Upper and Lower Body Workouts – Training Tips To Build Muscle


If you are a past beginner who is now ready to move into intermediate training then you may want to try some Upper/Lower body alternatives. You may have used some upper and lower body workouts for beginner stages but you can now use them to get to the next level of your fitness. The basis is to use breakdowns or splits of upper body and lower body training for alternating days helping you go from full body workouts to singling out muscle groups slowly. This is a perfect way to move into an intermediate training level.

Different splits are:

  • 4 Day Split: Day 1 & 4 is Upper body, Day 2 and 5 is Lower body
  • 5 Day Split: same as above with day 3 as a Core day for back and abs.
  • 3 Day Split: Week 1 Day 1 Upper body, Day 3 Lower Body, Day 5 Upper body
  • Week 2 Day 1 Lower body, Day 3 Upper Body, Day 5 Lower body

Of course as a beginner you would have already tried a 2 days split doing upper for day 1 and lower for day 3 or 4. You may have also tried a 3 day split with day 1 upper, day 3 core, day 5 lower. The above splits are a perfect transition into intermediate from a beginner.

You can start with compound choices for the first couple months then try some isolated exercises and some weeks where you do a compound for a day or 2 then isolated for a few days. A few months longer down the line you can mix compound and isolated together. By changing these around and making small changes each week such as reps or sets or an exercise change, you will keep the body guessing and the shock will enforce the goals you want enticing them to happen.

Compound choices would be exercises which use many muscle groups during the exercise. Lower body compound exercises are: Leg Press, Squats, Hack squat, Inverted Leg Press, Seated or lying Hamstring Curls, Standing Calve Raises, Lunges and Hamstrings on the ball.

Upper body compound exercises are: Pullups, Mid Back Row, Chin Ups, Dips, Push Ups, Tricep Dips, Military or Shoulder Press and Deadlifts.

Core compounds are: V-sits, Ab bench, Knee Raises, Decline Oblique Crunches, Hyper Extensions and Prone Double Ball Lifts.

Work with 3 to 4 sets of 8-15 reps choosing 8-12 exercises for the total workout. Rest between reps should be for 30 – 90 seconds. Rest between sets should be 1-2 minutes. Choose a weight which is comfortable for the sets and reps chosen. Make sure to warm up for 5-10 minutes with some jogging or cycling and stretch the muscles worked for cool down.

Here is an upper/lower split you can try for a 4 day split.

Day 1 and 4 – 3 sets of 10 per exercise
Leg Press, Hamstring curls, calve press, lunges, Burpees (snuck those in there teehee) and V-Sits.

Day 2 and 5 – 3 sets of 10 per exercise
Push ups, Pullups, Tricep Dips, Chin Ups, Deadlifts, Decline Oblique Crunches and Overhead Shoulder Press.


About Author

Linda Cusmano

Linda is a national level fitness and figure pro who dabbles in bodybuilding competitions, obstacle and strength challenges along with fitness model competitions. She is a triple certified elite personal trainer and the owner of Body Rush Personal Training. See my profile page for more information!

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