A mass building routine that features a great combination of effective compound and isolation movements along with intense, high impact five minute burn sets.
Workout Summary

Workout Description

This is an intermediate muscle building workout for lifters who:

  1. Have experienced beginner gains and are confident they know how to build muscle.
  2. Have a solid grasp of exercise form on the major compound movements.
  3. Know how to set up an effective muscle building eating plan.

About The 4 Day Workout


Overload is critical to the muscle building process. Push each set for the maximum number of reps, stopping that set either when you feel your form is slipping, or if you feel like you may fail on the next rep. Do not train to failure. The point is to stimulate growth, not annihilate your body and central nervous system.

Add weight to each exercise as frequently as possible, when it makes sense. I recommend using the same weight for every set of a given exercise, and when you are able to perform a comfortable number of reps on each set, add weight.

Rep Ranges

Rep ranges are simply a guideline. It's is ok to go over them, or a hair under at times. Again, the magic is overload. Rep ranges are simply a tool.

5 Minute Burn Periods

For each body part you will perform a 5 minute burn out period. These sets are brutal. Pick a weight that allows you to perform about 12-15 reps. Over a 5 minute period you perform as many reps as possible with that weight, starting and stopping sets as needed. Rest only long enough to catch your bearings and breathe, and then start knowing out more reps.

5 minute burn out periods are not about sets and reps. They are about finishing off an already fatigued muscle. Don't obsess (or even count)  over how many total sets you do. Instead, try to do as many reps as possible in 5 minutes using whatever rest periods you need to survive.

Recommended: Need help building muscle? Take our Free Muscle Building Course

4 Day Maximum Mass Workout Split

Day 1 - Back & Biceps

Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 2 5
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 8-12
Wide Grip Pull Up or Lat Pull Down 3 10-12
Barbell Row 3 8-12
Seated Cable Row or Machine Row 5 Minutes Burn
EZ Bar Preacher Curl 3 10-12
Concentration Curl 3 10-12
Seated Dumbbell Curl 5 Minutes Burn

Day 2 - Chest & Triceps

Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 3 6-10
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 8-12
Chest Dip 3 AMRAP
Cable Crossover or Pec Dec 3 12-15
Machine Press or Dumbbell Bench Press 5 Minutes Burn
EZ Bar Skullcrusher 3 8-12
Two Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension 3 8-12
Cable Tricep Extension 5 Minutes Burn

Notes: AMRAP = As many reps as possible.

Day 4 - Quads, Hamstrings, and Calves

Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3 6-10
Leg Press 3 15-20
Hack Squat or Dumbbell Lunge 3 8-12
Leg Extension 5 Minutes Burn
Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 8-12
Leg Curl 5 Minutes Burn
Standing Calf Raise 3 10-15
Seated Calf Raise 5 Minutes Burn

Day 5 - Shoulders, Traps, and Forearms

Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Barbell Press 3 6-10
Seated Arnold Press 3 8-12
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 10-15
Hammer Strength Press or Smith Press 5 Minutes Burn
Upright Row 3 8-12
Barbell Shrug or Dumbbell Shrug 5 Minutes Burn
Seated Barbell Wrist Curl 3 12-15
Barbell Static Hold 5 Minutes Burn

Notes: Barbell Static Holds. Instead of performing reps you simply hold the bar as long as possible.

Post your post-workout swolfies in M&S gear on IG and tag @muscleandstrength, #muscleandstrength, or DM them to us to get a shoutout on Muscle & Strength stories!

Tom Doar
Posted on: Thu, 04/07/2022 - 16:57

What would you recommend moving onto after the 4 weeks or should I just stick with this program but add more weight

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 04/25/2022 - 20:23

Hey Tom, I would suggest giving it one more run with more weight, then switch it up.

Posted on: Mon, 03/28/2022 - 07:39

Hi ,day1 deadlift how can do this in first exercise in back ??can We lift heavy?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 03/31/2022 - 09:43

Hi, Raul. Take time to warm up by doing light sets for higher reps before going heavy. Once you're warmed up and you get to that second work set, go as heavy as you can for 5 reps. Don't compromise form, though.

Posted on: Sun, 03/27/2022 - 14:23

Hey Steve. Question What is your take on only doing one bodypart a week for naturals most people say naturals should train each bodypart 2-3 times a week. Tganks

Posted on: Tue, 03/22/2022 - 11:10

Outside of the 5 minute burn set, what should the rest period be between sets?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 03/28/2022 - 21:09

Go with 45-60 seconds, Jordan. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Sat, 03/12/2022 - 06:45

Hi thank you very much for this. Is there any way I can use this routine also for strength and not only mass? Would alternating 1 strength week and 1 mass week be effective?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 03/15/2022 - 18:12

If you use the low end of the rep ranges, and push the last set to absolute failure, you'll get stronger, Roberto. For example, instead of thinking 8-12 reps, keep them all at 8.

