You push yourself through draining workouts five days a week, load up on creatine and BCAAs both pre- and post-workout, and eat more protein in a day than you used to eat in a week.
And things have been going great so far.
In just a few months, you’ve packed on some serious noob gains and look stronger than ever.
But you know what happens next—the dreaded plateau. The weight gain slows, the muscle mass evens out, and the PRs happen less and less.
Jeff Nippard knows this struggle well, but he also knows how to dig himself out of the struggle. So let’s see if his plateau-busting Upper Lower Size and Strength Program is the real deal.
Before We Get into It, Let Me Just Say This First
Hey, it’s Kyle (the founder of Noob Gains). How’s it going?
I just wanted to let you know that when we first published this review, we thought this program was awesome.
And we still do!
But after a few weeks, we decided that Nippard’s Upper Lower routine isn’t the best option for guys with limited time who want to take their gains to the next level.
Let me explain.
If you want to build noticeable muscle definition that actually draws attention from family and friends…
And have plenty of time to binge your favorite Netflix shows or play video games…
And eat your favorite foods every day…
Then I think you would be a better fit for a program called Superhero X12 by Keith Lai (aka “The Fit Mole”) instead of Jeff Nippard’s Upper Lower workout.
First, Jeff Nippard’s Upper Lower Program isn’t complete. You and I both know that training is 50% or less of the muscle-building equation.
What’s the other half? Your diet.
Unfortunately, there’s no diet advice included with Nippard’s program. You would actually have to put down some more money to get access to his diet plan.
However, Superhero X12 is a complete system for building more muscle including diet plans, macro setups, supplement recommendations, workout routines, exercise tutorials, and even private access to a very active support forum where you can ask any questions you want on the subject.
You can save your money because everything you need is in one place.
Second, the Upper Lower Program is not a good choice if you’re a beginner. Intermediate and advanced lifters should make good progress with this workout, but beginners… not so much.
You see, this program is designed for guys who have truly surpassed the novice stage…
…but if you still have the opportunity to make those “noob gains,” you would actually be slowing yourself down by using Nippard’s program!
Alternatively, Superhero X12 has workout programs for both beginners and intermediates to build muscle.
You don’t have to spend money on multiple programs once your experience level changes. Just start strong with the Nova Workout Series for beginners and when you’re ready to take the next step, make even more progress on the intermediate Titan Workout Series.
Third, there’s no money-back guarantee or refund policy for any of Nippard’s programs.
Now, I’ll admit that this isn’t a problem if you really like the Upper Lower program and you’re happy with your purchase.
But no money-back guarantee? No transparent way to get a refund?
What if the program is more complicated than you thought?
What if your cat walks across your keyboard and makes you buy it by accident?
Are you just… screwed?
On the other hand, Superhero X12 is an awesome program that’s helped guys of different ages, experience levels, and backgrounds build lasting muscle and lose tons of body fat…
…but if for ANY REASON you don’t like it, my friend Keith (creator) will give you a full refund.
No questions asked. No bullshit. Just send him an email and it’s taken care-of.
If you want to hear more of my opinion on Superhero X12 then you should check out my full review.
But these are the reasons why I think it’s a better choice than the Upper Lower routine.
- You’ll save money because all the “done-for-you” workout plans and meal plans are included
- Since there are plans for both beginners and intermediates, you don’t have to buy multiple programs
- And Keith offers a transparent 30-day, money-back guarantee that let’s you get a refund without hassle
So yes, I’m a Superhero X12 fan boy.
But you don’t have to believe me. I’m just a weird internet person that you don’t even really know.
Check out Superhero X12 for yourself and prove me wrong.
That’s all. Now, here’s your regularly-scheduled review…
About the Creator – Jeff Nippard
It’s 2020: Anyone looking to get jacked, shredded, or buff needs to know who Jeff Nippard is.
So here’s the lowdown.
Jeff Nippard is just 30 years old. And not to be negative or anything, but the achievements he’s seen in the last 14 years are likely larger than we’ll see in our entire lifetime, like:
- Back-to-back title of Mr. Junior Newfoundland (2009 & 2010, ages 19 & 20)
- The coveted title of Mr. Junior Canada (2012, age 22)
- 14 straight years of training with just one week off in that entire time
- Record for bench press in Canada in 2014 (336 pounds)
- 518-pound deadlift and 502-pound deadlift (though, these might be outdated)
It’s quite clear that this guy has been a standout since his late teens, at least on the stage. But there’s something else you might not know about the guy:
He’s well-educated in fitness.
That’s right: Jeff Nippard boasts a Bachelor’s Degree in biochemistry. On top of that (which is already more than most bodybuilders), he hopes to someday get his Ph.D. in exercise science.
With his education, Nippard has gone above and beyond.
He uses his experience in the field and in the classroom to craft instructional YouTube videos to share with his 2+ million subscribers. On his YouTube channel, you can learn everything from how to deadlift like Jeff Nippard to the best ways to bulk up your chest.
