BodybuildingPro.com Training Article Database Training Splits 4-Day a week Training Splits 4-Day a Week Split: #1
AWESOME FOUR DAY SPLIT
Go to: THE SPLIT!
Go to: WHAT MAKES THIS SPLIT
Go to: RELATED LINKS!
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*These workouts can be performed any four days of the week, but
a two-day on / one-day off, two-day on / two-day off program is
**Number of Sets are indicated first, followed by number for
Example: 3*8 Upright row = 3 sets of 8 repetitions for the
3 * 8 Upright row
3 * 8 Military press
3 * 8 Arnie press
3 * 8 Cable lateral raise
Back / Triceps
3 * 8 Deadlifts
3 * 8 T - Bar rows
3 * 8 Bent over barbell rows
3 * 8 Cable Rows
3 * 8 Close grip bench press
3 * 8 V - Bar Triceps pull downs
3 * 8 Single arm dumbbell extenstions
Quads / Hamstrings
4 * 8 Squats
4 * 8 Leg presses
4 * 8 Leg extensions
4 * 8 Lying leg curls
4 * 8 Lunges
Chest / Biceps
4 * 8 Incline bench press
3 * 8 Incline dumbbell flys
3 * 8 Incline dumbbell press
3 * 8 Bench press
3 * 8 Seated curls
3 * 8 Standing barbell curl
3 * 8 Preacher curl
THIS SPLIT AWESOME!
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This split is a very basic design and is good for a variety of
athletes, regardless of experience level. There is ample room in
the program to change up the order of exercises, amount of weight,
number of reps or the number of sets. The main thing which needs to
be held constant are the days in which the various muscle groups
For example, you will notice the split starts on shoulders on day
one. Say we are using a four day split and this is performed
throughout the school/work week. In this particular case, shoulder
day would be on Monday, following that would be back and triceps.
We can see that after an intense day of working out shoulders, it
is not difficult to immediately work out back and triceps the
following day. Depending on the muscle groups involved, the
training split should accomodate so that no overtraining takes
place. Check out the example below:
Day 1 - Shoulders
Day 2 - Chest / Biceps
This can cause a problem because for many chest exercises,
shoulders are a secondary muscle being used on certain lifts. Take
for example, the bench press. For the bench press, chest is
obviously the main muscle being developed and worked out. However,
secondary help is required from both the triceps and the shoulders.
As a result, if you place shoulder training on Monday, but chest
day on Tuesday, your shoulders may not have the strength necessary
to perform chest workouts at top level. That said, it is nice to
spread out primary and secondary muscle groups so that the
possibility of overtraining is reduced. Remember - it is just a
possibility of overtraining, because in all likeliness, training
shoulders and then training chest the next day will not lead to
overtraining, and more importantly, you will know when you are
overtraining or not (your body will let you know, believe me!).
After the first two days, we see that a day off is placed
immediately in the middle. Bodybuilders should spread things out as
best as possible, whether it be training days, food, water, or
anything else, it is never ideal to do a lot at one point in time,
followed by big lapses in the time that follows. It explains why
six meals are better than three, and in the case of training, it's
also better to spread things out. For example, four or five
workouts in the week will be more welcomed by your body than longer
workouts less frequently. Add even more on top of this, the day off
from training is in the middle of the week, after two workouts are
performed. Afterwards, another two workouts are performed. In this
case, leg day is on Thursday (using our Monday - Friday example).
With the previous two workouts being entirely upper body, there is
not much possibility that your legs are too sore to train (unless
they are sore from the previous week, in which case it is
adviseable to wait until they are no longer sore before you train
This leads into workout number four. This workout is chest and
biceps, and no doubt your shoulders (secondary muscle involved for
many chest exercises) will be ready to take on the challenge of
chest day. Your biceps (which are a secondary muscle involved in
many back rowing-type exercises) should also be more than recovered
to perform the requirements of biceps day. Depending on the type of
back workouts you do and the intensity in which you perform them,
you may find that you are working your biceps on both your back day
and your biceps day! This will no doubt lead to additional growth
if done correctly and with the required amount of time between.
