PULL Day Workout for Hypertrophy (2 Routines)

Pull Day Workout for Hypertrophy

One of the most effective workout programs for bodybuilding and gaining mass is the Push-Pull-Legs routine. It’s brutal, but it will force your muscles to grow.

In this post, we’re going to focus on your Pull Day. In fact, I’m going to give you 2 different bodybuilding ‘pull’ routines that you can start this week.

Also, these are hypertrophy pull workouts and are designed to help you gain ripped muscle and walk out of the gym with an extreme pump!

Seriously, you won’t fit through the gym door after these workouts! Lol

Before we get into the ‘meat and potatoes’ (now I’m hungry, aren’t you?), I’ll briefly define the Push-Pull-Legs routine for those who are new to this.

Push-Pull-Legs for Newbies

If you’re not sure what the ‘Push-Pull-Legs’ workout routine is, in short, it looks like this…

  • Day 1: Push workout
  • Day 2: Pull workout
  • Day 3: Leg workout
  • Day 4: Repeat, or rest and repeat of day 5

Some bodybuilders may opt to only train 3 times a week on this program. If that’s your preference, you could do a Monday (push), Wednesday (pull) and Friday (legs) training split.

Of course, doing the 6-day split leads to greater overall training volume for each muscle. In theory, that will help you gain more muscle.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the muscles each workout consists of…

  • Your Push Day will consist of chest, shoulders, and triceps.
  • Pull day will be back, biceps, and rear delts (and traps).
  • Leg day…well, I hope that’s self-explanatory!

You can read more about this workout routine in my post: Push-Pull-Legs Workout: 6-Day Routine for Mass and Strength.

*This will open another page so that you don’t lose this one!

Best Exercises for Pull Day

lat pulldowns for huge and ripped back

Because you’re essentially training 3 muscle groups on pull day, you need to choose your exercises carefully. In other words, don’t waste time on too many isolation exercises, even though you’re training for hypertrophy.

For this reason, you’re going to stick with basic mass building exercises for back, biceps and rear delts. These exercises not only target each muscle appropriately but they also give you the most bang for your buck.

The hypertrophy, ripped muscle mass, that you’ll gain from these pull workouts are going to be a result of pumping out more overall sets and reps (volume).

Below are the exercises you’ll be focused on, split up by muscle:

Back Exercises

  • Barbell rows (both supinated and reverse grip)
  • Dumbbell rows
  • T-bar rows (these can also be done on a plate-loaded machine)
  • Lat Pulldowns
  • Seated rows
  • Pull-ups

Biceps Exercises

  • Barbell curls (these can also be done with the EZ bar if you prefer)
  • Dumbbell hammer curls
  • Preacher curls
  • Incline alternate dumbbell curls

Rear-Delt/Traps Exercises

  • Bent-over raises
  • Dumbbell shrugs

As you can see, you’ll spend the majority of your workout on your back because that’s your largest muscle. And you’ll train back first. Biceps are secondary, and you’ll end each workout with 1 exercise for rear delts or traps.

*The purpose of dedicating an entire post to pull day workouts is because the back is often either neglected or not trained as hard as let’s say, chest and arms.

If your back is a weak muscle for you and you’re having trouble building those muscles, read my post: 3 Powerful Tips to Make Your Back Stand Out

2 Pull Day Bodybuilding Workouts

Biceps EZ Bar Curls start

The reason you’re getting 2 pull workouts below is that they’re designed to be used together for maximum hypertrophy and to promote muscle growth.

Your first pull day with be heavy, focusing on building dense muscle mass. And you’ll pump out more reps on your 2nd pull day, pumping more blood into your muscles. o

Each workout further compliments one another by incorporating different exercises for each workout. This will allow you to work different parts of your back, biceps, and rear delts. It will give you what I like to call that 3-D look (looking huge from all angles!).

Pull Day 1 Routine

Length of workout: About an hour
Rest between sets: 1 minute for the first exercise, 45 seconds for everything else

The first pull day workout will be a heavy one, especially for your first exercise. Your goal here is to push your muscles and build that dense muscle mass.

After some heavy barbell rows, you’ll be sticking to the 8-10 rep range. You should be using challenging weights but make sure you’re getting close to that top rep range (8-10).

