Scrutiny's 4 Day Muscle Building Split

This 4 day split by Scrutiny from the Muscle & Strength forum is an effective muscle building workout that features an arm day sure to provide results.

Workout Summary

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

Workout Description

Workout Notes:

  • Drop Sets. For arm day drop sets, use a heavy weight and perform as many reps as possible. Without resting, move to a lighter resistance and perform as many reps as possible. Repeat this pattern, dropping weight two more times.
Monday
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 4 12, 10, 8, 6
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 10, 8, 8, 6
Pec Dec 4 10, 8, 8, 6
Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
Military Press 3 10, 8, 6
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 10, 8, 6
Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Flyes 3 10, 8, 6
Tuesday
Back
Exercise Sets Reps
Wide Grip Lat Pull Down 4 12, 10, 8, 6
Seated Cable Row 4 10, 8, 8, 6
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 10, 8, 6
Cable Shrugs 3 10, 8, 6
Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Weighted Crunch 3 10-12
Planks 3 As long as possible
Thursday
Quads
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 4 12, 10, 8, 6
Walking Dumbbell Lunge 4 10, 8, 8, 6
Hamstrings
Exercise Sets Reps
Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 10, 8, 6
Leg Curl 3 10, 8, 6
Calves
Exercise Sets Reps
Standing Calf Raise 3 12, 10, 8
Friday
Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Close Grip Bench Press 3 10, 8, 6
Tricep Dips 3 10, 8, 6
Two Arm Dumbbell Extension 3 10, 8, 6
Rope Tricep Extension (Dropset) 1 Max reps - 3 drops
Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
EZ Bar Preacher Curl 3 10, 8, 6
Concentration Curl 3 10, 8, 6
Cable Curls (Drop Set) 1 Max reps - 3 drops
Abs
Exercise Sets Reps
Weighted Cable Crunch 3 12, 10, 8
Cable Torso Rotations 3 12, 10, 8
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672 Comments+ Post Comment

Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 08/06/2010 - 11:54
Steven

Hi Brad,

Bot at all. Keeping pushing yourself and dumbbells will serve you well.

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Posted Wed, 08/04/2010 - 21:12
Pauly C

Steve,

I don't have a cable machine and was wondering what you thought of the following substitutes:

Wide Grip Lat Pull Down substituted w/ EZ-bar pullover

Seated Cable Row substituted w/ Barbell Row

Cable Shrugs substituted w/ Barbell Shrugs

Cable Curls substituted w/ EZ-bar preacher curl

Cable Torso Rotations - Please advise what to substitute...

Thanks
Pauly

Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 08/06/2010 - 11:52
Steven

Hi Pauly,

Those exercises are great choices. For cable rotations, you could lie on your back, put your knees up slightly, hold a light dumbbell with both hands, and twist from side to side so that you are bringing the dumbbell close to the floor.

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Posted Wed, 08/04/2010 - 14:34
cameron seven

hey steve i have a question about gaining abs. im currently doing the above workout but would also like to know how i can get a six pack. Alot of different people tell me to run diet right, and do ab exercises. i only have about 5 or 6% body fat and i was wondering what to do to get a six pack. if dieting is the case it would be helpful if u could give me a diet program. thanks dude

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 08/04/2010 - 19:15
Steven

Hi Cameron,

Bodybuilder Brad Borland designed an article to address this very issue. Let me know if you have any questions.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/your-go-to-guide-for-cutting-...

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Posted Wed, 08/04/2010 - 02:26
Jake

Also, i was wondering, i have the weigh protein shakes i make up in the blender with milk and everything, should i drink them before workout or after workout for maximum effectiveness?

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 08/04/2010 - 12:12
Steven

Hi Jake,

It's best to take protein shakes in between major meals, before bed, and after you lift weights.

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Posted Wed, 08/04/2010 - 01:27
Dillian

Hey Steve Iam 14and a body builder myself I don't use no protiene shakes or creatine do you have any suggestions of what I should use and can you give me some suggestions on how to get bigger biceps and triceps

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 08/04/2010 - 12:11
Steven

Hi Dillian,

Protein, and a proper diet are essential when trying to gain muscle. Whey protein is good first thing in the morning, and post-workout. Casein is great in between meals and before bed. I would suggest purchasing a good whey and casein protein powder.

As far as bigger arms...use a program like this, and push yourself for more reps on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight. If you do this, most muscle building routines will help you achieve bigger arms.

