4 Day Power Muscle Burn Workout Split

4 Day Power Muscle Burn Workout Split
This building workout is designed to maximize Progression and muscle gains by hitting each muscle group with power sets, muscle sets and burn sets.

Workout Summary

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

Workout Description

Back in 1986 my mentor, Dr. Mike, taught me to train in multiple rep ranges. I was young, trusting and did what he said. After all, Dr. Mike was a big natural bodybuilder. And he was a professor. It just made sense to do what he said. Over the next 3 years I used his style of training and made amazing progress. I continued to use Dr Mike's training philosophies for nearly a decade, and they never let me down. This style of lifting made me big and strong. What more could you ask for?

This workout is based on the Dr. Mike system. I have tweaked it a bit over the years. I hope that you find some use for it, and if you do end up running it for 10+ years...well, feel free to make changes. No system is perfect unless you adapt it to your individual needs.

Dr. Mike was ahead of his time. He approached training routine design from a scientific standpoint in an era where everything was Weider Principles this and Weider Principles that. Simply stated, muscles tend to respond differently to different rep ranges. Dr. Mike believed that by training in all reasonable rep ranges, you could maximize muscle hypertrophy while boosting strength. This approach worked for me, and I hope it works for you.

For more information on the impact of rep ranges on hypertrophy, please read the article Hypertrophy and Muscle Growth.

For more information on the Power Muscle Burn training approach, please read:

The Power Muscle Burn System

My Power Muscle Burn training system will help you build muscle and strength by focusing on three different training approaches, all used in the same workout. You will be performing the following types of sets for each muscle group:

  1. Power. You will perform power sets to lead off the workout. Power sets are performed in the 3 to 5 rep range. Use the same weight for each of the sets. When you can perform 5 reps for all power sets, move up in weight. Major muscle groups will perform 2-4 power sets per workout, and minor muscle groups will perform 2 power sets per workout. Please note that for some minor muscle groups, power sets do not make sense, or they are not realistic. For example, it is difficult to perform extremely heavy resistance abdominal sets.
  2. Muscle. Muscle sets are performed in the 6 to 12 rep range. Use the same weight for each of the sets. When you hit the upper rep limit of 12 for all muscle sets, move up in weight. Major muscle groups will perform 4-6 total muscle sets in each workout, using 2 different exercises. Minor muscle groups will perform 2-4 total muscle sets in each workout, using 1 to 2 exercises. You can also perform a single exercise for 3 sets.
  3. Burn. You will perform 1-2 burn sets for each muscle group - generally using isolation movements. Pick a weight that allows you to hit 15 to 20 reps, and then perform 40 total reps. How? Do as many reps as possible, then take a slight rest and perform more reps. Rest only long enough to regain the energy and willpower to perform 1 to 3 more reps. Keep pushing yourself through the pain until you hit 40 total reps. When you can hit 25+ reps from the start without stopping, add weight. Major muscle groups will utilize 2 burn sets, minor muscle groups will use 1-2 burn sets.

Power Muscle Burn Notes

  • Failure - I do not recommend training to failure. Try to perform each set until you feel like you may fail on the next rep, then stop. It's ok if you occasionally fail on a set, but do not purposely try to train to failure on every set.
  • Progression - You must have the goal of progressing on every set of every workout. Sets performed with a half-hearted effort are wasted. If you lack energy or are pressed for time, it's better to perform fewer quality sets then it is to waste sets.
  • Splits - You can split this system numerous ways, but remember that training more then 4 days per week is generally not beneficial for natural bodybuilders. What is the best split? The one you will use and stick with.
  • Small Tweaks - What if I don't like training in the 6 to 12 rep range, and want to train in the 6 to 10 rep range? Then train in the 6 to 10 rep range. What if I don't like training in the 3 to 5 rep range? Then train in the 4 to 6 rep range. 40 burn reps are too difficult!? Then aim for 30 burn reps. Note: small tweaks are ok, as long as you are using the core mechanisms of this program. Don't obsess about the details - obsess about moving weight and getting bigger!
  • Alternating Exercises - It is not a bad idea to alternate exercises every other week. You can't possibly fit every exercise into every workout. For example: for muscle sets you could hit dumbbell bench presses one week and chest dips the next week.
  • Total Sets - It is better to start with the minimal amount of sets, and build in to this routine by adding sets if you find you need more work.
  • Calves - Please note that there are no power sets for calves. I am not convinced that calves respond effectively to lower rep training.
  • Quads - If you love pain, you can do a single 20 rep set of squats for your quad burn work.

