- Main GoalBuild Muscle
- Workout TypeSplit
- Training LevelIntermediate
- Program Duration6 weeks
- Days Per Week4
- Time Per Workout60-75 minutes
- Equipment RequiredBarbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines
- Target Gender Male & Female
- Workout PDF Download Workout
It’s that time of year again.
We’ve just collectively completed another rotation around the sun and motivation is fresh in everyone.
And you know what? This year is your year!
I know we’ve said this every single year for the past umpteen years, but I truly believe this year is the year that we return to the glory of those athletic and aesthetic teenage/early 20’s years.
Through careful programming and a focus on muscle groups that tend to be lacking in those who’re coming off a brief lifting hiatus, we’re going to set you up with a clear path to fitness success to start off this New Year.
So, whether it’s been days or even weeks since you’ve last seen the inside of a weight room, get ready to make your grandest return and be prepared to build back up your lean muscle mass with the “Muscle Rebound” workout program.
About the Muscle Rebound Workout
The Muscle Rebound workout is the perfect workout for both those looking to return to the gym after a short stint away or even those who’re just looking to fix common lagging muscle groups that a lot of lifters experience.
As most weight lifting programs, the workout includes an excellent blend of both general strength training as well as hypertrophy training. The program is set up as such to encourage performance gains in some of your compound lifts, but also lean muscular gains to assist you in building your goal physique.
Related: Fast Mass Program - The 4 Day Superset Split Workout
The Muscle Rebound workout is a 4-day split workout. Why 4 days? While some people can get away with 5, 6, or every day of the week splits, I’ve found keeping resistance training between 3-4 days a week to be the most practical for the general fitness enthusiast.
The first three days are best done on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. After completing the first three days of the program, take a rest day to recover before attacking the fourth and final day on Friday.
The first three days of the week encompass your generic pull/push/legs split with a focus on hip hinge exercises on both the pull and leg days. The final day of the week is a full body day with another heavy emphasis on legs.
The workout is broken down further into heavy compound lifts and accessory lifts. Some of the accessory lifts will include both body weight exercises and explosive body weight exercises. I’m a big believer in being able to not only control the weight on the bar but also the weight on your body.
The Muscle Rebound Workout Program
Monday - Pull Day
|3. Hammer Strength Row||4||10|
|4. Glute Ham Raises||3||10|
|5a. Dumbbell Curls||3||10|
|5b. Hammer Curls||3||10|
Tuesday - Push Day
|1. Dumbbell Bench Press||4||5|
|2. Barbell Military Press||3||5|
|3a. Plyo Pushups||4||12|
|3b. Lateral Raises||4||12|
|4. Face Pulls||3||12-15|
|5. Tricep Dips||3||10|
Wednesday - Leg Day
|1. Back Squat||4||5|
|2. Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift||4||10|
|3. Dumbbell Lunge||3||10-12|
|4. Squat Jump||3||10|
|5. Single Leg Curl||3||10-12|
|6a. Seated Calf Raise||3||12|
|6b. Standing Calf Raise||3||12|
Friday - Full Body
|1. Sumo Deadlift||4||5|
|3. Goblet Squat to OHP||4||12|
|4. Split Squats||3||10-12|
|5. Incline Dumbbell Press||3||10|
|6a. Barbell Curl||3||10|
|7. Band Pulls||3||10|
Breaking down the sets, reps, and rest
You’ll probably notice that there is a decent amount of both volume and intensity within the “Muscle Rebound” workout.
The goal with this program, as with any, is to optimize the total amount of workload within the workout, pair it with the appropriate amount of rest, before attacking it again to cause muscle growth.
Each of the large muscles on every working day is targeted between 12-15 total sets. On the other hand, the smaller muscle groups are targeted either directly or indirectly with 6-8 total sets.
The rep ranges for these sets vary based on the exercise performed. You’ll perform all of the compound lifts for 5 reps per set to elicit mechanical stress, which is directly correlated with strength gains1.
The remaining lifts are going to be your accessory lifts and will be performed within a 10-15 rep range to help promote muscle hypertrophy. The reason for the higher rep ranges is it will keep the muscle under a longer duration of tension creating a larger amount of muscle damage.
