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

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.

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1K Comment
Yuri Nieuwoudt
Posted on: Sun, 02/25/2024 - 04:01

Hi, I just wanted to know if the days are set out in a specific order for a reason i.e. maximising rest time between different muscle groups etc.

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 02/25/2024 - 07:13

Hi Yuri, yes. This plan is to maximize effectiveness, recovery, and puts you in the best position to succeed.

Istiaq Ahmed
Posted on: Fri, 02/23/2024 - 15:47

Can I lose fat with these workouts? I've at this workout for a while now and it fits my routine and I've been enjoying quite a lot.

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 02/25/2024 - 07:12

You can as long as the diet and recovery are also based on your fat loss goals.

Max
Posted on: Thu, 02/22/2024 - 15:18

I love this work out plan. Is there a similar version which can all be done at Planet Fitness. I found a 4-5 day version of planet fitness in another post, but those seem to be at a beginner level compared to this intermediate/advanced.

Thank you for putting in so much hard work in crafting these.

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 02/25/2024 - 07:11

This can be done at PF, Max! I don't know if all PF locations are the same, but find the machines that your location has that work similar muscle groups and make the switches. When you do, let us know how you made the changes. Your experience may help others here. Thanks for the question and reading M&S!

Elliott
Posted on: Wed, 02/21/2024 - 13:06

Why is this program only recommended for 12 weeks? What would I do after this program after running it for 12 weeks?

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 02/24/2024 - 07:38

The author felt that after 12 weeks, you would need to switch to a different style of training to prevent burnout. You can find a new program here.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-choose-your-next-train...

If you really like this one, give yourself a one-two week break and run it again.

Ryan Burke
Posted on: Tue, 02/20/2024 - 12:51

What is the recommended test between sets?

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 02/24/2024 - 07:36

Standard sets is 90 seconds rest. BURN sets is absolute bare minimum during that five minutes.

Andre G
Posted on: Fri, 02/16/2024 - 04:35

Now,this looks like a good workout. Thanks a lot. Might be the best split on this site for this level

Aksel
Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2024 - 12:38

Sorry if it is a dumb question, but what does "burn" mean with reps?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 02/15/2024 - 18:39

His meaning for burn in this program is written in the description for the five minute periods in the article. That term only applies to this routine.

Jeremiah
Posted on: Mon, 01/08/2024 - 15:45

Thanks for this routine, I’m looking to try it over the next few weeks. However, I noticed that there’s nothing tor the abs, what abs programs can I add to this and what schedule will you recommend?

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 01/09/2024 - 20:52

We have a lot for you to choose from, Jeremiah. Any of these should work well along with this program.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/abs

Vasya
Posted on: Mon, 01/08/2024 - 14:19

Hi, just started this workout split and its great, just wondering if I need to be doing these exercises in order listed or at random as long as I get everything in a set day done?

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 01/09/2024 - 20:51

Going in the listed order is recommended, but I understand gyms are set up differently. As long as the first exercise remains first, change them up if you need to.

Katie
Posted on: Thu, 12/28/2023 - 15:28

How effective is this workout for a woman? and is is ok to add an ab exercise at the end of each lift day?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 12/28/2023 - 21:20

It would be a great choice for women, and you sure can add in ab work at the end of each lifting day. If you run it, let us know how it goes.

Thanks for reading M&S, Katie!

Rizz
Posted on: Tue, 12/26/2023 - 19:40

Hi Muscleandstrength team,
First of all, thanks a lot for creating this routine. This is the best bodypart split i found in the internet. Really enjoy doing it and can see some positive result to my muscle building journey.
Just 1 question, can i add another day specifically for arms? Plan to train arms twice a week. If can, when is the best day to schedule the arms day and can u suggest any arms rroutine that i can follow?
Thanks.

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2023 - 19:51

Hi, Rizz. Glad you like the program. Shoot for arms after day 5 but make sure that following day is a complete day off. Hope this helps!

Rizz
Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2023 - 23:09

Thanks a lot for your response. Really appreciate it. Can u suggest any suitable arms routine available from this website?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 12/28/2023 - 21:20

Well, I may be biased, but I like this one. It was written by some random guy. :)

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/3-giant-sets-for-giant-arms

Rizz
Posted on: Fri, 12/29/2023 - 07:17

Thanks a lot "random guy";)
Really appreciate it.
Will give this a try for sure.

Joe
Posted on: Thu, 12/07/2023 - 18:32

Hey just hoping to see what starting weight we should be hitting these at. Additionally, how much rest in between?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2023 - 19:50

For the sets of 5, you could start with 75% of your 1RM and adjust if that is too easy.

60-90 seconds rest between sets.

Joe
Posted on: Sun, 12/03/2023 - 22:17

Hey there! Looking for some insight on what percent of my 1RM I need to start out on these workouts. Also, how many pounds should we be adding each week, ideally?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2023 - 19:49

This program isn't based on 1RM, but if you need a suggestion, start with 75% for the sets of 5. As for pounds, some weeks you may add a few, some none at all. Just stay consistent and the overall gains will come.

