Upper Lower Strength Routine

I would have to say a basic upper lower split training routine is one of my favorite ways to train. I have written about it in both Leave No Doubt training manuals. Volume 2 goes into great detail.

Most of the time I like to train with quite a bit of volume. At least 4 sets of every exercise with various rep ranges. For upper body we usually train in the 10-15 rep range and lower body is performed in 20 plus rep ranges. I like to train quite fast with limited rest periods. However I think its important to rest enough to be able to give your best to each set.
Here is an example of my upper body routine.

Flat presses
Close grip presses
Lateral raises seated
Reverse grip pullups

Lower body day
Leg presses
Calf Presses
Back ext
Leg curls
Seated Calf Raises

Most workouts are complete in 45 minutes. Short rest intervals and relatively heavy is my motto. The bottom line is at the end of the workout you must evaluate if you did your best recruiting the desired muscle groups.

Weekly set up
Monday Upper
Tuesday Lower
Thursday Upper
Saturday Lower


Discuss this in my forum at www.buildmusclelosefat.org/forum

Workout Pictures From Today

Today me and my dad went to the gym and I left him in charge of taking some pics.  They actually turned out pretty good.  He said he would charge me 50 bucks an hour which I thought was reasonable.  We settled on me buying him a dinner.  Just kiddin: )

Today’s workout looked like this

Incline Smith Presses 225 x 22,14,10   rca_0010

Pullups bodyweight x 24,15,14,12,10,10

Close Grip Incline Presses 185 x 14,10,8

Seated Lateral Raises 40 lb dumbbells x 12,10,8

1 arm preacher curls 40 lbs x 14,12,10

Leg Presses 6 plates x 40,8plates x 40,40

Calf Presses 6 plates x 50,8 plates x 40,40  rca_0022

A Great workout.  I am such a believer in high frequency total body training.  Study all of my articles associated with routine 2.  Just click the routine 2 category on the right hand side of this blog.

Yours Truly,



Strength Training Safety

Yesterday I had a great friend come in and tell me he partially tore a pectoral muscle.  This conversation prompted today’s post.  Strength training is serious business.  You can get hurt in a millisecond.  You must train in a manner that is safe for you.  Let me give you a few tips to make certain you remain safe and productive. 

1) Choose exercises that do not irritate joints or cause structural damage.  Use pain as your guide.  You might consider having a good chiropractor or therapist evaluate your posture.  You could hire a good trainer and have them evaluate your form on exercises.  

2) Choose resistances that do not damage the body.  Many times we have clients that can’t train particularly heavy on a movement due to orthopedic conditions.  However, we can train lighter and  increase the repetitions per set.  This strategy is probably one of the best ways to insure safety. 

3) Controlling repetitions at all times.  During our conversation yesterday my friend mentioned that he did get carried away with his control of reps.  That was probably the reason for his suffering the injury.  It won’t help your ego to train a little lighter and control your reps but it will certainly keep you injury free.  By the way your ego will get you in trouble most of the time. 🙂

4) Choose exercises that do not put the body in compromising positions.  I could write a book on exercise selection but that is beyond the scope of this entry.   I would not perform any exercises behind your head.  Like pulldowns to the back of the head or behind the head presses.  For some people the deadlift is a horrible exercise.  For some the back squat is a bad exercise.  This goes along with item 1.  Listen to your body.

Bottom line:  Use pain as your guide.  If an exercise, repetition, resistance, or any training variable hurts your joints you must change it.  Find something similar but different.  Be safe and you will enjoy the only form of exercise that will transform your physique.



Get To Basics

Goodness gracious.  This morning I have witnessed so many folks performing goofy exercises.  Not to focus on the negative here but come on. Lets get back to basic movement patterns.  Basic exercises like: lunges, squats, leg presses, flat presses, incline presses, overhead presses, pulldowns, pullups, rows,curls, standing calf raises,etc.  I see so many folks spending the bulk of their training time doing ab crunches and wondering why their body is not changing.  Or one better than that, for leg training they do leg extensions with no time spent on multijoint leg exercises like those listed above.

