T Nation

Upper Body Program?

Could anyone lay out some good splits for an upper body specialization program? I’ve got a bit of a strained knee, so I want to back off of heavy leg/sprinting workouts for a few weeks and try to rest it and hopefully rehab it.

I’m used to doing more total body-focused workouts, so I’m not sure how to split things up when focusing only on upper body.

I also plan on getting in the pool for my cardio, rather than running. I’m also hoping I can kinda do “sprints” in the pool (really hard swimming for 20 sec, etc). Though I dunno how well that’d work out. But I’d like to keep up some sort of conditioning while not sprinting.

Any advice other than the day to day/muscle group splits is also appreciated, of course!


As far as splits go as long as you’re getting all the main push/pull movements covered I’m sure you’ll do fine.

I would recommend using an indoor rowing machine (preferably a C2) for conditioning. You can do really intense sprints and intervals with non of the impact on the joints.

Good luck.

Any suggestions on volume and frequency?

What have you been doing as far as set and rep frequency? You write that you have been focused on total body workouts, so why do a split just because you can’t work your lower body?

A few of my friends used this split:


I actually did this for a while, then changed it to one arm day and started squating adding some good size to arms through supercompensation still got the stretch marks to prove it.

Well I figured I’d move to a more split schedule since I have a lot less muscle to train now.

For the last couple months I had been pretty much in the hypertrophy range - 3-4 sets of 8-12. I’m probably looking to stay there, maybe drop to around 6-8 for some strength gains as well.

Before, the volume wasn’t too difficult to figure out because I only really had time/energy to do 1 or 2 movements per muscle group. So now I’m wondering how much extra to tack on to these workouts. I’ll probably just go in and blast chest today and see what happens.

Thanks for the input!