No, we will get into the specifics of why the exercises chosen
were chosen. Let's start with day one!
Military Press: This is a meat and potatoes mass builder
for the shoulders. This is a very basic exercise, where you simply
press the barbell overhead. It is excellent for developing the
front head of your shoulders.
Arnold Press: The Arnold Press stresses the same areas of
the shoulder as the dumbbell press, but more intensely due to the
curling nature of the press. An example of what the press looks
like can be found here. As a tip, if you are not used to the Arnold
Press, start off with light weights until you are certain you can
fully control the motion. Once you can, you will likely find that
you will be able to use close to the same amount of weight as you
can for the regular dumbbell military press. This is due to the
curling nature of the exercise. The Arnold Press is also known as
the "Arnold Curl".
Cable Lateral Raise: The cable lateral raise is a good
exercise to include with the other ones because, as you can see,
all the other exercises performed during this shoulder workout are
performed using free weights. So should you use free weights or
machines? Both have their advantages, and regardless of which are
better, you can benefit vastly from incorporating both into your
routine. In this particular case, cable lateral raises are good,
because unlike dumbbell lateral raises, the cables will maintain
pressure on the deltoid at all times throughout the movement,
whereas gravity can help ease off some of this pressure when using
dumbbells. Free weights recruit more muscle fiber, so it is good to
make them become the majority of your workouts. However, the
benefits of machines still exist, and since the remaining exercises
from this workout are free weights, included one exercise with a
machine will not take away from the quality of this workout.
Deadlifts: No exercise in existence works your back in
quite the way deadlifts do! Deadlifts are perhaps the best
bodybuilding exercise to indicate overall power. It is a very basic
compound movement up there with bench presses and squats. Compound
movements have been known to increase overall levels of growth
hormone in the body, so aside from developing a big back, you may
notice other muscles growing if you start incorporating deadlits
into your routine. One word of caution before performing deadlifts:
Use very strict form! Strict form should be used for all exercises,
but if you fail to use strict form for deadlifts, you may find
yourself experiencing back pain. Deadlifts will develop your lower
back, but also your entire back. There have been so many good words
spoken of the benefits of deadlifts, that I will not get into them
here. But remember - good form is paramount to avoiding injury!
T-Bar Rows: For lat development and overall thickness to
your middle back, t-bar rows may very well be one of the best there
is. Although developing a muscular back is very important, muscle
quality is also very important. If you are looking to add some
freaky thickness to your back, t-bars may be for you.
Bent-Over Barbell Rows: Bent over rows, like the bench
press, squat, and deadlift, is another meat and potatoes mass
builder for the back. If your goal is develop wide, sweeping lats,
this exercise is for you. Bent-over rows are also good at
developing / strengthening your lower back.
Cable Rows: This is another great exercise for developing
your lats. If you want a back so big you can see it from the front,
you will want to include cable rows in your workout.
Close-Grip Bench Presses: Just as the regular grip bench
press is a meat and potatoes mass builder for the chest, when you
shorten the grip, you will find that close-grip bench presses
increase overall mass as well as developing every head of the
triceps. The one caution you will want to remember is to not use
such a narrow grip that you experience any pain or discomfort in
your wrists. It's worth it to have intense workouts to develop
mass, but it should never have to take place at the cost of your
V-Bar Triceps Pushdowns: This exercise is good for
developing the outer head of the triceps. The range for this
exercise is not as large as you might think.
Single Arm Dumbbell Extenstions: This exercise is also good
at hitting more than one head of the triceps. It is a balanced mass
builder and good to include.
