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  1. #1
    Registered User philip750's Avatar
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    Question for you Upper/Lower split guys.

    I have been doing Upper/Lower split for the most of my lifting career, and as i have grown bigger and stronger, i found it hard to get a good emphasis on the smaller muscle groups like bicep/tricep and side/rear delts. Those muscles i always do at the end of the upper days. And the quality of the work i get for those muscles does feel little low because of fatigue. I know i could place them earlier in the workout, but right now im cutting and i really need to put full effort into the main lifts.

    How do you guys deal with this, regardless of cutting or bulking.
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  2. #2
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by philip750 View Post
    I have been doing Upper/Lower split for the most of my lifting career, and as i have grown bigger and stronger, i found it hard to get a good emphasis on the smaller muscle groups like bicep/tricep and side/rear delts. Those muscles i always do at the end of the upper days. And the quality of the work i get for those muscles does feel little low because of fatigue. I know i could place them earlier in the workout, but right now im cutting and i really need to put full effort into the main lifts.

    How do you guys deal with this, regardless of cutting or bulking.
    Drop them. Isos are like chewing your fingernails: a bad habit everybody's glad they quit.

    The compounds take care of the small muscles. If you think you really need them then add them to your last workout of the week.
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  3. #3
    Registered User coachcalande's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by philip750 View Post
    I have been doing Upper/Lower split for the most of my lifting career, and as i have grown bigger and stronger, i found it hard to get a good emphasis on the smaller muscle groups like bicep/tricep and side/rear delts. Those muscles i always do at the end of the upper days. And the quality of the work i get for those muscles does feel little low because of fatigue. I know i could place them earlier in the workout, but right now im cutting and i really need to put full effort into the main lifts.

    How do you guys deal with this, regardless of cutting or bulking.
    I bomb arms after legs. Sometimes even before legs.

    Evens it all out ....

    Works great.



    For example:

    Day 1- torso
    Chest-Back-Shoulders-abs

    Rest day

    Day 2- legs/arms

    Rest day


    Repeat.
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  4. #4
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Simple really, add rear delts to upper days, and do arms on lower days. Don’t blow your load on arm work, 1 Tricep compound, 1 Tricep isolation and 1-2 bicep isolations should be sufficient.

    For rear delts, focus on things that REALLY get those upper arms behind the body. Reverse pec deck and underhand DB rows with a lot of elbow flare should do the trick.

    Originally Posted by coachcalande View Post
    I bomb arms after legs. Sometimes even before legs.

    Evens it all out ....

    Works great.



    For example:

    Day 1- torso
    Chest-Back-Shoulders-abs

    Rest day

    Day 2- legs/arms

    Rest day


    Repeat.
    Ah yes, the Yates upper/lower. Brutally effective.
    Last edited by BeginnerGainz; 06-07-2021 at 10:41 AM.
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    Another way to put more emphasis on arms (or any other muscle group) is to rotate every 6 weeks. Hammer them for 6 weeks. After 6 weeks arms go to maintenance and you bring up something else.

    (Arms emphasis)
    Upper
    Close grip bench 5x5 (tris)
    Tri iso 4x12
    Barbell curl 5x5
    Hammer curl 4x12
    Everything else maintenance 1-2 heavy sets of 6-8 reps so... row/pull down 2x6, chest fly 2x8....

    That's what I'm currently doing because after years and years of lifting I can't bring up everything at once anymore. Its just too overwhelming.
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  6. #6
    Registered User MG5's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    Drop them. Isos are like chewing your fingernails: a bad habit everybody's glad they quit.

    The compounds take care of the small muscles. If you think you really need them then add them to your last workout of the week.
    Can't agree with this. Isolations definitely have their place. Overdone by a lot of people? Yup, but if someone's primary goal is to really maximize the growth of each muscle group, I believe they should be included when and where useful.

    You could always switch to a split like:

    Upper
    Legs
    Off
    Push
    Pull
    Legs
    Off
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  7. #7
    Unregistered User MyEgoProblem's Avatar
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    I used to do 3 uppers and 2 lowers per week.
    Upper Sessions are a bit shorter than a 4 day split.

