4 Day Advanced Upper/Lower Workout Program to Build Mass

This advanced upper/lower workout is geared to those looking to put on muscle mass. Up the training volume and training frequency to build mass for spring!

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Split
Advanced
12 weeks
4
50-75 minutes
Bands, Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Exercise Ball, Machines
Male
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Workout Description

It’s that weird time of year where it’s still getting dark early, it’s too cold to be outside, and there’s not many social events going on because the holidays are over.

This makes it the perfect time to hit the gym hard and heavy.

This workout routine takes advantage of that extra free time that you can’t spend outdoors.

The goal?

To build muscle mass before spring and summer hits so you can look jacked and shredded on the beach, by the pool, on a boat, or wherever you may find yourself during the warmer months.

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The course will teach you how your body builds muscle, how to utilize workout plans on our website to maximize muscle growth, how to eat to build muscle, how to supplement to build muscle and how to track your progress.

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Upper/Lower Workout to Build Mass

The following 4 day upper/lower workout program is an advanced workout program.

The volume and workout frequency is fairly high. For beginers and intermediates, it might be worth holding off on this program until you feel you’ve built the prerequisite muscular endurance to perform all sets with perfect form.

The program hits each major muscle group twice a week.

While the exercise list may seem lengthy on any given day, it’s somewhat of a deception as this program also hits muscle groups often forgotten about (abs, glutes, traps, forearms, and calves). This will help you look jacked whether shirtless or not once spring has sprung.

Rest periods are exactly 1 minute between every exercise and set. Rep tempo should be just slow enough to be completely in control of the weight you use.

Monday: Upper Body Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Pull Up 3 6-12*
2. Dumbbell Bench Press 4 10
3. Landmine T-Bar Row 3 10
4. Standing Dumbbell Press 3 10
5. Seated Cable Rows 2 10
6. Side Lateral Raise 2 10
7. Barbell Curl 2 10
8. French Press 2 10
9. Dumbbell Shrug 2 15

*Add weight once you can perform 3 sets of 12 reps with perfect form

Tuesday: Lower Body Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Dumbbell Goblet Squat 4 10
2. Banded Nordic Hamstring Curl 2 10
3. Romanian Deadlift 3 10
4. Leg Press 3 12
5. Barbell Hip Thrust 2 10
6. Standing Machine Calf Raise 3 12
7. Hanging Leg Raise 2 15
8. Exercise Ball Crunch 2 15

Thursday: Upper Body Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Lat Pull Down 3 10
2. Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 12
3. Bent Over Dumbbell Row 3 10
4. Machine Fly 3 10
5. Standing Military Press 4 10
6. Machine Row 2 10
7. Reverse Machine Fly 2 10
8. Standing Cable Curl 2 10
9. Dips 2 10*
10. Standing Dumbbell Reverse Curl 2 10**
11. Cable Crunch 2 15

*Add weight once you can perform 2 sets of 10 with perfect form.
**Utilize Fat Gripz on this exercise for an added forearm and grip challenge.

Friday: Lower Body Workout

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Sumo Deadlift 4 10
2. Front Squat 3 10
3. Exercise Ball Leg Curl 3 10
4. Leg Extensions 3 10
5. Hyperextensions (glute-focused) 2 12
6. Bulgarian Split Squat 2 10
7. Seated Calf Raise 2 15
8. Plank 3 30 Secs

Upper/Lower Workout to Build Mass Notes:

Perform the workout as it is written for 8-12 weeks. 12 weeks is probably the maximum, and if you’re starting this workout in Jan/Feb, will allow you to transition smoothly into a much lower volume maintenance program for spring/summer.

This workout is not meant to be performed for a long duration of time. It is an advanced program with a lot of volume that is meant to be used to take advantage of the free time provided by cold weather and short days, and the lightened stress load of the holiday season being over.

If you’re truly an advanced lifter, you’ll be able to determine how you’d like to progress with this workout during its duration. Feel free to increase reps, weight used, slow down rep tempo, or manipulate rest periods. Whichever you feel will give you the best results is the proper way to progress.

You’re more than welcome to change any of these lifts for another variation of the lift if you wish.

And as a few reminders when it comes to optimizing this program’s results: Ensure you’re eating in a calorie surplus during the duration on the program to build muscle; Aim to get 7-9 hours (or more) of sleep each night; On days you do not workout, be sure to perform some form of active recovery.

If you have any other questions regarding this upper/lower workout program to build mass, please feel free to drop them in the comments section below!

68 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sun, 08/25/2019 - 17:08
Ethan

Hey josh could i do this routine 4 days in a row Monday - upper - Tuesday lower - Wednesday upper - Thursday lower, need to know if it would be okay to do this?

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Posted Tue, 09/03/2019 - 16:27
JoshEngland

Hi Ethan,

Yes, that is fine.

