4 Day Split Bodybuilding Split Routine

This 4 day workout routine is aimed at the intermediate to advanced bodybuilder who is currently in their growth cycle. Legs have been split up into 2 separate days.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Split
Advanced
4
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
Male & Female

Workout Description

This 4 day workout routine is aimed at the intermediate to advanced bodybuilder who is currently in their growth cycle. It's slightly different to other 4 day splits on this site in that legs (hams/glutes/quads) have been split up into 2 separate days.

Abdominals should be trained on Mondays and Thursdays. Use a mixture of 3 exercises for 6 to 10 sets in total. Keep rep range for abdominals between 15 and 20.

If you need any advice on using this workout or adjusting this workout to fit your schedule head over to our muscle building forum and ask.

Daily Workout Schedule:

Monday - Quads and Biceps
Quads
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 4 12,10,8,6
Hack Squat 4 12,10,8,6
Dumbbell Step Up 4 12,10,8,6
Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Chin Up 4 10
Prone Dumbbell Incline Curl 3 10,8,6
Alternating Hammer Curl 3 10,8,6
Notes
Dumbbell step up - step down close to bench to work quads. Chins - focus on biceps, not back.
Tuesday - Chest and Calves
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 12,10,8,6
Chest Dip 4 10
Cable Crossover 4 12
Flat Dumbbell Fly 4 12,10,8,6
Calves
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Calf Raise 4 10,8,6
Standing Calf Raise (one leg) 3 15
Notes
Cable crossovers - nice and slow, squeeze chest at the top of the movement as if you're trying to crush something between your chest muscles

Wednesday: Rest Day

Thursday - Hamstring and Back
Hamstring
Exercise Sets Reps
Straight Leg Deadlift 4 12,10,8,6
Leg Curl 4 12
Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Underhand Barbell Row 4 12,10,8,6
Wide Grip Lat Pulldown (or, Wide Grip Pullup) 4 10
One Arm Dumbbell Row 4 10
Wide Grip Cable Row (overhand grip) 4 12,10,8,6
Notes
Deadlifts - Increase weight on each set
Friday - Shoulders, Traps and Triceps
Shoulders and Traps
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Shoulder Press 4 12,10,8,6
Dumbbell Upright Row 4 12,10,8,6
Prone Reverse Raise 4 12,10,8,6
Behind-the-back Shrug 4 12,10,8,6
Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Dip 4 10
Lying Triceps Extension 3 10,8,6
Rope Triceps Extension 3 12,10,8
Notes
Upright row - make arms right angles when you go up, focus on medial delt.
Rope pulldowns - pull rope apart at the bottom of the movement, don't cheat!