Steve
Posted on: Sun, 12/03/2023 - 22:03

Hi I have a couple of questions. I basically have a bench and bands and adjustable dumbbells. That go up to 90 pounds. What would you recommend in place of dips don’t have a dip bar. Can do bench with dumbbells so if I do flat with dumbbells and incline with dumbbells. Should I still do the 5 minute burn flat with dumbbells or can I replace it with something else

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2023 - 19:48

Go with pushups, Steve. You can go close grip to shift the focus to triceps if you want. If you don't feel that is enough, then do the dumbbell bench work as you suggested.

Morshed
Posted on: Sun, 11/12/2023 - 08:29

Is the 5 minute burn part necessary? Will I still get gains if i skip that part and do all the rest?

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 11/19/2023 - 19:06

For this program to be as effective as possible, the burn part is necessary.

Caleb
Posted on: Sat, 11/11/2023 - 10:16

Sorry if you already answered this, but for the barbell static hold, is the bar loaded? Or am I just doing the 45lb bar? And if it is loaded how do I know his much to put on?

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 11/19/2023 - 19:05

Hi, Caleb. Load the bar with light weight in the beginning. Once you understand how your body is responding, add the weight you feel would provide a challenge next time.

Scott
Posted on: Thu, 11/09/2023 - 06:37

Hi Team,

Is there a reason why this workout doesn't include any core specific exercises? Is it because the program is designed to target the core via the compound movement patterns?

If I wanted to include some core specific activities, any days you would recommend adding them in? Any that should be specifically avoided?

Many thanks!

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 11/19/2023 - 19:04

Hi, Scott. Thanks for reading M&S!

Can't answer why there are no core workouts included, but you can certainly do them on your own. We have plenty for you to choose from here. Add these in any days you like as long as you have one complete off day a week.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/abs

Nico
Posted on: Mon, 10/23/2023 - 04:06

Hey Muscle and Strength Team
I have been loving this Workout for the last 8 Weeks. I have seen a lot of progress and continue to like this program.
Is it possible for me to still run with it?
I like the Training Split and especially the 5 Mins Burners.
I would change up some exercise variations that I like more and that makes me lift pain free. Is that possible? If not, an explanation why and what I should do instead would be great!
Thanks a lot!

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 10/23/2023 - 20:38

Hi Nico, feel free to run this as long as you continue seeing progress. I also am a big advocate for making swaps to prevent injuries. So, if it's pain and not simply muscle soreness, make the changes. What did you have in mind?

Kevin
Posted on: Tue, 10/17/2023 - 17:25

Hello what is AMAP*?

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 10/23/2023 - 20:36

As Many As Possible. Or AMRAP - As Many Reps As Possible

Chris
Posted on: Sat, 09/16/2023 - 10:34

I need some clearification on Day 5. The hammer strength press seems to be identical movements as the seated barbell press (first exercise).

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 09/26/2023 - 20:14

They are indeed, Chris. Some machines may have the vertical handles, which can help isolate the front delt. If you're concerned about all the pressing, swap in front raises.

Chris
Posted on: Sat, 09/16/2023 - 09:49

When practical I feel drop sets are better than AMRAP. Thoughts?

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 09/26/2023 - 20:13

They both have their place, Chris. If you prefer the drop sets, then by all means go for it. AMRAP can help with strength and endurance, though.

Robert
Posted on: Wed, 09/13/2023 - 07:55

Hi there! Just starting this workout and it good. Just wondering about the number of sets for the Deadlift set to 2. Is this a typo? I assume it should be 3 sets. If not, any reason in particular why?
Thanks!

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 09/26/2023 - 20:13

Hi, Robert. My understanding is this is intentional, but I am not sure of the reason. I don't imagine it would be a problem to do the third set if you like.

Snir Kandalker
Posted on: Mon, 09/04/2023 - 14:37

hello.
im plannimg to have this program in a month after ill be done with my current 12 weeks programm. i have 2 questions that ill be glad if you could aid me with:

1) can i add a day in which i do cardio (sprinting\inline skating\swimming) and do an abb+glute exercises (3 isolation exercises to each group) if not ill be glad for an advice about working the glute min+med+max in this program as well abs?

2) the barbell row is in my current programm and was in some previous programms.and it doesnt really work for me.

(with the barbell, i dont like that exercise and i never mastered the movment, never felt that that one is pushing me).
can i replace it with a lat focus exercise (i was thinking the medicine Ball Figure 8 Slam mentioned in the lats exercise section in this website).

thanks in advance

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2023 - 19:57

Hi Snir. You can certainly do cardio and an abs/glutes day.

I like the figure 8 slam but I think you need another row movement. Have you considered a machine row or T-Bar?

Arnaud
Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2023 - 12:02

After 3 weeks, i’ve already done a lot of progress, it’s a great workout. Nevertheless, i just wanted to know if i can place the chest workout before the back workout because i feel tired when i do the back before. Finally, after 8 weeks what other workout do you suggest to take place of this one ? Thank you

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 09/05/2023 - 19:50

Hello, Arnaud. Thanks for reading M&S. You can make the switch if you like. As for the next program, this could help.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-choose-your-next-train...