T Nation

Upper/Lower Split for Hypertrophy

Thanks for taking a look at this routine I’ve set up, any advice is helpful. My goal for these next few weeks is a good mix of hypertrophy and strength, but at this stage a little more muscle growth is what I’m trying to shoot for. I’m currently 5’9" @ 170lbs around %14 BF and I’ve been lifting for about a year and a half on and off, but now school has started and there’s plenty of food available, I’m switching my training from strength based to hypertrophy based.

Day 1 �?? LOWER
Squat Variation Oly back squat w/ box
Single Leg Variation Bulg. Split squat
Ham/Glute Variation BB RDL
Core Variation Standing Woodchops

Day 2 �?? UPPER
Horizontal Push Var. Bench Press
Vertical Pull Var Pullup
?
Shoulder/Upper Back Prehab Ext. Rotations

Day 4 �?? LOWER
Deadlift Variation Deadlift
Single Leg Variation Reverse Lunge
?
Core Variation Kneeling Cable Curls

Day 5 �?? UPPER
Vertical Push Var. Overhead Press
Horizontal Pull Var. Seated Row
Shoulder/Upper Back Prehab Prone Trap Raise
Core Variation Front Plank

I’ve never really written a four day split before, so the question marks are where I don’t know what sort of exercise to do there. Fill in those blanks for me :slight_smile:

Volume for each movement will be around 28-50 reps, loading around 70%-80% 1RM. The main point I plan to change is to keep the volume higher; higher than when I was training for strength only. I’m thinking sets across, or maybe supersetting on upper days. Progression will come mostly from loading, but I think I might try a mirror set/rep scheme for alternate weeks (i.e. 4x8, then 8x4 with suitable loading adjustments) or just varying set/rep zones to keep things fresh. Comments are welcome, thank you.

edit: It has taken out alot of the spaces I had between the descriptions and the exercises

I think you’ve led yourself so far off in the wrong direction I’m not really sure what to say except “start over” with regards to thinking up a training plan.

[quote]mr popular wrote:
I think you’ve led yourself so far off in the wrong direction I’m not really sure what to say except “start over” with regards to thinking up a training plan.[/quote]

Can you perhaps be a little more specific? What about this plan is in the wrong direction?

I’ve stuck to compound movements that address major upper and lower body muscle groups, and included two of these sessions each week. The volume will be kept higher, while still allowing higher loading through multiple sets. I’ve included “abs” and weak point (shoulder girdle, midback) exercises, and I plan on using loading and set/rep progression throughout the weeks.

I must be missing something glaring…

hmmm…this has Waterbury all over it.

Well for hypertrophy generally you should split it up more, at least three day split imo, train muscle groups more specifically, hitting the muscles with different exercises to ensure overall muscle development, and i’d like volume to be higher, gonna go with at LEAST 50 ya know?

despite what some would have you believe, classic bodybuilding training is quite effective for…well…hypertrophy…that was their goal when they assembled the tried and true methods. You say you want to go hypertrophy based but your routine still looks very much strength gain based. If you shoot for two goals at once, you often wind up achieving neither.

I’m gonna go ahead and [[highlight]] all the things I thought were wrong, ineffective, or ridiculous to get this discussion rolling a bit in a better direction.

[quote]cgeezy wrote:
Thanks for taking a look at this routine I’ve set up, any advice is helpful. [[My goal for these next few weeks]] is a good [[mix of hypertrophy and strength]], but [[at this stage a little more muscle growth is what I’m trying to shoot for]]. I’m currently 5’9" @ 170lbs around %14 BF and I’ve been [[lifting for about a year and a half on and off]], but now school has started and there’s plenty of food available, I’m [[switching my training from strength based to hypertrophy based]].

Day 1 �?? LOWER
Squat Variation [[Oly back squat w/ box]]
[[Single Leg Variation]] [[Bulg. Split squat]]
Ham/Glute Variation BB RDL
Core Variation [[Standing Woodchops]]

Day 2 �?? UPPER
[[Horizontal Push Var.]] Bench Press
[[Vertical Pull Var]] Pullup
?
[[Shoulder/Upper Back Prehab]] Ext. Rotations

Day 4 �?? LOWER
Deadlift Variation Deadlift
[[Single Leg Variation]] Reverse Lunge
?
Core Variation Kneeling Cable Curls

Day 5 �?? UPPER
[[Vertical Push Var.]] Overhead Press
[[Horizontal Pull Var.]] Seated Row
[[Shoulder/Upper Back Prehab]] [[Prone Trap Raise]]
Core Variation [[Front Plank]]

I’ve never really written a four day split before, so the question marks are where [[I don’t know what sort of exercise to do there]]. [[Fill in those blanks for me]] :slight_smile:

[[Volume for each movement will be around 28-50 reps]], [[loading around 70%-80% 1RM]]. [[The main point I plan to change is to keep the volume higher; higher than when I was training for strength only]]. [[I’m thinking sets across, or maybe supersetting on upper days]]. Progression will come mostly from loading, [[but I think I might try a mirror set/rep scheme for alternate weeks (i.e. 4x8, then 8x4 with suitable loading adjustments)]] [[or just varying set/rep zones to keep things fresh]]. Comments are welcome, thank you.

edit: It has taken out alot of the spaces I had between the descriptions and the exercises[/quote]

Where to begin…

[quote]That One Guy wrote:
hmmm…this has Waterbury all over it.

Well for hypertrophy generally you should split it up more, at least three day split imo, train muscle groups more specifically, hitting the muscles with different exercises to ensure overall muscle development, and i’d like volume to be higher, gonna go with at LEAST 50 ya know?

despite what some would have you believe, classic bodybuilding training is quite effective for…well…hypertrophy…that was their goal when they assembled the tried and true methods. You say you want to go hypertrophy based but your routine still looks very much strength gain based. If you shoot for two goals at once, you often wind up achieving neither.[/quote]

Looking back, alot of what I have written is “Waterbury”-y. I don’t think I’m looking for “pure” hypertrophy, by that I mean that while my goal in this specific training cycle is muscle growth, I don’t want to sacrafice potential strength gains completely. I realize that in trying to do both, neither one will be accomplished well. So I have to make up my mind in that regard.

What I take from your comment is that, the way it’s setup now, I’ll see strength gains with some hypertrophy if I eat enough. I said my focus was hypertrophy, so I guess the two don’t mix. Is it necessary to fatigue each muscle group with multiple exercises? If I have a difficult compound movement like the squat (the box in that squat is for depth purposes only, not a box squat in the typical sense), that won’t overload my leg muscles? I have on top of that a one-leg movement to further fatigue those muscles, as well as recruit stablizers. As for the other smaller movements, I still have joint health and posture issues to attend to, so I included movements to address that.

i’d wager you would get a fair bit stronger if your muscles grew.

Indeed, for now I’ll take size over strength but obviously I will get stronger too. I guess I’ll take a closer look on this site at “mass routines” and see what I’m doing.

Gaining strength and gaining muscle are two directly related things. The only way to gain muscle is to force your muscles to become stronger. And the only way to gain just strength by itself, is to avoid eating enough food to grow.

Now of course it’s slightly more complicated than that (really, only slightly), and there are certain guidelines you want to follow when your aim is to gain as much muscle as possible, but you’re treating this as though it’s some entirely mathematical, measurable thing. When the reality is it’s entirely organic and the human body just doesn’t respond very well to the training philosophy you’re trying to apply to it.

Aside from what has been mentioned, why are your prehab exercises last on your list?

[quote]ukrainian wrote:
Aside from what has been mentioned, why are your prehab exercises last on your list?[/quote]

I was still considering the exercise order, the list was just what came to my mind first.

[quote]cgeezy wrote:
That One Guy wrote:
hmmm…this has Waterbury all over it.

Well for hypertrophy generally you should split it up more, at least three day split imo, train muscle groups more specifically, hitting the muscles with different exercises to ensure overall muscle development, and i’d like volume to be higher, gonna go with at LEAST 50 ya know?

despite what some would have you believe, classic bodybuilding training is quite effective for…well…hypertrophy…that was their goal when they assembled the tried and true methods. You say you want to go hypertrophy based but your routine still looks very much strength gain based. If you shoot for two goals at once, you often wind up achieving neither.

Looking back, alot of what I have written is “Waterbury”-y. I don’t think I’m looking for “pure” hypertrophy, by that I mean that while my goal in this specific training cycle is muscle growth, I don’t want to sacrafice potential strength gains completely. I realize that in trying to do both, neither one will be accomplished well. So I have to make up my mind in that regard.

What I take from your comment is that, the way it’s setup now, I’ll see strength gains with some hypertrophy if I eat enough. I said my focus was hypertrophy, so I guess the two don’t mix. Is it necessary to fatigue each muscle group with multiple exercises? If I have a difficult compound movement like the squat (the box in that squat is for depth purposes only, not a box squat in the typical sense), that won’t overload my leg muscles? I have on top of that a one-leg movement to further fatigue those muscles, as well as recruit stablizers. As for the other smaller movements, I still have joint health and posture issues to attend to, so I included movements to address that.
[/quote]

If you don’t know that hypertrophy and strength gain are linked together you don’t know a lot then about how exercise affects your muscles. Hypertrophy leads to a larger cross sectional area of the muscles, which leads to strength gains, just because you train in a more bodybuilder type of rep and set range, doesn’t mean you will get weaker, that’s just something to promote when you have articles to sell. yes it is necessary to fatigue the muscle group with direct, and multiple exercises to ensure complete muscle development. When you don’t directly hit muscles, you don’t maximize growth, and you can create imbalances in the muscle

god…looking back at your posted routine again, it does not look like a bodybuilding set up at all