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4 Day Workout Program to Build Serious Mass

4 Day Workout Program to Build Serious Mass
Got a goal to build some serious mass this summer? This workout might be the perfect one for you. But leg day haters beware - this workout has 2 leg days!

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
8 weeks
45-60 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
Male & Female

Workout Description

It’s all about the mass, am I right?

If you’re looking to gain muscle mass over the next couple of months, this high volume workout is perfect for you.

The program includes 2 leg days, because as we all know your legs are the strongest muscle group in your body. Which means, they can lift heavier weight than your other muscle groups.

Why is this important? Because muscle protein synthesis is elevated for 48-72 hours after heavy resistance training1! In simpler terms, the extra leg day could help you gain more mass.

When performing this program, you’ll want to take 0-90 seconds of rest in between each set, superset, or triset.

Ideally, to gain mass, you’ll want to be in a ~250-500 calorie surplus. Use our BMR calculator here to figure out your daily maintenance calories and then add your desired amount of surplus calories to that total.

If you’d like to add cardio to the program, you are more than welcome to. Just be sure to account for the extra volume when you’re figuring out how many calories you should eat daily.

Give the program a shot for 6-8 weeks before taking a week to deload, track your progress, reassess your goals, and progress to another workout cycle.

If you have any questions or comments, reach out to us in the comments section below. We’re more than happy answer them and help you get another step closer to accomplishing your goals.

Monday - Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Squat 4 10-12
2. Walking Lunge 3 10 each leg
3. Leg Press 3 10-12
4a. Goblet Squat 3 15
4b. Leg Extension 3 15
4c. Leg Curl 3 15
5. Calf Raise 3 20
Tuesday - Chest and Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Bench Press 4 10-12
2. Dumbbell Incline Bench 4 12
3a. Hammer Strength Incline Press 3 15
3b. Pec Deck 3 12
4a. Standing Dumbbell Press 3 15
4b. Lateral Raise 3 15
4c. Front Raise 3 15
Wednesday - Back and Arms
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Pull Up 4 10-12
2. Dumbbell Row 4 12
3. Hammer Strength Row 4 10
4. Lat Pull Down 3 15
5a. Cable Curls 3 12
5b. Rope Pushdown 3 12
6a. Hammer Curls 3 12
6b. Dips 3 12
Friday - Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Deadlift 4 10-12
2. Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 4 10-12
3. Plie Squats 3 12
4a. Standing Hamstring Curl 3 15
4b. Reverse Lunge 3 15
5. Calf Raises 3 20
  1. MacDougall, J. D., Gibala, M. J., Tarnopolsky, M. A., MacDonald, J. R., Interisano, S. A., & Yarasheski, K. E. (1995). The time course for elevated muscle protein synthesis following heavy resistance exercise. Canadian journal of applied physiology, 20(4), 480-486.

22 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 08/03/2017 - 01:02

How could I incorporate traps and abs. With which workouts and what should I do?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 08/03/2017 - 11:58

Hi Ali,

There are a number of ways you could add abs and traps to this program. You could add a few ab workouts to the end of your leg days and/or on M/W/F simply by adding a few sets of ab isolation exercises. For some ideas, start here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/abs

For traps, you could incorporate them on either the day you work shoulders or the day you work back. Add a couple sets of trap isolation exercises. For some ideas, check these out: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/traps

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 07/31/2017 - 18:21

Hey Josh
What should the tempo of each lift be?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 08/01/2017 - 09:36

Hi Cameron,

A 2/0/2 rep tempo is thought to be ideal to maximize time under tension during hypertrophy lifts.

Hope this helps! If you're giving the program a try, let us know how it goes!

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Posted Sat, 07/08/2017 - 16:50
Kevin Hynes

What's a Plie squat ??

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/10/2017 - 10:06

Hi Kevin,

Below is a link to a good demonstration vid.


Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 06/24/2017 - 14:07
Alden Miller

What percentage of max would be good for most of the exercises?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/26/2017 - 09:24

Hi Alden,

Shoot for 75-85% of your 1RM on all exercises within this program.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 06/17/2017 - 18:26

Why is back and arms combine for one day?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/19/2017 - 10:01

Hi Boa,

Arms and back are on the same day to make this program a 4 day split that allows for 2 leg days.

You're more than welcome to have them each on their own day. To do this you can either add a workout day to make this a 5 day split or trade out one of the leg days for an arm day (however, I would not recommend this option).

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 06/13/2017 - 16:24
Luke Hawkins


I'm just wondering why some exercises are labelled 4a, 4b, 4c as opposed to there being just a list of 1,2,3,4.

Many thanks.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/14/2017 - 10:05

Hi Luke,

Those represent supersets or trisets.

So you'll perform exercises 4a, 4b, and 4c one right after another without any rest in between exercises before taking a rest period in between the triset.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 06/14/2017 - 18:15
Luke Hawkins

Ah many thanks!

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Posted Sun, 06/04/2017 - 23:55
Vandit Jain

nutrition overview?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/05/2017 - 10:06

Hi Vandit,

Find out your BMR here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

To build muscle add ~250-500 calories a day and make sure you eat enough protein to recover from your workouts and enough carbs to fuel your workouts.

Hope this helps!

No Profile Pic
Posted Sun, 06/04/2017 - 21:42

Hey what about abs? Which day should I do them?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/05/2017 - 10:04

Hi Dan,

While you'll get enough indirect core work, you're more than welcome to add in additional direct core work if you feel it is necessary and will help you reach your goals. I've provided a link to our ab workouts page below. Feel free to add one to the tail end of your preferred workout days or on rest days.


Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 06/05/2017 - 10:09

Thanks Josh, I'm starting this workout today so perhaps i'll be doing abs on friday then.


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Posted Sun, 06/04/2017 - 10:44
David Marchant

?I am very interested in trying this soon when I start a lean bulk. I want to gain weight very slowly so it's mostly muscle and not fat. I know that has a lot to do with being in a slight calorie surplus and not overeating too much. I have a question though. What amount of resting between sets should a person do on this program? 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, etc.?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/05/2017 - 10:02

Hi David,

Keep rest periods between 45-60 seconds.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 07/09/2017 - 00:17
David Marchant

Now I've completed 3 weeks of the program and I must say, "Wow, it's hard." The worst day for me is Friday because after deadlifts, I'm exhausted and the other leg exercises are hard as well particularly the reverse lunges (Yuck!) I've been doing some light cardio on Thursday and Saturday to keep fat gain at a minimum. So far, my weight has stayed pretty constant but I've been steadily making gains on the amount of weight I'm lifting. I'm most proud of 32.5lb. weighted dips. I'm going to try the 35lb. plate next week on dips.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/10/2017 - 10:13

Hi David,

That's awesome dude! That's what you want, gains without the weight/fat gain.

Don't be afraid to bump the calories up slightly (~250 cals) if you want to push the needle on the scale, especially if your goal is to increase your mass. Slight increases to your calorie intake while resistance training will help you increase your lean muscle mass and minimize any fat gain.

Keep up the good work!