If you're just getting started with liting, I'm afraid that this routine won't be for you. I don't want to disappoint you, but this is an extreme routine for the advanced gym rat looking to gain muscle. Have you seen the routine on Tiktok, or had some Guru trying to sell you the program? Don't worry – I got you!
The PPL x Arnold split is a combination of Arnold Split with a PPL routine – to pull it off, you going to need determination, time, the right amount of sleep and a healthy meal plan to keep your calories and proteins in balance. I'm about to walk you through how I did it, let's see if you can keep up!
There are two ways to do it:
There Are Two Alternatives to the PPL x Arnold Split:
Option 1: The 6-Day Routine
- Monday: Push
- Tuesday: Pull
- Wednesday: Legs
- Thursday: Chest/Back
- Friday: Shoulders/Arms
- Saturday: Legs
- Sunday: Off
Option 2: The 8-Day Routine
- Day 1: Push
- Day 2: Pull
- Day 3: Legs
- Day 4: Rest
- Day 5: Chest & Back
- Day 6: Shoulders & Arms
- Day 7: Legs
- Day 8: Rest
Essentially, with option two, you'll take a rest day after leg day – which is recommended in many cases. We all know how one can feel the day after working out legs, it's not always as simple to come back the day after with the energy to hit a heavy chest/back workout. So, if you feel like taking a day to rest during this routine, the fourth day is the day to do so.
PPL Arnold Split: Workout Schedule
Workout 1: Push
- Bench Press 4 sets x 5-8 reps
- Cable Crossover 2 sets x 12-15 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Press 3 sets x 8-12 reps
- Lateral Raise 3 sets x 12-15 reps
- Rope Triceps Pressdown 3 sets x 10-15 reps
- Lying EZ Bar Triceps Extension 3 sets x 12-15 reps
Workout 2: Pull
- Neutral Grip Pull–ups 4 sets x 12-20
- Wide Grip Front Lat Pulldown 2 sets x 8-12 reps
- Seated Cable Row 3 sets x 8-12 reps
- Bent-Over Lateral Raise 3 sets x 12-15 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Curl 3 sets x 8-12 reps
- Dumbbell Preacher Curl 3 sets x 12-15 reps
Workout 3: Legs
- Deadlift 4 sets x 5-8 reps
- Leg Press 3 sets x 8-12 reps
- Bulgarian Split Squat 2 sets 8-12 reps
- Glute Ham Raise 3 sets x 8-12 reps
- Seated Leg Curl 3 sets x 12-15 reps
- Standing Calf Raise 4 sets x 15-20 reps
Workout 4: Chest & Back
- Flat Bench Press 3 sets x 5-8 reps
- Reverse Grip Lat Pulldown 3 sets x 8-12 reps
- Push Ups 3 sets x As Many As You Can
- Barbell Row 3 sets x 8-12 reps
- Single-Arm Dumbbell Row 3 sets of 5-8 reps
- Dumbbell Flyes 3 sets x 12-15 reps
Workout 5: Shoulders & Arms
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press 4 sets x 8-12 reps
- Lateral Raise 3 sets x 10-15 reps
- V-Bar Triceps Pressdown 3 sets x 10-15 reps
- Standing Dumbbell Curl 3 sets x 8-12 reps
- Overhead Triceps Extension 3 sets x 10-15 reps
- Hammer Curl 3 sets x 12-15 reps
Workout 6: Legs
- Barbell Squat 4 sets x 5-8 reps
- Leg Press 3 sets x 8-12 reps
- Leg Extension 2 sets x 12-15 reps
- Seated Leg Curl 3 sets x 8-12 reps
- Romanian Deadlift 3 sets x 8-12 reps
- Standing Calf Raise 4 sets x 5-8 reps
Is the PPL x Arnold Split Really That Effective?
