When I started lifting weights to develop my strength and mass, I was not sure which workout programs to follow as there are many ones, including the push-pull-legs, full-body, muscle-group, and upper-lower splits. But since then, I have followed all of them to see which one is more effective for muscle building.
I found all workout splits are good, but when it comes to muscle building, compound, PPL, and upper-lower routines are the most effective ones.
I’ve already shared 5x week PPL and compound routines in my previous blogs, and today I’ll share an easy-to-follow, effective, and comprehensive 5 day upper lower split routine that can help you build strength and size and improve your muscularity over time.
This workout routine involves training the upper body and lower body on alternate or separate days and provides decent recovery time between sessions.
Whether you’re male or female, if you’re looking for a well-designed and straightforward strength training schedule, this program is for you.
Program Summary and Description
1. Suggested Program Duration: You can follow this program for as long as you want but try at least 12 to 16 weeks to see noticeable changes.
2. Goal – This program will help you build up strength, muscle mass and improve your physique definition.
3. Sessions/week – You’ll train five times a week in this program, including the 3 upper body and 2 lower body days.
4. Duration/session – The one training session will take 60-90 minutes to complete.
5. Who can use it? Anyone, from male to female, can use this program to improve their strength and shape.
6. Workout Level – This program is for intermediates who have been working out for a while. If you’re a beginner, consider this three-day split routine.
7. How much weight should you lift? – You can lift as heavy as possible as long as you maintain the proper form during each rep. It is also best to increase the 10-15% of load after every set.
8. Workout Routine to Follow Next: 6-Day Upper Lower Split with PDF
9. Warm-up: It is best to perform warm-up exercises for 5 to 10 minutes prior to lifting weights. For that, you can run on the Treadmill, perform bodyweight cardio exercises, or do lightweight lifting.
10. Post-Workout Stretches: The post-workout stretching helps your muscles recover faster and reduce muscle soreness. Here is a list of various stretching exercises you can incorporate into your resistance training program.
5 Day Upper Lower Split Routine for Bodybuilding
- Day 1 (Monday) – Upper Body (Chest and Triceps)
- Day 2 (Tuesday)- Lower Body (Quadriceps, Hamstrings, and Calves)
- Day 3 (Wednesday)- Upper Body (Back and Biceps)
- Day 4 (Thursday) – Lower Body (Quad, Hammies, and Glutes)
- Day 5 (Friday) – Upper Body (Shoulder and Core)
Day 1 – Upper Body (Chest and Triceps)
|Flat Barbell Bench Press||15, 10, 8, 6||2-3 min|
|Incline DB Bench Press||12, 10, 8, 6||1-2 min|
|Machine/Cable Fly||12, 10, 8||1-2 min|
|Bar Dips||6-10 x 3||1-2 min|
|Triangle Pushup||6-10 x 3||1-2 min|
|Skull Crushers||15, 12, 10||1-2 min|
|Rope Pushdown||15, 12, 10||1-2 min|
Here are the replacement exercises for the second, third, and fourth weeks:
- Cable Crossover
- Dumbbell Pullover
- Decline Bench Press
- Incline Smith Machine Bench Press
- Flat Dumbbell Bench Press
- Deficit Pushup
- Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension
- Single-arm Reverse Pushdown
- Triceps Kickback
- Bench Dips
- Cable Overhead Triceps Extension
Make sure your chest and triceps workout includes a variety of flat and incline bench presses, machine and cable fly, and overhead and pushdown triceps extensions for targeting your triceps and chest from every angle.
