4 Day Advanced Upper/Lower Workout Program to Build Mass

Josh England
Written By: Josh England
January 10th, 2018
Updated: July 19th, 2019
560K Reads
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

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.

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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!

G. Rei
Posted on: Thu, 05/23/2024 - 23:04

Do you think this program would work if it was split into a two week program? I have had a bit of success with the PHUL by splitting it. I recently read M. Mentzers book and have become of a fan of recovery time.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 05/28/2024 - 08:39

I certainly can't say it won't work, G. Give it a go. It can't hurt to try, and I can see how the recovery would help.

Posted on: Sat, 10/21/2023 - 15:20

Hello.Can ladies use this program..
Plus if im doung muay thai and boxing, is it okay to use this program?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 10/23/2023 - 20:52

Hi, Aikee. Thanks for reading M&S!

Absolutely! Women can do this, and I don't think it will interfere with your other work. Just monitor your recovery and give yourself at least one complete day off. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Sun, 10/02/2022 - 17:18

I've run this for a few months and have seen good results. It sounds like I should maybe back off a bit for a few weeks? Should I, and what routine would be good to move to?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 10/07/2022 - 06:54

You don't need to back off for that long. One week would be a good idea, though. As for the next routine, read this over and check out the suggestions that are included. Hopefully one of those will be a good fit for you.


Amanda B.
Posted on: Sun, 07/31/2022 - 15:30

I just started this workout last week. I really do like the types of exercises you put together for this. If I do this split on a Mon/Tues and Thurs/Fri basis, would it be too much to add in another weight lifting workout on Wednesday that focuses more on power where I can incorporate low reps but heavier weight on this day? And what would you recommend for cardio? I’m looking to do a mix of high intensity (no more than 15 min) and steady state (about 30-45min)

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 08/11/2022 - 08:04

I don't recommend the weight training on Wednesday, but you could do one of those HIIT workouts on that day. Do steady state after the weight workouts of your choice. Just make sure you take two complete days off to maximize recovery.

Posted on: Sun, 07/24/2022 - 19:56

Hey Josh.. what could I replace the . Banded Nordic Hamstring Curl with ? There is no elastics at my gym.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 07/31/2022 - 11:13

Hi, Lucie. Answering for Josh here. If your gym has a seated leg curl or a standing leg curl station, either movement would be a great one to use. You can also hook your feet under something solid and do the negative for the Nordic curls on the floor, and push yourself back up to the top.

Gilbert Christian
Posted on: Sun, 10/31/2021 - 15:15

Hi! I have recently completed the https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/upper-lower-4-day-gym-bodybui....

But i can only do 3 pull ups. Should i stick with that program after my deload week or move to this advance program

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 11/01/2021 - 19:27

Hey, Gilbert. Give this one a go. Use an assistant pull-up machine or a band for the pullups if needed. Do as many as you can on your own, then resort to the machine or band to get extra reps.

Posted on: Mon, 09/27/2021 - 10:38

What about weak shoulder muscles?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 10/13/2021 - 16:01

The military press is for shoulders, Ahmed. If you want to focus on them specifically, go for this one.


Posted on: Sun, 09/26/2021 - 15:16

Just finished this great training program, and was wondering what program to do next. A strength And the muscle mass focused program?

Posted on: Sat, 07/31/2021 - 05:21

Why only one exercise for the chest muscles?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 20:05


We've got a few chest exercises listed here..

Dumbbell Bench Press
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
Standing Dumbbell Press
Machine Fly

Posted on: Mon, 07/19/2021 - 03:12

Can I stick to one program the rest of my life but I will change up the reps,sets and add some supersets in between and drop sets.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 07/19/2021 - 09:37

Hey Gary - that is definitely not recommended. You'll want to vary exercises as well as sets, reps, and rest time if you're following a program for an extended period of time.

William Moana
Posted on: Sun, 01/24/2021 - 08:39

Will I still put muscle mass on if I'm doing an intermittent diet?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 01/25/2021 - 10:20

Hey William - yes, as long as you're eating in a caloric surplus.