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Posted Tue, 09/03/2019 - 16:30
Ethan

Great I completed this routine 4 days in a row last week with no recovery issues at all ! All though I did switch Thursday (lower day) for a full body workout instead and it seems to work well, Monday - upper Tuesday - lower Wednesday - upper and Thursday full body which seems to work well for me

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Posted Tue, 09/03/2019 - 16:31
JoshEngland

Sounds solid!

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Posted Wed, 08/21/2019 - 19:07
Brad

Hi Josh,
Great looking program, will this however aid in burning flab also?
Or if you feel there is a more suitable program designed to attack flab and build muscle (my lean muscle is at an all time high at the moment and i want to maintain/increase that but focus on fat loss also).
As a minimum I prefer 4 day workouts.
Thanks

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Posted Thu, 08/22/2019 - 15:40
JoshEngland

Hi Brad,

Sure, you can use this program during a fat loss phase.

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Posted Mon, 08/05/2019 - 23:53
Danny

Hi.

I have recently completed the https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/upper-lower-4-day-gym-bodybui...

For my next workout i am tossing between this advanced upper-lower workout or the PHUL workout.

What do you suggest???

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Posted Tue, 08/06/2019 - 11:53
JoshEngland

Hi Danny,

Both are excellent options. I don't think you can go wrong with either.

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Posted Tue, 07/16/2019 - 10:28
محمود حسين

thank you very much :)

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Posted Tue, 07/16/2019 - 10:25
محمود حسين

hi.
please what the meaning of 3 sec negative ?
and when should i do reload?

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Posted Tue, 07/16/2019 - 10:35
JoshEngland

Hi,

3 sec negative is performing the lowering portion of the exercise for 3 seconds. Do a deload upon finishing the duration of the program. Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 06/24/2019 - 05:17
Punit varia

Csn i add some cardio in this exercise

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Posted Mon, 06/24/2019 - 10:54
JoshEngland

Hi Punit,

Absolutely! Just monitor your ability to recover and adjust total workload accordingly.

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Posted Thu, 05/02/2019 - 23:35
Sal

can I add some extra shoulder and arm work on Saturday?

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Posted Mon, 05/06/2019 - 11:44
JoshEngland

Hi Sal,

Sure, you can do that.

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Posted Sat, 12/08/2018 - 06:09
Colton

I plan on doing PHUL after completing my current program (4 days a week but only hitting body parts once a week). After PHUL obviously I’m moving onto this, but what would be a good transition after completing this program after doing PHUL as well?

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Posted Mon, 12/10/2018 - 10:19
JoshEngland

Hi Colton,

Awesome! Maybe give this one a shot after that: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/shul-workout

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Posted Wed, 10/31/2018 - 05:59
ayman

It'll be great if you recommend me some of the workout programs of this type Advanced Upper/Lower

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Posted Sat, 10/27/2018 - 10:33
Scott

I switched to this program 4 weeks ago after doing PHUL for 6 months. Love the program.
I’m going to switch back to PHUL after the program, how will my bench and back squat be?

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Posted Mon, 10/29/2018 - 09:24
JoshEngland

Hi Scott,

Solid plan - you'll likely be weaker at first, but it's great that you've altered your lifts for a phase. It will pay off in the long run whether that be via injury prevention or stronger lifts down the road.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 10/23/2018 - 10:53
Dan McCune

How should I determine the amount of weight used for each set? Also, should I keep the weight the same for each set or increase for each set?
Looking forward making some gains and building mass with this workout, thank you!
- Dan

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Posted Wed, 10/24/2018 - 10:18
JoshEngland

Hi Dan,

Pick a weight you think you can use for the prescribed reps. If too heavy, move down. If too light, move up. You should finish each set feeling as though you have 1-2 reps left in the tank. A good rule of thumb is 75-95% of your working max depending on the prescribed rep ranges.

You can do either or. Personally, I like to pyramid up - but try keeping them the same and pyramiding to figure out which works best for you.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 09/30/2018 - 16:35
Abhinnshyam Tiwari

This the best program I've ever used ! What would recommend me I'm 19 and just lost 36 kgs (from 120 to 83) and I want to get lean muscle (as I'm vegetarian and no supplements)
It'll be great if you recommend me some of the workout programs of this type #LoveFromIndia

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Posted Mon, 10/01/2018 - 10:06
JoshEngland
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Posted Wed, 08/01/2018 - 02:59
Ibrahim H

thanks coach for your hard work!!
I always wondered what would happen if i kept using the same routine for a year without changing it?
Am I still going to gain muscles fast? because this one says maximum 12 weeks. And i heard to gain muscles mass one have to hit each muscles at least twice a week, is that right?
thank you a lot, coach Josh. :)

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Posted Wed, 08/01/2018 - 10:36
JoshEngland

Hi Ibrahim,

You can use the same program, but it can be nice to vary your programs to keep things from getting stale.

Yes, hitting the muscle group more frequently during the week can lead to more muscle growth over time.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 07/13/2018 - 11:29
Ian Roberts

In the first workout is it not back heavy as there's only 1 Chest exercise?

