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Best Upper Body Workout Routine

Alright, let’s get ready to kick some arse. Here’s a 4 day workout routine that will help build your upper body. Simply click the tabs titled Monday to Saturday to reveal each workout.

MondayWednesdayFridaySaturday

Monday – Chest & Back

Muscle GroupExerciseTempoWorking Sets/Reps
ChestBench Press20108 sets 8 reps (Failure on last)
BackBarbell Row20118 sets 8 reps (Failure on last)
ChestChinup20113 sets 6 reps
ChestInclined Dumbbell Flye20103 sets 8 reps(Failure on last)
ChestDiamond Pushup20103 sets 12 reps

Instructions:

1. Bench Press

  • Aim for: 8 sets of 8 Reps
  • Tempo: 2010
  • Muscle Group: Upper body, including the pectorals, arms, and shoulders.
  • Rest: You may rest for 30 seconds.

How You Do it: Lay flat on the bench. Hold the barbell with hands a bit wider than your shoulder’s width. Do this overhand. Brace yourself in the core, plant your feet, and then bring the bar down to the chest. Push it back up to starting position complete one rep.

2. Barbell Row

  • Aim for: 8 sets of 8 Reps
  • Tempo: 2011
  • Muscle Group: Back, shoulders, triceps
  • Rest: You may rest for 60 seconds.

How You Do it: Get a barbell and use an overhand grip. Grip with hands shoulder-width apart. Make a small bend in the knees and then bend over, using your hips to do so. Keep shoulder blades back. Bring the barbell toward the chest, using the elbows to do so. Bring it back down to starting position.

3. Chinups

  • Aim for: 3 sets of 6 Reps
  • Tempo: 2011
  • Muscle Group: biceps, brachialis, pectoralis major(chest), brachioradialis, latissimus dorsi (back), teres major, posterior deltoid and the deep spinal stabilizers, including the transverse abdominis, lumbar multifidus and thoracolumbar fascia.
  • Rest: You may rest for 20 seconds.

How You Do it: Go to the chin up bar and hold it using an underhanded grip that is shoulder-width. Get ready and then pull up until your chin goes above the bar. Tuck the elbows toward the body. Bring yourself down until arms are straight.

4. Inclined Dumbbell Fly

  • Aim for: 3 sets of 8 Reps
  • Tempo: 2010
  • Muscle Group: Pectoralis major, tricep
  • Rest: You may rest for 20 seconds.

How You Do it: Set up the incline bench and hold a dumbbell in each of your hands. Hold them above the face with palms facing one another and a small bend in the elbows. Bring them down to the side and then back to the top.

5. Diamond Push Ups

  • Aim for: 3 sets of 12 Reps
  • Tempo: 2010
  • Muscle Group: Triceps brachii, the muscle that runs along the back of your upper arm.
  • Rest: You may rest for 60 seconds.

How You Do it: Start as you would with a normal pushup. Arrange your fingers-namely thumb and pointer finger-to make a diamond shape. Keep hips straight and core tight. Bend the elbows to bring yourself to the floor. Push up again, using your hands as leverage, to get to starting position.

Wednesday – Shoulders & Legs

Muscle GroupExerciseTempoWorking Sets/Reps
QuadsBarbell Squats20108 sets 8 reps (Failure on last)
ShouldersOverhead Press20108 sets 8 reps (Failure on last)
LegBulgarian Split-Squat20103 sets 6 reps (Failure on last)
ShouldersBarbell Pullup10103 sets 8 reps (Failure on last)
LatsDumbbell Lateral Raises20113 sets 12 reps (Failure on last)

Instructions:

1. Squats

  • Aim for: 8 sets of 8 Reps
  • Tempo: 2010
  • Muscle Group: Quadriceps, Glutes, Hamstrings, Erectors, Trapezius, Abdominals and Obliques, Upper Back and Lats.
  • Rest: You may rest for 30 seconds.

How You Do it: Stand in a tall stance and put feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a barbell across the shoulders, balancing it carefully. Keep the chest pointed forward and the core tight. Now squat until your legs are parallel to the mat. Use your heels to bring you back to the starting position.

2. Overhead Presses

  • Aim for: 8 sets of 8 Reps
  • Tempo: 2010
  • Muscle Group: Pectorals (chest) deltoids (shoulders) triceps (arms) trapezius (upper back)
  • Rest: You may rest for 60 seconds.

How You Do it: Like the last move, get into a tall stance. Get your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a barbell across the chest, hands just a bit wider than shoulder width. Keep the chest pointed forward and the core tight. Push the bar up and over your head, getting to a place where your arms are straight. Lower it back down to the starting position.

3. Bulgarian Split-Squat

  • Aim for: 3 sets of 6 Reps
  • Tempo: 2010
  • Muscle Group: Glute muscles, upper leg, quads.
  • Rest: You may rest for 20 seconds.

