The Best Upper Lower Workout Split for Lean Muscle

In India, most of you follow a one day per body part or bro split for your workout routine. This is the widely used split preached by the gym trainers across India. There has always been a confusion about which workout split to follow and we receive different opinions from everyone based on their personal anecdotes. Although there is no perfect workout for anyone as it differs from individual lifestyle, training experience, recovery and genetics. If you are looking to maximise your gains by working out efficiently, you need to consider Upper lower workout splits.

The Upper lower workout split is very flexible and it can be used for any goal be it getting stronger, muscle gain, dropping fat and even maintaining muscles. Following this upper lower workout split will greatly enhance your performance and hypertrophy compared to popular one day per body part split. Proper exercise selection is very crucial in the split as there will be fewer exercise dedicated to a body part, it is important that we use the most efficient way to train.

Upper Lower Workout Split

Before heading straight to the workout, it is important for you to understand a certain aspect of the training to efficiently train with the upper lower workout split

Upper Lower Workout Split | Training Frequency

The recommended training frequency for the upper lower workout split is 4 days a week. It's up to you how you adjust the training routine in your lifestyle. One key thing to understand here is to keep at least a gap of 72 hours between the same split for active recovery and lesser stress to your Central nervous system. You can train on Monday Tuesday, take a rest on Wednesday and then repeat the workout on Thursday Friday. Also, there is no reason that can stop you to train lower split before the upper split.

Upper Lower Workout Split | Exercise selection

The exercises in the Upper lower Workout Split will be more of compound lifts and some isolation work. A compound exercise is a multi-joint movement that works on several muscle groups at the same time. Isolation exercise work for only one muscle group at a time. Performing compound exercises are the best way to work out as it burns more calories, stimulate real-world activities, improves coordination and balance. Isolation exercises are added to compensate for the parts which are not effectively trained in the compound lifts

Upper Lower Workout Split | Workout Split

In the Upper lower workout split, on an upper day, we train chest, back, shoulders, biceps and triceps and on the Lower day, we train quads, hamstrings and calves. Use can do abs on either of the days, I personally work my abs on lower days. 

Upper Lower Workout Split | Sets and repetitions

In the Upper Lower workout split, we are aiming to train for muscle hypertrophy and the scientific literature suggests that the best rep range for hypertrophy is 8-12 reps. 3-4 Working sets with 8-12 reps will be optimum for the routine. If you are below the intermediate level, you can start with 3 working sets and slowly built up to 4 working sets per exercise

Upper Lower Workout Split | Static Loading

Here in India, we follow a pyramid loading across the sets. This means we start with the lighter load and increase the load with the sets. In my opinion, this is not the best way to load. The problem here is before reaching the final set you have already fatigued your muscle to some extent and you will not be at our best at the final set. For the Upper Lower workout split, I want you guys to use static loading across the sets. This way you would have a better understanding of your maximum lift and it is easier to progress.

Upper Lower Workout Split | Weight Selection

This is something that comes with little trial and error. You need to choose a weight heavy enough that you can do 10-12 repetitions. I don't recommend the training to failure and it is a good idea to have 1-2 repetitions in spare to avoid risk and injuries.

Upper Lower Workout Split | Progressive Overload

Progressive overload is one of the most important aspects of resistance training when it comes to gaining strength. In this workout plan, you need to progressively overload the muscle. This means you need to increase the load over time. Suppose you benched 100 kg for 8 reps in the first week, on the next week you should aim to bench 105 kg for 5 reps or 100 kg for 10 reps. Once you get accustomed to the current load, you need to gradually increase the load to keep the workout intense and challenging. You can increase the load according to your strength gain for some it would be every week for some it could be more than that.

Upper Lower Workout Split

Upper Body:-

Incline dumbell press
Barbell bendover rows
Barbell overhead press
Lat pulldown
Dumbell lateral raise
Barbell Curls
Tricep cable push down

Lower Body:-

Barbell Squats
Stiffed leg barbell deadlift 
Dumbell walking Lunges
Single leg extension
Lying leg curls
Standing calf raise


Cable Crunches
Weighted Lying leg raise

Upper Lower workout Split | Final thoughts

If you are looking for a tried and tested training split that can take your fitness to the next level, then the upper-lower workout split ticks all the right boxes. This workout can be done by anyone with any goal. Combining this routine with a proper diet can do wonders for your physique. Sometimes it gets important to change the training style to overcome muscular adaptations. You should always try to hop on a new training workout after considerable time spent on one routine. Follow this routine for 6-8 weeks for amazing results.

If you are looking for a science and evidence-based coach who can design a customised diet and workout plan for your fitness goal, Drop an email to

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