The upper/lower split is one of the best workout routines for strength and muscle development.
It allows you to train your upper and lower body individually and help you achieve a better physique.
A study has shown that a split routine is more effective for stimulating muscle growth than a total body workout routine in experienced and resistance-trained men.1Bartolomei S, Nigro F, Malagoli Lanzoni I, Masina F, Di Michele R, Hoffman JR. A Comparison Between Total Body and Split Routine Resistance Training Programs in Trained Men. J Strength Cond Res. 2021;35(6):1520-1526. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000003573 So it is worth trying.
That’s why, I’ve created an ultimate 6 day upper lower split workout for those who want to build muscles and scale up their fitness level.
So, if you’re looking for an easy-to-follow and effective workout split that helps you train in an organized manner, you can download this routine.
Should Your Workout Six Days a Week?
It depends on multiple things, especially how much time you allow your trained muscles to get recover and what you feed yourself to get your muscles rebuild2Mielgo-Ayuso, J., & Fernández-Lázaro, D. (2021). Nutrition and Muscle Recovery. Nutrients, 13(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020294.
Generally, the muscles take 24-48 hours of rest to get recover.3Judge LW, Burke JR. The effect of recovery time on strength performance following a high-intensity bench press workout in males and females. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2010;5(2):184-196. doi:10.1123/ijspp.5.2.184 So, you should design a routine in a way that your muscles get 48 hours of rest before you train them again.
For example, I’ve included four upper body and two lower body sessions in the below program so that your trained muscle get some decent time to recover.
The six days split also allows you to train your each muscle twice a week that is recommended for growing strenth and mass – suggested in a study published by Sports Medicine.4Schoenfeld BJ, Ogborn D, Krieger JW. Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. 2016 Nov;46(11):1689-1697. doi: 10.1007/s40279-016-0543-8. PMID: 27102172.
Working out six times a week will be challenging and requires proper nutrition otherwise it won’t be effective.
So make sure you consume the best foods and supplements and not repeat the same kind of exercises for at least 48 hours.
Also, ensure you’re not over training as it can effect your results. The primary signs of overtraining are muscle sore, incomplete recovery, and cramps.
Program Summary and Description
|Routine Type||Upper/Lower Body Split|
|Program Duration||12-16 Weeks|
|Routine Goal||Strength and Mass Building|
|Duration Per Session||60-90 Minutes|
|Frequency||6 Days per Week|
|Targe Gender||Male and Female|
|Suitable Age Group||18-35 Years|
|Preceding Plan||5 Day Gym Workout Schedule|
|Plan to Follow Next||7 Day Gym Workout Plan|
|Suggested Program for Beginners||4 Day Gym Workout Schedule|
I’ve divided the routine into two parts (three days each). This will allows you to target each muscle twice a week and help you achieve the best physique.
You can take rest after every three days or take a day off after completing six days of training, depending on your fitness level.
It’s best to perform 5-10 minutes warm-up before lifting heavy. For example, you can run on the treadmill, perform bodyweight cardio exercises, or lift light weights to increase your heart and get your muscles ready.
Increase 10-15% of load after every set.
The appropriate rest time between sets would be 3 minutes for compound lifting and 1-2 minutes for isolation exercises.