Saturday and Sunday: Rest Days

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85 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Wed, 05/26/2010 - 22:13
Kevin
Do I increase weight on every set?
Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 05/27/2010 - 09:50
Steven
Probably not. Most people will tire a bit and do fewer reps after the first big set. But you will need to experiement and might have to tweak the weight for the proper rep ranges.
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Posted Wed, 06/16/2010 - 09:15
jblewisburg
Two questions: How many reps for the straight leg deadlift? Is there a video or a description of the prone reverse raise?
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 06/16/2010 - 09:22
Steven
12,10,8,6. The prone reverse raise is like a bent over reverse dumbbell fly. You perform it laying on a flat or incline bench. http://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/bent-over-dumbbell-reverse-fly.html
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Posted Wed, 06/16/2010 - 10:36
jblewisburg
Thanks for the clarification
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Posted Sun, 06/17/2012 - 20:35
Joe Byrne III
Thanks Steve for all your helpful advice, I find your input very beneficial to my workouts.
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Posted Mon, 06/21/2010 - 06:01
mike
hey man, Is it best to do 4 sets, and decrease it on everyone. I've been sticking with about 3 sets of 8-10 reps? What do you think about that?
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 06/21/2010 - 09:45
Steven
Hi Mike, Really any approach is solid as long as you are pushing yourself for more reps/weight on every set of every workout.
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Posted Wed, 06/23/2010 - 10:10
mike
what if I cant work out on tues and thurs, can I change the days to mon wed Friday and Saturday?
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 06/23/2010 - 15:20
Steven
Hi Mike, That would work.
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Posted Fri, 07/09/2010 - 18:53
pH
Steve, Would it be couterproductive if I moved tuesdays chest/calf day to wednesday and balled up on tuesday instead? I realize for a few weeks I'll be too sore to really do anything other than hobble around after mondays' squats... but after the initial shock I hope to be able to push it on the court - what's your take? P
Steven's picture
Posted Sat, 07/10/2010 - 10:37
Steven
Hi PH, That would work fine.
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Posted Sun, 07/11/2010 - 21:53
joey poole
how long should i do this workout?
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 07/12/2010 - 14:42
Steven
Hi Joey, Perform this workout for a minimum of 8 to 12 weeks, or as long as you are making progress.
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Posted Fri, 08/06/2010 - 05:52
Bone
I just want to say thanks for this workout. It's the fourth day of my eighth week and I couldn't be happier. I'm 5'11. Beginning of college, a fit 175lbs. Three years later (beginning of this summer), a frail 162 lbs. With protein, creatin, and this workout (modified in some places) I am 182 lbs and stronger than ever. Can't wait to get huge back at school! Thanks!
Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 08/06/2010 - 14:26
Steven
You're welcome and best of luck!
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Posted Mon, 04/11/2011 - 09:54
Simba
Howzit Bone, how exactly did you modify your workout. Im in the same boat you were after you left college and i am now dead set on put on the weight, but in muscle ofcourse.
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Posted Fri, 08/27/2010 - 00:50
Javier
I have been checking all workouts routines and I noticed that in all routines you just hit one group of muscles once a week, for example biceps once a week, is there any routine where you hit twice a week the muscles.
Steven's picture
Posted Sun, 08/29/2010 - 07:29
Steven
Hi Javier, Here are some programs that might interest you: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/forget-steroids-5-fullbody-workouts-for-serious-gains.html
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Posted Thu, 01/26/2012 - 09:48
nick
remember mate when doing chest are also using triceps back/biceps etc so i would do what i do like after back through in a couple set of bicep curls whatever to polish them off
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Posted Fri, 09/10/2010 - 11:01
kurt gadzinski
what is the prone reverse raise
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 09/13/2010 - 09:08
Steven
Hi Kurt, I believe you grab 2 dumbbells and lay face down on a bench. With your elbows just slightly bent, raise the dumbbells out to your side.
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Posted Mon, 09/13/2010 - 22:01
CRock
Forgive me but I don't see any abdominal muscle training in this workout. I hope to begin this workout next week, the 20th.
Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 09/16/2010 - 10:26
Steven
Hi CRock, You can work abs 1 to 4 times per week after lifting using your favorite exercises.
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Posted Mon, 09/20/2010 - 21:10
CRock
Thanks man.
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Posted Sat, 10/16/2010 - 13:36
Manny
Hi Steve, I usually work twice a week body parts, Monday and Thursday biceps, back and legs, then Tuesday and Friday chest, shoulders and triceps. Which routine you recommend me?, twice a week the body parts or just one?