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Posted Fri, 07/13/2018 - 14:05
JoshEngland

Hi Ian,

There is plenty of chest work throughout the program to elicit chest growth.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 06/19/2018 - 06:56
George

Hi,how many calories should I take daily?I am 26 yrs 171cm and 66kg

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Posted Tue, 06/19/2018 - 08:35
JoshEngland
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Posted Sat, 06/09/2018 - 15:08
Mike C

My only concern is no back squat ?? I can deal without traditional bench . I’m now trying more to build muscle and physique over power is this right for that ?? Thanks !

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Posted Mon, 06/11/2018 - 08:57
JoshEngland

Hi Mike,

You don't always need the back squat to build muscle mass. If it's non-negotiable for you and your goals, simply sub it in for one of the other squat variations listed.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 00:32
Ibrahim

Hi coach, thanks for the the plan!!
what workout should I perform after this one done?

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Posted Mon, 06/04/2018 - 10:26
JoshEngland

Hi Ibrahim,

Have you tried Phul out yet?

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/phul-workout

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 05/27/2018 - 15:01
Miled

hi coach
wich full body workout do you prefer
for a hardgainer 38yr old ????
can you give me an advice???

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Posted Tue, 05/22/2018 - 18:10
RITO

First of all, Thanks a lot for providing us with an awesome workout plan.

Second, May you please tell me an alternative for 'Machine Row'...
and while performing 'dips' whether should I be focusing on triceps or chest?

Thank you!
Rito.

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Posted Tue, 05/29/2018 - 11:51
JoshEngland

Hi Rito,

Any row variation will do the trick. On dips, focus on using your triceps.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 05/02/2018 - 09:20
Rob

Hey Josh! Thank you for this workout! I’m on week 2.
Having troubles with 2on-1off-2on-2off (working out and resting days). Mine is something like 3on-2off-1on-1off. Is this might affect progress?
Thank you
Rob.

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Posted Wed, 05/02/2018 - 09:31
JoshEngland

Hi Rob,

That is a perfectly fine way to split up your workouts.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 05/02/2018 - 12:33
Rob

Oh, great! Thank you!
Also, I love cardio - running, rowing. Is that okay to add a little bit of it? Or maybe something I need to avoid?

Thank you!
Rob.

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Posted Wed, 05/02/2018 - 15:08
JoshEngland

Hi Rob,

Not at all! Feel free to add cardio however you see fit.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 04/04/2018 - 21:16
Laura

Hi Josh,

Thanks for sharing a great workout. I’m about to start this one...could I substitute the banded Nordic hamstrings for the laying leg curl hamstring machine? Also would barbell rows substitute the landline T-bar row?

Many thanks

Laura

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Posted Thu, 04/05/2018 - 13:39
JoshEngland

Hi Laura,

Awesome! Thanks for giving the program a shot and reading M&S!

Both of those subs would be fine substitutions for this program.

Hope this helps and best of luck!

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Posted Fri, 04/06/2018 - 20:52
Laura

Hi Josh,

Thanks for the quick reply! I’m just about to crack on with day 2. I’ll let you know at the end of 12 weeks how I go.

Cheers

Laura

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Posted Sun, 04/01/2018 - 16:53
Zach

What would be a good alternative to the t-bar row.

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Posted Mon, 04/02/2018 - 09:40
JoshEngland

Hi Zach,

Any row variation ought to do the trick.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 03/23/2018 - 03:02
mohamed Moheeb

Hi Mr. Josh in my typical training I used to specify days for unilateral muscle. Say day for leg, another for chest and so on. In spite of hardcore training I do, my body lowerside -which is naturally a bit fatter - doesn't fit with my upperside.
I'm completely confused on the leg day between increasing rips, decreasing weights, doubling exercises, training it once or twice a week.
Especially soon after training, they become bulk, and feel them like shaky when walking in spite of my 120KG deadlift, 3 sets, 25 rips for instance.
The same applies to booty......

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Posted Fri, 03/23/2018 - 08:57
JoshEngland

Hi Mohamed,

Unilateral exercises are definitely a great option for building a balanced physique. And body part splits have their place and can be a good option depending on your individual circumstance.

Leg training is going to be individualized. Some like training multiple times per week bc legs are a larger muscle group and you can push more weight during a leg training session which can lead to greater total body muscle growth.

But it's not for everyone.

Find what works for you and what you enjoy doing and stick with it.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 03/22/2018 - 05:35
Mohamed

Dear josh:
Sorry for the inconvenience, could i do this workout as follows:
Saturday : upper sunday lower/ monday upper / Tuesday off / Wednesday lower / Thursday & friday off , due to my job circumstances.
Thank u

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Posted Thu, 03/22/2018 - 09:20
JoshEngland

Hi Mohamed,

Yes, absolutely! That is a fine way to split up your workouts.

Hope this helps!