Jeff Nippard 100% knows what he’s talking about in the fitness arena. And to prove it, he backs all of his advice with citations, studies, and sources!
What is the Upper Lower Size & Strength Program?
The Upper Lower Size and Strength Program is built for when the “noob gains” start to slow down, but you’re desperately looking to avoid getting stuck in a plateau.
So it’s meant for intermediate and advanced lifters with a little experience under their belt.
The whole purpose of the program is simple: To build strength and size in all muscles. And to see the best results, you should turn to this program after finishing Nippard’s PPL program.
But that’s not entirely necessary!
The program is laid out in “waves” that’ll vary in intensity from week to week. This waving will keep severe muscle fatigue at bay and leave you at maximal strength during every workout.
This Size & Strength program will also get you to target your “weak points.” So each workout, you’ll do an upper or lower body exercise to strengthen a muscle that’s lagging.
All in all, you should leave this program stronger and bigger than ever before.
Program Details & Topics
Jeff Nippard’s Upper Lower Size & Strength Program is a pretty legit program on the surface, coming in at 87 pages.
The program reviews everything you’ll need to know, from a breakdown of your weekly workouts and exercise videos to a lengthy FAQ section and an anatomy lesson.
So here’s what you need to know about this Jeff Nippard program.
Like every Jeff Nippard program, this four-day guide includes an anatomy section. With this version, it’s not buried at the end of the guide—it’s the first section you’ll come across!
Do you need to read it? Nope.
But it’s something worth glancing over for a few moments if you genuinely take your fitness and physique seriously.
Fortunately, this section is pretty easy to understand. Fit with diagrams, Nippard walks you through each major muscle group, what the muscles do, and how to best target them.
Now, you can truly understand why your workout routine calls for hip thrusts or leg curls.
No more blindly following a routine.
Any decent workout routine will start off with a warm-up….a dynamic warm-up, to be exact. So instead of standing up and touching your toes or doing a quad stretch, you’ll get moving.
The goal? To improve blood flow to your muscles, lower your risk of injury (specifically pulling or tearing a muscle), and improve your performance.
Without going into too much detail, here’s a quick glimpse of a classic Jeff Nippard warm-up:
- A brief cardio session, no longer than 10 minutes
- Foam rolling all of your major muscle groups
- Dynamic exercises, like leg swings, trap raises, and shrugs
He also suggests doing pyramid warm-up sets before any primary movements (like the bench press, deadlift, and squat). So you’ll start with the bar, ramp up the intensity to 75%, and then ease into working sets.
The Weekly Workouts
This program is intended to last nine weeks in total. But you can definitely start back at week one after the end date if you’ve been seeing progress and enjoy the routine.
Each week, you’ll be doing four workouts….two upper body and two lower body.
Each workout starts with primary exercises (like squats) and finishes out with minor movements (like cable crunches).
Week one, you’ll start easy.
You’ll be targeting 65% to 80% of your 1RM or an RPE of 7 to 9 in the beginning. Rep-wise, you’ll be sticking to between 6 to 20 per set.
As the weeks go on, you’ll be swapping new exercises in and out. The major difference is that you’ll be doing an extra set, adding a rep to each set, or bumping up the %1RM each workout.
After three weeks, you’ll go to a new wave (three waves in total).
The new wave will bring you heavier lifts and will have you ramp up your %1RM for exercises like deadlifts. From one wave to the next, you’ll be targeting a %1RM of about 2.5% higher.
By the program’s end, you’ll be working at 75-85% of your 1RM.
Each workout is laid out quite well in an easy-to-understand table, including:
- The exercise (be sure to check this, as they might change from week to week!)
- Warm-up sets (not all exercises will have these)
- Sets & reps
- %1RM or RPE (might be a good idea to use a 1RM calculator to figure this out)
- Rest time (usually between 1 and 5 minutes, longer for more intense primary lifts)
- Empty blocks to fill in your lifts
- Notes on how to perform the exercise perfectly
You don’t have to record your workout data, but it definitely helps to keep progress.
It’s also worth pointing out that the first week of each wave will be a little easier (mini deload), specifically weeks 1, 4, and 7. This will help to fend off fatigue and prevent overtraining.
Weak Point Exercises
You’ll notice that all workouts end with something called a “weak point exercise.” And it’ll be vague, such as “Upper Body Weak Point 1.”
This is important.
Jeff Nippard knows very well that some muscles lag greatly behind others. For example, you might find that your calves or triceps are too stubborn to grow and need a little extra attention.
Later in the guide, you’ll find a “Weak Point Exercise Table.”
So if your hamstrings are your lower body weak point, you can choose between the hamstring exercises Nippard gives you (like seated leg curls or glute ham raises).
Whatever energy is left in the tank will be dedicated to your weakest muscles.