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 10/18/2010 - 19:23
Steven
Hi manny, Either approach is OK, as long as you are working hard. I would use the approach that most motivates you to train hard.
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Posted Mon, 10/25/2010 - 03:36
Ray
Hi, At the gym I go to there is no Seated Calf Raise machine. Is there something else I can do to substitute it? Would sitting on a bench and placing actual weights on my legs have the same effect or is there something better/safer I can do? Thanks a lot.
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 10/25/2010 - 14:37
Steven
Hi Ray, You can perform a standing dumbbell calf raise. http://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/standing-one-leg-calf-raise-with-dumbbell.html
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Posted Sat, 10/30/2010 - 07:36
Ray
Thanks a lot, Steve. That will work perfectly. Cheers!
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Posted Wed, 11/03/2010 - 19:00
Sean
Steve -how often should I look to increase the weight during the 12 week workout? Example, meaning week 1 for incline dumbell bench press I started out with 12 reps 55lbs, 10 reps 60lbs, 8 reps 65lbs and 6 reps 70lbs, the question is when should I look to increase the weight and how often? Thanks, Sean
Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 11/05/2010 - 13:12
Steven
Hi Sean, Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.
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Posted Mon, 11/08/2010 - 16:59
Sean
Steve -you are saying that it is not important to complete the reps at the end of the set, it is more important for utilizing good form and pushing yourself throughout the set. Say for instance I am completing the end of a set of dumbbell chest press finishing with 70lbs for six reps it is better to push myself and possibly do 4 reps with 75lbs. Once I am able to complete 6 reps at 75lbs increase the weight...correct?
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 11/09/2010 - 14:06
Steven
Hi Sean, You always push yourself on every set and do as many reps as possible. Stop a set when you feel like you may fail on the next rep. If a set requires 8 reps, when you can perform 8 reps with a weight, add more weight the next time you workout. You won't be able to hit 8 reps with this new weight, but that's ok.
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Posted Mon, 11/15/2010 - 19:29
sean
hey steve ! for Chest/Calves, can i add Bench Press to it because I really love bench press and doesnt have bench press included in this program! thank you
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 11/16/2010 - 14:48
Steven
Hi Sean, Absolutely. I would drop one of the last two chest isolation lifts.
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Posted Tue, 11/16/2010 - 22:39
sean
Okay so I put in bench for Chest/Calvs! so should i do 4 sets of 12,10,8,6 ?? and also can I also do different workout each week if i want to change it up little bit?
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 11/17/2010 - 09:18
Steven
Hi Sean, Yes I would use 12,10,8,6. Regarding different workouts, I don't recommend using too many workouts. If you don't work an exercise for weeks, it will make it difficult to add strength for that exercise. You could alternate 2 workouts, but I wouldn't do more than that. Training a lift infrequently can keep you week and limit muscle growth.
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Posted Thu, 11/18/2010 - 22:57
bari
Is it okay to do Cardio on my Off days? like wed, saturday and sunday? My main goal is to gain musle and have that lean muscle look!
Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 11/19/2010 - 08:16
Steven
Hi Bari, Yes, you can do cardio on off days.
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Posted Mon, 11/22/2010 - 17:00
bari
I want to build muscle but at the same time i been doing cardio and i was wondering if i should do low intensity cardio for about an hour if i wanot to build muscle and not look too bulky
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 11/23/2010 - 19:03
Steven
Hi Bari, It's best to focus on your diet. You can minimize fat gains when building muscle. Taker a look at these articles: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/your-go-to-guide-to-gaining-muscle-while-minimizing-fat-gains.html https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-create-a-bodybuilding-diet.html
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Posted Tue, 11/30/2010 - 22:41
joe
how long should the cardio be?
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 12/07/2010 - 10:09
Steven
Hi Joe, When muscle building is a primary goal, cardio can be performed 3-4 times per week for 20 to 30 minutes.
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Posted Sun, 12/05/2010 - 06:49
Husain Shaikh
What about the Abdominal Muscles?
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 12/07/2010 - 10:10
Steven
You can work abs 1-3 times per week after weight training.
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Posted Sun, 01/02/2011 - 22:40
joe
do we have to go in order ?
Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 01/13/2011 - 15:16
Steven
Ho Joe, Yes, perform the exercises in the order listed.
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Posted Tue, 01/18/2011 - 14:06
Alex
Hi Steve, How long should average workout lasts? Thanks.
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Posted Sat, 02/05/2011 - 22:58
JustMove
Why is bench press excluded from the routine? Just curious

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