Who else wants to know, “Is 6-Day PPL Too Much?”
Push/pull/legs is typically viewed as one of the best workout splits.
It allows you to hit every single muscle group on a weekly basis, as well as providing some variety to your training.
That being said, most of us start out training PPL 3 days a week, but after a while it feels as though you need something more.
This is when most of us consider training PPL for 6 days a week.
But, is this too much training volume?
Will it hamper potential muscle growth?
Allow me to reveal all.
Is 6-Day PPL Too Much?
A 6-day push/pull/legs split is definitely too much for a beginner, and should therefore not be attempted. As a beginner it makes more sense to perform PPL on a 3-day split with a full day’s rest between workouts. That being said, a 6-day PPL is fine for intermediate and advanced lifters to do. However, if you find that you’re constantly fatigued then take a day’s rest after each 3-day PPL. In essence, you’re running a 6-day workout over an 8-day period.
Is PPL Twice a Week Too Much?
To be honest, whether a 6-day PPL is too much will very much depend on you as an individual.
I’ve always been a great believer in that there is no such thing as “one-size-fits-all” when it comes to training.
This is also why I typically try to avoid generic workout programs, which are aimed at everyone regardless of their current abilities.
How my body reacts to certain exercises and training stimulus will be different to yours and vice versa.
That being said, there are of course a great core of exercises that most of us should be doing, or their variations at least.
By this I mean that the main compound exercises will always be the ones that give you the best bang for your buck.
However, this still doesn’t mean that we all have to perform exactly the same exercises, e.g. some people may prefer front squats to barbell back squats, etc.
So, when it comes to whether performing PPL twice a week is too much, this will once more very much depend on you as an individual.
It’s Not For Beginners
That being said, the 6-day a week split is definitely not something that I would recommend for beginners.
So, if you’re in your first 6 months of training, and you wish to follow a push/pull/legs split, I would recommend that you only perform it 3 days a week.
This allows you a full day’s rest between workouts, which should be ample for proper recovery.
I would also suggest that you separate your pull workout and your leg workout with your push workout, e.g. Monday – pull, Wednesday – push, Friday – legs.
You’ll often find that performing pull and legs too close to each other can wreak havoc on your lower back, thus affecting your workouts.
Admittedly, only training PPL 3 days a week will mean that your gains will take longer.
But, this is still better than constantly feeling fatigued or suffering with injury.
That being said, I see nothing wrong with performing a 6-day PPL split as an intermediate or advanced lifter.
However, I still urge you to listen to your body, and take rest whenever required.
Turn PPL into an “8-Day Week”
Now, once you’ve got through the “beginner stage” of training and can now be considered an intermediate lifter, this doesn’t mean that you won’t struggle with a 6-day PPL split.
Once again, this definitely comes down to you as an individual, your general lifestyle, and your powers of recovery.
So, while there’s nothing wrong with doing a 6-day PPL, you should still pay close attention to what your mind and body are telling you.
In fact, I have made changes to my own training over the years to fit in with these factors.
Something that I do nowadays is to no longer look at a 7-day training week.
What I mean by this is that I no longer try to fit in my weekly workouts and rest days between Monday to Friday.
What I’ve found works really well for me, irrespective of which training split I happen to be following, is to train for 3 or 4 days in a row, take a rest day, and then repeat the process again.
So, in effect, after every 3 or 4 days of exercise I have a day’s rest, and this is regardless of what body parts or training split I have hit.
You Can Do the Same With PPL
Therefore, if you’re finding your energy levels or your recovery to be a problem then you can do exactly the same thing with push/pull/legs.
Okay, I’ll admit that if you can hit PPL twice a week you’re likely to gain more muscle than someone who takes slightly longer to achieve this.
However, this isn’t always the case, especially if you’re “wasting” workouts due to fatigue.
If this is the case then I’d suggest that you take a day’s rest every 4th day.
So, you actually end up turning a 6-day week of training into 8 days.
You train push/pull/legs, take a day’s rest, you hit PPL again over the next 3 days, and then take another day’s rest.
If you do this you’ll still be training more often than only hitting PPL once a week, but you’ll basically have an extra day’s recovery which could make all the difference to your muscle and strength gains.
Always remember that your muscles actually grow while you’re at rest, as opposed to when you’re killing yourself in the gym.
Be Wary of Your Nutrition
The final factor to consider if you’re potentially finding 6-day PPL too much is your nutrition.
In fact, I would always recommend that your nutrition is the first place to look if your workouts are suffering.
Realistically, overtraining is extremely hard for most people to ever achieve.
And more often than not, what is viewed as overtraining is actually nothing more than undereating.
So, if you have been following a 6-day PPL for a while now, but starting to find it a struggle, this could simply be a case of needing more food.
In fact, I will go as far to say that most people probably don’t eat enough anyway.
And this is typically because they are unaware of the calories in the foods they are eating or there is the fear factor about getting fat.
There’s no two ways about it, if you’re training hard and you want to gain muscle and strength, you’ll generally need to eat at a calorie surplus.
Then again, perhaps you are eating enough, but you have a poor macronutrient split.
I often see most lifters wholly focused on their protein intake.
Now, this isn’t obviously entirely a bad thing, as if you’re looking to get bigger and stronger then you’re going to need a certain amount of protein in your diet.
However, I still class carbs as extremely important, in terms of building size and strength, fuelling your workouts, and aiding your recovery.
So, if you wish to do a 6-day PPL split then eat to support your goals.
The Ideal Caloric Surplus to Put on Muscle & Weight
So, I hope you understand that whether a 6-day PPL is too much will very much depend on you as an individual.
That being said, I would never advise a beginner, in their first 6 months of training, to attempt a 6-day PPL.
In fact, a beginner would be far better off sticking to one push, one pull, and one leg workout each week with a full day’s rest in-between.
It’s only once you’re into the realms of being an intermediate or advanced lifter that you should attempt PPL for 6 days a week.
However, if you find that your workouts are suffering then you could extend the 6-day PPL to an 8-day period.
Therefore, you train push/pull/legs, take a day’s rest, and then repeat.
Finally, if you feel your workouts are suffering due to poor recovery, it makes sense to look at your nutrition to ensure that you’re eating enough and adhering to a decent macronutrient split.
To give you a better idea of what type of training split is best suited to you I have also compared PPL to an Upper/Lower body split.
Hi, I’m Partha, the founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I’m someone who’s been passionate about exercise and nutrition for more years than I care to remember. I’ve studied, researched, and honed my skills for a number of decades now. So, I’ve created this website to hopefully share my knowledge with you. Whether your goal is to lose weight, burn fat, get fitter, or build muscle and strength, I’ve got you covered.