The more muscle damage that is created and the longer the muscle is under tension, the greater the hypertrophic response will be (to a certain extent)2. All in all, this means more gains for you bro!
Related: The Total Package - A Full Body Strength & Hypertrophy Workout
You’ll want to take longer rest periods during your heavier compound sets to ensure you recover properly between sets. Make sure to take between 3-5 minutes between each of these sets to get the weight, your mind, and your set up right and explosively lift the weight in front of you.
For the accessory/hypertrophy lifts, you’ll want to keep the rest periods shorter. Aim to keep these periods between 45-60 seconds. While the goal for the compound lifts is to lift the most weight possible, the goal for these lifts is to control the weight and keep the muscle under stress.
Keep Cardio Fun!
A lot of people ask me for specific cardio regimens to pair with programs. We’ve got several sample cardio workouts you can browse through on Muscle & Strength. However, when it comes to cardio, the best strategy is to keep it fun.
You have 3 off days within this program. Utilize them to do activities outside of the gym that you enjoy doing. Just make sure they’re active and don’t take away from your performance within the gym.
Personally, I’m a big fan of active recovery walks/jogs. But I live in the southern part of the US and it’s only kind of cold, so not everyone can do this.
If your goal is optimal fat loss, maybe a HIIT cardio program will be best for you after workout. If you’re shooting for general health, maybe you can get away with what I enjoy doing. Regardless, the best approach to cardio within this workout program (and any others) is to enjoy what you’re doing so that you’ll actually do it.
The Muscle Rebound workout is the perfect workout to get you out of the holiday slump and spring break ready.
Regardless if you’re returning from a short stint away from the gym, or are just looking for a new program, the components of the workout will benefit you in many ways.
It takes an optimal rep, set, and training day approach to help ensure you’re successful while performing the program.
It combines mechanical stress with muscle damage to help promote both strength and lean muscle gains.
If you decide to give the program a shot, let us know what you think in the comments section below!
- Shoenfeld, BJ. 2014. Effects of different volume-equated resistance training loading strategies on muscular adaptations in well-trained men. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 28(10):2909-18
- Shoenfeld, BJ. 2010. The Mechanisms of Muscle Hypertrophy and Their Application to Resistance Training. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 24(10):2857-72
Hi there! I am just finishing up this program after about 8-10 weeks (some weeks were harder than others to fit it all in with travel and such).
I like the results with this program - I've definitely gotten stronger and my form has improved. This workout is also so straightforward and easy to follow - the tutorials helped me be confident before going to the gym. I used to feel super intimidated by the weight room! Now I love it :)
I am wondering how to select my next program. I'm a female and I used to run a ton before a repetitive stress injury/moving to a climate unfavorable for outdoor running took me out of the game. This program (and a similar one I did before it) helped me build my foundation, and now I'm wondering how to build. Should I try something in the lower rep/higher weight category? Or would you recommend something like this 4 day split plus HIIT?
My goal would be to build functional strength (and if some body fat went away in the process, I wouldn't cry about it :) )
Any advice is appreciated!
That is AWESOME! Glad we were able to help you along your fitness journey.
Personally, I'd recommend this program next based on your goals here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/phul-workout
Hope this helps!
Great article, thank you Josh! Have two quick questions, if I may.
Could you please suggest alternatives to the day 1 GHRs and to the day 3 seated calf raise? The two machines do not exist in my gym.
Day 1 chin ups and day 4 pull ups: Performing four clean sets of ten reps is too hard at the moment. What I mean is, I can do ten reps first, then eight reps, then six reps and finally maybe just four or five reps on the last set, roughly.
Therefore, would you recommend switching to alternative exercises (so I can complete the 4x10 reps with correct form on these) or would it be better to stick to chin/pull ups and doing four sets until failure - as in the example above?
Replace GHRs with bodyweight Nordic hamstring curls (performed by either hooking your legs under a bench or with partner holding ankles down)
That's a good way to ultimately progress to your pull up and chin up goal. You could also add in eccentric only pull ups/chin ups, and/or band assisted variations. Unfortunately, the only way to get better at pull ups is to actually perform the movement.
Hope this helps!
It helps a lot indeed, cheers man!