Ideally, this would help to trigger equal muscle growth across the body!
4 Awesome Benefits of Jeff Nippard’s Program
Target Each Muscle Twice Per Week
Studies have shown that hitting each muscle group twice per week is optimal for muscle protein synthesis, avoiding detraining, and preventing overtraining.
And you also have several days of rest before targeting each muscle group again to allow your muscles enough recovery time so that you’re as close to 100% for each workout, as possible.
This should help to trigger serious strength and mass gains in a shorter time.
Mini Deload Weeks
Deload weeks are an optional (yet often, essential) aspect of a workout routine intended for muscle growth and strength. You go easy in the gym for greater recovery and future gains.
There are no legitimate deload weeks in this program, but there are “mini deload” weeks.
The beginning of each wave (weeks 1, 4, and 7) is a little lighter than the rest for this exact reason. The waving of intensity from week to week will keep you from being overly fatigued.
No Extra Emphasis on Volume
One of the biggest misnomers in the gym is that more is always better. You crank out 20+ sets on chest exercises twice a week and assume you’ll be jacked in no time.
The thing is, at a certain point, volume stops producing hypertrophic results. So those extra sets (more than 10 to 20 sets per muscle group) are going to waste and drain your energy!
This routine targets that set range quite nicely for max results.
You do what you need to do without going too far and producing negative results
Whether there’s an ongoing pandemic, you can’t get to the gym, or your gym just doesn’t have the equipment you need, you might find yourself at a loss.
How can you possibly get the best results if you can’t even do the exercises required?
Jeff Nippard clearly lays out exercises you can substitute in for these exact reasons.
Don’t have a squat rack to do back squats? Then swap in the leg press exercise with 15 reps of back extensions.
No barbells or dumbbells for the bench press? Then use the bench machine instead!
This gives you the option to do some workouts in your home gym if you find that the gym is closed or just can’t fit it into your schedule. Now, anyone can reasonably do this routine.
2 Negatives of Nippard’s Upper Lower Program
No Refund Policy
Is Jeff Nippard’s Upper Lower Size & Strength Program legit? Pretty much.
But you might purchase this program to find out that it’s not for you. Maybe you don’t think it emphasizes legs enough, or stick to the program perfectly for nine weeks and see no results.
That’s where you’d want a refund, right?
Unfortunately, it looks like you won’t be getting that if you leave this program disappointed and not absolutely shredded. So it’s important to know exactly what a routine is before buying in.
%1RM & RPE
First things first: Both %1RM and RPE are extremely accurate ways to gauge your workout’s intensity and track your progress.
But there are a few problems with how Jeff Nippard infuses these.
The glaring problem is that, unless you’ve spent years or decades in the gym and can read your body to a T, you might not accurately pinpoint your RPE.
The average person wouldn’t know whether they have one or five reps left in the tank. So if you’re having trouble tracking your RPE, you might not be hitting the RPE goals as intended.
Then, there’s also the fact that you’re never sticking to just RPE or %1RM.
During workouts, you’ll find yourself bouncing back and forth from one intensity rating to the other. It’s not impossible, but it can be a little complicated.
Wrapping Up this Review of Jeff Nippard’s Upper Lower Program
Jeff Nippard’s Upper Lower Size & Strength Program is definitely a solid choice if you’re an intermediate or advanced lifter looking to break through a plateau and continue noob gains.
It boasts benefits like:
- Targeting the ideal frequency range for strength and size (twice a week)
- Mini deload weeks to stay in tip-top shape
- Avoid overtraining with excess volume (that just goes to waste)
- Exercise alternatives for convenience
Though these are all fine and good, there are a few downsides.
This routine isn’t exactly meant for beginners, so it might be too intense for you if you’ve never stepped foot inside a gym or you’re just getting your feet wet.
There’s also the issue that there’s no refund policy (so you better be sure this program is what you want) and that the whole %1RM and RPE scales can be confusing for noobs.
Overall, it’s a great program that can stimulate some serious growth.
Rating: 9.4 out of 10
But You Have Another Option
Hey again. It’s me, Kyle, from the beginning of the blog post.
I just wanted to remind you that despite Jeff Nippard’s Upper Lower Program being really great…
…if you’re a beginner or intermediate and you want to build muscle and lose body fat with the least amount of effort…
…then you should consider Superhero X12 instead.
Remember, it’s not just a workout program. Superhero X12 is a complete system with multiple workout routines, high-definition exercise tutorials, complete meal plans, diet setups, and even an active, private, members-only forum for support.
Also, this program has strategies for both beginners and intermediates to make great muscle gains so you don’t have to buy multiple programs and you can save money!
Finally, Keith Lai (the creator) offers a 30-day “no questions asked” money-back guarantee. You can basically try the program for free for 30 days and if you don’t like it, get a refund.
You can see more details in my extended review.
If you want to build more muscle and still enjoy your life, check out Superhero X12 today.