    Chesty upper
    Pause Bench
    Row
    Pec dec & Rev rev dec

    Squaty lower
    Squat
    Rdl
    Hack

    Shouldery upper
    Ohp
    Pulldown
    Front & Side & rear delt raises

    Dead lower
    Deadlift
    Ssb Squat
    Ghr

    Arm upper
    Cgbp
    Chin up
    Barbell curls & barbell extentions

    What I suggest most people do is just add a 15-20 minute "free time" at the end of every session to do weak point/vanity stuff irrespective if whatever arbitrary split you do.
    Last edited by MyEgoProblem; 06-07-2021 at 10:46 AM.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Filmbuff81's Avatar
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    Currently on upper lower 6x week.

    I do extra delt work on my leg days

    Arms every upper day.

    Splits are just a way to organize your training, add the volume in where it makes sense to meet what you need weekly.
    Last edited by Filmbuff81; 06-07-2021 at 02:16 PM.
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    Drop them. Isos are like chewing your fingernails: a bad habit everybody's glad they quit.

    The compounds take care of the small muscles. If you think you really need them then add them to your last workout of the week.
    This is a silly take. Isolations totally have their place throughout the week.
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  10. #10
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Filmbuff81 View Post
    This is a silly take. Isolations totally have their place throughout the week.
    This seems to have missed that I said "add them to your last workout of the week," meaning isos can have a minor place in a routine. But they're totally unnecessary and there's a bigger payoff to worrying about how to manage compounds.
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    This seems to have missed that I said "add them to your last workout of the week," meaning isos can have a minor place in a routine. But they're totally unnecessary and there's a bigger payoff to worrying about how to manage compounds.
    I didn’t miss that.

    But I just never agree with hot takes such as isolations need to be quit like a “bad habit” and “totally unnecessary”

    And I think spreading through the week is a much better plan anyway.
    Last edited by Filmbuff81; 06-07-2021 at 06:41 PM.
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  12. #12
    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    This seems to have missed that I said "add them to your last workout of the week," meaning isos can have a minor place in a routine. But they're totally unnecessary and there's a bigger payoff to worrying about how to manage compounds.
    Gonna have to disagree with this. For a multitude of reasons.

    If his goal is to pack on muscle, then isolations have their place in a routine to hit muscles not worked well by compounds.

    Rear delts
    Side delts
    Abs
    Calves
    Distal hamstrings
    Biceps (depending on your leverages)
    Triceps
    Upper traps (for advanced lifters)
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  13. #13
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Filmbuff81 View Post
    I didn’t miss that.

    But I just never agree with hot takes such as isolations need to be quit like a “bad habit”

    And I think spreading through the week is a much better plan anyway.
    Cool, go for it.

    A variety of opinions is the purpose of this kind of forum. The OP and anyone looking at these discussions can learn more by seeing different angles, especially since, probably, no one here knows the details of his training. And sometimes it's useful to hear the directness of a "silly hot take."
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    Registered User Filmbuff81's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by philip750 View Post
    I have been doing Upper/Lower split for the most of my lifting career, and as i have grown bigger and stronger, i found it hard to get a good emphasis on the smaller muscle groups like bicep/tricep and side/rear delts. Those muscles i always do at the end of the upper days. And the quality of the work i get for those muscles does feel little low because of fatigue. I know i could place them earlier in the workout, but right now im cutting and i really need to put full effort into the main lifts.

    How do you guys deal with this, regardless of cutting or bulking.
    What does your actual plan look like.

    You could add smaller muscle groups to leg days.
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    Registered User Filmbuff81's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ECGordyn View Post
    Cool, go for it.

    A variety of opinions is the purpose of this kind of forum. The OP and anyone looking at these discussions can learn more by seeing different angles, especially since, probably, no one here knows the details of his training. And sometimes it's useful to hear the directness of a "silly hot take."
    I only disagree with rhetoric.

    Suggestions of a weak point day is a lot different than steering someone to thinking something is stupid and unnecessary.

    Focusing just on compounds will never grow someone delts as well as They could if they added in dedicated work targeting them.

    Likewise leg curls are absolutely necessary for proper full development of the hamstring.
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  16. #16
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Filmbuff81 View Post
    I only disagree with rhetoric.

    Suggestions of a weak point day is a lot different than steering someone to thinking something is stupid and unnecessary.

    Focusing just on compounds will never grow someone delts as well as They could if they added in dedicated work targeting them.

    Likewise leg curls are absolutely necessary for proper full development of the hamstring.
    I didn't say anything was "stupid." And I'll say again that I suggested OP could add isos to his last workout of the week.

    Focusing just on compounds is perfectly fine for a general trainee. Is he a professional bodybuilder, or powerlifter, or strongman, or Oly lifter, or what is he? Nobody knows until he's more specific. Let the OP say more about his training plan and goals, and then people can respond with specific suggestions tailored to his specific situation.

