Another training split that can be highly effective is a “Push, Pull, Legs” split. One such example is the Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program by Jeff Nippard, which I’m going to review for you today.
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program offers intermediate and advanced lifters a way to increase muscle mass and begin to prioritize strength progressions in the squat, bench press, deadlift, and overhead press while also including a wide variety of machines and bodybuilding movements.
Like all of Jeff Nippard’s online training guides, Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program is very informative at explaining the rationale behind the exercise programming and exercise selections. It also offers a wide variety of movements, substitutions, and exercise demonstration videos to further enhance the lifter’s experience and results.
That said, I did find some flaws in Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program that are worth discussing more in-depth:
First, this program is NOT FOR BEGINNERS. This program, while addressing a lot of technical proficiency of barbell lifts in the first 8-week training block, does require a foundational understanding and training age that can withstand the amount of volume necessary for progress in the second block.
Secondly, this training program follows a six-days per week training cycle, with each workout lasting 60-90 minutes based on recovery time between sets and warm-ups. Since more of the main barbell lifts are performed in the 75-85% of max range, resting 2-3 minutes between sets if necessary, adding to an already time-consuming training program.
Lastly, this program relies heavily on percentage-based progressions, making it vital to have an accurate 1-rep max or estimated 1-rep maximum to set the base for the 16-week training program. While this may not be an issue for some lifters, it can be a risk for those who train alone or have minimal experience lifting maximal loads or testing maxes.
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program is a good workout option for lifters who can commit 6-8 hours a week training in the gym, are capable of testing maxes, and working with heavier loads on a consistent basis, and have access to barbells, weights, and machines.
However, I do see some areas where it may be beneficial to consider other training programs.
Why This May Not Be the Best Program For You…
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program is a really robust training program, and hits the mark on many things. That said, I do feel there are a few key aspects of this training program that really stick out to me and could be an issue for some individuals struggling to gain muscle and strength.
1. NOT BEGINNER FRIENDLY
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program is not beginner friendly, and to Jeff’s credit, he clearly states this at the beginning of the program. This program requires a high tolerance or loading (training intensity) and volume, as well as a firm grasp on movement and technique with a heavy barbell.
If you’re a beginner lifter with less than 2 years of strength training experience), then I recommend starting with the Fitbod app (click to get 3 free workouts), which will base your workouts on your performance in the gym. The app takes into consideration several data points that learns how you should be progressing based on your logged training history.
2. REQUIRES INTERMEDIATE TO ADVANCED SKILL SET WITH BARBELL STRENGTH LIFTS
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program spends the first training block really honing in on barbell technique and proficiency in the deadlift, back squat, bench press, and overhead press. While 8 weeks is a great amount of time to further develop that skill set, it is not the solution for individuals who lack proper mechanics and lifting technique as you are still moving heavier weights in higher volumes during that period. If you fail to train using proper technique, you could set yourself up for injury in the second training block.
If you fall into this category, I would (again) recommend checking out the Fitbod app, where before your workouts are generated, you’re able to select the equipment that is available to you. That way the training program is personalized to your individual situation, which is imperative if you don’t have access to a barbell.
LITTLE FLEXIBILITY WITH TRAINING SCHEDULE
When you train six days per week, you already place some pretty hefty restrictions around your training schedule. Additionally, Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program follows a strict training day order (Legs, Push, Pull, Legs, Push, Pull), which means any deviation from that will set you back some. This can be problematic for individuals who travel, have issues locking down a consistent training schedule, or have issues recovering when training nearly every day of the week.
With the Fitbod app, you can choose the training frequency that meets your needs, lifestyle, and time commitments. Fitbod believes that even if you have one day per week to workout, you can still progress to reach your goals.
To recap, this is why I feel you should go with the Fitbod app instead of Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program:
Allows for greater flexibility in your training schedule
Does not always require you to have high amounts of experience lifting heavier loads (above 80% max)
Provides you with in-app videos on proper lifting technique and form
Modifies your workouts weekly to adjust to your individual performance week to week, to allow for better recovery and progress
Now, let’s dive into the full review of Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program.