How You Do it: Get into a tall stance and get your feet wider than shoulder-width. Hold the bar across your back just as you did with the Squats we did previously. Keep the chest pointed forward and make big forward step with the right foot. Bend the knees to form a 90-degree angle. Using the right foot, drive back and then get back into starting position. Repeat this process for a total of six reps, and then do another one using the left foot.

4. Barbell Pull

  • Aim for: 3 sets of 8 Reps
  • Tempo: 1010
  • Muscle Group: Biceps, triceps, pectoralis major, pectoralis minor.
  • Rest: You may rest for 20 seconds.

How You Do it: Get into a tall stance and stand with the feet shoulder-width apart. Hold your barbell in an overhand grip, keeping arms straight. Keep chest pointed forward and your core tight. Lift the bar up, using your elbows as the driving force. Do this until you get to your chin. Then, lower it down to starting position.

5. Lateral Raises

  • Aim for: 3 sets of 12 Reps
  • Tempo: 2011
  • Muscle Group: Lats, shoulders, deltoids.
  • Rest: You may rest for 60 seconds.

How You Do it: Get into your tall stance and hold two light dumbbells in each of your hands. Hold them to your sides with palms facing one another. Keep chest pointed forward and bend the elbows slightly. Now raise up the weights so they reach shoulder height-almost as if you are trying to fly. Move thumbs downward when you get to the top and then lower the dumbbells to the starting position.

Friday – Chest & Tris

Muscle GroupExerciseTempoWorking Sets/Reps
ChestBench Press20108 sets 8 reps
ChestSeated Overhead Dumbbell Press20108 sets 8 reps
ChestDumbbell Hammer Press20103 sets 6 reps
TricepsDumbbell Tricep Extension20103 sets 8 reps
ChestDiamond Pushup20103 sets 12 reps

Instructions:

1. Bench Press

  • Aim for: 8 sets of 8 Reps
  • Tempo: 2010
  • Muscle Group: Upper body, including the pectorals, arms, and shoulders.
  • Rest: You may rest for 30 seconds.

How You Do it: You’ve done this before, so here we go: Lay flat on the bench. Hold the barbell with hands a bit wider than your shoulder’s width. Do this overhand. Brace yourself in the core, plant your feet, and then bring the bar down to the chest. Push it back up to starting position complete one rep.

2. Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press

  • Aim for: 8 sets of 8 Reps
  • Tempo: 2010
  • Muscle Group: Pectorals (chest) deltoids (shoulders) triceps (arms).
  • Rest: You may rest for 60 seconds.

How You Do it: Take a seat on an upright bench and hold your dumbbells in either hand. Hold them at shoulder height, keeping palms outward. Keep the chest pointed forward and push those weights up so they go directly over your head. Do this so your arms are straight, and then bring them back down to starting position.

3. Dumbbell Hammer Press

  • Aim for: 3 sets of 6 Reps
  • Tempo: 2010
  • Muscle Group: Pecs, triceps, anterior deltoids and biceps.
  • Rest: You may rest for 20 seconds.

How You Do it: Lie down on a flat bench and hold dumbbells by the shoulders with your palms toward one another. Plant those feet into the floor and push straight up, getting arms to a straight position. Then, lower dumbbells down slowly to starting position.

4. Dumbbell Tricep Extension

  • Aim for: 3 sets of 8 Reps
  • Tempo: 2010
  • Muscle Group: Tricep, chest, lats and forearms.
  • Rest: You may rest for 20 seconds.

How You Do it: Get into a tall stance and hold a dumbbell in each of your hands over the head. Keep the arms in a straight position. Keep the chest pointed forward, the core tight, and get the elbows pointing up. Bring the weights down behind the head and then bring them back to starting position.

5. Diamond Push Ups

  • Aim for: 3 sets of 12 Reps
  • Tempo: 2010
  • Muscle Group: Tricep Brachii.
  • Rest: You may rest for 60 seconds.

How You Do it: Another repeat. Start as you would with a normal pushup. Arrange your fingers-namely thumb and pointer finger-to make a diamond shape. Keep hips straight and core tight. Bend the elbows to bring yourself to the floor. Push up again, using your hands as leverage, to get to starting position.

Saturday – Back & Biceps

Muscle GroupExerciseTempoWorking Sets/Reps
BackPull Ups20108 sets 8 reps
BicepBarbell Bicep Curl20118 sets 8 reps
BackChin Ups20113 sets 6 reps
BackReverse Grip Row20113 sets 8 reps
BicepsDumbbell Bicep Curls20113 sets 10 reps

Instructions:

1. Pull Ups

  • Aim for: 8 sets of 8 Reps
  • Tempo: 2010
  • Muscle Group: Lats, biceps, upper back and forearms.
  • Rest: You may rest for 30 seconds.

How You Do it: Hold onto a pull up bar, using an overhanded grip. Keep hands a bit wider than shoulder width. Keep the core tight and then pull up until the lower part of your chest meets the bar. Bring yourself down so that arms are straight.

2. Barbell Curl-Biceps

  • Aim for: 8 sets of 8 Reps
  • Tempo: 2011
  • Muscle Group: Biceps, forearms, shoulders.
  • Rest: You may rest for 60 seconds.

How You Do it: Hold a barbell using hand shoulder-width apart. Be sure to use an underhand grip. Keep the chest forward and the core tight. Keep elbows tucked to the sides. Curl up that bar toward the chest, squeezing the bis as you work. Lower back down to starting position.

3. Chinups

  • Aim for: 3 sets of 6 Reps
  • Tempo: 2011
  • Muscle Group: biceps, brachialis, pectoralis major(chest), brachioradialis, latissimus dorsi (back), teres major, posterior deltoid and the deep spinal stabilizers, including the transverse abdominis, lumbar multifidus and thoracolumbar fascia.
  • Rest: You may rest for 20 seconds.

How You Do it: You know this! Go to the chin up bar and hold it using an underhanded grip that is shoulder-width. Get ready and then pull up until your chin goes above the bar. Tuck the elbows toward the body. Bring yourself down until arms are straight.

4. Row using Reverse Grip

  • Aim for: 3 sets of 8 Reps
  • Tempo: 2011
  • Muscle Group: Back, upper lats, rhomboids and middle traps.
  • Rest: You may rest for 30 seconds.

How You Do it: Hold the bar using an underhand grip that is shoulder-width apart. Bend the knees a bit and then bend forward using the hips to do so. Keep your shoulders back. Pull the bar toward the chest, using your elbows to do this. Lower it back down to the starting position.

5. Dumbbell Bicep Curl

  • Aim for: 3 sets of 10 Reps
  • Tempo: 2011
  • Muscle Group: Biceps, forearms, shoulders.
  • Rest: You may rest for 60 seconds.

How You Do it: Hold the dumbbells at your side, keeping arms straight. Keep the palms face forward. Keep the chest pointed forward and the core tight. Tuck elbows into the sides and curl upward, taking care to squeeze your biceps as you work. Lower down to the starting position.

Our Popular Upper Body Workout Routine Will Get You Pumped!

So, you have less than a month to get ripped and get your upper body in good shape? No problem. If you’re willing to put in the work and do your best, we got you covered.

This is a 4-week plan that consists of 16 workouts and we are going to push you to the limit. You have to be ready to work harder than you ever have before.

Get out of your own head and get ready to do this. You are going to be glad you did.

It works like this: two sessions per week designed for the chest and the back. Two sessions that are devoted to making your arms work. The result is that you get muscle mass like crazy on your torso and at the same time shed body fat.

And the best part? You end up looking and feeling your best.

Before You Get Started…

Let’s get one thing clear: you need to follow this plan to a tee.

This workout is going to really work your largest muscle groups in the chest and the back to make you look great.

This is four sessions a week. You should aim to do these Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and then on Saturday. Monday will be devoted to chest and back, Wednesday the shoulders and the legs, and Friday will be about the tris and the chest. Saturday is going to be all about your back and your bis.

By doing this, we will work the biggest upper body muscles twice per week in both a direct and indirect way. This huge increase in training means your muscles will grow bigger in a very fast way.

For each workout, you will do five moves. For the first two, we will do a superset. The final three are a tri-set.

You will do the reps and then take a short rest after move 1A and then do move 1b. You will repeat this until you have done all the moves in the set. Then you will do it for the next exercise group.

By doing this, you will increase the amount of time spent in each session doing work as opposed to resting, so your muscles stay working longer and the heart rate stays elevated, burning up that fat.

Ever Heard of Tempo?

The time you spend lowering and lifting the weight, pausing, and repeating is very important. You need to follow these “tempo codes” in order to make this workout effective.

Our workouts have this little thing called a “tempo code”. The first number of the code dictates how long in seconds you should use to bring the weight down. The second will be how long you hold it at the bottom of the exercise.

The third tells you how long you should take to lift up the weight, and the last will tell you how long to hold it once you reach the top.

Keeping your muscles under tension will make the heart rate go up more, and thus increase the rate at which your body burns fat. Muscle tissue is also broken down faster and thus gets reestablished so that it is stronger and larger than ever before.

Keep your moves smooth, under control and avoid using momentum to do the work. Going through the whole range of motion is critical.

Warmups: Just Do It

So, we’re not trying to sell you a tennis shoe here. What we are trying to do is tell you that even though you and everybody else is pressed for time, you still have to warm up. Well, it’s a free country and you don’t have to-but trust us on this one.

But what if you could not lift properly the next day after your workout? Then, the whole plan is messed up and your goal is not reached on time.

So, warmups? Just do them!

Firstly, you reduce the muscle soreness you get from lifting. Putting in that little bit of work will get you ready to lift heavy and reap the benefits. Pro athletes everywhere know the importance of a good warmup-don’t think you can skate by without it.

A good warm up for this workout should consist of stretches that are dynamic in nature and help you get your whole body going.

Once this is all done, do some warmups that correlate to the moves you will be doing for that day. You can do this by picking up a light set of weights and doing the moves.

Closing…

Ready to get to work? Then we will see you at the gym. Got a question or concern? Leave a comment and let us know.

Good luck and stick with it.