Chris Bumstead Push, Pull, Legs Routine

Written By: Jeremy Fox, CNC, CPTUpdated: January 23, 2024

The push, pull, legs split was once considered a routine for beginners, but in recent years, it has gained popularity among elite fitness stars. For instance, Chris Bumstead has used this split to build muscle for the Mr. Olympia stage. Therefore, there is obviously some merit to this forgotten program!

Chris Bumstead Push Pull Legs

For the few who don’t know, Chris Bumstead (aka CBum) is the 5-time Mr. Olympia Classic Physique Champion. And you’re about to see his exact push, pull, legs split and learn why he uses this training routine to optimize muscle growth.

What Is Push Pull Legs?

Push, pull, legs is a resistance training program that divides your training into workouts focused on pushing, pulling, and lower body movements.

On push days, you perform exercises like chest/shoulder presses and tricep extensions. Pull days involve rows, pulldowns, and bicep curls, while leg days concentrate on squats, hip hinge movements, and isolation exercises for the quads, hamstrings, and calves.

The traditional push, pull, legs workout is a 3-day per week routine, and you have the option of working out on consecutive days or taking rest days in between. More advanced lifters may opt for the 6-day version of this program, in which they perform each workout twice per week.

Push, Pull, Legs Splits:

  • 3-Day Beginner/Intermediate = Push, Pull, Legs
  • 6-Day Advanced = Push, Pull, Legs, Repeat
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A post shared by Chris Bumstead (@cbum)

Why Chris Bumstead Uses 6-Day Push Pull Legs

Professional bodybuilders, including CBum, often use a training routine called the bro split workout. This method involves training one or two muscle groups per workout, five to six days per week.

With the bro split, the target muscle gets worked to complete fatigue during workouts. And that emphasis and intensity help generate maximum hypertrophy, especially for experienced athletes.

However, Chris Bumstead likes the 6-day push, pull, legs split because it allows him to train each muscle group twice weekly. Some studies suggest that this frequency leads to the fastest increases in muscle growth1.

In addition, the push, pull, leg split is more straightforward to program and follow than more complex bro splits. It enables combining similar muscle groups to reduce soreness or overtraining when working the chest one day and triceps the next, for example.

Plus, Chris finds that the reduced volume for a particular muscle group in any given workout makes it easier to stay motivated while training hard. He says he enjoys going to the gym when using the push, pull, and split legs.

Benefits of Chris Bumstead’s Push Pull Legs Split

  • Hit muscle groups twice per week.
  • Optimal hypertrophy for advanced lifters.
  • Less doubling up on muscle groups and joints.
  • Fewer sets for each muscle group in a workout.
  • Able to push harder for those sets.
  • Simple concept and easy to follow.
  • He enjoys it, and it keeps him motivated!

Chris Bumstead Push Pull Legs Split

Some 6-day push, pull, legs routines are a copy and paste of the first three days. So, you would essentially do the same three workouts twice per week.

However, Chris Bumstead prefers to do six unique workouts to incorporate various exercises, angles, and rep ranges to work every fiber of each muscle group.

Even the reigning Mr. Olympia has areas that he can improve. And Bumstead’s push, pull, legs split is designed to work on weak points while avoiding injuries.

For CBum, the muscle groups he gets critiqued most are his biceps and calves. So, special attention and intensity techniques are built-in on those days.

Now let’s dive into a more detailed look at the workouts.

Push Workout 1: Chest, Shoulders, Tris (Pec Heavy)

Pull Workout 1: Back, Bis (Upper Lat Focus)

Leg Workout 1: Glute & Hamstring Focus

  • Walking Lunges
    • 3 warm-up sets with bodyweight
    • 3 working sets weighted 12-15 steps, each leg
  • RDLs or Deadlift
    • 2 warm-up sets
    • 3 working sets 10-12 reps RDLs (6-8 reps if deadlift)
  • Hip Thrusts or Glute Kick Backs
    • 3 sets 10-12 reps
  • Seated Calf Raises
    • 6 sets 10-12 reps
  • Hamstring Curls (superset with last 4 sets of calf raises)
    • 2 sets 10 reps
    • 2 sets 40 seconds duration
Chris Bumstead Push Pull Legs Routine

Push Workout 2: Shoulders, Chest, Tris (Delt Heavy)

Complete Push Day Exercises List

Pull Workout 2: Back, Bis (Lower Lat Focus)

  • Pull Ups
    • 3 warm-up sets (while warming up for rack pulls)
  • Rack Pulls
    • 3 warm-up sets
    • 2 working sets 8-10 reps
  • Hammer Curls
    • 3 sets 10-12 reps
  • Reverse Grip Row OR Supinated Lat Pulldown
    • 3 sets 10-12 reps
  • Cable Curls
    • 3 sets 10-12 reps
  • Cable Rows
    • 2 drop sets (total of 20 reps each)
  • Dumbbell Curl
    • Run the rack to failure

Complete Pull Day Exercises List

Leg Workout 2: Quad Focus

Chris Bumstead Push Pull Legs Split

Chris Bumstead Push Pull Legs Video

Remember that Chris Bumstead is a professional bodybuilder, and his lifestyle allows him ample downtime to recover from his workouts. So copying his exact push, pull, legs split might not give you the same results.

Here’s a video where CBum goes into even more detail about why he uses specific exercises, rep ranges, and techniques in his workouts.

More Chris Bumstead Stuff

Chris Bumstead has gotten great results from the push, pull, legs split. However, he doesn’t use that workout routine all the time, so I’ve included some examples of his other workouts below.

Check out these additional articles on Chris Bumstead’s workouts and news.

Chris Bumstead Arm Workouts

Chris Bumstead Leg Workouts

Chris Bumstead Height, Weight, & Measurements

Chris Bumstead’s Mullet, Mustache, & Hair Motivation

Chris Bumstead Gets Hair Transplant After Olympia Win

Chris Bumstead Hair Transplant

More Bodybuilding Workouts

Now you have some inspiration for a killer push pull legs workout routine. And you might be interested to learn more about how other bodybuilders train.

So here are some related guides to help you create the ultimate workout routine for muscle growth.

Ideal Shoulder Superset Workout for Growth

Simple Abs, Calves and Forearms Workout for Stubborn Muscles

Bill Pearl Workout Routine From Beginner to Advanced

Quick Dumbbell Chest & Tricep Workout With Supersets

Top 10 Hypertrophy Training Rules For Max Muscle Growth

Legendary Tom Platz Leg Workout Tips

3 Example Leg and Shoulder Workouts to Get the Best Results

Complete Mike Mentzer Workout Routine: High Intensity Plan

If you’d rather change topics, I also have tons of other great content on everything from diet to supplements. So see if any of the articles below pique your interest!

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