Program Review – Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program
Below you will find my full program review of Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program.
ABOUT THE CREATOR – JEFF NIPPARD
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Jeff Nippard is a popular Youtuber and Instagram bodybuilder known for his highly informational and scientifically-driven content.
Jeff has a strong education background with a degree in biochemistry and extensive self-research and experience in exercise principles, programming, and nutrition.
Jeff is also a drug-free bodybuilder and powerlifter, with best lifts of:
Squat: 502 pounds
Bench Press: 336 pounds
Deadlift: 518 pounds
WHAT IS JEFF NIPPARD’S INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCED PUSH PULL LEGS PROGRAM
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program is 16-weeks (two, eight-week training blocks) geared for intermediate and advanced lifters looking to build muscle and prioritize strength in the back squat, bench press, and deadlift (in addition to a few other large compound movements). This training program consists of six workouts per week, typically done back to back with one rest day (last day of the week) per week. Each workout is roughly 60-90 minutes in length.
The first training block is eight weeks in length, and follows a linear progression model with the main strength lifts. Most movements are trained twice per week to help you accumulate enough training volume and barbell technique work to push strength in the second block.
The second block is also eight weeks in length, however, it starts with a deload week (week 9) to ensure adequate recovery ring into the back seven weeks of the program. Over the next six weeks (weeks 10-15), you will continue to linearly progress the main lifts and drop overall training volume (sets and reps). The last week of the program (week 16) has you performing max rep sets with heavy weights to test new maxes.
JEFF NIPPARD’S INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCED PUSH PULL LEGS PROGRAM
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program is delivered to you in a robust 110-page ebook, that walks you through everything you need (and wanted) to know about the program, exercises, and the principles on which it was developed.
The program itself is broken down into two, eight-week blocks, each designed to prepare you for increased strength and muscle growth as the weeks progress.
In the below sections, we will discuss the key training variables that every lifter should be aware of when looking to gain muscle and strength, and how Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH -PULL-LEGS Program addresses each one.
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program split up into two training blocks, each eight weeks in length. Both training blocks follow a linear progression model, meaning that every week the lifter will either increase the weight on the barbell (% of maximum) or increase the sets or reps of an exercise.
Linear progression is effective for many beginners and intermediate lifters, however, it does have its limitations if the programming is too aggressive or if someone cannot properly recovery week to week for whatever reason (often due to poor sleep, nutrition, stress management).
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program follows a six-day training split. The one rest day of the week comes on the last day of the training week (Day 7). This program is designed to be completed in the following order. Day 1 is legs (squat emphasis), day 2 is push (upper body), day 3 is pull (upper body), day 4 is legs again (deadlift emphasis), day 5 is push (upper body), day 6 is pull (upper body), and day 7 is rest.
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Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program places high emphasis on the development of technical proficiency of the barbell back squat, deadlift, and bench press. This specificity carries over throughout blocks 1 and 2 and is a great way to establish better technique and strength in those three lifts especially.
Outside of the main barbell strength lifts, this program offers a wide variety of movements done with standard gym equipment and machines to also keep things fresh and interesting.
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program is moderate to high in training volume, which can be expected when training muscles twice per week and resting only one full day per week.
With that said, most intermediate and advanced lifters should have no issues with recovery if they adhere to proper training intensities, make sure they are eating enough food to support training and recovery, are getting sleep, and use proper form and range of motion instead of comprising those two things to allow for heavier loads.
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program progressively overloads throughout the integrity of this program. The main strength lifts (squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press, and close grip bench press) are progressed in a linear fashion week to week, with week nine being the only deload in the training cycle.
The accessory movements are also progressed weekly, however, it is up to the individual to monitor those progressions and know when it is time to add more weight (Jeff discussed this in more detail in the FAQ section of the book).