4 Day Power Muscle Burn Split

The 4 Day Power Muscle Burn split:

Note: This is a sample template. Feel free to "swap" in any appropriate (and favorite) exercises.

Chest and Biceps
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press - Power 4 3 to 5
Incline Bench Press  - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Dumbbell Bench Press - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Dumbbell Flys - Burn 2 40
Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Pinwheel Curls - Power 2 3 to 5
Standing Barbell Curl  - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Cable Preacher Curl - Burn 1-2 40
Quads and Hamstrings
Quads
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat - Power 4 3 to 5
Leg Press  - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Front Squat - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Leg Press - Burn 2 40
Hamstrings
Exercise Sets Reps
Romanian Deadlift - Power 2-4 3 to 5
Romanian Deadlift or Leg Curl  - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Leg Curl - Burn 1 40
Shoulders and Triceps
Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Barbell Press - Power 4 3 to 5
Seated Arnold Press  - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Barbell Front Raise - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Dumbbell Lateral Raise - Burn 2 40
Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Closegrip Bench Press - Power 2 3 to 5
Seated French Press  - Muscle 2 6 to 12
EZ Bar Skullcrusher - Muscle 2 6 to 12
Cable Tricep Extension - Burn 1 40
Back, Calves and Abs
Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift - Power 2-4 3 to 5
Barbell Rows - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Lat Pull Down - Muscle 2-3 6 to 12
Seated Cable Row - Burn 2 40
Calves
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Calf Raise - Muscle 2-3 10 to 15
45 Degree Calf Raise  - Burn 2 40
Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
**Perform Ab work of choice***    

 

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3K Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 02/17/2014 - 06:57
Tomi

What about wrist curls? Are they needed?

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Posted Sun, 02/16/2014 - 00:48
Duffy

Hi Steve,
This my be highlighting my ignorance, but how is a deadlift related to a back workout? Also, can I add pull ups to back day too?
Thanks in advance for your tips,

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Posted Fri, 02/14/2014 - 11:00
Johnny

Hey I Steve I really like doing chest and triceps together. What do you think about swapping out triceps routine and combining it with chest and doing biceps with shoulders?

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Posted Sat, 02/08/2014 - 03:06
Pavel

Is it really enough to train each muscle group only 1 time per week?

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Posted Tue, 02/04/2014 - 00:28
Imran

Hey Steve, I love the workout, I've been doing the split for a while now. I was just wondering if it would be smart to try a new split that looks like this:
Monday- Chest/triceps
Tuesday-Legs
Wednesday-off
Thursday-Shoulders/abs/calves
Friday-Biceps/Back

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Posted Tue, 01/28/2014 - 21:44
Mathew C

Hey Steve, just curious, are the burn exercises purpose to burn body fat? Or is it body builder jargon for something else?

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Posted Thu, 01/23/2014 - 01:39
Wilson Sanchez

hey stevewould plyometrics go under burn or hypertrophy? or are they there own section?

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Posted Wed, 01/22/2014 - 14:55
adam

Steve can add exercises in the workout

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Posted Mon, 01/20/2014 - 15:12
henry

Could this be a good workout for basketball players for the off season and if so what in season workout could i also do? Im 15 years old.

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Posted Mon, 01/20/2014 - 14:45
Jay

Hi Steve,

I have started this routine and it is great. I know that you cannot cut fat and gain muscle at the same time. But I would like to see ab definition as well. Will this workout add ab definition along with a proper diet?

Would cardio be required?

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Posted Fri, 01/17/2014 - 17:10
George

Hey Steave! Your the best!
Can I do cardio with this routine? If so, when?

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Posted Thu, 01/16/2014 - 09:00
Marcus

If i do this routine can i get a body that's ripped like most celeberties, like Ryan Gosling. Or do you get a more bulk body?

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Posted Wed, 01/15/2014 - 12:14
Dave

Steve

Should I alternate all the exercises every other week or just one or two per day.

For example chest and bicep day. Should I keep the bench press but alternate the rest?

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Posted Tue, 01/07/2014 - 09:10
Bill

No shrugs?