If you don’t know better study my training routines.  You will see 90% of our time is spent on the big, basic movement patterns.  Get good at these basics.  I know it doesn’t sound glamourous like some of the “celebrity” trainers are promoting.  But, do it.

Just Ranting Today,

All in an effort to help you!



Yesterday’s workout didn’t go as well as planned.  Yes, even I have trouble focusing and pushing myself.  However, I must admit those days are few and far between.  The biggest problem with yesterday was time management.  I said yes to too  many appointments and ran myself short on time.  By the time I got in the gym it was 3:30 which is late for me.  I had another appointment at 4:30 which left me with little time.  I got into the workout and things were going pretty well.  The gym was pretty busy this time of day which did offer some distractions.  I ended up having a conversation with a guy that is a friend which threw off my total focus.  Now, I am not saying I should have been rude and not talked but this conversation really distracted me.  Before I knew it 45 minutes had gone by and I was suppose to be at my next appointment.  All in all the workout went well.  Upper body training went fantastic but my lower body training was less than focused.

A couple lessons learned are:  I should have budgeted my day better which would have allowed for training to be done earlier.  I should have been brief with the conversation and kept on moving.

Here is the actual workout:

Incline Smith Presses 225 lbs x 20,16,14

Pullups body-weight x 20,18,15

T Bar Rows Lying on bench 135 lbs x 18, 90 lbs x 15,15  went lighter to get better reps

Close Grip Incline Smith Presses 205 lbs x 18,16,16

Seated Lateral Raises 40 lb dumbbells x 12,12

1 arm Preacher Curls 40 x 18,15

Leg Presses 6 plates x 40 8 plates x 30,30

Standing Calf Raises 45 lbs 1 legged x 40,40

Total Time 42 minutes

Performance was actually pretty good.

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Have a Great Day,


Today’s Plan Of Attack


I decided to sleep later today and workout this afternoon.  I am sort of apprehensive about this as most of the time I like working out before work.  We shall see how it goes.  I will probably drink a little coffee before the workout.  I will like the fact that I won’t be so rushed to get to work.  My plan is to workout about 3pm.  I should have enough fuel in my body by that point.  I will eat my 4th meal of the day at about 2pm so by 3 I should be ready to go.  Here is the plan.

Flat Smith Presses 2 sets of 20 reps

Pullups 2 sets of 20 reps

Rows 2 sets of 20 reps

Lateral Raises 2 sets of 20 reps

Leg Presses 2 sets of 50 reps

Seated Curls 2 sets of 20 reps

Rope Pushdowns 2 sets of 20 reps

Calf Presses 2 sets of 30 reps

That should do the trick.  If the equipment is take I will find a suitable alternative that is simlar.  Ill keep you guys updated later.



A Current Version Of Routine 2


Here is my current set up of this incredible routine.  I promise if you give this routine your best effort in 12 weeks you will be transformed.  Its all about the effort.  Let me know how it goes or if you have questions.


Flat Presses Dumbbells or Machine 4 sets of 8-15 reps 45 seconds rest between sets

