Jeff Nippard’s Upper Lower Strength & Size Program is designed for intermediate to advanced lifters looking to take their muscle and strength goals to the next level.
The Upper/Lower training split has become one of the most popular routines for natural lifters because it utilizes a 2x per week training frequency and allows for at least 2 days of recovery between sessions. This will cause sufficient muscle stimulation to spark muscle protein synthesis and signal for hypertrophy more frequently than a body part “bro” split, while still allowing for sufficient recovery between workouts.
This is the only program of mine (and that I’ve ever seen) that includes adjustable bodypart weak point exercises so you can prioritize and develop your specific weak areas. I personally added additional volume for my biceps on the upper body days and additional volume for my calves on lower body days. Before starting the program, you will choose 2 or 3 bodyparts you want to focus on most, and be consistent with training them as your “weak points”. As an intermediate-advanced lifter, it is important to get more specific with your goals and give weak areas increased focus and attention.
This program uses rapid wave loading as the main progression scheme to drive size and strength gains forward. Because research suggests that you should train reasonably close to failure to maximize hypertrophy, it is important that we take sets adequately close to failure in this program. In fact, some exercises will have you pushing beyond the typical failure point through the use of specialized intensity techniques. Granted, because high effort training can take a toll on one’s ability to recover properly, it is important to manage effort appropriately from week to week. For this reason, we are “waving” effort in 3-week minicycles. Week 1 will function as an intro week and then intensity increases in Weeks 2 and 3 before returning to baseline in Week 4.
Because this program uses a rapid wave-loading strategy, Weeks 1, 4, and 7 function as “mini-deloads” to ensure adequate recovery in response to the increasing training intensity throughout the waves. The entire program builds in a systematic way to prevent both under-training and over-training.
“Science-based” has become a bit of a buzzword for training programs, but how many are actually built around research-driven and field-tested principles? This program dedicates more pages to explaining the theory and science behind the program than to the program itself. With 32 unique scientific references, you can rest assured that everything in your program is backed by both research and experience.
In case there are any exercises you’re unable to do due to lack of equipment access or injury, alternative options are included for every exercise
In case there are any exercises you’re not sure how to perform, I’ve included demo videos for every exercise
There are also technique cues from me within the program itself so you’ll know exactly how to tweak the form for best results during training
The program details the number of sets for the upper body and lower body for each workout. If you find the volume to be too high or too low for your specific abilities or goals, knowing the exact volume numbers you’re working with each workout is important. Most programs just give you sets and reps and tell you to do it. This program gives you extra information to make it easier to adjust the program to your individual needs, if needed.
No. If you are still in your first year or two of training, I’d recommend running my Fundamentals Program first. After that, I’d suggest running at least one of my Push Pull Legs or Upper/Lower Program before moving onto this routine. This program is designed for intermediate-advanced trainees who have seen a stall past the newbie phase.
Yes! Anyone who is looking to build BOTH muscular size and strength will benefit from this program. This program will build all the muscles of the entire body proportionally. If you’re looking for a little more focus on lower body or glutes, you can check out my Women’s Specialization Program or Glute Hypertrophy Program.
If you’re able to do two of the three lifts, it is possible for you to tweak the program to fit your needs. For example, if you can squat and deadlift but can’t bench press, you could replace the bench work in this program with dips, dumbbell press, smith-machine press or machine chest press and run the rest of the program as is. If you can squat and bench press but can’t deadlift, you could replace the deadlift work with hip thrusts and/or lower back extensions. If you can bench press and deadlift but can’t squat, you could replace the squat work with front squats, hack squats or leg press.
However, because one of the main objectives of this program is to increase strength on the Big Three lifts, if you’re unable to perform any of those lifts, this is not the best program for you at this time. I suggest you consider running one of my other programs instead.
Feel free to try my free program selector to find which program is best for you.
There are two different versions of the program. A four times per week option and a five-six times per week option. Simply choose the version that best suits your schedule and let the gains take care of themselves.
You only need a power rack, barbell, bench and (ideally) some dumbbells to run this program. Because there are exercise substitutions included for every exercise, you can run this program with basic lifting equipment and can tailor it to fit your situation. To run the program exactly as written (without any substitutions) however, you would need gym access as there are a few cable and machine exercises included as well.
If you have any other questions, please feel free to reach out to my coaching support team at any time.