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Posted Mon, 01/06/2014 - 14:43
Adam

Hi,

I'm regular 17 yrs old teen with experience in powerlifitng. I'm 188cm tall and weigh about 85 kgs. I used to workout at home, but my weight were to light so i decided to go to gym.
I wanna bulid muscle and lose fat that i have. I will follow your workout split but on the rest days i will do 30 - 45 min cardio.

Is that a good idea?

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Posted Mon, 01/06/2014 - 07:11
Luke

would swapping the (burn) cable preacher curl to (muscle) closed grip preacher curl, and (muscle) standing barbel to (burn) cable standing bar curl be just as effective?

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Posted Sun, 01/05/2014 - 07:16
Viktoras

Hello Steve. This program will grow up muscle mass good? For how much time i can use this program till change to another? Which exercises i should change/remove to alternative if i have a small problem with my back? Thank you. Also would be nice to get your contacts for live chat.

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Posted Thu, 01/02/2014 - 13:03
Yannick

Hi Steve can I do cardio workout every time I start this workout plan? Or would that be bad?

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Posted Tue, 12/31/2013 - 11:57
Wesley

hi Steve I have a question what's the best pre workout supplements

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Posted Sat, 12/28/2013 - 07:40
omri

Hi steve can I do chest/arms . Legs . Back/shoulder and on my 4th day to do chest again

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Posted Mon, 12/23/2013 - 18:08
Lisan

this is incredible Steve, thank you for sharing your knowledge

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Posted Sun, 12/22/2013 - 08:50
Ameen

Hey steve. Is only 2 muscle exercises for chest enough? Cuz i actually used to do 5 including drop and supersets ? And i actually would like to ask u some questions plz if i could add u on facebook or anything I'll be really thankful :)

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Posted Wed, 12/18/2013 - 01:22
Willy

Hey Steve,
I was just wondering from your personal opinion as an expert. What can I do to gain more mass ? I have an issue gaining weight, I'm averagely tall and slim with a weight of 160lbs. My goal is to pack on about 190lbs of muscles. I've been working out for years and all I get is stronger but the same body frame. Any advice ?

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Posted Sun, 12/22/2013 - 08:57
Ameen

Well im sorry but can i jump in? Wt kind of routines u have? (U've been doing) how much meaks and protiens u eat per day?

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Posted Wed, 12/11/2013 - 06:05
Bijendra

I want to do six days wokout in week please give me some idea which exercise should I do from Monday to Saturday

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Posted Wed, 12/11/2013 - 05:40
Bijendra

Can I do one exercise in one day is it ok for me

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Posted Tue, 12/10/2013 - 14:43
dan

Was wondering if a should be including the burn set if I am on a bulk?

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Posted Tue, 12/10/2013 - 10:25
juan diaz

Hey hi, how r u ..my names is J.D. and please if you can help me it would be so.gratful
The first set of 4 and 5 reps....should i start with the heaviest weight as
Long i can do 5 reps or how .....please...thanks.......so.much inlpveyour rutine thanks.

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Posted Tue, 12/10/2013 - 02:46
juan diaz

Hey hi, how r u ..my names is J.D. and please if you can help me it would be so.gratful
The first set of 4 and 5 reps....should i start with the heaviest weight as
Long i can do 5 reps or how .....please...thanks.......so.much inlpveyour rutine thanks.

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Posted Mon, 12/09/2013 - 07:44
Paul

I am and intermediate and want to build my muscle. I have started following this 4 day split routine from today.
Mon - chest/bicep
Tue - Hamstring/quads
wed - OFF or abs/cardio
Thu - shoulders/triceps
Fri - back/calves/abs.

As I know that the warm ups should be reflecting the muscles that are going to be worked out on that day, but I start with a treadmill run for 8-10 mins and then use the stretch machine in the gym which has got almost major muscles to be stretched on it, then the plank, glute bridge and then start my main workout for that day.

I am wondering whether it is OK to follow the same warm up principle for all the 4 day split routine or should I concentrate the stretching etc specifically based on the muscles to be worked on that particular day? Thanks.

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Posted Mon, 12/09/2013 - 04:25
nicolai

rear delts not even once ?

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Posted Wed, 12/04/2013 - 09:48
Derek

I did the back/lat workout two days ago. If my triceps are sore did I do the work out right?