Ashton Currie
Posted on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 02:51

Just finished this great training program, and was wondering what program to do next. A strength focused program?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 12/02/2020 - 09:18
christopher hyde
Posted on: Wed, 09/02/2020 - 22:23

Hey just got done doing the Chris Pratt program and want to Juno in this program. If I add some cardio in the beginning before the workouts with the aid in fat loss of course proper diet included. I’m currently 27 6-1 at 225 pounds and tryna burn off fat and gain muscle also trying to reach my goal weight of 190

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 09/04/2020 - 09:44

Christopher - I'd recommend adding in cardio after your training session on days you're weight training.

christopher hyde
Posted on: Wed, 09/02/2020 - 22:16

Hey so got done doing the Chris Pratt program and feel pretty good after doing that. Also if I add some cardio in the beginning of the workouts will this help with fat burning also of course proper diet included?I know there’s millions of topics on building muscle and cutting. Thank you

Posted on: Sun, 08/23/2020 - 23:35

Why are both the bench variations dumbbell? Like why is there no barbell benching? I’m not opposed to it I just didn’t understand why. Thanks!!

Posted on: Wed, 04/08/2020 - 03:57

I have seen in a lot of other programs that have you work each muscle with 3- 4 exercises , 10-12 reps. In your routine you do not. For example. Biceps and triceps you have then worked twice a week, but with only 2 exercises each.
Why is this.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 08/10/2020 - 15:15

Hey John

Your biceps and triceps get a lot of indirect work every time you perform a pulling or pushing motion (working chest, shoulders, and back), so adding too much direct work can lead to overtraining.

Posted on: Thu, 03/12/2020 - 12:32

I'm an ectomorph can I use this kind of workout split?

Posted on: Mon, 03/22/2021 - 10:09

Yes of course you can. To add muscle you would want to eat in a caloric surplus of about 25-400 calories above your maintenance. And try to get around 0.8 - 1 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight

Posted on: Wed, 03/11/2020 - 02:03

Can exercises be superset? I feel it keeps my heart rate up and cut down on time.

Posted on: Fri, 03/06/2020 - 05:52

Hi Raul
I'm an ectomorph can I use this kind of workout split?

Posted on: Mon, 02/17/2020 - 22:29

Hi new here getting back to working out after being out of the game for 13 yrs any way this workout been working for me really good, just wanted to ask if you recomen good supplements protein or stack to work with good with this workout.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 02/18/2020 - 10:05

Hi Raul,

For beginner workouts, check out some of these: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/beginner

For a beginner's guide on supplements, check this article out: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/absolute-beginner-guide-bodyb...

Posted on: Sat, 01/04/2020 - 01:58

How do feel about super-setting opposing muscles for times sake on upper body day (I.e. chest and back)?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 01/06/2020 - 14:53

Hi Evan,

I'm a fan. Do it if necessary.

Mahmoud Adel
Posted on: Mon, 12/16/2019 - 06:46

Sounds good!!

Posted on: Sun, 11/17/2019 - 19:59

Doesn't seem like enough workout for a week.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 11/18/2019 - 16:14

Hi Sb,

You are entitled to your own opinion. Feel free to create a program based on your individual capabilities and goals.

Posted on: Sun, 05/17/2020 - 02:09

It’s a Monday Tuesday Thursday Friday routine. Try it, you will change your mind.

Posted on: Tue, 07/21/2020 - 16:05

I tried it for two months. The science makes sense but I saw better results from training one body group at a time.

Posted on: Sun, 11/10/2019 - 16:54

Will this program still be affective if I lower the weight and use 10-15 reps per set?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 11/11/2019 - 10:17

Hi Mason,

Yes, it will.

Posted on: Mon, 11/11/2019 - 11:18

Got it, also if I’m using lighter weight for 10-15 should I do more sets or the same amount?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 11/12/2019 - 11:11

Hi Mason,

You shouldn't need to as written. Just try to make each set challenging and progress with the weight you use over time.

Posted on: Tue, 11/12/2019 - 11:25

Got it, thank you very much!

Posted on: Sun, 08/25/2019 - 17:08

Hey josh could i do this routine 4 days in a row Monday - upper - Tuesday lower - Wednesday upper - Thursday lower, need to know if it would be okay to do this?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 09/03/2019 - 16:27

Hi Ethan,

Yes, that is fine.

Posted on: Tue, 09/03/2019 - 16:30

Great I completed this routine 4 days in a row last week with no recovery issues at all ! All though I did switch Thursday (lower day) for a full body workout instead and it seems to work well, Monday - upper Tuesday - lower Wednesday - upper and Thursday full body which seems to work well for me