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program is a challenging program in terms of recovery, however, it is laid out in a way that should allow for adequate recovery if the individual understands how important sleep, nutrition, and setting realistic maximums (for % based work during the program) is.
If those occur, and the individual is not a beginner, I suspect this to not be any more of an issue than any other program that has someone lifting 5-6 days a week with the goal of increasing muscle mass and strength.
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program is a templated program that is geared towards populations that want to build muscle and get stronger in the squat, deadlift, and bench press.
Individual concerns like previous injuries, access to equipment, and training schedules can be an issue for some, but this would be the case for most templated training programs that allow for only one rest day a week.
I feel that Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program offers greater flexibility in terms of exercise swaps when compared to other templated training programs, however not as much when compared to working remotely or using a more personalized training app program like the Fitbod app.
5 BENEFITS OF JEFF NIPPARD’S INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCED PUSH PULL LEGS PROGRAM
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Below are five benefits of Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program.
1. Long-Term Program for Long-Term Success
This program is designed to produce real results over the course of 16 weeks.
Unlike other training programs that rush through training phases or promise results in four weeks, Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program guides you through a four months training journey that develops technique, increases your tolerance to training volumes, and transitions you into a strength phase to help you fully express your newfound physical abilities.
2. Extremely Educational
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program is a very, very robust training program, with 110-pages of information for a lifter to go wild in.
Jeff covers the program specs, how it is laid out, the anatomy of movements, and even offers exercise video demos and swaps for every single exercise in the program.
3. Emphasizes Strength in the 3 Big Lifts
Any program that helps lifters of any level improve their technique and performance on strength lifts like the squat, bench press, and deadlift will most certainly be effective at building muscle and strength.
Adding into the mix overhead pressing and bent over rows, as well as a wide variety of unilateral and single joint training exercises, and you are well on your way to a good training program (in terms of exercise selection).
4. Offers Exercise Technique Videos and Alternatives for All Movements
All of the movements in Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program come with video links that demonstrate proper lifting technique and form to maximize performance and minimize injury.
Additionally, each exercise has a viable alternative that you can use if you do not have access to a specific piece of equipment.
Note: that this program does rely heavily on access to a barbell and weight plates, therefore if you do not have access to those things, this program, even with its ability to swap exercises, will have diminished success.
5. Forces Physiological Adaptations
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program is a tough program, and I mean that as a compliment.
This program has you lifting hard, and progressively lifting heavy over time to really force muscle growth and strength adaptations over time. It may not be for the faint of heart, but for those looking to really challenge themselves and put the work in to build serious muscle and strength, this 4-month training program could do the trick.
4 NEGATIVES OF JEFF NIPPARD’S INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCED PUSH PULL LEGS PROGRAM
Below are four negatives of Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program.
1. 4-Month Commitment
While this may not be an issue for intermediate and advanced lifters who understand progress takes months, some lifters suffer from serious training program ADD (meaning they cannot simply stick to a program for more than 8 weeks at a time).
If you know you are someone who cannot commit to a program for 4 months straight, and be ok with doing the same main compound lifts (back squat, bench press, deadlift) twice per week for 16 weeks on end, this may not be for you.
That said, that repetitive, long-term nature is also what makes this program very effective at developing muscle growth and strength.
2. Recovery Demands
Like any six days per week training program, recovery can become a very real issue with individuals who are unable to control sleep habits, nutrition, and their own body’s feedback.
In addition to resting only one day per week (which by no means is an issue for those who can control other variables and monitor stress and recovery), the program follows a purely linear progression model which will often run its course and catch up to more advanced lifters 6-8-12 weeks down the road.
As discussed above in the periodization section, using a purely linear periodization model for all strength lifts, every week, can be effective for some but excessive and not accommodating to others.