Big arms take time, so be patient and persistent. And eat!

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Posted Mon, 08/02/2010 - 17:50
Patrick

So wait, reading through the comments I'm a little confused.

Should I treat these like supersets and increasing weight every set or the same weight each set. I started this workout last week and I treated them like supersets. For example, this is what I did on bench last week.

Bench Press

12 @ 155 lbs
10 @ 175 lbs
6 @ 195 lbs(Couldn't do 8)
4 @ 195 lbs(Kept same weight since I couldnt finish last set and only could finish 4)

Should I have been doing 4 sets of 195 or something? Thanks in advance

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 08/03/2010 - 14:40
Steven

Hi Patrick,

Don't perform then as supersets. Rest in between sets. You can definitely increase weight after each set. It's not so much important that you hit every rep range on the head...it's much more important to just push yourself for more reps on every set.

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Posted Mon, 08/02/2010 - 12:21
Steven

Hi,

I have been doing a single muscle group routine for each day of the week, (mon-chest, tues-arms, wed-legs etc). I was curious if you would recommend I stick to that regiment of doing one muscle group each day? Or if I should change it up and try this regiment? I appreciate it the help!

-Steven

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 08/02/2010 - 13:59
Steven

Hi Steven,

I would use one of the muscle building routines on the website. They are structured to help you maximize gains.

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Posted Sun, 08/01/2010 - 11:29
Jake

Hey, i was currently doing full body every day..but that just wasnt doing the trick because i wasnt letting my muscles rest i dont belive, so now i am going on your routine for strength building and muscle defination, i was wondering sense im not at the % bodyfat i need yet could i include jogging/walking in this for every day to build muscle and burn extra fat?

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 08/02/2010 - 13:57
Steven

Hi Jake,

It's extremely difficult to gain muscle and lose fat at the same time. I would focus on whichever goal is most important to you at the moment. Cardio is great for overall health, but the real key in gaining muscle or losing fat is having a proper diet plan.

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Posted Sat, 07/31/2010 - 11:54
mike

hey, ive been working out for about 6 months now, my arms have doubled in size but it seems like iv reeched a threshold where i stopped gaining more muscle.i drink alot of whey protein. is there a better source of protein? also,it seems my right arm is always geting more of a workout,it is larger than the left but i think thats normal,however it seems my left arm isnt geting much results..any recomendations??

Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 08/02/2010 - 13:55
Steven

Hi Mike,

It's normal for gains to slow over time. And it is very normal to have one arm larger than the other.

What is your current height, weight and arm size?

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Posted Fri, 07/30/2010 - 22:00
Joshua

Is it ok to do this workout in the same week?

Steven's picture
Posted Sat, 07/31/2010 - 10:23
Steven

Hi Joshua,

I don't understand the question.

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Posted Fri, 07/30/2010 - 11:02
Fernando

Hi, im 19 years old and i never workout in a gym, i just play basketball and my exercises are just cardio. Ok the question is, whats the better workout to start building muscles. My height is 6'3 and i weight 165 pounds(skinny guy), i really have a good nutrition with vegetables,no fried meat, i don't drink sodas just juice , bla bla bla...

Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 07/30/2010 - 14:23
Steven

Hi Fernando,

Here is a good workout to get you started:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/3day-beginners-workout.html

On the workout, using good form always push yourself on every set for more reps. And when you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight. here are a couple diet articles that should help:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-create-a-bodybuilding-...

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/your-go-to-guide-to-gaining-m...

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Posted Fri, 07/30/2010 - 06:11
Henry

hey guys any ideas for me?

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Posted Wed, 07/28/2010 - 23:05
Tyler

Hey, I'm 20 years old 6 ft tall and about 149lbs. My muscles are cut pretty well, but I just seem to have trouble actually gaining weight and building muscle. Any suggestions?

Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 07/29/2010 - 13:59
Steven

Hi Tyler,

The 2 real keys to building muscle are:

1) Progression - Pushing yourself on every set, trying for as many reps as possible. When you can reach the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.
2) Diet. You need to eat so you can grow. First things first, you want about 30 to 40 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours. beginners can gain around 15 pounds of muscle during their first year of hard training, so you want to make a goal to gain about 2 pounds on the scale each month. This may require eating 3200 to 3500 calories per day, or more.

Here is an article that might help:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-create-a-bodybuilding-...

