Home Training Plans 4 Day Workout Split: Proven Way to Build Muscle

4 Day Workout Split: Proven Way to Build Muscle

by Steve Theunissen
mass split workout

When you are training for maximum muscle and strength building, there are plenty of factors that need juggling. Top of our list should be deciding on your workout routine split. Figuring out how to divide up your body and your week in order to hit the right body parts over the right time period will determine whether you can recover properly. And that will directly impact on your ability to grow new muscle and get stronger. In this article, we go in depth on a 4 day split workout plan

What is a 4 Day Workout Split?

A workout split refers to how you divide up your body parts during your training sessions. There are all sorts of ways you can do this from training the whole body every workout to working just one body part. This 4 day workout routine split is a medium option between these two extremes where you divide your body into four training days in a cycle. 

There are a couple of ways you can work your 4 day workout routine. First, you work your schedule around the traditional 7 days of your week. You train 4 days out of seven days per week, traditionally on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. This would see you training each body part just once per week.

For those who prefer training each muscle group more than once per week, your 4 days split can be done with continuous cycling where you train for 4 days straight, then take one day off, before repeating your split. On this routine, you would be training each body part once every 5 days. 

Our 4 Day Bodybuilding Split

Our bodybuilding workout split to build maximum muscle mass will follow the second of our 4 days routines outlined in our last section. That will mean that you are training each body part once every five days. 

Trial and error over 40 years in the trenches, along with studies suggest that this is your best choice for optimal training frequency for adding muscle and strength. [1] This split routine is also good when you are training for weight loss as well as muscle gain. 

Here is how we will divide the body parts over the four workout days of this bodybuilding split:

Day One

Chest + Triceps

Day Two

Quads + Hamstrings

Day Three

Back, Calves + Abs

Day Four

Shoulders + Biceps

The Weekly 4 Day Workout Split

Because you will be training over a 5 days cycle, rather than a conventional 7 day weekly cycle, each time that you train over the month will change. Here is how your workouts will pan out over the course of a month:


Mon 

Tues

Wed

Thurs

Fri

Sat

Sun

Chest + Triceps
Quads + Hamstrings
Back, Calves + Abs
Shoulders + BicepsDay OffChest + TricepsQuads + Hamstrings
Back, Calves + AbsShoulders + Biceps
Day Off
Chest + TricepsQuads + HamstringsBack, Calves + AbsShoulders + Biceps
Day OffChest + TricepsQuads + HamstringsBack, Calves + AbsShoulders + BicepsDay OffChest + Triceps
Quads + HamstringsBack, Calves + AbsShoulders + BicepsDay OffChest + TricepsQuads + HamstringsBack, Calves + Abs

The Daily Workouts

Ok, let’s drill down on the details of your actual workouts on this 4 days split routine:

Day One Workout: Chest + Triceps

  • Dumbbell Bench Press – 5 x 20/ 15/ 10/ 8/ 6
  • Cable Decline Press – 4 x 30/ 15/ 10/ 10
  • Flyes – 3 x 12
  • Push Ups – 1 x failure
  • Skull Crushers – 5 x 20/ 15/ 10/ 8/ 6
  • Triceps Pushdowns – 3 x 12
4 days split routine

Day Two Workout: Quads + Hamstrings

  • Squats – 5 x 20/ 15/ 10/ 8/ 6
  • Leg Extensions – 5 x 20/ 15/ 10/ 8/ 6
  • Lunges – 3 x 12
  • Seated Leg Curls – 5 x 20/ 15/ 10/ 8/ 6

Day Three Workout: Back, Calves + Abs

  • One Arm Lat Pulldowns – 5 x 20/ 15/ 10/ 8/ 6
  • Shrugs (Dumbbell) – 5 x 20/ 15/ 10/ 8/ 6
  • Pull Ups – 3 x failure
  • Leg Press Machine Calf Raise – 5 x 20/ 15/ 10/ 8/ 6
  • Cable Abdominal Crunch – 5 x 20/ 15/ 10/ 8/ 6

Day Four Workout: Shoulders + Biceps

  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 5 x 20/ 15/ 10/ 8/ 6
  • Cable Side Lateral Raise – 5 x 20/ 15/ 10/ 8/ 6
  • Rear Delt Raise (Cable) – 3 x 12
  • Alternate Dumbbell Curl – 5 x 20/ 15/ 10/ 8/ 6
  • Close Grip Pull Up – 3 x failure

Rep Range for Muscle Burn

This 4 days workout routine makes use of a range of reps, including very high (20) and very low (6). With each set, you increase the weight that accommodates your new rep range. This weight will see you challenged for the second half of your set, with a last couple of reps being close to your limit of what you can do without sacrificing exercise form.

Training through a full range of repetitions has been shown to be a great way to completely work the muscles. Higher reps have been shown to rapidly deplete the glycogen stores in the muscle. This leads to post-workout glycogen replacement which stretches the muscle cells, leading to greater levels of hypertrophy. High rep training also boosts the muscle occlusion effect which has been shown to improve growth factor production and satellite cell fusion. [2] [3]

Working down the rep range to a final very heavy set of six reps will ensure that you are getting maximum strength and muscle gains while also being thoroughly warmed up for your heavy training.

Final Thoughts

Training according to 4 day training splits will provide you with an ideal structure to work the body optimally. A key to success on this program is to increase your intensity every workout. You can do this by increasing the weight slightly. Because this program involves a high training frequency, you need to be getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night and eating superfood to build muscles. Be sure to get 30-40 grams of quality protein into your body within an hour or so after your session. 

Follow this program for six weeks. Then take a week off before switching to a full-body lifting routine for a further six weeks. 

References:

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