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.

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!

53 Comments+ Post Comment

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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?

JoshEngland's picture
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?

JoshEngland's picture
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

JoshEngland's picture
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

JoshEngland's picture
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. :)

JoshEngland's picture
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?

JoshEngland's picture
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

JoshEngland's picture
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 !

JoshEngland's picture
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?

JoshEngland's picture
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.

JoshEngland's picture
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.

JoshEngland's picture
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.

JoshEngland's picture
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

JoshEngland's picture
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.

JoshEngland's picture
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......

JoshEngland's picture
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

JoshEngland's picture
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!

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Posted Thu, 03/22/2018 - 11:27
Mohamed

Appreciated, thank you very much

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 03/22/2018 - 12:20
JoshEngland

You're welcome!

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Posted Wed, 03/21/2018 - 11:24
Mohamed

Dear Josh:
Could i add exercise for upper chest in the day 1 , as i found one only , kindly advise .
Thank u,

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 03/21/2018 - 15:48
JoshEngland

Hi Mohamed,

Sure, you can add an additional chest exercise on day 1 if you wish.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 03/21/2018 - 16:04
Mohamed

Thanks a million... appreciated

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 03/21/2018 - 16:09
JoshEngland

You're welcome! Let me know how you like the program once you've finished it!

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Posted Tue, 03/20/2018 - 06:56
MOHAMMED

Hello Josh , Alternative for Exercise Ball Crunch
i don't have a ball at my gym

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 03/20/2018 - 08:37
JoshEngland

Hi Mohammed,

A standard ab crunch from the floor will do the trick.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 03/17/2018 - 05:33
Shady

I want alternative for workout banded Nordic hamstring curl

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/19/2018 - 09:14
JoshEngland

Hi Shady,

You can perform them with just your bodyweight with your legs hooked under neath a bench or with a partner holding onto your ankles.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 04/01/2018 - 16:56
Zach

Would ghr work?

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

Hi Zach,

Yes, absolutely!

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Posted Mon, 04/02/2018 - 17:48
Shady

I'd understand, can you give me video

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/03/2018 - 09:25
JoshEngland

Hi Shady,

Check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM7Dd_FZEZg

Hope this helps!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/23/2018 - 08:37
JoshEngland

Hi Haiman,

I'd recommend doing a google search for trainers in your area.

Hope this helps!