Basic Push, Pull, Legs Routine for Beginners

Push, Pull, Legs

I’ve mentioned on a few of my earlier posts that an excellent place to start in the gym is with a basic Push, Pull, Legs routine. This should be manageable for most with only 3 days needed per week. Each workout should take less than an hour – factor in 1 minute rest between sets and make sure you stay hydrated!

Let’s get started…

Day One – Push (40 minutes)

  • Dumbbell Chest Press (4×10) – To maximise mind-muscle connection with your chest, keep the weight light, squeeze your armpits and focus on bringing your biceps together.
  • Pectoral Fly (3×10)
  • Lateral Raises (3×10)
  • Shoulder Presses (3×10)
  • Tricep Pushdown (3×15) – I find that higher volume helps to engage my triceps – rep out the last set until failure.

Day Two – Pull (45 minutes)

  • Lat Pull Down (3×10)
  • Upright Rows (3×10) – Make sure to depress your shoulders, pull with your elbows and limit any movement at the hip.
  • Deadlifts (3×10)
  • Bicep Curl (4×10) – Feel free to mix this between dumbbells, barbells and cables – even within the one session!
  • Hammer Curl (4×10)

Day Three – Legs (40 minutes)

  • Leg Extensions (4×12)
  • Leg Press (4×12)
  • Leg Curls (4×12) – Make sure you squeeze the hell out of your hamstrings at the top of the curl. Think of this one as a bicep curl for your legs.
  • Calf Raises (4×12)

Starting out, I would recommend utilising this programme for around 6-8 weeks before tailoring further to maximise your progress and gains. Make sure to track your reps and weights each week and look to make small, incremental improvements each time you set foot in the gym.

If you want to add extra days into the programme, make sure any cardio you do is on a different day to the Push, Pull, Legs sessions or use additional visits to focus on improving form and practicing weak points. Make sure to leave enough rest between Push and Pull – think of using a Monday. Wednesday, Friday split.

Let me know how it goes on Twitter or in the comments below.

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Protein Tips For Veggies

Having been on a primarily veg-based diet for a couple of years now, I’ve learned loads about maximizing protein intake without the need for meat. I’ll be honest, it’s not always easy and requires some careful planning and consideration to make sure you hit your goal on a daily basis.

So, here are some protein tips for veggies and, don’t worry, they don’t revolve around an unmanageable intake of beans…

First off, you MUST track your macros. I thought my protein intake was fairly good but quickly realised how wrong I was! If we take it that 0.8g to 1g of protein per pound of body weight is ideal for muscle growth (there is TONS of competing research on this and we will cover that another time), I should be consuming between 144g and 180g of protein per day. On starting to track my macros, I found that I was hitting an average of only 70g per day – less than half of what I needed! No wonder the gains were slow!!

So, how do you increase your daily protein consumption? You’ll have seen a million Instagram graphics from passionate veggies and vegans letting you know that there is more protein in 100 calories of spinach than 100 calories of ground beef – and that’s true. But, the problem is, 100 calories worth of spinach is a hell of a lot to consume for a mere 12g of protein.

To hit upwards of 180g per day, you will need to supplement your diet with things like protein powders, yoghurt, bars and snacks. Protein powders are generally quite low in calories but make sure to keep an eye on sugar levels in the others. My current favourites are the protein yoghurts from Arla which come in at only 130kcal for 20g of protein.

Some other really simple tips are to add cheese to meals, giving an extra protein hit for veggies, and a seed / nut mix to salads for vegans – just be careful with the calorie count as a small amount of either can have a massive impact on your daily allowance.

My last tip is to add a Leucine supplement to your diet. One of three branched-chain amino acids, Leucine has been shown to stimulate protein synthesis meaning that this amino is especially important for those struggling to hit their recommended daily levels. Make sure to add around 3g per day for an extra boost.

Are you tracking your macros? What tips do you have for increasing protein intake??

Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.

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The Importance of Routine

the importance of routine

Success in attaining your goals is going to be a by-product of consistency, there really isn’t any way around it. On your way to hitting those objectives, you will be spinning a lot of plates including exercise, nutrition and supplementation.

It’s easy to let things slip and sabotage weeks of hard work so let’s look at how you can apply the importance of routine to your fitness journey.

Before

One way to guarantee a substandard trip to the gym is to spend time convincing yourself why it’s ok to miss the session. It’s not ok and it’s going to impact your nutrition, motivation and goals for the rest of the week. The way I avoid this is through routine > plan your week in advance and when it’s time to go, don’t even think, GO! Sure, things will inevitably get in the way at times but don’t let your mindset be the prompt for that excuse!

And lastly, plan to get your pre-workout in around 30 minutes before the session to give the caffeine time to kick-in. If you need help choosing a pre-workout, check out my latest Supplement Wars post.

During

You made it to the gym – awesome, but that’s just a good start! You need to make sure you have a plan in-hand. Turning-up to see what machines are free isn’t ideal and will most likely see you fall-back on the movements you’re most comfortable with. Those are not going to be the most effective for growth and it’s unlikely to be a route to your dream physique.

Use your phone to track your routine and measure progress against last week – small improvements to weights, reps or sets will make for huge gains over time.

After

Recovery starts in the gym so make sure you are always aware of hydration levels if you want to avoid muscle cramps developing over the next 24 hours or so (remember, no excuses for missing future sessions!).

Next thing to plan into your routine is supplementation – I like to replenish quickly following a workout to avoid energy levels crashing and to get recovery started quickly. My post-workout shake normally consists of whey protein, BCAA’s, creatine and taurine – I get it in within an hour of leaving the gym. Add your daily vitamins at the same time every day and you’ll find those too become part of your routine and you’ll be less likely to forget them.

What are you thoughts on the importance of routine? What goes into your daily / weekly plan??

Let me know on Twitter or in the comments below.

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