4 Day Split Bodybuilding Split Routine

M&S Writers
Written By: M&S Writers
September 27th, 2009
Updated: December 13th, 2017
375.1K Reads
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
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration8 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout45-60 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

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 ask in the comments section below.

Daily Workout Schedule:

Monday - Quads and Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 4 12,10,8,6
Hack Squat 4 12,10,8,6
Dumbbell Step Up 4 12,10,8,6
Exercise Sets Reps
Chin Up 4 10
Prone Dumbbell Incline Curl 3 10,8,6
Alternating Hammer Curl 3 10,8,6
Dumbbell step up - step down close to bench to work quads. Chins - focus on biceps, not back.
Tuesday - Chest and Calves
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
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Calf Raise 4 10,8,6
Standing Calf Raise (one leg) 3 15
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
Exercise Sets Reps
Stiff Leg Deadlift 4 12,10,8,6
Leg Curl 4 12
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
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
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Dip 4 10
Lying Triceps Extension 3 10,8,6
Rope Triceps Extension 3 12,10,8
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

Posted on: Mon, 04/19/2021 - 09:16

Are the rest days flexible? Could I for instance workout Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday then rest Friday, Saturday and Sunday?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 04/19/2021 - 09:49

Hey Keith - it's best to follow the program as written with a rest day on Wednesday.

Posted on: Wed, 12/06/2017 - 06:09

How long should the rest periods be?? 45-1min or 1-2min.... Or can I keep rest short due to lack of time from a demanding job? Thanks in advance.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 12/06/2017 - 08:52

Hi Rene,

I'd keep them short. 30-60 seconds should be plenty.

Hope this helps!

Posted on: Sat, 08/15/2015 - 23:14

Is there ant alternative exerciser for the prone reverse raise?

jehan zeb
Posted on: Sun, 01/04/2015 - 12:23

Can the straight leg deadlift be replaced by a standard deadlift or some other exercise ? Also is this programme for early intermediate bodybuilder who has spent about 4 months in gym ?

Posted on: Mon, 12/15/2014 - 17:36

Hi, Steve. I have a lot of questions. I hope that u will answer all of them and fix my wrong thoughts.. :)

1--what's the purpose of 6 reps? Because I know that reps below 8 dont increase the muscle volume...? Do I know it


2--you said that we must increase weights when we can do 12-10-8-6 (for example db. flies) .. so when we increase

it, we can do only 3-4 reps at last set and we will be exhausted on every set. Is it healty or useful for muscle


3--I know that medial head of triceps muscle grows by reverse grip exercises.. Is it true not to work reverse grip

triceps exercise?

4--Is it true to work tired back again on Friday? I think dip exercise exercises back again?

5--and last question... Which exercise may I change with dumbbell step up? My gym isn't suitable with it :(

Posted on: Fri, 07/11/2014 - 10:06

Hi ,
A got lower back problem so i am not authorized to deadlift , can i use use another exercise instead?

Posted on: Thu, 07/10/2014 - 11:07

I would just say tanks for this workout.
I have just gone upp 22 lbs for the last 6 monts.
I love it <3

lucas fortes
Posted on: Thu, 06/26/2014 - 05:21

hi steve i am 22 years old from boston ,ma im 6'2 250 with a little bit of mis section i was trying to become a bodybuilder and i m willing to do anything where do i start can u please help as far nutrient training etc etc

ban theo
Posted on: Fri, 03/14/2014 - 20:35

on back day you've written under notes "deadlifts - increase weight for each set" but havent said how many sets or reps. Is it 4 sets of 12,10,8,6?

doua xiong
Posted on: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 23:02

Hi everyone. You guy are all wrong. ask me if you guy want to buildup hardness muscle builder.

Abdul Qader
Posted on: Thu, 10/17/2013 - 23:18

Is there an alternative to this exercise ( Chin Up )

Posted on: Mon, 08/13/2012 - 04:48

Hi there, should i be doing and cardio with this programme, if so how much and how often? Cheers

Posted on: Mon, 05/21/2012 - 13:51

hi i don't know how should i start working out.. should i do cardio first before this workouts and what supplement i need to take ??

Posted on: Fri, 04/27/2012 - 17:43

is this workout routine good if im cutting to get ripped?

Posted on: Sat, 03/17/2012 - 22:59

Lovin this workout! Used to hate leg days but now that they're split up, it keeps things interesting. Also, I changed the split slightly as it think it is more time efficient: (A) Chest/Traps (B) Quads/Bi's (C) Shoulders/Tri's (D) Hams/Back. At the end of each workout I alternate stomach and calves. Haven't been this happy with a program for years! Thanks Steve.

Posted on: Thu, 03/01/2012 - 17:44

This is a great routine, it's very well balanced. I think it has a great choice of muscle group pairing/selection for each workout and works nicely over the whole week. I am making some solid gains recently due this programme and the generally good advice and tips on how to do each lift properly found all over this website. Thanks for posting the routine and sharing the knowledge :)

Posted on: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 18:46

My gym does not have a hack squat machine. What is the best substitute for hack squats?

M. Turner
Posted on: Tue, 03/20/2012 - 12:18

my trainer told me to do dumbbell squats...put 2 dumbbells in each hand and squat the normal count and increase on weight if you want 2 go more intense

Posted on: Tue, 02/07/2012 - 18:45

I am an avid believer in doing regular deadlifts for back. How can I imcorporate this into this workout?

