Does it matter if you start the week with upper or lower?

sarah_willis110
sarah_willis110 Posts: 38 Member
edited October 2023 in Fitness and Exercise
I do a 4 day upper/lower split. I normally start the week with heavy legs then arms next day. I read somewhere you should do heavier days towards end of week to recover?

My arms tend to get tired on lower days (short girl probs) so wondering if I should flip it, and start the week with bench press/upper day then "heavier" leg day. Thoughts?

Replies

  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 27,747 Member
    Sure, give it a try and see if you prefer it.

    Also, generative AI suggests this as the default version of the split:

    Monday: Upper body
    Tuesday: Lower body
    Wednesday: Off
    Thursday: Upper body
    Friday: Lower body
    Saturday: Off
    Sunday: Off
  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 1,362 Member
    I doubt it matters. I assume the theory is if you're doing M/T/T/F then there is more recovery time after the F session, so you could push harder that day.

    How are your arms getting tired during lower day? Seems strange to me :smile:

    I do lower/upper M/T/T/F, because it fits my schedule of weekend skating, and I'd rather my legs be fresher for the weekend than having just 16 hours rest.
  • tomcustombuilder
    tomcustombuilder Posts: 1,438 Member
    You want to do your sessions that are the most taxing the day before a 1 or 2 day rest period. This will generally be squats and\or deadlifts.
  • sarah_willis110
    sarah_willis110 Posts: 38 Member
    edited October 2023
    I think my arms are just not as strong as my legs. Being short, I carry more muscle/weight in my legs.

    Someone also told me to do heavy days first cause you're fresh.🤷‍♀️
  • tomcustombuilder
    tomcustombuilder Posts: 1,438 Member
    edited October 2023
    I think my arms are just not as strong as my legs. Being short, I carry more muscle/weight in my legs.

    Someone also told me to do heavy days first cause you're fresh.🤷‍♀️
    the problem is that heavy days take recovery time and if you start there your next day will be compromised energy wise and you won’t progress. The older you are the more this becomes a factor.

    When you think recovery think CNS and not so much muscle recovery

  • sarah_willis110
    sarah_willis110 Posts: 38 Member
    I think my arms are just not as strong as my legs. Being short, I carry more muscle/weight in my legs.

    Someone also told me to do heavy days first cause you're fresh.🤷‍♀️
    the problem is that heavy days take recovery time and if you start there your next day will be compromised energy wise and you won’t progress. The older you are the more this becomes a factor.

    When you think recovery think CNS and not so much muscle recovery

    Here's my lower and upper routine. Thoughts on which order?

    Sqaut
    RDL
    Bulgarian split squat
    Hip thrust
    Calf raises

    Bench press
    Shoulder db press
    Db row
    Lat or chest pulldown
    High/low/side cable lateral raise
    Cable curl
    Cable tricep pulldown

    Deadlift
    Quad extension
    Back extension
    Calf raises
    Walking lunges

    Pull-ups
    Ovh press or landmine press
    Incline curls
    Incline db press
    Sitting cable pull
    Pushups

  • tomcustombuilder
    tomcustombuilder Posts: 1,438 Member
    I don’t think it will matter much. Your body will tell you if you’re resting enough based whether your recovery is adequate and you continue to improve your progressive overload.

    Don’t expect to add weight to the exercises every week however you don’t want to plateau for more than a week or 2 or actually get weaker due to poor recovery.

    There will come a time where you just can’t keep adding weight so you concentrate on a few extra reps just stay away from junk volume. You can also add and subtract exercises when you get bored at some point. You should be in and out in an hour max not counting cardio.
  • sarah_willis110
    sarah_willis110 Posts: 38 Member
    Thanks for the advice!!!!

    That 1st arm day is the longest and usually takes an hour. I even forgot an excercise in it. Thinking of shortening it.😮‍💨
  • tomcustombuilder
    tomcustombuilder Posts: 1,438 Member
    Thanks for the advice!!!!

    That 1st arm day is the longest and usually takes an hour. I even forgot an excercise in it. Thinking of shortening it.😮‍💨
    keep an eye on your volume. A body part only requires a max of 16 sets per week. That’s per body part and not each individual exercise.

