This 4 day split by natural bodybuilding champion Sean Sullivan relies heavily on 6x6 training to encourage rapid strength and muscle gains.
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
  • Training Level
  • Program Duration12 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • Time Per Workout45-60 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines, Other
  • Target Gender Male & Female

Workout Description

Calf and ab work can be done twice a week and just pick one exercise and do 5-6 sets of as many reps as you can do. The rest between sets is 60-90 seconds and do a few warm-up sets. Try to keep the same weight all 6 sets, but you may lose a rep or two at the end. For example set 1-4 you get the 6 reps, set five 5 reps and the last set 4. Just try to pick a good weight and don't lower it even if it means 2-3 reps total.


Day 1 - Chest, Shoulders and Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Bench Press 6 6
Dumbbell Bench Press 6 6
Exercise Sets Reps
High Pulls (Wide grip, pull to forehead) 4 4
Heavy Dumbbell Lateral Raise (One arm at a time) 3 8
Exercise Sets Reps
Cable Tricep Extension 4 10
Day 2 - Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Press 6 6
Squats 6 6
Hack Squats 6 6
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Curls 5 8
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Extensions 4 10
Day 3 - Back and Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Reverse Grip Barbell Row 6 6
Medium Grip Lat Pull Down 6 6
Deadlift 6 6
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curl 6 6
Preacher Curl 6 6
Day 4 - Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Lunge 6 6
Seated Leg Curls 6 6
Wide Stance Squats (Toes pointed out) 6 6
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 6 6
Step Ups (High bench or aerobic step) 6 6
Leslie Guillen
Posted on: Mon, 04/01/2019 - 18:03

What exactly is the wide grip high pull? Can you please explain? Thank you!

Posted on: Thu, 12/05/2019 - 02:02

I assume this is a snatch grip high pull. Meaning you place your Hands wide, just as you would if you had to perform a snatch. I hope this helps :)

Posted on: Fri, 12/20/2013 - 15:22

Hi. Isn't this over kill on legs and 6x6 deadlifts before a leg day? Thanks

Posted on: Thu, 09/20/2012 - 20:14

When are the traps worked out in this rutine?

Posted on: Sat, 09/28/2013 - 09:32

Days 1 & 3.

Posted on: Tue, 06/26/2012 - 07:14

Hi Steve,

I have been training for a while but im struggling to bench press 100kg. At the moment I can bench 44kg in dumbells. Would like to know what i could do to pass the 100kg mark on the barbell?


Steve G
Posted on: Mon, 02/27/2012 - 20:20

Hi How would I set this routine if I can only get to the gym on Monday' Tuesday' Wednesday' Thursday. Thanks

Posted on: Thu, 12/05/2019 - 02:04

If you have to go in without rest days I would go:

Day 2 -> Day 1 -> Day 4 -> Day 3

adam hammer
Posted on: Sat, 01/21/2012 - 14:41

this looks like a good work out but for day 4 any other options other then doing legs a 2nd time just wondering and happy new years to all!

Posted on: Mon, 01/09/2012 - 11:45

This is the best workout i have ever used

Posted on: Sat, 11/12/2011 - 15:16

Is this strength and size program as good as reg parks A/B workout??
After all he was the man who he inspired mr Arnold into bodybuilding and was the first man to ever bench 500lbs without the aid of steroids!!!

Posted on: Wed, 11/09/2011 - 05:38

Would this workout help for a skinny fat person? who is trying to add some weight?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 11/25/2011 - 14:12

It will help build muscle. You want to focus on two things to maximize results:

1) Pushing yourself in the gym. Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

2) Eat to maximize muscle gains. Here are some articles that can help:

Posted on: Sun, 10/23/2011 - 07:28

I might be too late to post on this board but can I ask does doing low rep sets like this alter the appearance of the muscle you build. I have read on a few websites that high reps give you a bloated "bodybuilder look" whilst lower reps give you a tight hardened appearance.

Is there any truth in this?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 10/24/2011 - 15:02


Posted on: Thu, 09/29/2011 - 14:11


Is there any reason why biceps get twice as much of a work out than triceps? I always have been told that as triceps are much bigger than biceps you should exercise them more.

Posted on: Tue, 10/18/2011 - 14:23

My guess would be that when you are working your chest, you are also working your triceps. Biceps are more commonly isolated movements as opposed to say Bench press which is a compound exercise.