6 Day Upper Lower Split Workout Routine
- Day 1: Chest, Arms, and Core
- Day 2: Lower Body
- Day 3: Back and Shoulder
- Day 4: Chest, Arms, and Core
- Day 5: Lower Body
- Day 6: Back and Shoulder
- Day 7: OFF
Day 1 – Upper Body (Chest, Arms, Core)
|Flat Bench Press||Chest||10-12 x 4|
|Incline DB Bench Press||Chest||10-12 x 3|
|Machine/Cable Fly||Chest||12 x 3|
|Bar Dips||Triceps||10 x 3|
|Rope Pushdown||Triceps||10-12 x 3|
|Chinups||Biceps||10 x 3|
|EZ Bar Curl||Biceps||10-12 x 3|
|H2L Cable Chop||Core||10 x 2/side|
|Hanging Knee Raises||Core||15 x 2|
Day 2 – Lower Body
|Dumbbell Lunges||Quads||10 x 2|
|Barbell Back Squat||Quads||15, 12, 10, 8|
|Machine Leg Press||Quads||12 x 3|
|Leg Curl||Hamstring||12 x 3|
|Hip Thrust||Glutes||10 x 3|
|Calf Raises||Calves||15 x 3|
Day 3 – Upper Body (Back and Shoulder)
|Pullups||Lats||8-10 x 3|
|Lat Pulldown||Lats||10-12 x 4|
|Lat Pullover||Lats||10-12 x 3|
|Bent-over Row||Back||12 x 3|
|Arnold Press||Shoulder||10 x 3|
|Lateral Raises||Shoulder||12 x 3|
|Face Pull||Back and Shoulder||12 x 3|
Day 4 – Upper Body (Chest, Arms, and Core)
|Incline Dumbbell Bench Press||Chest||12 x 4|
|Deficit Pushups||Chest||10 x 3|
|Dumbbell Pullover||Chest||10 x 3|
|One-arm Overhead Extension||Triceps||10 x 3|
|Bar Pushdown||Triceps||12 x 3|
|Incline DB Curl||Biceps||10 x 3|
|Hammer Curl||Biceps||10 x 3|
Day 5 – Lower Body
|Hack Squat||Legs||15 x 4|
|Dumbbell RDL||Posterior Chain||10 x 3|
|Step-up||Legs and Glute||10 x 3|
|Sumo Cossack Squat||Inner Thigh||10 x 3|
|Leg Extension||Quad||15 x 3|
|Leg Curl||Hamstring||15 x 3|
Day 6 – Upper Body (Back and Shoulder)
|Conventional Deadlift||Back and Legs||6-8 x 4|
|Lat Pulldown||Back||12 x 4|
|Seated Cable Row||Back||12 x 4|
|One-arm DB Row||Back||10 x 3|
|Lateral Raises||Shoulder||12 x 3|
|Rear Delt Fly||Shoulder||12 x 3|
|Shrug||Shoulder||10 x 3|
Tips and Instructions for Following This Program Effectively
- 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.
- Pre-Workout Meal: For an effective training session, you should have your meal 30 minutes to 2 hours before the training, depending on what kind of food you consume.
- Post-Workout Meal: It’s good to have some high-protein foods and supplements after the workout to rebuild muscle and increase mass. I suggest consuming 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).
- Cardio: It’s best to include cardiovascular exercises to build endurance and tone muscles. For example, you run on the treadmill, use a stationary bicycle, and other equipment to perform aerobic training.
- Adjustment: You can include and exclude some exercises from this program as well as adjust the rest and workout duration, depending on your fitness level.
- Add a variety of exercises: It’s best to include a variety of exercises in your program to make it enjoyable and effective. You can integrate various exercises from the list of PPL workouts.
- Train when you feel energetic: It is best to work out when you feel physically and mentally active to give your best.
- Keep going: Repeating the same thing for a considerable period can be boring, but you must be disciplined to accomplish the best result.
- Affirmation: Imagine and affirm that you have an incredible physique, as it can help you train consistently and achieve your fitness goal faster.
- Keep yourself hydrated: Keeping yourself hydrated during the workout is crucial for an effective workout session. Research show that it helps prevents uneasiness and injuries and boosts performance.
The Bottom Line
The upper/lower split is one of the best training splits for muscle development.
A well-designed split workout routine allows you to train each muscle effectively and will help you achieve the best physique.
If you’re looking for an easy-to-follow workout routine that can help you break your plateau and achieve maximum results, you can try this routine for three to four months.
You should also take care of your nutrition and sleep to achieve the best results.
Follow the process and keep up the good work. I hope it will help.
You can also try these alternate workout routines:
- 6 Day Muscle Group Workout Plan (Bro-Split)
- PPL 6 Day Split for Strength and Hypertrophy
- 6 Week Full Body Workout Plan
I’ve also designed a customized 12-Week Detailed Workout plan for serious fitness enthusiasts who want to put on muscles and increase strength.
- 1Bartolomei S, Nigro F, Malagoli Lanzoni I, Masina F, Di Michele R, Hoffman JR. A Comparison Between Total Body and Split Routine Resistance Training Programs in Trained Men. J Strength Cond Res. 2021;35(6):1520-1526. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000003573
- 2Mielgo-Ayuso, J., & Fernández-Lázaro, D. (2021). Nutrition and Muscle Recovery. Nutrients, 13(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020294
- 3Judge LW, Burke JR. The effect of recovery time on strength performance following a high-intensity bench press workout in males and females. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2010;5(2):184-196. doi:10.1123/ijspp.5.2.184
- 4Schoenfeld BJ, Ogborn D, Krieger JW. Effects of Resistance Training Frequency on Measures of Muscle Hypertrophy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med. 2016 Nov;46(11):1689-1697. doi: 10.1007/s40279-016-0543-8. PMID: 27102172.