  • Retroguy2000
    Retroguy2000 Posts: 1,362 Member
    edited October 2023
    Your routine is good. If I may, a few minor suggestions, let me know what you think:

    1. Do your isolation work last. I mention that because you have db curls listed early in the final day.
    2. Assuming your pullups are bodyweight, make sure you're warmed up before. I usually do my barbell rows or T-bar rows before pullups for that reason.
    3. Myo-reps for your arms and shoulders (except ohp). There are a few ways to use this method. What I do is glance at my clock as soon as I finish the last rep, put the weight down, shake out the arms a bit, and 15 seconds after the final rep I'm ready to start the next set. Keep repeating this until 5 reps is the most you can do. Don't go to failure on any set except possibly the final set. For progression, I track it as X,Y (first set aiming for 10-15, total reps after that). You get a tremendous burn, and it's very time efficient.
    4. If you haven't tried spider curls, give them a go. Jonni Shreve's recent video had them as his #1 most under-rated biceps exercise. You lean over the bench at 45 degrees, arms hang down, curl up with db's. I love it.
    5. Instead of walking lunges, which are great, maybe reverse lunges? Hits the hams and glutes a bit more than forward lunges. What I do with db lunges is a forward then reverse lunge with the same planted leg, and that's one rep. Every two reps, switch planted leg.
  • sarah_willis110
    sarah_willis110 Posts: 38 Member
    Your routine is good. If I may, a few minor suggestions, let me know what you think:

    1. Do your isolation work last. I mention that because you have db curls listed early in the final day.
    2. Assuming your pullups are bodyweight, make sure you're warmed up before. I usually do my barbell rows or T-bar rows before pullups for that reason.
    3. Myo-reps for your arms and shoulders (except ohp). There are a few ways to use this method. What I do is glance at my clock as soon as I finish the last rep, put the weight down, shake out the arms a bit, and 15 seconds after the final rep I'm ready to start the next set. Keep repeating this until 5 reps is the most you can do. Don't go to failure on any set except possibly the final set. For progression, I track it as X,Y (first set aiming for 10-15, total reps after that). You get a tremendous burn, and it's very time efficient.
    4. If you haven't tried spider curls, give them a go. Jonni Shreve's recent video had them as his #1 most under-rated biceps exercise. You lean over the bench at 45 degrees, arms hang down, curl up with db's. I love it.
    5. Instead of walking lunges, which are great, maybe reverse lunges? Hits the hams and glutes a bit more than forward lunges. What I do with db lunges is a forward then reverse lunge with the same planted leg, and that's one rep. Every two reps, switch planted leg.

    Awesome advice, thank you!!!

    Do you think these excercises should be done in a certain day order or anything? Thinking of saving upper days for days I wfh or weekend when I have more energy.
  • nossmf
    nossmf Posts: 8,431 Member
    I like leg days on Mondays, upper body on Tuesdays, for a practical reason: the bench press stations tend to be full on Mondays, while the squat racks are open. Come Tuesday, I don't have to wait for a bench to open.

    I also question the idea of doing your heaviest work BEFORE an extended break. Sure, it gives plenty of time to recover, but at the same time I want to do my heaviest work when I am already at my most recovered. Thus, my standard is:

    Monday - heavy lower
    Tuesday - heavy upper
    Wednesday - cardio
    Thursday - hypertrophy lower
    Friday - hypertrophy upper
    Saturday - cardio
    Sunday - off
  • sarah_willis110
    sarah_willis110 Posts: 38 Member
    nossmf wrote: »
    I like leg days on Mondays, upper body on Tuesdays, for a practical reason: the bench press stations tend to be full on Mondays, while the squat racks are open. Come Tuesday, I don't have to wait for a bench to open.

    I also question the idea of doing your heaviest work BEFORE an extended break. Sure, it gives plenty of time to recover, but at the same time I want to do my heaviest work when I am already at my most recovered. Thus, my standard is:

    Monday - heavy lower
    Tuesday - heavy upper
    Wednesday - cardio
    Thursday - hypertrophy lower
    Friday - hypertrophy upper
    Saturday - cardio
    Sunday - off

    Thanks man! Seems like a solid routine. For heavy, are you just doing more weight + less reps?