Mohamed Rishad
Posted on: Tue, 09/06/2011 - 12:29

Hi steve am frm Sri Lanka.. I have been going for gym around 4 months... But our gym trainer has gave me the followoing schedule to follow 3 days a week...

Standing carf 3x15
bench press 3x40
half bench 3x25
butterfly 3x20
front press 3x20
machine back 3x20
let pull down 3x20
cable rowing 3x40
bysheps 3x10
Bysheps dumble 3x5

z thz ok????? shall I follow this schedule????

plz help me in this case.........
thank u

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 09/22/2011 - 12:33

What are your goals?

Posted on: Mon, 06/20/2011 - 01:25

G'day Steve,

Would this routine be considered overtraining at all?

The volume seems pretty high, plus afew of the set and rep ranges contradict another article that is on this site.

Also would it be an issue if I dropped one of the legs days?


Posted on: Thu, 03/24/2011 - 21:31

Hi, I don't have access to a leg press where I workout, so would dumbbell squats be a good replacement?

Posted on: Tue, 03/22/2011 - 17:22

hi just wondering if i could have some help please in a good program for me to use cos i would like to gain size and strengh.i can only train 3 days a week tho,thanks

Posted on: Fri, 03/11/2011 - 11:08

I would like to try the 6x6 workout;however due to work i can only workout on Sat,Sun & Mon. Can i drop 1 of the legs workout? or what do you suggest.............thx

Posted on: Mon, 01/31/2011 - 18:02

I workout 5 days a week and reading some articles i'm a little confused. I usually focus on one muscle group rather than several. For example for chest I would do 4 sets incline bench with bar, 4 sets incline dumbell, 4 sets of flys and 4 sets of decline with bar. Usually in the 4 sets I would do 12,10,8,6. Would you consider this the wrong way to improve strength. I'm open for any suggestions.

Posted on: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 23:56

Hi, I am a 120 lb woman in good shape, I work out 4-5 days a week and do lots of cardio and a few classes with weights. I want to be more ripped but not really gain weight, would tHis be good for me?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 01/19/2011 - 13:58

Hi Amy,

I would rather see you start with a workout like this:

It's better to start with a more basic routine and to get more complex based on needs and goals. You can make great gains with weights on only 3-4 days per week.

Posted on: Fri, 12/17/2010 - 14:49

If my legs are still sore by day four of this workout, would you still recommend going through with the second leg-day workout? Or should I skip day four and let my legs fully recover?

Posted on: Mon, 11/08/2010 - 19:31

hi, i am 19 and have done a lot of in and outs wih working out. i have trained for worlds strongest man with two different trainers. they both taught me different things and now im so confused i cant seem to get back into it properly. its been two years since i last trained. now i want to try n train my self, bt i have no idea how to start without someone coaching me ad that has lead to no motivation. your plan sounds easy enough to follow. but how and when do i start. do i need to start eating right first before beginning or the same day i start? do you have any meal plan ideas for what im working towards? (which is bein a strong man) im so ocnfused. but i want to get huge,and strong fast. can you fix me up.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 11/09/2010 - 14:09
Posted on: Sun, 08/15/2010 - 21:04

Hi, I work out at home, I have squat racks but not the equipment needed to do hack squats, leg curls etc. I can do squats and I have dumbbells so step ups can also be done, however not the rest. I am wondering if the other leg exercises mentioned on day 2 and 4 can be substituted with something else for legs.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 08/16/2010 - 14:59

Hi Edward,

You could try barbell hack squats, and if those don't work, I recommend doing lunges. For leg curls, you could try side or rear lunges.

Posted on: Mon, 08/02/2010 - 20:41


Um why are legs are worked out twice a week?

Also will Rear Delts get enough stimulations with High Pulls/Upright Row?

Oh and Lastly can we add one more Tricep exercise like Skull Crushers?


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 08/03/2010 - 09:49

Hi Jason,

This is a workout meant to rapidly increase muscle and power (strength), and focuses heavily on squats and deadlifts.

Rear delts will receive more then enough stimulation, when you factor in deadlifts and upper back work.

As far as triceps, you could add in another exercise. That seems reasonable.

Posted on: Tue, 08/03/2010 - 18:43

Sweet, cheers for the reply.