    Leg curls, agree. Delts, unnecessary in general. Do a shoulder compound or two instead.
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    I mean it’s not like you need as much gas in the tank for isos, relative hi weight/low rep is going to be sufficient... I never felt like I couldn’t get any quality work in with them when I ran U/L. They don’t even impact recovery as much. IMO just do what you can, lower the weight and up the rep goal, lower RPE, whatever gets things moving. Or just accept that you probably are getting good work in but that it just doesn’t look or feel like good work on the big movements.
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  18. #18
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    Thanks for all the great advices guys!

    My goal is hypertrophy training/bodybuilding, right now im doing RP style training, starts at 3 rir and drop down to 0 rir over 4-5 weeks, deload and repeat, sets are added going from MEV to MRV, really enjoy training like this

    My days looks like this:

    Upper:
    Bench: 3 x 5-10
    Pendlay row: 5-10
    Incline DB press: 2 x 8-12
    Pull ups: 3 x bodyweight (total 30 reps)
    Lateral Raise: 3 x 10-20
    Skullcrushers: 3 x 8-12
    Bb curl: 3 x 8-12
    Rear delt Flyes: 3 x 10-20


    Lower:
    Squat: 3 x 5-10
    SLDL: 3 x 5-10
    Hack Squat: 3 x 8-12
    Leg curls: 2 x 10-20
    Calves


    Upper 2:
    Incline bench: 3 x 5-10
    Low row machine: 3 x 8-12
    Db shoulder press: 3 x 8-12
    Pulldowns: 3 x 10-20
    Flyes: 2 x 10-20
    Facepulls: 3 x 10-20
    Db curl: 3 x 10-20
    Tricep exstension: 3 x 10-20



    Lower 2:
    RDL: 3 x 5-10
    Leg press: 3 x 5-10
    Ham raises: 2 x 10-20
    Leg exstension: 2 x 10-20
    Calves


    This is my exercises for a few mesocycles, right now im cutting, but i still try to add some weight, reps or set each week.
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  19. #19
    Time is Muscle ECGordyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by philip750 View Post
    Thanks for all the great advices guys!

    My goal is hypertrophy training/bodybuilding, right now im doing RP style training, starts at 3 rir and drop down to 0 rir over 4-5 weeks, deload and repeat, sets are added going from MEV to MRV, really enjoy training like this

    My days looks like this:

    Upper:
    Bench: 3 x 5-10
    Pendlay row: 5-10
    Incline DB press: 2 x 8-12
    Pull ups: 3 x bodyweight (total 30 reps)
    Lateral Raise: 3 x 10-20
    Skullcrushers: 3 x 8-12
    Bb curl: 3 x 8-12
    Rear delt Flyes: 3 x 10-20


    Lower:
    Squat: 3 x 5-10
    SLDL: 3 x 5-10
    Hack Squat: 3 x 8-12
    Leg curls: 2 x 10-20
    Calves


    Upper 2:
    Incline bench: 3 x 5-10
    Low row machine: 3 x 8-12
    Db shoulder press: 3 x 8-12
    Pulldowns: 3 x 10-20
    Flyes: 2 x 10-20
    Facepulls: 3 x 10-20
    Db curl: 3 x 10-20
    Tricep exstension: 3 x 10-20



    Lower 2:
    RDL: 3 x 5-10
    Leg press: 3 x 5-10
    Ham raises: 2 x 10-20
    Leg exstension: 2 x 10-20
    Calves


    This is my exercises for a few mesocycles, right now im cutting, but i still try to add some weight, reps or set each week.
    To me there's almost twice the number of upper exercises as lower. I'm not a fan of that at all, but I get it the smaller muscles up top are easier to isolate. Lunges are good finishers for quads, as are cable pull throughs for hams/glutes.

    What's a "ham raise?" Glute bridge?

    Your original question was about how to fit in all your isos. You could do pressing isos (tris, delts, pec deck) on Upper 1, and pulling isos (bis, rear delts) on Upper 2. I'd discourage doing upper isos on leg days because I'd encourage you to do a bit more legs bud.
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  20. #20
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    Originally Posted by philip750 View Post
    Thanks for all the great advices guys!