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Posted Thu, 07/29/2010 - 15:09
Tyler

I will start on that right away, Thank you for the advice.

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Posted Wed, 07/28/2010 - 18:25
iselyn

hi steve,
is it alright to work upper body one day then work lower body the next day ? ive been trying to work upper body most days but im not seeing the progress i want.
Also, should i be taking protein shakes every 3 hours ? or is there another supplement you recommend to keep my calories up ?
thanks, iselyn

Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 07/29/2010 - 13:54
Steven

Hi Iselyn,

It can be ok to use an upper body, lower body split depending on the split layout and exercise choice. Training volume and frequency also have to be factored in.

For protein, you want about 30 to 40 grams every 2.5 to 3 hours. Why protein is good first thing in the morning and post-workout. Casein is good in between meals and before bed.

If you are having a hard time adding calories, I recommend adding in foods such as whole milk, almonds, dark chocolate and natural peanut butter. You could also consider a weight gainer:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/store/category/weight-gainers.html

Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 07/30/2010 - 19:57
Steven

This workout is a very solid muscle building split.

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Posted Thu, 07/29/2010 - 18:09
iselyn

thanks again,
what kind of layout do you suggest for my workout ?

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Posted Wed, 07/28/2010 - 15:10
Eric

Steve--thanks for the response so the workouts in the Scrutiny's 4 Day Muscle Building Split and Scrutiny's 4 Day Muscle Building are good workouts? and i can just incorporate them into what you said beow? Sorry i have worked out before but never followed a plan so i wanna make sure these workouts are good for me. Thanks

Monday-Chest and Shoulders
Tuesday-Back Biceps and Abs
Thursday- Legs and Triceps

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 07/28/2010 - 17:47
Steven

Hi Eric,

You could just move them around into the days listed. Scrutiny put together a solid workout. The real keys will be how hard you work and your diet. A workout is only as good as your effort and diet.

Make sure you push on every set, trying for more reps. And when you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight. Also do so with good form.

Here are some articles that talk about diet. They might help:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/your-go-to-guide-to-gaining-m...

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-create-a-bodybuilding-...

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Posted Wed, 07/28/2010 - 13:33
David

what weight should i start with? should i be moving to heavier weights every week or couple of weeks or every month?

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 07/28/2010 - 17:52
Steven

Hi David,

Try to perform as many reps as possible on each set using good form. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

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Posted Wed, 07/28/2010 - 11:58
Nickos

Hello again,
i am seeing gains in my arms and shoulders, even my back but i am really struggling to see any real progress in my chest. a normal days chest exercise is included with arms.

for chest i tend to do

3 sets of 8 inclined smithsmachins about 45k plus the weight of the bar
3 sets of 8 inclined smiths again about 50k plus bar
3 sets of 8 inclinded smiths about 55 or 60k plus bar

3 sets of 8 inclined flys about 15k per hand
3 sets of 8 flat bench flys about 15k

3 sets of 8 flat smithsmachins about 45k plus the weight of the bar
3 sets of 8 flat smiths again about 50k plus bar
3 sets of 8 flat smiths about 55 or 60k plus bar

i also sometimes mix it up and do pyramids again on the smiths machine? last time i did.

inclines
12 reps at 40k, 11 at 45, 9 at 50, 8 at 55, 8 at 60, 6 at 65, 8 at 60, 8 at 50 and 8 at 45.
then
flat bench smiths machine
14 reps at 40, 12 at 45, 10 at 50, 9 at 55, 8 at 60, 6 at 65, 6 at 60, 7 at 55, 8 at 50 and 10 at 45.
i then finished off with some dumbbell flys again about 15k in each hand.

am i being stupid here or missing something. ?
i am 37, 14stone, (i used to be 12stone, and have put two stone on since going the gym, deliberate) i need to lose the belly but otherthan that i am in good shape and people comments about my physic, its just this blinking chest issue..

thanks in advance

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 07/28/2010 - 17:54
Steven

Hi Nickos,

Two questions:

1) What does you diet look like, and how much protein do you eat per day?
2) Are you pushing for more reps and weight on all sets when possible?