Posted on: Mon, 08/02/2010 - 02:01

Hi I'm in high school and I have always been skinny even tho I workout. My goal is to get bigger and strong before the next season. What routine, number of sets and reps should I do.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 08/03/2010 - 09:55

Hi Devin,

I recommend a routine like this one:

The 2 keys to progress are eating enough to gain weight, and pushing for progression in the gym. Beginners can gain up to 15 pounds of muscle during their first year of intense lifting. Make it a goal to gain at least 2 pounds per month. You may need to eat 3200 to 3500 daily calories or more to hit this goal. If you have a hard time eating enough, try drinking whole milk, and possible consider a weight gainer.

In the gym, you want to push yourself on every set, trying for more reps. When you can perform the recommended number of reps per set, add weight.

Doug Cunningham
Posted on: Fri, 07/09/2010 - 16:24

where can i find a video or photos of-
High Pulls (Wide grip, pull to forehead)
to help with my form.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 07/09/2010 - 16:50

Hi Doug,

There is no video currently on the site for this exercise, but this forum post might help:

Posted on: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 07:09

Are all 4 days are continuous or do I have to rest in between? I mean generally the pattern is 2 days on 1 day off 2 days on and two days off. What is the pattern for this workout?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 06/02/2010 - 10:58

Each workout is meant to be performed once per week. I would structure your leg workouts with as much rest as possible between workouts, and then add in chest and back as appropriate.

Posted on: Fri, 06/04/2010 - 12:43

I just started using the gym/beginner looking to put on weight,can i use the 4day workout routine and can u specify the days pls.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 06/05/2010 - 09:39

This is an intermediate routine. If you have spent some time in the gym and have put on some size and strength, I would recommend this routine. If you are still relatively a beginner, I recommend sticking with a more basic beginner program.

Posted on: Mon, 05/31/2010 - 12:51

i use dumbbells when doing incline bench press- is this ok

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 05/31/2010 - 18:12


Posted on: Mon, 05/31/2010 - 00:16

How much time should I rest between sets? And how much time should I rest between exercises?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:45

Rest about 2 minutes between sets. You may need to rest longer between sets of squats.

Posted on: Tue, 05/25/2010 - 15:49

I work out at a small cardio gym in Montana, which has a limited supply of equipment. But I've been able to adapt some of the machines to other exercises. I want to use a push-pull routine and this is what I've been doing. Incline press= warm up set then 4 x 8 usually only 5 on last set
Seated rows = 4 x 10 8 on last set
machine dips = 4 x 10 7/8 last set
preacher curls = warm up set then 4 x 8 usually 4/5 on last set tricep rope pulldowns= 4 x 10 adapted pull down machine it has 15 lb plates and therefore to hard to increase weight only 4 reps on increase
Chest flies = 4 x 10 8 on last set
dumbbell curls = 4 x 10 7/8 last set rotating wrist while lifting
flat bench press = 4 x 10 6/7 last set

Day 2 military press= 4x10 6/7 last set
pulldowns = 4x10 7/8 last set
lateral dumbbell raises= 4x10 6/7 last set
lateral pulldowns= 4x10 again adapting on pulldown machine
reverse arm curls = 4x10 7/8 last set
barbell upright rows = 4x10 7/8 last set
forearm curls = 4x10 both directions

day 3 leg curls= 4x15
leg extensions= 4x15
leg presses= 4x15
rowing machine for cardio
Then I repeat the days usually a day off after 6 days.
I run 20 minutes everyday for a warm up.
It takes me about 1 .45 hours a day and I'm supplementing.
What do you think/

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 05/25/2010 - 17:09

Hi Wayne. On day one you are working back, chest and biceps. On day two you are working back, shoulders and forearms/biceps. On day 3 legs.

You are better off doing:

Day 1
Seated rows
preacher curls
dumbbell curls

(Note: I would prefer to see you using a Barbell or Dumbbell row)

Day 2
flat bench press
military press
machine dips
Chest flies
barbell upright rows
lateral dumbbell raises

Day 3
leg curls= 4x15
leg extensions= 4x15
leg presses= 4x15

(Note: I would prefer to see you using Squats) have no direct tricep work in this routine.

Posted on: Sun, 05/23/2010 - 14:44

hi i have been doing 12,10,8,6 and increasing the weight each set is that a good way to build muscle?have you tried it? or would i be better doing your workout using the same weight for each set until that becomes easy and then put the weight up and so on?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 05/23/2010 - 20:25

The weight you use on each set doesn't matter as much as simply pushing yourself for more reps/weight on every set.