3. Little to No Flexibility of Training Schedule
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program leaves zero wiggle room in the training program if you miss a workout, as it is time-consuming and rigid with the specific order in which you train muscle groups.
While this i
s pretty standard for training programs that are 5+ days per week, it may be a serious issue for individuals who have issues getting to the gym on a consistent basis, for a long period of time.
4. Requires High Degree of Experience with a Barbell
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program is designed to increase your technique and strength in the barbell back squat, deadlift, and bench press.
While this is not a powerlifting-based training program, it does rely heavily on those compound lifts to help you add significant muscle mass and strength to your body. If you are someone who has less than perfect technique or often gets injured or pain and stiffness in areas like the lower back after squats and deadlifts or shoulders after bench press, this program may subject you to injury risks.
Instead, you might want to first address muscle imbalance and your form in those movements rather than jumping in and loading up weight for 4 months straight.
WHO IS JEFF NIPPARD’S INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCED PUSH PULL LEGS PROGRAM FOR?
Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program is a solid option for advanced and highly skilled intermediate lifters who are looking for a long-term training program that will specifically attack the barbell strength lifts (back squat, bench press, deadlift, overhead press, close grip bench press, etc) and progress you in a way that will build muscle and optimize strength over time.
This is also a great option for lifters who can commit to a longer training process and are not easily swayed by wanting to do random workouts because they get workout ADD.
But, before you jump on the program, make sure you consider the drawbacks listed above.
My main concerns for the program is:
(1) that Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program lacks flexibility in the training program, and requires 6 full training sessions a week, with no wiggle room if you miss a workout or two over the course of the 4 months
(2) can be very challenging for lifters who are not well versed in lifting heavy and doing so safely with a barbell in movements like the squat, deadlift, and bench press
(3) that Jeff Nippard’s Intermediate-Advanced PUSH PULL LEGS Program is a LONG training program, much longer than most people have the ability to commit to week after week.
JEFF NIPPARD’S INTERMEDIATE-ADVANCED PUSH PULL LEGS PROGRAM – FINAL RECOMMENDATION
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This program is a sound training program for serious lifters who are ready to commit a large chunk of their free time to build muscle, improving barbell technique, and building strength.
While this may also be a negative for some, the high amount of dedication needed to properly complete this program will often result in great results.
The counterargument is that for most people, training 6-8 hours a week and going to the gym all but one day a week can be very challenging, making it hard for even the most motivated of lifters to sustain for four months straight.
Lastly, it is not recommended for beginners, and to be honest may even be too much for some intermediate lifters who do not have a firm grasp on proper form during heavy back squats, deadlifts, and bench presses with a barbell.
Final Program Review Score…
8.9 out of 10
For those reasons, I really think this program hits the mark across the board for lifters who can really commit a lot of hours in the gym training and have a firm grasp on how to effectively recover.
For most other individuals though, who may not be able to live in a gym or have that mindset 24/7, I recommend you check out the Fitbod App, as it allows you to choose programs based on your level, training schedules, and goals, and customizes your workouts weekly to adapt to your previous performances to improve your results every week.
Check Out Our Other Program Reviews
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- Jeff Nippard Legs Push Pull Program REVIEW
- Jeff Nippard’s UPPER LOWER Size and Strength Program REVIEW
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About The Author
Mike holds a Master’s in Exercise Physiology and a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), USA Weightlifting Advanced Coach, and has over 10+ years of experience working with collegiate athletes, national level lifters, and beginners alike. Mike is Founder of J2FIT Strength and Conditioning, a growing global training company with gyms in New York City, Cincinnati, and online offering personal training, online custom coaching programs.
Mike has published over 500+ articles on premiere online media outlets like BarBend, BreakingMuscle, Men’s Health, and FitBob, covering his expertise of strength and conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, strength development, fitness, and sports nutrition. In Mike’s spare time, he enjoys the outdoors, traveling the world, coaching, whiskey and craft beer, and spending time with his family and friends.