If you're pondering the effectiveness of the PPL x Arnold Split, the verdict is in—it's a muscle-building powerhouse. This split doesn't play around; it hits each muscle group at least twice a week, a strategy that tends to outshine the traditional once-a-week frequency.
Here's the beauty of it: by focusing on just 2-3 muscle groups per workout, you're not just throwing weights around; you're dishing out a potent dose of volume that sets the stage for serious muscle growth.
But, and it's a crucial “but,” this high-frequency approach isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. It demands your commitment on the nutrition and recovery fronts. If you're ready to fuel up and give your body the rest it deserves, the PPL x Arnold Split might just become your ticket to a sculpted physique in this intensive 6-day workout routine.
Who Is It For?
As I mentioned at the article's beginning, this split is not for everyone. If you're an intermediate or experienced lifter looking to take your sessions to the next level – this might be just what you're looking for. But, and yes, there is a but… This one is going to test your discipline and your recovery abilities. In the best-case scenario, you get 7-9 hours of sleep at night and follow a healthy, protein-packed diet that fuels your body.
How About Warmup And Streching?
You should always warm up, I'm a big preacher of that – but how much? Well, this completely depends on:
- How hot/cold it is in the gym
- How your joints feel
- How stiff do you feel?
I did not change my warm-up drastically when I did the Arnold Split with a PPL routine: so I usually opted in for 10 minutes of skipping followed by incline power walk. Day 3 & 5 I also did a warm up set with the first exercise each day as I felt like my body needed a slower start before I could get on with the heavier lifts.
In terms of stretching – I'd suggest you leave it to after the session. Not only does it little to no difference, studies have also shown that its way more effective to stretch post workout.
How Long Shall I Rest Between The Sets?
Give yourself a breather – take a solid 2-3 minutes between sets. When in doubt, lean towards the side of too much rest rather than risking not enough.
Here's a golden rule: for compound exercises that engage a hefty chunk of muscle mass—think squats, rows, deadlifts, leg presses—extend your rest periods. Allow those muscles to recover and prepare for the next round. You're gonna need it!
On the flip side, when you're diving into single-joint exercises like dumbbell curls or lateral raises, you won't need to clock as much rest time.
Don't fall into the trap of trying to be the speed demon in the gym, racing from one exercise to the next. The secret sauce for hypertrophy lies in granting yourself a decent amount of rest between sets. Let those muscles recuperate, and you'll amplify the impact of your workout, making every set count.
Time To Progress: This is How You Do It:
Your muscles need a reason to grow. Without that challenge, you'll stay stuck at your current size. Keep a training journal, jot down your numbers, and strive to outdo your previous workout each time.
Repetition may be the mother of skill, but doing the same old routine for the next half-decade won't get you far. If you're stuck in a training regimen your body has grown accustomed to, don't expect new muscle mass to appear magically.
I'm not promising perpetual progress; that's simply unattainable. There will be days when you lift the same weight for the same sets and reps. However, the key is consistently pushing yourself, whether lifting heavier, cranking out more reps, or adding more sets.
Notice those rep ranges, like 5-8 or 8-12? They're not arbitrary. Let's say you're prescribed 3 sets of 5-8 reps for an exercise. Choose a weight that allows at least 5 reps but no more than 8.
Once you hit 3 sets of 8 reps, add weight. It's simple but effective, working well for most exercises. Stay consistent, work hard, and ensure your technique stays true. Don't fool yourself into thinking you're getting stronger when you're just cheating those last reps.
The exact timeline for reaching this point will vary, but the principle remains – progress is the name of the game. So, embark on your journey, stay committed, and watch those gains come to life.
The PPL x Arnold split is a fantastic routine for muscle gain if you can keep up the consistency and progress with it. Stick to it, and you'll notice results after the second week, guaranteed, as long as you follow the plan. If you find it too hard, you might want to start with something simpler (yet still powerful) such as the PPL workout or PHAT workout.
Does it feel overwhelming? Challenge a friend, do it together and keep a journal!