Squats: Once again, speaking in terms of the basic compound
movements, nothing is better than squats. Some say it is the best
exercise of all time. Along with deadlifts, bench presses, and
barbell rows, squats are great for adding overall mass. Since it is
a compound movement, it will also increase levels of growth hormone
in the body. Think about how many gym rats you see with big upper
bodies and skinny legs. Now try to think of any who have big legs
but small upper bodies. The number of bodybuilders like that are
certainly not as high. Squats can develop big legs, and as a
result, you may see that you are gaining faster in other areas of
your body. Once again, form is important throughout the movement,
and going to parallel or slightly lower is recommended. If you do
not go to parallel or lower, you risk injuring your knees as you
may be squating more weight than your legs can handle, and it will
in turn be your knees which are experiencing the majority of the
strain. A spotter or a safety bar may be helpful to ensure safety
while performing squats.
Leg Presses: Leg presses are a very good mass builder for
the thighs. Although they are normally not praises as much as
squats, they can still help you build mass on your legs. Many of
the safety tips for squats apply here, but since you are using a
machine, the risk of failing without a spotter is non-existent.
That said, it is an especially safe exercise to perform if you are
Leg Extensions: Leg extensions are a pretty simply
movement, and are great for lower thigh development.
Lying Leg Curls: Lying leg curls are great for adding
overall mass to the hamstrings. If lying leg curls are not enough
for you to effectively work your hamstrings, you may consider
adding straight or stiff-legged deadlifts to your training.
Lunges: Lunges are a great exercise because they develop
both the quadriceps and the hamstrings. Specifically, they develop
the inner thighs.
As a note, the exercises in this workout are performed mostly on
the incline. However, the same exercises can be performed on the
flat bench of the decline bench if preferred.
Incline Bench Press: The incline bench press does for the
upper pecs what the bench press does for overall mass. It is a mass
builder and develops the upper portion of the chest. The upper
portion is generally considered the most appealling, and
emphasizing that area with upper chest workouts is important if you
are trying to develop a balanced physique. Sometimes, bodybuilders
neglect the upper chest and just opt to perform bench presses. Both
flat and incline bench presses are very important overall mass
builders for the chest.
Incline Dumbbell Flies: Flies performed on the inclined are
another great way to develop mass for the upper chest. The range of
motion is very unique for flies and you will thereby recruit
additional muscle fibers which you will not recruit performing
Incline Dumbbell Press: Incline dumbbell presses are
performed with the same range of motion as incline barbell bench
presses, but dumbbells act to recruit muscle fibers as the exercise
requires more stabilization. Where barbell presses add mass,
dumbbell presses are excellent for gaining mass as well as
strength, and good to incorporate in any workout.
Bench Press: This is the ultimate chest developer. It is
great for both mass and strength and where you place it in your
chest workout depends on what you want to emphasize. It has a very
simple range of motion and packs mass on the outer portions of the
chest very well.
Seated Curls: Seated curls are great for many reasons. They
are good because they do not allow you to cheat during the range of
motion. When you are firmly seated in the chair, it is not possible
for your back to take over and perform the curl for you! That said,
your biceps will be worked and not any other muscle.
Standing Barbell Curls: The standing barbell curl is for
biceps what bench press is for chest and what squats are for quads.
It is a basic mass builder. As a tip, try to perform this exercise
against a wall if possible, or while facing a 90 degree angle from
the mirror to ensure you perform this exercise with good form. It
is extremely easy to perform this exercise with poor form if you
are not watching for it. Cheat
curls are a good shocking technique, but are normally
recommended only on the last few reps of the last set of an
exercise. You should never perform a cheat curl as a normal curl.
Save them for the end of the workout for a good finisher.
Preacher Curls: Preacher curls are great for lengthening
the biceps and adding lower thickness. That said, if your arms are
naturally well peaked but lacking in length, then preacher curls
are definitely the exercise for you! If you want to mix things up a
little, try preacher curls with dumbbells. With dumbbells, the
exercise is self-spotting and you will be able to get that extra
rep or two in by spotting yourself. As usual, barbells are best for
mass, but dumbbells work effectively as well and are better when no
spotter is available.
Now that you've read the whole article, you will have to consider
if this routine is good for you. Everything considered, it provides
a variety of exercises to gain both mass and strength, as well as
providing enough rest and recuperation in between so that your
muscles develop to their full potential. Keep reading and
researching, and if you decide on this workout, let me know how it
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