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Posted Fri, 07/30/2010 - 13:24
Nickos

Steve,

i have to admit my diet is a little lacking i work split shifts, 2 days, 2 noons and 2 nights so its hard to eat correctly all of the time, as for protein, i have a shake a day and two on training days.

are my sets excessve of acceptable

thanks

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Posted Wed, 07/28/2010 - 10:43
Eric

Question can i turn this into a 3 day work out whenever i cant get in the gym 4 days and do Triceps, biceps and legs together? And I alsways thought it was bad to do tris and bis the same day...

Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 07/28/2010 - 14:48
Steven

Hi Eric,

I might suggest:

Chest and Shoulders
Back Biceps and Abs
Legs and Triceps

It's ok to work biceps and triceps together. It all depends on the workout split.

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Posted Tue, 07/27/2010 - 17:30
Jonathan

Hi,

Just wondering, for exercises like the cable torso rotation wherein you have to repeat the exercise for both sides of the body, do you do a set of 12, 10, and 8 for BOTH sides (so basically 24, 20, 16), or do you alternate between sides during each set?

Thanks

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 07/27/2010 - 19:15
Steven

Hi Jonathan,

You do the stated number of reps for each side.

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Posted Tue, 07/27/2010 - 07:52
Nickos

Hey,
i have been trainig for about a year, i try to do shoulders and chest, and arms and back on different days,

say for my shoulder chest day i will do 3 sets of 8, at one weight then another 3 sets of 8 at another weight and finaly 3 sets of 8 at an even higher weight, i then move on to another body part say chest, and do the same again,
once i have done both body parts i repeat the process again. am i doint too much ? should i do less reps and a lot higher weight ?

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 07/27/2010 - 14:24
Steven

Hi Nickos,

The focus of your training should primarily be progression of weight. Push yourself on every set for more reps, and when you hit your goal rep total for a set, add weight. If you are using this approach, you won't have a need for as much volume during a workout.

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Posted Tue, 07/27/2010 - 03:57
Jason

Sorry, got another question.

Would there be any issue with splitting up the days as per below?

Monday - Chest & Shoulders
Tuesday - Rest/Cardio
Wednesday - Back & Abs
Thursday - Rest/Cardio
Friday - Legs
Saturday - Rest
Sunday - Arms & Abs

Cheers

Greatly appreciate it.

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 07/27/2010 - 14:23
Steven

Hi Jason,

I wouldn't recommend that split. You would be taxing your triceps the day before chest and shoulders. The triceps are heavily involved during chest and shoulder training. You would be better off working arms on Friday and legs on Sunday.

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Posted Tue, 07/27/2010 - 18:06
Jason

G'dat Steve,

Cheers for the reply....once again greatly appreciated.

So would it be okay if I were to split it up like this -

Monday - Chest & Shoulders
Tuesday - Rest/Cardio
Wednesday - Back & Abs
Thursday - Rest/Cardio
Friday - Arms & Abs
Saturday - Rest
Sunday - Legs

Also in regards to your reply to my other question - I can perform the one arm dumbbell row fine and without any difficulty.....I'm just really keen to try out Dumbbell Pullovers as I've never performed them before and I hear they are a great exercise. Can you advise of where I can put them in the split?

Cheers

Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 07/27/2010 - 19:17
Steven

Hi Jason,

That split would work well.

Regarding dumbbell rows, I would keep them in and maybe add a couple sets of pullovers instead of a few sets of lat pull downs.

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Posted Tue, 07/27/2010 - 21:19
Jason

Cheers, thanks heaps Buddy.

I'm keen to add Pull Overs :)

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Posted Tue, 07/27/2010 - 01:41
Scrutiny

Hi Mario, Scrutiny here.

The reason I put traps with back in the routine is because that all of the back exercises will be heavily stimulating the traps, so it makes sense to work the traps on a day that they are getting stimulated anyway.

Traps CAN be worked with shoulders, but through trial and error I have personally found best results working them with back.
I have found that working traps with shoulders can mean that the back workout can be limited through sore traps from their workout with shoulders.

Bottom line is that it can be just personal preference with regards to WHEN traps should be worked.
In my opinion, the traps are well-connected with the other muscles of the back, so it makes sense to just work them all in the same session.

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Posted Wed, 07/28/2010 - 11:57
Mario P

Hello Scutiny,

It make perfect scene to me now! I will try it out. Thanks for the detailed explanation.

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Posted Tue, 07/27/2010 - 00:49
Jason

G'dat Steve,

On the back day can I swap the One Arm Dumbbell Row for Dumbbell Pullover?

Cheers