50% and then train to failure again
****On each set perform 7 full range of motion reps, then 7 reps in the top half of the motion, then 7 reps in the bottom half of the motion.
Here is the training video:
For this workout Jeff decides to train a little heavier on the standing barbell overhead press. He says that using proper form is absolutely critical on this exercise. Check it out:
“Two cues I’ve been emphasizing lately are arching the upper back and really tucking my glutes in to tuck everything into place and to make sure there aren’t any energy leaks during the press.”
After the overhead press Jeff moves straight into one of his favorite accessory exercises: the close grip bench press. Jeff doesn’t use a shoulder-width grip for this exercise. Instead, he brings his hands 2-3 inches in from his regular grip.
He says this small change gives him better carryover to his competition grip bench press and is probably a better overall choice.
“Every time I show my close grip bench press they note that it just looks like their regular grip.
For max strength transfer the idea is just to bring your grip in a hands-width on each side, not to get your grip as close as you can.”
The rest of the workout featured different isolation exercises for his chest, shoulders, triceps and neck extensors.
Jeff Nippard is a huge fan of the classic push / pull / legs split. He says this split has many advantages, from allowing you to train with a higher training frequency to reducing overlap between different muscle groups.
Jeff has some specific rules that he follows with his “push” workouts: he always starts the workout with the bench press or overhead press, he uses about 2 exercises per body part and he blends together lower-rep strength work and higher-rep bodybuilding work in the same workout.
If you have above-average recovery ability then Jeff Nippard’s push workouts may be just what you need to take your training to the next level.
“All I know is that the first step is to create a vision, because when you see the vision, the beautiful vision, that creates the want power.”
Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!
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