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The Best Science-Based Upper Body Workout for Maximum Muscle Growth

Scientifically speaking, you will gain muscle following this program.

Check out the best science-based upper body workout for muscle growth designed by Jeremy Ethier.

Jeremy Ethier, a renowned fitness trainer and Kinesiology graduate, is the co-founder of Built With Science. His YouTube channel has over 5.5 million subscribers and he delivers clear information with sound background research

So, if you need a great workout, for any body part or type of training split utilising scientific knowledge and fitness expertise, Jeremy Ethier is a good person to follow.

Below you will find the best science-based upper body workout for muscle growth.

The Best Science-Based Upper Body Workout for Muscle Growth

There are 4 popular options for you to choose from in terms of workout splits:

The following exercises are all part of Ethier’s upper/lower split hypertrophy program and it covers the following outline:

  • Horizontal push
  • Horizontal pull
  • Vertical push
  • Vertical pull
  • Accessory movements

The program runs four days a week with three rest days. Two days are dedicated to the upper body and the remaining two to the lower body.

The upper-lower split routine presents a balanced time investment and an ideal workout frequency. However, to fully capitalize on its benefits, it’s essential to engage in training using the most efficient exercises.

Here is a rundown of the best science-based upper body workout for muscle growth from him:

For intermediate and advanced athletes:

Incline Dumbbell Press3-46-10
Chest Supported Row2-38-10
Overhead Press2-36-10
Pull-Ups / Lat Pulldowns2-38-10
Incline Dumbbell Curl28-10
Incline Dumbbell Extension210-15
Face Pulls / Chest Flies210-15

For beginners, Ethier suggests focusing solely on the initial four exercises until you become more adept in the gym. Additionally, he advises altering these exercises within a given week for variety and progress.

  • Incline Dumbbell Press – Barbell Bench Press
  • Chest Supported Row – Barbell Row
  • Overhead Press – Lateral Raises

Jeremy Ethier meticulously dissects these exercises for enhanced understanding and application in the video below.

If you’d like to read about similar training programs you can find the details below:

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Learn More About Split Workouts

Splitting your workouts into a push/pull/leg routine is a popular and effective way to organize your training program. This type of split focuses on grouping exercises based on the main movement patterns involved, which allows for more targeted and efficient workouts. Here are some reasons why this approach can be beneficial:

  1. Balanced Muscle Development: The push/pull/leg routine ensures that you are training all major muscle groups evenly. Push exercises, such as bench press and shoulder press, primarily work the muscles involved in pushing movements (e.g., chest, shoulders, triceps). Pull exercises, like rows and pull-ups, target the muscles involved in pulling movements (e.g., back, biceps). Leg exercises, such as squats and deadlifts, engage the muscles of the lower body (e.g., quads, hamstrings, glutes). This balanced approach helps prevent muscle imbalances and reduces the risk of injuries that can result from overdeveloping one muscle group while neglecting others.
  2. Optimal Recovery: By focusing on specific movement patterns in each workout, you give the muscles involved in the previous workout ample time to recover. For example, if you perform a push-focused workout one day, your pulling muscles can recover during that time. This reduces the likelihood of overtraining and allows you to train more frequently without compromising recovery.
  3. Efficient Workouts: Grouping exercises based on movement patterns allows you to target multiple muscle groups within a workout efficiently. This means you can train more muscles in less time, making your workouts more time-effective. Moreover, it allows you to focus on the quality of each movement pattern, leading to better form and muscle engagement.
  4. Progressive Overload: The push/pull/leg routine makes it easier to implement progressive overload, which is essential for muscle growth and strength gains. You can track your progress in each movement pattern and progressively increase the weight or intensity as you get stronger. This structured approach helps you stay on track with your fitness goals and continually challenge your muscles.
  5. Versatility: The push/pull/leg split is versatile and adaptable to different training frequencies and schedules. You can adjust the number of workouts per week based on your availability and recovery capacity, making it suitable for various fitness levels and lifestyles.
Woman does leg press at the gymSource: Scott Webb / Pexels

While the push/pull/leg routine offers many advantages, it’s essential to combine it with a well-rounded program that includes cardiovascular training, flexibility work, and core exercises. Additionally, listening to your body and allowing adequate rest and recovery between workouts are essential for optimizing your results and preventing burnout or injuries.

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