I like doing chin ups and pull ups. So I'll stick to four sets of ten or failure, whichever comes first, until I can complete 4x10.
Looking forward to trying the bodyweight nordic hamstring curl! Thanks for that.
Any suggestion to substitute the day 3 seated calf raise? Same reason as with the GHRs, no machine in my gym :( Last adjustment and I should be all set!
You're welcome! Happy to help! Sorry for the oversight on your calf raise question. Any calf raise variation will do the trick here. I'd recommend performing the calf press on the leg press as a replacement.
Hope this helps! Let me know how you like the program!
Trying to keep my workouts to an hour, and I note this program ranges between 21 - 27 total sets. Would you recommend reducing sets, reps or an exercise on days I'm pushed for time? Also, can you suggest a good alternative to dead lifts if no olympic mats spare? Was thinking maybe one legged db lifts? Not sure though, as stabilisers might be an issue
Thanks for reading and for your question!
If you're pressed for time, you can certainly eliminate sets from the auxiliary exercises. You could also give my Fast Mass program a shot, which was written with people facing time crunches in mind:
For the deadlift alternative, once legged dumbbell deadlift could do the trick for sure. You could also stick to traditional dumbbell deadlifts, which should provide a similar effect as the barbell deadlift.
Hope this helps!
Face pulls on push day?
Haha that's fair. I was incorporating them as a shoulder exercise, grant it the rear delts do a lot of pulling. If you'd like to sub them out for a legit push shoulder exercise, feel free to. Personally, I'd keep them in there, but my rear delts need all the work they can get.
Thanks for reading!
Josh, my first question is this a good workout while cutting. Also you have Legs on Wednesday then some legs on Friday is that enough time to recuperate from Wednesday. And on Goblet squats what does OHP mean. Thanks
Thanks for reading and for your questions!
To answer your first question, yes. This workout is perfectly fine to use while cutting. The important thing for fat loss is to be in a caloric deficit. To preserve muscle while in a caloric deficit, you'll have to make sure you have enough protein in your diet.
Your second question, it depends on a few factors. It should be enough time to recover if your sleep schedule and diet are on point. If you don't feel ready to do the full body day by Friday bc your legs are still sore from Wednesday's workout, feel free to move the full body day to Sat.
So Goblet Squat to OHP is going to be performed with a kettlebell. You'll hold the kettlebell in front of you, squat down, pause, and come back up. When you reach the top of the movement when you come back up, you'll press the kettlebell over head. (OHP = Overhead Press)
Check out this vid for a visual:
Hope this helps!
Awesome workout Josh! Just finished week 1 after not being able to lift for over a year (I had to have back surgery because I really messed my back up doing deadlifts). This is a great, simple and very effective routine to get back into it. Obviously I'm not doing the deadlifts haha, but looking forward to the next few weeks with this. Thanks!
That's awesome man! Thanks for reading and giving the workout a shot!
Keep it up!
Hey Josh. I like the layout of this workout and look forward to adding it to my Hangin n Bangin routine. Quick question though....the exercises that have an 'a' & 'b' after them....do you Superset those or alternate from week to week? Thanks Brother.
Thanks for reading and for the awesome feedback! I hope you enjoy doing it.
To answer your question, the exercises with an a & b next to them are indeed supersets. So you should perform them right after one another before taking a rest period.
Hope this helps man! If you have any other questions, let me know!
What about abs?
Abs are optional with this program as your core stabilizers are worked indirectly through a variety of movements - Deadlift, Chinups, Dumbbell Bench, Military Press, Plyo Pushups, Squat, etc.
If you're looking for some additional ab work, we do have plenty of programs you can add to the tail-end of this program. I've provided the link to the database below:
Hope this helps and thank you for reading! If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask away!
How many weeks do you recommend doing this until switching it up?
Thanks for reading and for your question! You can run this program for as long as you'd like to if you're enjoying it and are continuously progressing toward your goal. The moment you either stop enjoying what you're doing or notice your progress is stalling is when you want to start looking for a new program.
I'd recommend running this program for 6-8 weeks, before taking a week to deload. At that point, you can decide if you like the program enough to perform it again for 6-8 weeks or if it's time to look for something else.
Hope this helps! If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask!