Sean Sullivan's Power Base Workout

This 4 day split by natural bodybuilding champion Sean Sullivan relies heavily on 6x6 training to encourage rapid strength and muscle gains.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Split
Intermediate
4
Barbell, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines, Other
Male & Female

Workout Description

Calf and ab work can be done twice a week and just pick one exercise and do 5-6 sets of as many reps as you can do. The rest between sets is 60-90 seconds and do a few warm-up sets. Try to keep the same weight all 6 sets, but you may lose a rep or two at the end. For example set 1-4 you get the 6 reps, set five 5 reps and the last set 4. Just try to pick a good weight and don't lower it even if it means 2-3 reps total.

 

Day 1 - Chest, Shoulders and Triceps
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Bench Press 6 6
Dumbbell Bench Press 6 6
Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
High Pulls (Wide grip, pull to forehead) 4 4
Heavy Dumbbell Lateral Raise (One arm at a time) 3 8
Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Cable Tricep Extension 4 10
Day 2 - Legs
Quads
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Press 6 6
Squats 6 6
Hack Squats 6 6
Hamstrings
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Curls 5 8
Quads
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Extensions 4 10
Day 3 - Back and Biceps
Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Reverse Grip Barbell Row 6 6
Medium Grip Lat Pull Down 6 6
Deadlift 6 6
Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curl 6 6
Preacher Curl 6 6
Day 4 - Legs
Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Lunge 6 6
Seated Leg Curls 6 6
Wide Stance Squats (Toes pointed out) 6 6
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 6 6
Step Ups (High bench or aerobic step) 6 6
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About The Author
Involved with this sport since '78. Started by meeting some guy named Arnold at a seminar he was giving in Ohio. Have been a bodybuilder ever since.

