5 Day Upper Lower Split for Strength and Size w/PDF

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

Upper and Lower Body Training
  • 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 Press15, 10, 8, 62-3 min
Incline DB Bench Press12, 10, 8, 61-2 min
Machine/Cable Fly12, 10, 81-2 min
Bar Dips6-10 x 31-2 min
Triangle Pushup6-10 x 31-2 min
Skull Crushers15, 12, 101-2 min
Rope Pushdown15, 12, 101-2 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 Squat15, 12, 10, 82-3 min
Machine Leg Press12, 10, 8, 62-3 min
Leg Extension15, 12, 101-2 min
Dumbbell Lunges10/leg x 21-2 min
Standing SM Calf Raises20, 15, 15, 101-2 min

Here are some alternate exercises for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th week:

  • Sumo Squat
  • Step-up
  • Hack Squat
  • Landmine Squat
  • Seated Machine Calf Raises

Day 3 (Wednesday) – Back and Biceps

Pullup/Assisted PU6-8 x 31-2 min
Lat Pulldown15, 12, 10, 82-3 min
Seated Cable Rowing15, 12, 10, 82-3 min
Barbell Bent-over Row12, 10, 82-3 min
EZ Barbell Curl12, 10, 81-2 min
Incline Dumbbell Hammer Curl12, 10, 81-2 min
Preacher/Spider Curl12, 10, 81-2 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
  • Chin-ups

Day 4 (Friday) – Quads, Hammies, and Glutes

Dumbbell Sumo Squat15, 12, 101-2 min
Dumbbell Step-up10/leg x 21-2 min
DB Romanian Deadlift12, 10, 81-2 min
Machine Leg Curl20, 15, 12, 101-2 min
Barbell Hip Thrust12, 10, 8, 62-3 min
Glutes Kickback10/leg x 21-2 min

The alternate exercises you can perform on the 4th day of this schedule are:

Day 5 (Saturday) – Shoulder and Core

Dumbbell Overhead Press15, 12, 102-3 min
Dumbbell Front Raises10-12 x 31-2 min
Dumbbell Lateral Raises10-12 x 41-2 min
Rear Delt Dumbbell Fly10-12 x 41-2 min
Barbell Shrug10-12 x 31-2 min
Hanging Knee Raises10 x 230-45 sec
Cable H2L Chop10 x 230-45 sec
Kneeling Cable Crunches10 x 230-45 sec
Forearm Plank60-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

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Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.
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