Day 2 (Tuesday) – Quadriceps and Calves
|Barbell Back Squat||15, 12, 10, 8||2-3 min|
|Machine Leg Press||12, 10, 8, 6||2-3 min|
|Leg Extension||15, 12, 10||1-2 min|
|Dumbbell Lunges||10/leg x 2||1-2 min|
|Standing SM Calf Raises||20, 15, 15, 10||1-2 min|
Here are some alternate exercises for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th week:
- Sumo Squat
- Hack Squat
- Landmine Squat
- Seated Machine Calf Raises
Day 3 (Wednesday) – Back and Biceps
|Pullup/Assisted PU||6-8 x 3||1-2 min|
|Lat Pulldown||15, 12, 10, 8||2-3 min|
|Seated Cable Rowing||15, 12, 10, 8||2-3 min|
|Barbell Bent-over Row||12, 10, 8||2-3 min|
|EZ Barbell Curl||12, 10, 8||1-2 min|
|Incline Dumbbell Hammer Curl||12, 10, 8||1-2 min|
|Preacher/Spider Curl||12, 10, 8||1-2 min|
You can alternate the following exercises with the above-mentioned ones in the second, third, and fourth week of the 5 day split workout:
- Conventional Deadlift
- One-arm Dumbbell Row
- Standing Lat Pulldown
- Unilateral Pulldown
- V-Grip Lat Pulldown
- Barbell T-Bar Row
- Concentration Curl
- Incline Dumbbell Curl
- Alternating 1-arm Curl
Day 4 (Friday) – Quads, Hammies, and Glutes
|Dumbbell Sumo Squat||15, 12, 10||1-2 min|
|Dumbbell Step-up||10/leg x 2||1-2 min|
|DB Romanian Deadlift||12, 10, 8||1-2 min|
|Machine Leg Curl||20, 15, 12, 10||1-2 min|
|Barbell Hip Thrust||12, 10, 8, 6||2-3 min|
|Glutes Kickback||10/leg x 2||1-2 min|
The alternate exercises you can perform on the 4th day of this schedule are:
Day 5 (Saturday) – Shoulder and Core
|Dumbbell Overhead Press||15, 12, 10||2-3 min|
|Dumbbell Front Raises||10-12 x 3||1-2 min|
|Dumbbell Lateral Raises||10-12 x 4||1-2 min|
|Rear Delt Dumbbell Fly||10-12 x 4||1-2 min|
|Barbell Shrug||10-12 x 3||1-2 min|
|Hanging Knee Raises||10 x 2||30-45 sec|
|Cable H2L Chop||10 x 2||30-45 sec|
|Kneeling Cable Crunches||10 x 2||30-45 sec|
How is Split Training Different Than Full Body?
The split workout and full-body routines are both safe, efficient, and effective.
The split workout routine is excellent for building muscle mass; on the other hand, full-body exercises are great for increasing strength in trained men – shown in a comparative study published by the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 1A Comparison Between Total Body and Split Routine Resistance Training Programs in Trained Men – Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
It is true because I’ve personally experienced that. I’ve followed various workout routines, such as upper/lower split, PPL, Bro split, and entire body.
Upper/lower and PPL split helped me gain muscles. However, full-body workouts helped me boost my strength. That’s why sometimes, I combine them in my monthly workout routine.
So, If your primary goal is to maximize mass, do split training, whether it’s upper/lower or push/pull/legs (PPL). Otherwise, the full-body workout routine will be suitable for you.
Top 5 Tips for Achieving the Best Results from This Program
1. Pre-Workout Meal: For an effective training session, it is best to have your meal 1 to 3 hours before the training, depending on what kind of food you consume.
2. Post-Workout Meal: Consuming high-protein food is essential when it comes to muscle growth. You can have some high-protein foods and supplements after the workout to rebuild muscle the damaged muscles. For example, you can consume 40-50 grams of protein and one gram of carbs per kg of your body weight for optimal results (it is only an example, a nutritionist can help you better in this case).
3. Progressive Overload: It’s best to increase the loads, the number of reps, and sets gradually to scale your fitness level and progressively increase strength and build muscles.
4. Calculate Your Macros and Eat Nutritious Foods: Getting results with only exercises is pretty tough. If you want to build muscles, make sure to incorporate rich protein and nutritious foods as well as whey-isolate protein into your diet.
5. Repetitions: Repeating the same thing can be boring but will help you achieve better results in the long run.
Download The Free Upper Lower 5 Day Split PDF
Alternate Workout Plans
- The 5 Day Full Body Workout Routine
- The Best 5 Day Bro Split Routine
- Push Pull Legs 5 Day Split Workout
- 5 Day Compound Workout Routine to Build Muscle
- 1A Comparison Between Total Body and Split Routine Resistance Training Programs in Trained Men – Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research