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Posted Tue, 12/03/2013 - 15:07
husnain

hey Steve. Trying to put on mass, would using mass gainer be okay for this ?

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Posted Sun, 12/01/2013 - 08:12
TKDWarrior

Unless you're drug assisted or have freak genetics, I just don't see the usefulness of training each muscle group one time per week. I'd recommend Chad Waterbury's total body workout over this...no offense. Waterbury uses the same principles only with full body workouts. Much more practical and effective.

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Posted Fri, 11/29/2013 - 19:09
Ryan

THIS IS BADASS thanks man

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Posted Sat, 11/23/2013 - 16:41
Imran

Hi guys, I've been doing this workout for a few weeks now, I just wanted to know if this is a good workout for losing weight and gaining muscle?

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Posted Fri, 11/15/2013 - 21:14
Joe Alessi

Can I down load the work out to my laptop so I can take it with me to the gym?

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Posted Thu, 11/14/2013 - 02:21
JB

Looks good. Gonna get stuck into it next week. Ok to do abs more than once a week ? Is 2 or 3 times too much ?

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Posted Sat, 11/09/2013 - 20:35
Lloyd

I'm a sophomore in highschool and my baseball coach said I need to pack on some more mass. Will this workout be good for me. I also, want to try and stay lean

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Posted Mon, 11/04/2013 - 17:36
DK

Hi Steve, just started this program today. I read through the guide on here about different types of hypertrophy and I'm left wondering, why would you ever want to do 40 reps on anything if going over 15 is supposedly reducing hypertrophy?

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Posted Mon, 11/04/2013 - 16:39
Brandon

Quick question,

Is it okay to substitute Deadlifts with pull-ups for my power sets? I injured my back a while ago and although I love deadlifts, they aren't the right excersize for me right now. If not, can you maybe suggest another excersize that I can use. Thanks in advance.

Brandon

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Posted Mon, 11/04/2013 - 10:07
dale robinson

Hi, I may have missed it but could see no reference to the rest intervals between sets, I am doing 30 seconds as that's what I did with my previous training cycle. Any opinions/abuse welcome :)

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Posted Mon, 11/04/2013 - 05:49
Kyle

Is this good for cutting or just for bulking?

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Posted Sun, 11/03/2013 - 01:43
jose

how do i determined the weight to use on each set?????

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Posted Fri, 11/01/2013 - 09:23
jeff

In the burn sets, say you are able to do 20 reps and decide to rest for 10 seconds... During this period, do you retain the tension on the muscles by holding on to the weights?

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Posted Wed, 10/30/2013 - 07:40
Ashraf

is it possible if i do it like this

Day 1 - Chest and Biceps
Day 2 -Quads and Hamstrings
Day 3 - Back, Calves and Abs
Day 4 -OFF
Day 5 - Shoulders and Triceps
Day 6 - OFF
Day 7 - OFF

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Posted Tue, 10/29/2013 - 10:48
Ramjet

Hey Steve, I’m very excited about this new approach, a friend of mine has achieved great results in just two weeks by following this, I’m starting next week with this routine but I have some doubts about the Dead lifting I heard that with time damages the lower back bones, I would highly appreciate your professional opinion on this one, and also what other exercise can I do that have the same or similar results as the dead lifting.

Thanks.

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Posted Mon, 10/28/2013 - 17:43
Andrew

How would I adjust the exercises so that I'm working each muscle group 2x a week?

I'm afraid that training each muscle group only once a week will lead to detraining.
Thanks!

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Posted Mon, 10/28/2013 - 16:33
Jim

Steve,
Just started your routine in the last few weeks and like the results so far! I have had lower disc surgery years ago and am careful with my back. I have concerns with the squats and some of the back exercises as well. Just want to protect my disc. Can you give me some alternative exercises in each routine? Still want the results that this routine should give. I would appreciate your help and thanks again for sharing this routine.

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Posted Mon, 10/28/2013 - 11:04
Tony

Hi there, I've been doing weights for a few months, a programme set by a gym instructor. However, this one seems like a good workout I'd like to have a shot at. One thing, and probably a stupid question, but when you say power sets, does this mean to life as heavy weight as you can life for fewer reps? Reason I ask is that on another website is says power sets involve lighter weights but more and faster reps? Thanks