Posted on: Wed, 03/09/2022 - 02:40

I have been doing this workout for a week and already feel a change! I am supplementing with an 1100 calorie weight gainer shake post workout and a casein shake before bed.

Paul Kock
Posted on: Thu, 03/03/2022 - 13:23

Thought I would try this workout. Everything I have read lately says you should work your muscle groups twice a week. Will this routine put some muscle on, since it is only once a week muscle group? Thank you

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 03/11/2022 - 21:22

It should serve you well, Paul. Give it a solid try for at least a few weeks. If you don't notice any progress, come on back and we will find something else.

Posted on: Sat, 03/12/2022 - 04:19

Thank you…

Dulan Kavinda
Posted on: Wed, 02/02/2022 - 00:15

Can I add barbell curls to my biceps routine? Because it's my favorite biceps exercise.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 02/03/2022 - 20:36

Hi, Dulan. You can add them or replace one of the other biceps exercises on the first workout with barbell curls.

Posted on: Thu, 01/27/2022 - 10:00

This is my second time doing this program on winter to get bigger. Last year I did this program for 3 months, added 8kg/17pounds of weight and gained big & good looking muscles:)

This program is 8/10 hard, especially on 6-8 weeks but definitely worth the results.

Have a good time training and DON'T CHEAT ON BURNS :D

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 01/28/2022 - 09:56

Thanks for sharing, Gustas! Congrats on the progress.

Helen Trainer
Posted on: Tue, 01/11/2022 - 14:14

What the best alternative for the leg exercises that need dedicated machines? I’ve been looking into replacements for the leg press, extension and curl, but not sure had thought maybe wall sits and cyclists squats. Advice would be great thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 01/14/2022 - 18:56

Hi, Helen! Those are good choices, and you could also focus on single leg squats. Those would be suitable as well.

Posted on: Mon, 01/03/2022 - 22:14

Am I suppose to do these back to back days? For example if I do day one on Monday I’m suppose to do day two Tuesday then rest Wednesday and do day 3 and 4 on Thursday and Friday and rest Saturday Sunday?

Also why is there a set range of reps for the different exercises? How do I know if I should do 8 or 12 reps for the different exercises?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 01/04/2022 - 16:50

That schedule you wrote is pretty much how it would work. The goal is to use weight that allows you to reach failure within that range. If you get 8 reps on the first workout, shoot for 9 or more next time. Once you get to 12, add weight and repeat. Hope this helps!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 02/23/2022 - 19:55

It was mainly created for building mass, but you could lose weight with it as well so long as your nutrition is on point, Drew.

Posted on: Sun, 02/20/2022 - 00:47

Is this program good for bulking or is it meant for cutting or can be for both? I thought for bulking I should be trying to do less reps with heavier weights or is this program fine as is for bulking? Thanks

Helen Trainer
Posted on: Thu, 12/30/2021 - 06:35

Hello one of the team recommended this as a next program to try, it looks good. What could I do instead of the leg extension, presses and curls? Also what do you do for a barbell hold, how do you hold it?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 12/31/2021 - 11:05

Hi, Helen. The Exercises section can offer exercises that you would be able to swap in for the movements you can't do. Pick the muscle area you want to focus on, and look at the options to determine the best one for you.

Static Hold - Hold a barbell with weight on it in your hands at arms' length, like the top of a deadlift. Hold it with your natural grip strength for as long as possible. Once you reach failure, return the bar to the floor or rack.

Posted on: Wed, 12/22/2021 - 21:05

Is it possible to lose a few pounds while also gaining muscle? How long does it take to see significant results?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 12/23/2021 - 19:11

Yes, Addie. Losing fat and gaining muscle is possible, but tracking bodyfat is important to determine how much you've lost or gained. How long it takes depends on the person. Some folks notice changes in a few weeks, others in a few months.

Posted on: Tue, 12/21/2021 - 04:50

Can I do abs on Wednesday?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 12/21/2021 - 17:33

Yes you can, Joe. Training abs on Wednesday would be fine.

Posted on: Sun, 12/19/2021 - 22:38

Hey I workout at home right now so what would you suggest I do in place of dips. I have dumbbells bands a bench barbell ezcurl bar. Also I always thought a natural should hit each bodypart at least twice a week. Thanks for the info

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 12/20/2021 - 19:52

Hi, Steve. Use pushups with your feet elevated on a bench in place of dips. Training muscles once a week is enough for most people regardless of their natural/not status, so long as you train them properly.