47 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sun, 05/23/2010 - 14:44
dean
hi i have been doing 12,10,8,6 and increasing the weight each set is that a good way to build muscle?have you tried it? or would i be better doing your workout using the same weight for each set until that becomes easy and then put the weight up and so on?
Steven's picture
Posted Sun, 05/23/2010 - 20:25
Steven
The weight you use on each set doesn't matter as much as simply pushing yourself for more reps/weight on every set.
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Posted Tue, 05/25/2010 - 15:49
wayne
I work out at a small cardio gym in Montana, which has a limited supply of equipment. But I've been able to adapt some of the machines to other exercises. I want to use a push-pull routine and this is what I've been doing. Incline press= warm up set then 4 x 8 usually only 5 on last set Seated rows = 4 x 10 8 on last set machine dips = 4 x 10 7/8 last set preacher curls = warm up set then 4 x 8 usually 4/5 on last set tricep rope pulldowns= 4 x 10 adapted pull down machine it has 15 lb plates and therefore to hard to increase weight only 4 reps on increase Chest flies = 4 x 10 8 on last set dumbbell curls = 4 x 10 7/8 last set rotating wrist while lifting flat bench press = 4 x 10 6/7 last set Day 2 military press= 4x10 6/7 last set pulldowns = 4x10 7/8 last set lateral dumbbell raises= 4x10 6/7 last set lateral pulldowns= 4x10 again adapting on pulldown machine reverse arm curls = 4x10 7/8 last set barbell upright rows = 4x10 7/8 last set forearm curls = 4x10 both directions day 3 leg curls= 4x15 leg extensions= 4x15 leg presses= 4x15 rowing machine for cardio Then I repeat the days usually a day off after 6 days. I run 20 minutes everyday for a warm up. It takes me about 1 .45 hours a day and I'm supplementing. What do you think/
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 05/25/2010 - 17:09
Steven
Hi Wayne. On day one you are working back, chest and biceps. On day two you are working back, shoulders and forearms/biceps. On day 3 legs. You are better off doing: Day 1 Seated rows pulldowns preacher curls dumbbell curls (Note: I would prefer to see you using a Barbell or Dumbbell row) Day 2 flat bench press military press machine dips Chest flies barbell upright rows lateral dumbbell raises Day 3 leg curls= 4x15 leg extensions= 4x15 leg presses= 4x15 (Note: I would prefer to see you using Squats) Also...you have no direct tricep work in this routine.
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Posted Mon, 05/31/2010 - 00:16
santos
How much time should I rest between sets? And how much time should I rest between exercises?
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:45
Steven
Rest about 2 minutes between sets. You may need to rest longer between sets of squats.
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Posted Mon, 05/31/2010 - 12:51
john
i use dumbbells when doing incline bench press- is this ok
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 05/31/2010 - 18:12
Steven
Absolutely.
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Posted Wed, 06/02/2010 - 07:09
Hassan
Are all 4 days are continuous or do I have to rest in between? I mean generally the pattern is 2 days on 1 day off 2 days on and two days off. What is the pattern for this workout?
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 06/02/2010 - 10:58
Steven
Each workout is meant to be performed once per week. I would structure your leg workouts with as much rest as possible between workouts, and then add in chest and back as appropriate.
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Posted Fri, 06/04/2010 - 12:43
james
I just started using the gym/beginner looking to put on weight,can i use the 4day workout routine and can u specify the days pls.
Steven's picture
Posted Sat, 06/05/2010 - 09:39
Steven
This is an intermediate routine. If you have spent some time in the gym and have put on some size and strength, I would recommend this routine. If you are still relatively a beginner, I recommend sticking with a more basic beginner program.
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Posted Fri, 07/09/2010 - 16:24
Doug Cunningham
where can i find a video or photos of- High Pulls (Wide grip, pull to forehead) to help with my form. thanks, Doug
Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 07/09/2010 - 16:50
Steven
Hi Doug, There is no video currently on the site for this exercise, but this forum post might help: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/forum/exercises/18860-face-pull.html
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Posted Mon, 08/02/2010 - 02:01
Devin
Hi I'm in high school and I have always been skinny even tho I workout. My goal is to get bigger and strong before the next season. What routine, number of sets and reps should I do.
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 08/03/2010 - 09:55
Steven
Hi Devin, I recommend a routine like this one: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/3day-beginners-workout.html The 2 keys to progress are eating enough to gain weight, and pushing for progression in the gym. Beginners can gain up to 15 pounds of muscle during their first year of intense lifting. Make it a goal to gain at least 2 pounds per month. You may need to eat 3200 to 3500 daily calories or more to hit this goal. If you have a hard time eating enough, try drinking whole milk, and possible consider a weight gainer. In the gym, you want to push yourself on every set, trying for more reps. When you can perform the recommended number of reps per set, add weight.
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Posted Mon, 08/02/2010 - 20:41
Jason
G'day, Um why are legs are worked out twice a week? Also will Rear Delts get enough stimulations with High Pulls/Upright Row? Oh and Lastly can we add one more Tricep exercise like Skull Crushers? Cheers
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 08/03/2010 - 09:49
Steven
Hi Jason, This is a workout meant to rapidly increase muscle and power (strength), and focuses heavily on squats and deadlifts. Rear delts will receive more then enough stimulation, when you factor in deadlifts and upper back work. As far as triceps, you could add in another exercise. That seems reasonable.
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Posted Tue, 08/03/2010 - 18:43
Jason
Sweet, cheers for the reply.
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Posted Sun, 08/15/2010 - 21:04
Edward
Hi, I work out at home, I have squat racks but not the equipment needed to do hack squats, leg curls etc. I can do squats and I have dumbbells so step ups can also be done, however not the rest. I am wondering if the other leg exercises mentioned on day 2 and 4 can be substituted with something else for legs.
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 08/16/2010 - 14:59
Steven
Hi Edward, You could try barbell hack squats, and if those don't work, I recommend doing lunges. For leg curls, you could try side or rear lunges.
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Posted Mon, 11/08/2010 - 19:31
blake