Pulldowns 4 sets of 8-15 reps 45 seconds rest between sets

Rows Machine or Dumbbells 2 sets of 8-15 reps 45 seconds rest

Dumbbell lateral Raises 3 sets of 8-12 reps 45 seconds rest

Leg Presses or Lunges 3 sets of 10-30 reps

Calf Presses 3 sets of 15-25 reps

Curls Dumbells or Machine Curls 4 sets of 10-20 reps 45 seconds rest

Dip Machine or Pushdowns 3 sets of 10-20 reps 45 seconds rest


Incline Presses dumbbells 3 sets of 8-12 reps 45 seconds rest

Pulldowns 3 sets of 8-12 reps 45 seconds rest

Rows 2 sets of 8-12 reps 45 seconds rest

Dumbbell Overhead Presses 2 sets of 8-12 reps 45 seconds rest

Dumbbell Curls 3 sets of 8-12 reps 45 seconds rest

Close Grip Barbell Flat Presses 3 sets of 8-12 reps 45 seconds rest

Leg Presses or Squats 3 sets of 10-30 reps 1 minute rest

Calf presses 3 sets of 10-30 reps


2 sets of 10-20 reps on all exercises 45 seconds rest interval

Flat Dumbbell Presses



Lateral Raises

Leg Presses

Calf Presses

Curls Dumbbells or Machine



5 sets of 10-20 reps of all exercises.  35-45 seconds rest between sets

Flat Barbell Presses

Pullups or pulldowns


Lateral Raises

Close Grip Presses

Dumbbell Curls

Leg Presses

Calf Presses

Give your best to each set.



A Rough Day, But


I still got my workout done.  I have been fighting a little bit of a cold.  I slept in this morning and worked on my website today.   This afternoon I got the workout in.  I was tempted to skip today but decided against it.  The workout was very tough to complete.  My body just wasn’t delivering the O2 to my working muscles.  Intraworkout recovery was limited greatly.  Here is the actual workout.

All exercises were performed in straight set fashion.

Flat Barbell Bench 245 lbs x 18,12

Pulldowns stack x 15,13

Rows lying facedown on a bench slight incline 80 lb dumbbells x20,16

Close Grip Presses Barbell 225lbs x 14,10

Lateral Raises seated 40 lb dumbbells x 14,8

45 % leg Presses 6 plates x 50, 8 plates x 30

1 legged Calf Presses 6 plates x 30,30

1 arm preacher curls 40 lbs x 18,15

Total time 33 minutes.

Good workout certainly not my best.  Ill talk to you guys tomorrow I am going to go home to rest.



Workout Intensity Revisited


Today I was running a little late.  I decided to go to James River to do my workout that way I could change and get to my appointments.  I am hesitant to workout at the same place I train clients because it is hard to get in the work without being interrupted.  I got to the gym and no one was in the weight room.  I put my headphones on with some good music and was ready to attack.   Again today, I trained in straight set fashion.  Completing all desired sets for each exercise before moving to the next exercise.  Each set I had about 45 seconds rest before attacking the next set.  I really like training quickly which allows me to remain focused on the muscle group being trained.  Every time you start a set your focus should be on recruiting the desired muscle group and attacking it.  Pushing your body to higher levels of fitness.  Pushing your body to levels never achieved.  Here is today’s workout:

Incline Barbell Presses 225 lbs x 14,8,6,5,

Pulldowns 255lbs x 10,8,8

Incline Barbell Close Grip Presses for Triceps 185 lbs x 10,8,7

Row T bar Supported 135 lbs x 14,12,10

Seated Lateral Raises 40 lb dumbbells x8,8,7

Preacher Curls not sure of the weight of the bar but added 4o lbs to the bar x 25,20,20

45 degree leg press 6 plates x 40,40,50

45 degree calf press 1 legged 6 plates x 30,30,30

Focus on the desired muscle groups and push yourself farther than you thought humanly possible.

Total Time 38 minutes

In Higher Fitness,



1-12-09 Michael’s Training Log


Training for today.  All sets were taken to failure.  35-45 second rest between sets.  All exercises were performed in straight set fashion.  Leg Presses were given about 1 minutes rest between sets.

Flat Hammer Machine Presses 135 lbs x 10,8,5,5,4

Pulldowns 255lbs x 8, 270 lbs x 6,6,5,4

Leg Presses 6 plates x 30, 8 plates x 30, 10 plates x 30,25,25

Calf Slide Machine 1 legged 6 plates x 25,25,25

Dip Machine 210 lbs x 15,15,12,10

Lateral Raise Machine 110 lbs x 10,10,8

1 arm Cybex Row Machine 130 lbs x 8,8

Strive Curl machine 80 lbs x 10,10,8,8

Just an incredible workout.  Total workout time took 35 minutes.  I am just amazed at how our bodies can recover so quickly and specifically.  Give these workouts a try.  Choose resistances that will get you close to total failure for each set within the required reps.  Put forth maximum effort for each exercise.

Have a Great Day and Stay Strong,