4 Day Maximum Mass Workout

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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

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

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.

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.

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4 Day Maximum Mass Workout Split

Day 1
Back and 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 and Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 3 6-10
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 8-12
Chest Dip 3 AMAP*
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
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

*AMAP = As many as possible.

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

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572 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Wed, 04/05/2017 - 02:04
Abdullah Al-Ghamdi

Your suggested plan seems amazing but I have a little problem. I'm only able to workout four successive days and then take three days rest. Would it be as beneficial as your plan?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 04/05/2017 - 09:11
JoshEngland

Hi Abdullah,

Although it's not ideal, you could perform this program in that manner if that is the only way your schedule allows you to.

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Posted Wed, 04/05/2017 - 09:35
Abdullah Al-Ghamdi

Thanks. I have one more question if you allow me. What supplements do you suggest to enhance the results? And on what basis should I take them and at what time? Thanks again for your prompt reaponses.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 04/05/2017 - 10:02
JoshEngland

Hi Abdullah,

You're welcome! Supplementing is highly individualize, so it's difficult to state which supplements will help you with your goals definitively. Below is a link to an article that recommends some good starting points. Also below is a link to our deals and coupons page where you'll be able to find some of those recommendations on sale.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/absolute-beginner-guide-bodyb...

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/store/promos.html

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 04/08/2017 - 05:12
Abdullah Al-Ghamdi

Good morning bro. I tried to modify my program and found it possible to exercise on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. What is the best program I can follow in your openion? Many thanks for your helpful information.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/10/2017 - 09:46
JoshEngland

Hi Abdullah,

It comes down to really what you prefer and enjoy to do. Do you like traditional body part splits? Than the page you're currently on is a great program to test out.

Personally, I enjoy hitting upper/lower programs. They work each body part twice in a week. Below is a link to one of our more popular upper/lower templates:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/phul-workout

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Posted Fri, 03/17/2017 - 16:13
amine

for how many should i stick to this program a month or two?

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Posted Sun, 03/12/2017 - 12:39
Arms

I would like to have an arm day, can you get one in somewhere without fcking up recovery?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/13/2017 - 09:49
JoshEngland

Sure, just rearrange the days around.

Monday - Chest & Triceps
Tueday - Back & Biceps
Wednesday - Shoulders, Traps, Forearms
Thur- off
Friday - Legs
Sat - ARM DAY!!!!!
Sun - Off

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 03/02/2017 - 03:11
alvin

how about abs??

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 03/02/2017 - 09:27
JoshEngland

Hi Alvin,

You can add abdominal/core work to the tailend of these workouts if you'd like. Check out our full database of core workouts here:

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

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Posted Fri, 02/24/2017 - 20:24
Jonathan

what style of workout do we use for this routine? Straight set, drop set, etc. Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/27/2017 - 09:09
JoshEngland

Hi Jonathan,

Straight sets for the exercises with prescribed rep ranges, as many reps as possible (to failure) on all sets with AMRAP listed, and timed sets for "burn out" sets.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 02/27/2017 - 20:33
Jonathan

Perfect and thank you. One last question.... How long should we run this routine before a deload period?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 02/28/2017 - 09:01
JoshEngland

Hi Jonathan,

You're welcome. I'd say 6-8 weeks is a good amount of time to run a program before taking a deload and reviewing progress.

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Posted Tue, 02/21/2017 - 22:37
Ryan Grande

This program looks great, I'll be starting it next week. Two quick questions I'm hoping to have answered before then by someone more knowledgeable than myself :)
1) After a 5 minutes burn lift do you take a longer rest than the typical 60-90 seconds between the next lift or no?
2) Is a Static Barbell burn set performed the same way? Heavy enough that you can only hold it for 12-15 seconds. Take a quick break, pick it up, break, pick it up, etc... or is it hold for 5 consecutive minutes?
Thank you for your time!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 02/22/2017 - 09:14
JoshEngland

Hi Ryan,

1.The exercises after most burn sets are targeting a different muscle group. 60-120 seconds should be a sufficient amount of time to transition to the next lift while recovering from the set.

2. Yes, burn sets should be performed with a weight you can normally get 12-15 reps with.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 02/13/2017 - 12:27
Hossein

Hi
Thanks for sharing this post
How many sets for a muscle needed?

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Posted Thu, 02/02/2017 - 07:01
Reza

Hi
what about the rest times ??

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 02/02/2017 - 11:12
JoshEngland

Hi Reza,

Keep rest intervals to 60-90 seconds in between sets.

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Posted Thu, 02/02/2017 - 06:57
Reza

Hi
I wanted to know the exact meaning of 12-15 or 8-12 meaning
Does it mean i should start with 12 reps and at the last set end it with 15
Or it means it deponds on me to pick a number between 8 to 12
Begineer questions::))));;;)))

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 02/02/2017 - 11:11
JoshEngland

Hi Reza,

It just a suggested range to aim for. Typically I use it as a form of progression. Like I'll start off on the low end of the rep range and try to add 1 rep each week I do the workout, once you hit 15 or 12, increase the weight and start over.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 01/26/2017 - 12:30
Tim

Hi,

Do we not have anything for the abs? On which day I should have it?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 01/26/2017 - 12:37
JoshEngland

Hi Tim,

You are more than welcome to add ab exercises or workouts to the end of these workouts. Check out our entire database of ab workouts for a better idea of a core workout program.

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

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Posted Thu, 01/12/2017 - 15:02
Tom

I've been lifting recreationally for 10 years and like this workout. Each day takes about an hour which is perfect. The 5 minute burn sets are daunting at first but effective to get every last drop of pump out of your muscle. My bench press plateaued low for some reason but that's likely to me being soft and not the actual workout. Thanks for posting.

