T Nation

Looking to Improve My Upper Body

Hi, I’ve been on this site for a long time, but decided to post so I can hopefully get some feedback on the workout I started today. I’m 19, 6’3", about 190lbs, and low BF%. My goal is to get to 210 by summer so I can try out for my college’s bball team. I’ve been playing basketball 2 hours every day for the past 3 months and decided that I need to be heavier to have more advantage on the court. I’m cutting out all the cardio for now so I can focus on lifting.

This brings me to my question. I need to get bigger in the upper body and stronger, so this explains why I have more upper body work there. I got my nutrition and sleep covered, so all that is left is to fix up my workout.

Is the workout below good enough to achieve my goal? Should anything be taken out? Also, I had a tough time figuring out my Friday workout. Any advice on that?

Note - I did such split in high school and it worked pretty well. Also, I workout at home and I can only lift 4 days a week due to schedule. Also, I’m limited to the exercises that i can do since I’m home. I tried to do dips with 2 chairs, but my wrists hurt too much.

Feedback would be much appreciated. Thank You!


BB Bench 5x5
BB Military Press 5x5
BB Upright Rows 4x6
DB Rows 4x6
Chinups(Palms towards me)
BB Close Grip Bench 4x6
BB Skullcrushers 4x6
BB Curls 10 singles



BB Back Squats 8x3
BB Walking Lunges 3x8
BB Romanian Deadlift 4x6



BB Incline Bench 10,8,8,6
BB Military Press 3x10
BB Upright Rows 3x10
DB Rows 4x10
Pullups(Palms away)
BB Close Grip Bench 4x8
DB Decline Skullcrushers 3x10
BB Curls 10,8,8,6
DB Lateral Raises 3x10


BB Deadlift - I have a dlift program that im following
BB Speed Squats 3x8
Wall Sits 3x30 sec


I Will deload when I stop progressing, drop the weights and increase the reps before going back to weight progression.

Thanks again.


First off seems like you’ve got a pretty solid plan so far. So to one of your questions “Yes, the program seems good enough to gain size/strength.” If you want to grow, make sure you’re eating enough. I’ll reiterate the obvious–you’re 19, and run a lot, and lift a lot, you must eat a lot.

I’m only 19, 6’1’’ and 185 so I’m not the most knowledgeable fella when it comes to this but heres my take.

I’d keep the # of sessions per week at least at 2, could be 3 (for the upper body, since you want it to grow). The human body can take a lot of stress and especially at age 19, you could lift upper body 3 times a week. Also,–maybe someone could comment on this-- but 8 exercises per session seems a bit much to me. I usually do 3-5 per session. (Then a different 3-5 the next session) this keeps the body from becoming adjusted to the same workouts.
Just bust your butt and hit the reps/sets you want.

Otherwise, I’d say keep it up and see how things go. You could get stronger without adding the 20 pounds you want, so keep that in mind. Good luck.

Thanks for the response. 8 exercises per session works fine for me. I just want to get more bang for the buck here.

I think the overall layout looks pretty decent.

Personal I feel 8 exercises is quite a bit of load to be putting on your body in one day. Esepicially on the day with your 5x5 excercises. I think you could drop a couple of the single joint movements on your upper body days. Like your triceps are also going to be taking a lot of load because of all your pressing movements. And especially because of all the heavy weights. On monday i would drop the BB curls and Extensions.

Im interested how everything goes for you with this aswell.

I’ve been using Waterbury’s HFT and it has been doing wonders for my upper body. Have you seen that program before?

also, I’d drop one of the back squats and change it to a front squat. That would do wonders for your upperbody and be quite a change for your quads.