hi, i am 19 and have done a lot of in and outs wih working out. i have trained for worlds strongest man with two different trainers. they both taught me different things and now im so confused i cant seem to get back into it properly. its been two years since i last trained. now i want to try n train my self, bt i have no idea how to start without someone coaching me ad that has lead to no motivation. your plan sounds easy enough to follow. but how and when do i start. do i need to start eating right first before beginning or the same day i start? do you have any meal plan ideas for what im working towards? (which is bein a strong man) im so ocnfused. but i want to get huge,and strong fast. can you fix me up.
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 11/09/2010 - 14:09
Steven
Hi Blake, Start eating right today. You can start the routine on any day. Here are some eating articles that will help: 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 http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/a-guide-to-muscle-building-and-fat-loss-diets.html
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Posted Fri, 12/17/2010 - 14:49
Bobby
If my legs are still sore by day four of this workout, would you still recommend going through with the second leg-day workout? Or should I skip day four and let my legs fully recover?
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Posted Thu, 01/06/2011 - 23:56
amy
Hi, I am a 120 lb woman in good shape, I work out 4-5 days a week and do lots of cardio and a few classes with weights. I want to be more ripped but not really gain weight, would tHis be good for me?
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 01/19/2011 - 13:58
Steven
Hi Amy, I would rather see you start with a workout like this: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/3day-beginners-workout.html It's better to start with a more basic routine and to get more complex based on needs and goals. You can make great gains with weights on only 3-4 days per week.
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Posted Mon, 01/31/2011 - 18:02
Brett
I workout 5 days a week and reading some articles i'm a little confused. I usually focus on one muscle group rather than several. For example for chest I would do 4 sets incline bench with bar, 4 sets incline dumbell, 4 sets of flys and 4 sets of decline with bar. Usually in the 4 sets I would do 12,10,8,6. Would you consider this the wrong way to improve strength. I'm open for any suggestions.
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Posted Fri, 03/11/2011 - 11:08
eric
I would like to try the 6x6 workout;however due to work i can only workout on Sat,Sun & Mon. Can i drop 1 of the legs workout? or what do you suggest.............thx
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Posted Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:22
mark
hi just wondering if i could have some help please in a good program for me to use cos i would like to gain size and strengh.i can only train 3 days a week tho,thanks
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Posted Thu, 03/24/2011 - 21:31
rick
Hi, I don't have access to a leg press where I workout, so would dumbbell squats be a good replacement?
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Posted Mon, 06/20/2011 - 01:25
jbtrep
G'day Steve, Would this routine be considered overtraining at all? The volume seems pretty high, plus afew of the set and rep ranges contradict another article that is on this site. http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/overtraining-why-less-is-more.html Also would it be an issue if I dropped one of the legs days? Cheers
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Posted Tue, 09/06/2011 - 12:29
Mohamed Rishad
Hi steve am frm Sri Lanka.. I have been going for gym around 4 months... But our gym trainer has gave me the followoing schedule to follow 3 days a week... Standing carf 3x15 bench press 3x40 half bench 3x25 butterfly 3x20 front press 3x20 machine back 3x20 let pull down 3x20 cable rowing 3x40 bysheps 3x10 Bysheps dumble 3x5 z thz ok????? shall I follow this schedule???? plz help me in this case......... thank u
Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 09/22/2011 - 12:33
Steven
What are your goals?
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Posted Thu, 09/29/2011 - 14:11
Dylan
Hi, Is there any reason why biceps get twice as much of a work out than triceps? I always have been told that as triceps are much bigger than biceps you should exercise them more. Thanks
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Posted Tue, 10/18/2011 - 14:23
BJ
My guess would be that when you are working your chest, you are also working your triceps. Biceps are more commonly isolated movements as opposed to say Bench press which is a compound exercise.
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Posted Sun, 10/23/2011 - 07:28
stuart
I might be too late to post on this board but can I ask does doing low rep sets like this alter the appearance of the muscle you build. I have read on a few websites that high reps give you a bloated "bodybuilder look" whilst lower reps give you a tight hardened appearance. Is there any truth in this?
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 10/24/2011 - 15:02
Steven
Myth.
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Posted Wed, 11/09/2011 - 05:38
john
Would this workout help for a skinny fat person? who is trying to add some weight?
Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 11/25/2011 - 14:12
Steven
It will help build muscle. You want to focus on two things to maximize results: 1) Pushing yourself in the gym. Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight. 2) Eat to maximize muscle gains. Here are some articles that can help: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-create-a-bodybuilding-diet.html http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/building-muscle-eating-like-a-bodybuilder.html
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Posted Sat, 11/12/2011 - 15:16
Luke
Is this strength and size program as good as reg parks A/B workout?? After all he was the man who he inspired mr Arnold into bodybuilding and was the first man to ever bench 500lbs without the aid of steroids!!!
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Posted Mon, 01/09/2012 - 11:45
kieran
This is the best workout i have ever used
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Posted Sat, 01/21/2012 - 14:41
adam hammer
this looks like a good work out but for day 4 any other options other then doing legs a 2nd time just wondering and happy new years to all!
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Posted Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:20
Steve G
Steve Hi How would I set this routine if I can only get to the gym on Monday' Tuesday' Wednesday' Thursday. Thanks
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Posted Tue, 06/26/2012 - 07:14
Qaz
Hi Steve, I have been training for a while but im struggling to bench press 100kg. At the moment I can bench 44kg in dumbells. Would like to know what i could do to pass the 100kg mark on the barbell? Thanks
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Posted Thu, 09/20/2012 - 20:14
Rob
When are the traps worked out in this rutine?
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Posted Sat, 09/28/2013 - 09:32
Aaron
Days 1 & 3.
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Posted Fri, 12/20/2013 - 15:22
Abraham
Hi. Isn't this over kill on legs and 6x6 deadlifts before a leg day? Thanks