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Posted Thu, 11/10/2016 - 08:54
EveryKneeShallBow

My workout plan is almost exactly like this minus the lunges. Just procrastinating on the deadlift until I get my own belt. I'm getting major results! I've been lifting consistently for a year and a half with several weeks of breaks in between. Rest is a necessity, you will go back feeling energized and lift more. God Bless

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Posted Sun, 10/30/2016 - 22:49
Jason

Honestly this workout is way too much. You don't need this long of a workout to get a good lift. 5 minute burn set? That said absolutely ridiculous.

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Posted Mon, 10/31/2016 - 14:39
nathan

Hey Brah,
What are your measurements and level of knowledge? "Absolutely Ridiculous" sounds a little strong. I've been doing this workout for the last few weeks and find it quite appropriate.

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Posted Tue, 09/27/2016 - 08:53
DaveDavidson

I am enjoying this workout a lot, i was wondering instead of doing monday, tuesday, thursday, friday.

Would it be just as effective to do monday, wednesday, friday, and sunday, giving me a days rest between most workouts?? As i sometimes find going to the gym the day after a bit counter productive, especially if I've pushed myself the day before and my muscles ares still sore.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 09/27/2016 - 09:14
JoshEngland

Dave,

Absolutely man. You can definitely split this routine up in that fashion.

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Posted Mon, 09/05/2016 - 10:19
paul pastor

3rd comment with no answer for cardio or not cardio after this workout?!?!

Muscleand strength website. Raise your game please.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 09/06/2016 - 09:17
JoshEngland

Paul,

If you wish to add in cardio and do not feel that it will affect your recovery, then you may add in cardio to this program.

Everyone is different. Some may be able to add cardio to this and be able to recover just fine for their next workout. Others may have a slower recovery time and won't benefit from the additional stress cardio provides.

So, yes. You can add in cardio. If you feel it is affecting your performance in the weight room then lower the frequency, duration, or remove it from the program all together.

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Posted Wed, 08/31/2016 - 13:05
Paul

Does anyone know if your meant to follow this work out with cardio? And if so how long?

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Posted Tue, 08/30/2016 - 14:58
Paul

Hi are you meant to do cardio after this workout?
I normally do a 20 minute cross trainer or hit the heavy bag.

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Posted Mon, 08/29/2016 - 00:51
Rayhan

Looks great except there's no abs

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Posted Fri, 08/12/2016 - 10:50
fra

Yeah this is all amazing but pretty useless if nobody cares about answering our questions

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Posted Mon, 10/17/2016 - 10:57
Valhalla

Its a free program

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Posted Tue, 07/12/2016 - 15:24
Allen

I have a question regarding the muscle group split in this routine. Would it still be effective if I combined chest and bicep on day 1. And then back with triceps. Would that would as long as I place them a few days apart to allow for proper rest?
For example:
Chest/biceps
Legs
Rest
Shoulders/traps
Back/triceps

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Posted Sat, 07/23/2016 - 10:19
David

Yes, that would be fine. I prefer training chest and biceps together and then back and triceps on another day when doing a four day split like this. You're right about having a few days rest in between those two workouts.

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Posted Sun, 05/22/2016 - 09:23
kobi

how long should each exercise take??

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Posted Fri, 04/22/2016 - 04:13
Dave

Is this routine optimal, most people suggest working a muscle x2 a week is optimal and your routine is a ''bro split'

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Posted Sun, 05/08/2016 - 12:17
Guillermo

I know dude you know what I'm thinking of doing the exact same workout but rearranging it to where I work it twice.
Like
back triceps
Legs
Chest bicep / shoulders
Rest and repeat.
I'm doing chest bi and back tri so that my bis and tris ain't already burned out by the time I get to them. What do you think bro?

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Posted Wed, 04/20/2016 - 20:36
Guillermo

Absolutely love the workout . I'm used to working out push pull legs twice a week will switching to this workout benefit or hurt me though since I'm used to working each muscle twice a week?

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Posted Sat, 04/09/2016 - 19:19
Ryan Campbell

I love the routine however I have a bad rotator cuff and my dr told me not to do over head presses and this essentially has 3 of them. Is there something I can replace them with

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Posted Mon, 03/14/2016 - 11:45
Joe

Awesome stuff. will try this from Tom.

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Posted Tue, 02/16/2016 - 11:01
Ethan

Hi there!

Just wondering how do you circumvent the 5 minute burn set when you're working out in a crowded gym and it is quite obvious you have to share your weight/machine with others? Can you split it into multiple rep-till-failures set or something?

Cheers,
Ethan

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Posted Mon, 02/22/2016 - 03:48
Fredrik

Just do it with two dumbbells instead. I doubt it's that crowded that you can't even snag a pair of dumbbells or a barbell for 5 mins. Usually when I do squats or deadlifts I hold the station for about 15 mins counting warmup sets.

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Posted Tue, 11/17/2015 - 00:49
josue

can I do close grip pulldown instead of one arm row so I can do two row and two pulldowns?

MikeWines's picture
Posted Tue, 11/17/2015 - 09:44
MikeWines

Horizontal rowing would be more beneficial than vertical rowing given the large pressing volume that's present so no, I wouldn't recommend it Josue.

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Posted Wed, 10/21/2015 - 01:51
Synx

Is it okay to change position of exercise in the list. For example it seems to me that i cant do pull ups AS many AS i could. Normally i can do weighted pull ups given reps in this routine.

Thank you.