Posted on: Fri, 12/10/2021 - 00:05

Hey Roger! Hope you’re well! I have some questions. First, since I am doing workout at home gym, I have not some of the tools like barbells(!!!)including EZ Bar, chest dip, …
what would you suggest? Can I replace some of workouts with other workouts? Or you suggest me not to begin this plan?
Second regarding burn periods, how long should my approximate rest time be? Is this burning method helping getting bigger muscles?
Third, can doing supersets in this plan help to grow more muscles?
I’m sorry for asking so many questions! Thank you very much!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 12/10/2021 - 17:45

Hey Mesut, since I don't know what you do have, check out the Exercises section (link up at the top), and find movements to replace the listed exercises with those that you can do.

The burn periods should be as soon as possible. If after ten seconds, you can do more reps, do them. This is keeping your heart rate up, which is helping burn calories.

Third, supersets aren't meant for this type of workout, so while it would save time, it wouldn't be a big difference maker, if at all.

No problem about the questions. It's why we're here!

Posted on: Sun, 12/05/2021 - 21:40

I have a couple of questions. First I workout at home don’t have anywhere to do dips what would you suggest in place of that. Also I thought as a natural you are supposed to hit each bodypart at least twice a week so would it be ok to do an upper lower routine. And if so how would the program look. Thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 12/06/2021 - 18:02

Hi, Steve. What do you have in your home gym? I want to make sure I give you recommendations you can use.

No, you don't have to hit everything twice a week as someone who is natural. Follow the program as recommended(except the exercise you do instead of dips), and you'll see results.

Leonard bitetto
Posted on: Sun, 12/05/2021 - 12:31

Can you use this workout and add cardio to help lose some weight in the mid section.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 12/06/2021 - 18:00

Hey Leonard. You can add cardio, but you may notice that you get leaner all over. It's impossible to lose weight in one specific part of the body. Don't be surprised if you see definition in your arms or legs before your midsection.

Estevan Olivera
Posted on: Sun, 11/28/2021 - 19:28

I'm just about to begin this workout and I was just wondering if you can do supersets to save time? For example, alternate between back and biceps on great one.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 11/29/2021 - 19:31

Hi, Estevan. I wouldn't suggest doing back with biceps on supersets. Supersetting back with back and biceps with biceps would work though. Doing back with biceps in superset fashion will wear those biceps out quick, which could affect the back training negatively.

Posted on: Sun, 11/21/2021 - 02:36

Nice workout! Small question: how many seconds rest do I need to take between each set? Thank you in advance

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 11/22/2021 - 18:55

Hey Jacey, rest for 90 seconds between sets on this program.

Shaun Donoghue
Posted on: Sun, 10/03/2021 - 06:30

Hi Steve, any cardio on this plan? Sprints as a finisher? Or a cycle/walk/jog/hike in OFF day? Thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 10/14/2021 - 20:29

Hey Shaun, cardio could be added if you like. Walking or hiking would be best since the goal is to add mass. Walking or hiking on off days could help promote heart health and burn excess calories.

Anthony J Goodman
Posted on: Mon, 09/20/2021 - 16:15

I really like this workout. It is the best I have tried so far of the many I have done on M&S. I am just starting so I am not sure on the results but I feel the intense pump especially during burn periods. I do have a question. How is the barbell static hold done? Is this holding the bar in cur position? Is this laying in a press position. I have tried both and both seem effective. If M&S has other workouts with burn periods please link or suggest them.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 10/04/2021 - 21:28

Hey Anthony, yep. Hold the top of the curl. That is how a static hold is done.

Posted on: Wed, 09/15/2021 - 09:37

I was wondering if it’s okay and even beneficial to integrate at least one chest exercise when training for example legs. As long as I make sure to recover from chest day of course.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 09/23/2021 - 13:59

Hi, Jonatan. You could do pushups on leg day or with another workout. As you said, just make sure you recover from chest day properly.

Anthony J Goodman
Posted on: Fri, 09/10/2021 - 20:16

Can you clarify or describe the barbell static hold?? Is it just holding with arms extended down (deadlift style) is it holding in curled position??

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 09/23/2021 - 13:57

Hey Anthony, yep. Deadlift style. Hold it as long as you can up to the recommended max time. It will challenge your grip, arms, traps, core, back, and legs.

Posted on: Mon, 08/23/2021 - 17:39

-I do not like Seated Barbell Press, can i do Seated Dumbell Press instead?
-Gym in my town does not have tools for chest dip, what training can i do instead?