Workout Wednesday: 4-day beginner upper/lower split strength training program

upper lower splitAs promised, here’s my current muscle-building workout routine I’ll be doing for the next 8 to 10 weeks! This is a beginner 4-day upper/lower split strength training program focused on building strength and hypertrophy you can do at the gym or at home with some modifications. Each workout contains a combination of push-pull exercises, beginning with major muscle groups and ending with accessory exercises. Because I only have about 40 minutes to workout in the morning, I’ve programmed these workouts as supersets, where you can perform each exercises back-to-back in sets with very little rest time in between. If you have more time or are a true beginner/plan on lifting heavier, I suggest taking longer breaks in between exercises.


Perform Workout 1 on Mondays, Workout 2 on Tuesdays, Workout 3 on Thursdays, and Workout 4 on Fridays for the next 8 weeks. You can either rest on Wednesday or do cardio for 30-40 minutes if you want to (I plan on running for 40 minutes or so). For the first 6 weeks, use a weight you feel you could still perform another 5 reps with for light lifts; 3-4 reps with (so not so heavy that you are struggling to get the last rep in, but not so light you don’t feel challenged – you should feel a good “burn” by the last 3 reps) for moderate weights lifts; and 1-2 reps with for heavy lifts. After 6 weeks, feel free to increase the weight (by 2-5lbs for upper body exercises and 10-15lbs for lower body exercises) if the workouts are feeling too easy.

Start each workout with a dynamic warm up (it should only take about 5-7 minutes). Perform grouped exercises as supersets (so do 1A then rest for 30 seconds, then do 2A and rest for 30 seconds, then go back to 1A, then 2A until all three sets are done), resting for the indicated time in between each set. Where “3 sec negative” is listed in the notes, slowly lower the weight for a count of 3 seconds during the lowering, or eccentric, phase of the exercise. Finish with a few stretches. The whole workout should take about 40-50 minutes.

Click here to download the PDF of the full plan.

Click here to download the PDF of the full plan and here for the Word document with clickable links to exercise video examples.


REMEMBER: This is only a sample program that I’m currently using based on my fitness level – it works for me but may not be suitable for you. Please consult with your doctor before attempting any exercise program, especially if you have a medical condition.

Have you ever tried an upper/lower split program? Why or why not? What’s your favourite strength training exercise?

Linking up with the lovely:

Angelena Marie: Happy, Healthy & Balanced, Pretty In Pink Fitness, Bold Fit Mom, The Fit Foodie Mama