Editor Series #1: Ray’s Upper Body Weight Lifting Workouts

Welcome to the Editor Series, a series of articles where we get personal and share some tips and insights from yours truly.

In today’s article, we’ll be covering something that I get asked a lot these days:

What do you do in your workouts? What’s your workout split? Which exercises work, and which don’t?

Of course, you can check my soccer workout guide, but I’ve recently indulged in a brand-new approach to weight-lifting.

My goal is simple: I want to look like Bruce Wayne.

So, this is everything I do at the gym these days (in 2024). Everything that’s related to the lower body will be explained in a separate post since we soccer players have to treat them differently.

What Is A Workout Split?

A workout split is the way you divide your workouts to target different muscle groups. It’s very hard to hit all of your muscles in one workout (unless you indulge in a full-body workout).

By splitting your workouts, you increase your chances of hitting your muscles more efficiently, and you allow your body to handle more workouts in a week.

types of workout splits

What’s Ray’s workout split?

I use the most efficient workout split out there: The Push/Pull/Legs split.

This is great because you hit the same movement from different muscles. You tire only muscles that do the same movement, allowing yourself to jump into a completely different movement the following day.

push pull legs schedule

As you can see, you can fit 6 workouts in a week with the push/pull/legs split. However, I don’t like to overdo it. I’m also someone who takes a little bit longer to recover, meaning my workouts are both productive and enough.

You can do the 6 workouts a week if you wish, but I rarely recommend it because it’s hard to keep up.

Here’s my schedule both on and off-season:

In-SeasonOff- Season
WednesdayActive Recovery Legs
(Cycling, low weights)
Legs + Cardio
SaturdayRestLegs + Cardio
Of course, in-season, it all depends on the club’s schedule. In the off-season, I do more varieties of cardio like sand training, trail runs, and HIIT.

Here’s how the push/pull/legs routine splits the muscles:


  • Chest (pectoral muscles)
  • Triceps
  • Shoulders


  • Whole Back
  • Biceps
  • Deltoids


  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Adductors (if you play soccer, you know these are important)

Concerning abs, I do 3 sessions per week of core training, usually in a circuit fashion. This is up to you, and you can work your core more frequently if you like

Which Exercises Do I Use?

On each day, I cover 7 exercises per workout.

On leg days, I cover 5, but it’s more intense since I play soccer. I’ll share what I do in the offseason as well since my workouts vary on my lifestyle.

7 exercises might feel like a lot, and some days it can feel like it, but there’s something I pride myself on doing at the gym: I stay focused, during and in between sets.

This means I time my rest time (45 sec. to 1 min) and quickly move on to the next exercise. A productive day at the gym lasts me an hour and a half, which I think is awesome.

My Exercises For Push Day (In Order)

1. Bench Press (4 sets)

man bench pressing

2. Shoulder Press (Dumbbells) (3 sets)

man doing shoulder press

3. Incline Bench Press (Assisted) (3 sets)

man doing incline chest press

4. Dips (3 sets)

man doing dips

5. Lateral Raises (3 sets)

man doing lateral raises

6. Triceps Pulldown (3 sets)

man doing triceps pulldown

7. My Own Shoulder Superset (3 sets)

woman doing forward shoulder raise
man doing upright dumbbell raise

This is a mix of both of the exercises above. I start with a forward raise (left), and then immediately do a vertical raise (right). Doing both consists of 1 rep.

Key Notes:

  • Here’s how I fixed the left shoulder pain (bench press): Before you lift, puff your chest and activate it. Squeeze and try to connect both of your shoulder blades.
  • Mind-to-muscle connection is literally a game changer. Think of the muscle you’re targeting during your lift.
  • I do this workout 2x a week, on Mondays and Thursdays.
  • I am currently going for hypertrophy (increasing the size of muscles). My rep range is between 6-12. When I do 5 or less, I decrease the weight, and anything from 12 and above is a sign to increase.

My Exercises For Pull Day (In Order)

Bent-Over Rows (4 sets)

man doing bent over rows

Pullups (4 sets)

man doing pullups

Face Pulls (3 sets)

Lateral Pulldown (3 sets)

man doing lateral pulldown

Barbell Curl (3 sets)

man doing barbell curl

Shrugs (3 sets)

man doing shrugs

Hammer Curl (3 sets)

man doing hammer curl

Key Notes:

  • Warm up well before starting, especially with the bent-over rows. Include your lower back in the warm-up.
  • You can use the shrugs machine with the handles if the dumbbells hurt your fingers and wrists.
  • Don’t forget your mind-to-muscle connection, especially since back muscles are harder to focus on.
  • I do this workout 2x a week, on Tuesdays and Fridays.
  • I am currently going for hypertrophy (increasing the size of muscles). My rep range is between 6-12. When I do 5 or less, I decrease the weight, and anything from 12 and above is a sign to increase.


I have been following this workout routine from mid-November 2023 to mid-January 2024 (exactly two months).

I had to stop because I was traveling to Europe for football and was looking for a club across 10+ cities.

Keep in mind my nutrition strategy was simply to get my proteins in, and after that no limits or discipline. It was the holidays after all 🙂

Here’s the result from the 2 months:

Ray's body transformation from november 2023 to january 2024
Other facts should be considered: I was eating like a bear!!


This workout split and these exercises work as you can see in the before/after image.

However, if you read my “Why do exercise needs vary between individuals” article, you will realize that my workout routine might not work as well for you.

That’s normal!

What I suggest is to simply interchange some of the exercises into what works for you. A lot of clients have difficulties with the bent-over row (it requires lots of focus). You can always swap it with the seated row.

Start with this workout routine, and substitute exercises that work better for you. Oh, and keep consistent!

I will leave comments open for this post. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate!👇👇

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