    My goal is hypertrophy training/bodybuilding, right now im doing RP style training, starts at 3 rir and drop down to 0 rir over 4-5 weeks, deload and repeat, sets are added going from MEV to MRV, really enjoy training like this

    My days looks like this:

    Upper:
    Bench: 3 x 5-10
    Pendlay row: 5-10
    Incline DB press: 2 x 8-12
    Pull ups: 3 x bodyweight (total 30 reps)
    Lateral Raise: 3 x 10-20
    Skullcrushers: 3 x 8-12
    Bb curl: 3 x 8-12
    Rear delt Flyes: 3 x 10-20


    Lower:
    Squat: 3 x 5-10
    SLDL: 3 x 5-10
    Hack Squat: 3 x 8-12
    Leg curls: 2 x 10-20
    Calves


    Upper 2:
    Incline bench: 3 x 5-10
    Low row machine: 3 x 8-12
    Db shoulder press: 3 x 8-12
    Pulldowns: 3 x 10-20
    Flyes: 2 x 10-20
    Facepulls: 3 x 10-20
    Db curl: 3 x 10-20
    Tricep exstension: 3 x 10-20



    Lower 2:
    RDL: 3 x 5-10
    Leg press: 3 x 5-10
    Ham raises: 2 x 10-20
    Leg exstension: 2 x 10-20
    Calves


    This is my exercises for a few mesocycles, right now im cutting, but i still try to add some weight, reps or set each week.
    Considering you add sets as the meso progresses I don’t think your leg volume is that bad

    There’s 11 sets of quads to start and 10 for hamstrings.

    You could always add in an extra set of leg curls or glute ham raises.

    Lower 1 you could put SLDL after hack squats make it more of quad focused day.

    You can also move some of the delt and arm work to the lower days it’s not gonna impede recovery.

    Some cable crunches in 1 day and a leg/knee raise or similar on another would probably be beneficial.

    If you like shoulder press you can keep it, but I’d argue you could easily drop it.

    You’re doing incline bench twice, so realistically it’s kinda redundant since it’s mainly a front delt exercise anyway.
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  21. #21
    Registered User philip750's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Filmbuff81 View Post
    Considering you add sets as the meso progresses I don’t think your leg volume is that bad

    There’s 11 sets of quads to start and 10 for hamstrings.

    You could always add in an extra set of leg curls or glute ham raises.

    Lower 1 you could put SLDL after hack squats make it more of quad focused day.

    You can also move some of the delt and arm work to the lower days it’s not gonna impede recovery.

    Some cable crunches in 1 day and a leg/knee raise or similar on another would probably be beneficial.

    If you like shoulder press you can keep it, but I’d argue you could easily drop it.

    You’re doing incline bench twice, so realistically it’s kinda redundant since it’s mainly a front delt exercise anyway.

    Thanks, i will try to move delt and arm work to lower days, i always do abs on lower days, just forgot to write them down.

    The leg volume for me is what i start my cycle with, when im at week 3 with 4-5 set of squat and SLDL at 1 rir, then im pretty much done, adding more exercises from the start would be to much to handle on a cut right now.
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  22. #22
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    Originally Posted by philip750 View Post
    Thanks, i will try to move delt and arm work to lower days, i always do abs on lower days, just forgot to write them down.

    The leg volume for me is what i start my cycle with, when im at week 3 with 4-5 set of squat and SLDL at 1 rir, then im pretty much done, adding more exercises from the start would be to much to handle on a cut right now.
    That’s why I said you could maybe add an extra set or 2 of curls to start but it’s not super necessary.

    I don’t have an issue with your leg volume, I was mainly pointing it out to others that you’re progressing sets and already start at basically MEV so there’s no true need to hammer more exercises in.
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  23. #23
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    Originally Posted by Filmbuff81 View Post
    That’s why I said you could maybe add an extra set or 2 of curls to start but it’s not super necessary.

    I don’t have an issue with your leg volume, I was mainly pointing it out to others that you’re progressing sets and already start at basically MEV so there’s no true need to hammer more exercises in.

    Yeah, the leg volume part was to the other guys. Thank you for the great feedback!

    I saw your log and that your doing RP style training, like i do. Do you still try to increase set weekly when in a fat loss phase, going all the way up to MRV, or do you stick to grinding longer in the MAV? Maybe closer to MEV.
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  24. #24
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    For the most part I agree with ECGordyn. I almost exclusively train with an Upper-Lower split and I find that bi's, tri's and at least the front of the delts get enough work from heavy compounds. If you want to emphasize something more, add a few extra sets, or add an extra day and do a Push-Pull-Legs-Upper-Lower split for some weeks and try to target lagging groups a little more.
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