ExerciseSets x Reps
Barbell Rows4 x 6
Dumbbell Rows4 x 8
Pull-ups4 x 8
Barbell Curls3 x 8
Incline Alternate Curls3 x 10
Bent-over Raises3 x 10

Pull Day 2 Routine

Length of workout: About 50 minutes
Rest between sets: 45 seconds for back exercises, 30 seconds for biceps and traps

Your 2nd pull day is going to be a little different from the first. While you still want to use challenging weights (that should be a given), you’re not going quite as heavy.

You’ll be pumping out more reps in this workout. This will compliment that heavy pull day you had a few days ago. Now you’re going for the pump, filling your muscles with blood and cranking out more volume with higher reps.

ExerciseSets x Reps
Reverse Grip Barbell Rows4 x 10
T-Bar Rows4 x 10
Lat Pulldowns4 x 12
Preacher Curls3 x 12
Dumbbell Hammer Curls3 x 12
Dumbbell Shrugs3 x 15

**For an entire Push-Pull-Legs routine, read my post: Push Pull Legs: 6-Day Routine for Mass Gains

What About Warm-up Sets?

I do suggest that you do a couple of warm-up sets before going into your working sets. This is only for your first back exercise (which you’ll start with a form of barbell rows for both workouts).

You can pump out a couple of sets of 10 reps with about half of the weight you will be doing for your first set. I also find that pumping blood into your muscles before jumping into those heavy working sets is best for hypertrophy and building your muscles.

Another warm-up tactic is called ‘pre-activate‘ your muscles (also called pre-exhausting the muscle). This is essentially doing warm-up sets with an isolation exercise instead of your main starting exercise.

Jeff Nippard gives a good example of pre-activating your lats with an exercise called one-arm cable pull-in. This can be done on the same cable machine you do your cable crossovers on.

Watch the below video for the pre-activate exercise and technique Jeff does. This starts at the beginning of the video, at 00:33 seconds.

**Another way to increase blood flow is to take a pre-workout drink designed for this purpose. One of my recommended pre-workouts that you can read about is 4 Gauge.

Pull Day: 2x VS 1x a Week

The 2 pull day workout routines you just read about are designed to go with the push-pull-legs training method. And they’re also designed to have you training everything twice a week.

Even if you didn’t want to work your biceps or rear delts more than once a week, I do recommend training back twice a week. Especially if this is a muscle you really want to build. And I’m assuming by reading this far that it is, and you need some help.

Your back has so many muscles within. Here’s a chart of your back muscles from T-Nation:

I know I didn’t harp on biceps and rear delts/traps as much as I did your back. But those are secondary muscles and training them is not going to make as much of a difference as giving your back workouts more attention.

In fact, you’re working your biceps and rear delts when you train back. Sure, it’s necessary to do targeted exercises for bis and delts, especially if you’re going for the bodybuilder look. But just know that your back is far more important, and should never take ‘back seat.’

Regarldess of what routine you’re on, I’m a ‘huge’ (bad pun!) fan of training your muscles twice a week, but especially your back. Back is so much larger and more complex than any of your upper body muscle groups. So it just makes sense to give your back more attention in the gym.

Here’s a post you can read next giving you a detailed program that has you hitting back twice a week: Train Back Twice a Week for Ripped Muscle Mass (Full Routine)

Pull Day is an Awesome Day

Yes, pull day is an awesome day and it’s a workout you should look forward to. And with having the 2 pull day routines I gave you, each back workout will be a little different. That should help motivate you even more.

I encourage you to try these workouts. And do them with the entire push-pull-legs routine. It’s a 6-day routine but it will pay off in muscle gains!

I’ll list the routine again below…

  • Day 1: Push workout
  • Day 2: Pull workout
  • Day 3: Leg workout
  • Day 4: Repeat, or rest and repeat of day 5

You can do a Monday through Saturday split, resting on Sunday (this is great if you have a Mon-Fri job). Or you may want to train on both weekend days and taking a day off in the middle of the week.

Either way, this program is awesome for packing on mass.

*Make sure to read my PUSH DAY post next: PUSH Day Workout for Hypertrophy (2 Routines)

**Also, check out my Hardcore Muscle Building Program. This is one of my premium training programs and it has a section of push-pull-legs workouts.

Excuses Don’t Build Muscle,

Jason