Last updated on October 30th, 2022 at 12:39 pm
Who else wants to know, “Can I Do Upper/Lower 6 Days a Week?”
So, you’ve tried a number of training splits including push/pull/legs and the bro-split.
However, you’ve finally settled on the upper/lower body split, as you find that this works best for you.
That being said, you typically find that most programs call for performing upper/lower as a 4-day split, and perhaps occasionally a 5-day split.
But, not many people seem to talk about doing upper/lower for 6 days a week.
Is there a particular reason for this?
Should training your upper and lower body 3 times a week each be avoided?
Let’s find out.
Can I Do Upper/Lower 6 Days a Week?
You certainly can do upper/lower 6 days a week, although this very much depends on your training experience and powers of recovery. A 6-day a week split should not be attempted by beginners in their 6 months of training. However, as an intermediate or advanced trainee, this is definitely possible. However, it’s important to listen to your body, as doing upper/lower 6 days a week may make you more susceptible to overuse injuries.
How Many Days a Week Should I Do Upper/Lower Split?
As I’ve mentioned, you’ll typically find most upper/lower body split workout programs require you to workout 4 days a week.
Then again, you may even come across a 5-day split, which involves 3 lower and two upper body workouts one week, and then 3 upper and 2 lower body workouts the following week.
Realistically, with these types of workouts you’ll never be training for more than 3 days in a row before you have a rest day.
This obviously makes a great deal of sense, as your muscles typically become bigger and stronger while at rest rather than when you’re actually training in the gym.
In other words, it makes a great deal of sense to have 2-3 rest days a week.
That being said, training and recovery is very much an individual thing, so there is no “one-size-fits-all”.
In fact, person number two could even go backwards in their muscle-building attempts.
Basically, they don’t have enough recovery time for their individual body, so they actually end up losing muscle and perhaps even end up gaining some fat.
So, how many days a week you should do an upper/lower split will always depend on you as an individual.
That being said, one thing I will always say is that as a beginner, typically someone in their first 6 months of training, you should never attempt a 6-day a week split.
The main reason for this is that you are going from no real physical activity to training on a regular basis.
In fact, I would urge most lifters in their first 6 months of training to stick to just three full-body workouts a week.
So, there should be more rest days than actual training days.
However, once you have got through the beginner stage of training, you can now start looking at other training splits, e.g. upper/lower or PPL, while also increasing the number of days that you workout.
Frequency vs. Volume
Okay, let’s imagine that you are now into the realms of being an intermediate or advanced lifter.
Therefore, it is now perfectly feasible that you can do an upper/lower split 6 days a week.
However, once more, how effective this will be will still very much depend on you as an individual.
And above all, your powers of recovery.
Unfortunately, for most of us mere mortals, those of us who aren’t genetic freaks, we will typically have to make a choice between frequency and volume.
What I mean by this is that it is highly unlikely that most of us will be capable of 6 all-out high-volume workouts a week.
Let’s face facts, one of the main concepts when it comes to building muscle is training volume.
However, if you’re looking to train upper/lower 6 times a week, you’ll need to make a trade-off somewhere along the lines.
A prime example of this could be that your 70-minute workouts, 4 times a week, doing an upper/lower body split will have to change if you’re extending this to 6 days a week.
In effect, you will probably have to perform six 45-minute workouts a week to ensure that you’re recovering well-enough between workouts.
This in turn means that you won’t be able to hit as much volume with each workout.
That being said, the “extra” 2 workouts a week will obviously allow you to get in the same amount of volume over the entire week.
However, you may not actually elicit as much muscle-growth as when your training involved a higher volume of sets per workout on a 4-day split.
Let’s Look at an Example
Here’s another way to look at it.
Let’s say that I wanted to perform 100 push ups a day.
I can either do 100 push ups as quickly as possible or I could spread out the push ups into 5 sets of 20 reps throughout the day.
Now, even though I’m hitting 100 push ups either way, doing my 100 push ups in one “workout” as quickly as possible is likely to evoke greater muscular gains.
Basically, my muscles are being stressed far more by doing my 100 push ups in as little time as possible, i.e. I’m not taking 1-2 hours “rest” between sets of 20 push ups, thus allowing the muscles to fully recover.
And the exact same principles can be applied to an upper-lower split either 4 days or 6 days a week.
Obviously, I’m not saying that you can’t build muscle with shorter but more frequent workouts, of course you can.
However, for me, greater training volume per workout and adequate rest days will always be the best way to build muscle.
How Much Training Volume Do You Really Need?
Listen to Your Body
It’s probably starting to sound as though I’m not a fan of doing upper/lower 6 days a week.
However, nothing could be further from the truth, although I still maintain that this is an individual thing.
In other words, it’s fine for some of us, but should be avoided by others.
One of the main issues with performing upper/lower 6 days a week is going to be your recovery.
Furthermore, there is the potential for overuse injuries.
This is especially true of your joints.
Personally, I know for a fact that if I hit a major compound pressing movement three times a week that my elbows and shoulders would be pretty much annihilated.
But, then again, that’s just me.
This doesn’t mean that you would suffer the same problems as me.
And that’s the point – when it comes to doing upper/lower 6 days a week, or any other training program for that matter, you must listen to what your body is telling you.
Granted, we have all worked through the occasional niggle, and still achieved a great workout.
However, it’s important to understand the difference between a niggle you can train through and an injury that requires nothing more than rest to heal properly.
So, if you do wish to do an upper/lower split 6 days a week, please be my guest.
But, always ensure that you listen closely to what your body is telling you.
So, I hope you understand that it’s perfectly feasible to do upper/lower 6 days a week.
However, this will always be an individual thing, so some people would be capable of this, while others won’t.
That being said, I would never recommend a 6-day split for a beginner in their first 6 months of training.
This is mainly because it would be extremely tough on the body to go from no exercise to suddenly training 6 times a week.
However, as an intermediate or advanced lifter, you can definitely hit an upper/lower split, 3 times each for 6 days a week in total.
But, you should also listen to what your body is telling you, as training so often can make you prone to overuse injuries.
If you’re interested in the best training split for you then check out my review of the Massthetic Muscle workout program.
Hi, I’m Partha, the founder of My Bodyweight Exercises. I’m someone who’s been passionate about exercise and nutrition for more years than I care to remember. I’ve studied, researched, and honed my skills for a number of decades now. So, I’ve created this website to hopefully share my knowledge with you. Whether your goal is to lose weight, burn fat, get fitter, or build muscle and strength, I’ve got you covered.