Posted on: Wed, 02/01/2012 - 23:50

Hi steve, i have been looking around and checking out the routines and i really cant tell which one would best suit me. I am 190 lbs and 5'11". I have a good amount of muscle and have been working out for about a year now. I follow a 5 day split routine that i feel is intense. I cover all the major workouts and also combine super sets with easier workouts. I have gained a good amount of muscle and have burned a great amount of fat but i feel like i am at a plateau. i do about 25-30 sets per body part excluding bis and tris which get about half that each. I regularly add new workouts to my routine. I need an intense 8-12 week routine that is advanced and would help me pack a lot more muscle as i plan to cut up after that. I can workout 4-6 days a week and do not feel much soreness any more. I will take any help i can get.
Thank you

Posted on: Mon, 01/16/2012 - 15:14

Just wanted to say that I have done this work out for 3 3/4 months and the results have been amazing. I will maybe push it 5 months (why stop if its working). The only difference from the workout instructions is that I increased weights on each set.Ive also been taking Promera Contrete Creatine. Looking forward to the 6 day getting ripped work out that you recently posted.

Thanks M&S!!!

Posted on: Mon, 01/16/2012 - 09:38

how many seconds of minutes rest between repetitions?

Posted on: Sun, 01/08/2012 - 19:17

Should i change weights for each set?

Posted on: Sun, 01/08/2012 - 14:41

hey steve if i put this into two days and worked out twice a day once in the mourning and then in the evening would and eat tons would that work or is overtraining?

Posted on: Tue, 01/03/2012 - 01:28


I would really like to give this workout a go. However I work fri, sat and sun. Long days and can't workout on Friday. Could I do all four workouts in a row without taking Wednesday as a rest day ?


Posted on: Sat, 12/31/2011 - 09:22

yo steve, how do you wide grip a cable row, solid workout mein

Posted on: Sun, 10/02/2011 - 19:35

Would it be benificial to add Bench Press on the chest day?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 10/03/2011 - 17:32

Hi Tyler,

Only as a replacement for incline bench or dips.

Posted on: Fri, 09/09/2011 - 01:44

Hi Im a natural trainee with bodytype mesomorph &with 3 years of bodybuilding expeirence. I want gain lean muscle so please suggest if this workout will the best for me or the intermediate full body routine . I have also heard that split workouts are generally for guys on steriods. Pls suggest the need.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 09/29/2011 - 16:00

This workout will serve you well. 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:



Posted on: Fri, 06/24/2011 - 00:58

How many weeks do I use this 4 day split.

Posted on: Wed, 05/18/2011 - 23:07

what do you think of this 4 way split?
monday-arms,tuesday-legs,thursday-chest&shoulers(so the whole shoulder girdle gets hit once a week since chest also works shoulers)friday-back&traps.
what about this 3-way split?
monday-chest,shoulders & biceps(triceps is to exhausted after chest&delts.wednesday-legs,friday-back & triceps( triceps has more energy and contraction power after back vrs chest & delts.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 05/19/2011 - 14:34

Hi Paul,

The 4 day split looks solid. Nice work. The 3 day split I would recommend switching triceps and shoulders so that your triceps are as fresh as possible for Monday's chest workout.

Posted on: Mon, 04/11/2011 - 00:28

hi. i am really interested in your work out, but all the times iv tryed to work out in the past i usually get to worne out to finish the work out for the day. i would prefer no to take any sort of creatine or anything of that nature. do you know of any good pre-workout drink mixes or protein powders that dont have creatine in it?

Posted on: Tue, 04/05/2011 - 09:16

just a general question...i am an ectomorph and wanted to ask that is it possible to gain muscle with eating 1000-1400 calories per day because i live in a third world country and here only royal families can afford to eat 4-5 eggs,lots of almonds,lots of meat,protein shakes etc.so a middle class person cannot eat 2000 or more calories per day?so is it possible to gain with 1000-1400 calories?

Larry Webster
Posted on: Tue, 03/08/2011 - 21:25

I grew up doing 6 day workouts. push/pull/legs----chestandback/armsandsholders/legs. are these still okay workouts

Posted on: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 02:19

What can I do if I can work out wed rather then tue. How do i switch it around to still be productive?


Posted on: Thu, 02/24/2011 - 02:18

Hey, i cant work tuesday, but rather wednesday. how do you think i can switch it around and still be productive?


Posted on: Sat, 02/05/2011 - 22:58

Why is bench press excluded from the routine? Just curious

Posted on: Tue, 01/18/2011 - 14:06

Hi Steve,

How long should average workout lasts? Thanks.

Posted on: Sun, 01/02/2011 - 22:40

do we have to go in order ?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 15:16

Ho Joe,

Yes, perform the exercises in the order listed.

Husain Shaikh
Posted on: Sun, 12/05/2010 - 06:49

What about the Abdominal Muscles?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 12/07/2010 - 10:10

You can work abs 1-3 times per week after weight training.

Posted on: Tue, 11/30/2010 - 22:41

how long should the cardio be?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 12/07/2010 - 10:09

Hi Joe,

When muscle building is a primary goal, cardio can be performed 3-4 times per week for 20 to 30 minutes.

Posted on: Mon, 11/22/2010 - 17:00

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

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 11/23/2010 - 19:03

Hi Bari,

It's best to focus on your diet. You can minimize fat gains when building muscle. Taker a look at these articles: