This intermediate/Advanced mass building workout is a 4 day split routine. That is, the body parts trained are split and trained over 4 days. The goal of this workout is to be build muscle mass. Natural bodybuilders should not generally train with weights more than 4 times per week or recovery will be jeopardised.

All rep timings are 2-1-2 (whats rep timing?) unless stated in the notes and all rest times are 1 min 30 seconds between sets and 2 minutes between exercises. Longer rest can be taken between heavy sets of compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, heavy bench press, 2-3 minutes.
Ensure you perform a warm up by doing at least 5-10 minutes cardio followed by stretching and some warm up sets on the first exercise.

It is imperative that the intensity of this workout is increased each time you train by either adding weight to the bar/dumbbell or adding an extra rep or two. To see improvement progression is essential. If you feel you lack energy or time it is better to do less good quality sets than to put less effort into more sets. Less time on your hands? try the 3 day split.

Day 1 - Chest and Biceps


Exercise Sets   Reps
 Barbell Bench press  4  10
 Incline Dumbbell press  4  10
 Pec deck or Dumbbell fly's  3  12
 Forward leaning Dips (weighted if necessary)  2  10-12


 EZ Bar curls  3  8-10
 Alternate Dumbbell curls or preacher  3  10
 Reverse Barbell Curls or wrist curls  3  12

Workout Notes

Use 3-1-3 timing (whats rep timing?) on Incline Smith Machine Press.

Day 2 - Shoulders and Traps


 Exercise  Sets  Reps
 Dumbbell Shoulder Press  4  8-10
 Seated Dumbbell lateral raise  3  10
 Rear Delt Machine or bent over lateral fly's  3  10
 Dumbbell Shrugs  3  10-12
 Rear Smith machine shrugs  3  10

Workout Notes

Use 3-1-3 rep timing (whats rep timing?) on the seated lat raises

Day 3 - Back and Triceps


 Exercise  Sets  Reps
 Wide grip Pullups  4  8-12
 Lat pulldowns  4  10
 One arm Dumbbell Rows  4  10
 T- bar Rows  4  10


 Skull Crushers  3  10
 Rope Pulldowns  3  12
 Reverse Single Arm extension  3  12

Workout Notes

3-1-3 rep timing (whats rep timing?) on Lat pulldown

Day 4 - Legs


Exercise Sets   Reps
 Squat  5  10
 Leg Press  4  10-12
 Stiff legged Deadlifts  4  8-10
 Calf raise  3  12-15

Try some deep squats with 3-2-1 rep timing (use lighter weight) for variation Use a drop set on the leg press to give the quads a shock.

Work abs twice per week.

93 comments (Add your own)

1. Thushan wrote:
going to try this. looks good. is it ok to do it in the following manner?

monday - day 1
tuesday - day 2
wednesday - off
thursday - day 3
friday - day 4
saturday - off
sunday - cardio and abs

Tue, February 7, 2012 @ 3:02 PM

2. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Thats sounds fine, a good split. Ensure you are eating adequate protein (every 3 hours) and excess calories. It is difficult to effectively add muscle if your body is in calorie deficit. GBH would be a good supplement to add post workout to speed up gains. For even faster gains check out our CRATE deals.

Tue, February 7, 2012 @ 4:08 PM

3. Justin wrote:
What do you suggest as replacement exercise a for the barbell exercises, as the gym I go to doesn't provide barbells or a smith machine?

Wed, March 21, 2012 @ 5:29 PM

4. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
The Barbell exercises can be substituted for Dumbbell exercises or machines. If possible, always choose free weights (barbells/dumbbells) over machines, especially when trying to build mass. Machines balance the weights and force the user into a predetermined plane of movement.

Free weights require balance and help strengthen the bodies core. The best option would be to find a gym that does have plenty of free weight/barbells and a power rack/squat rack. Progress can still be maintained on dumbbells/machines if weights are increased in small increments. If the weight on the machines/dumbbells jumps up too much, increase reps to top of range before increasing weight. For example (session 1) 40kg x 6 reps, (session 2) 40 kg x 8, (session 3) 40 kg x 10 reps, (session 4) 45kg x 6 reps.

Thu, March 22, 2012 @ 9:19 AM

5. Michael wrote:
Awesome workout! Me and my brother started it today - gonna do it for the next 3 weeks!
Looking forward to gaining some mass :D

Wed, July 25, 2012 @ 6:20 PM

6. Jesse wrote:
Won't your shoulders still be in recovery mode after the chest day? Shoulders after chest seems extreme to me??

Sun, August 12, 2012 @ 11:13 PM

7. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Although this routine is a 4 day split, that is the body is trained in 4 parts, it does not mean you would train 4 days in a row. There will always be some cross over off of body parts when training. Shoulder press, uses triceps as a secondary muscle, back training uses biceps, Squats use the whole body and as you correctly pointed out bench press uses shoulders and also triceps.

This routine is aimed at intermediates/advanced lifters that should have been training for a couple of years, and will know how their body recovers. It is an intense workout and should not be used by beginners.

Depending on how your body recovers, you could if necessary take 48hrs between training day 1 and training day 2. It will depend on the individual. The routine could be staggered mon, wed, thurs, sat, so long as you get at least 3 days recovery each week.

Intermediates and advanced lifter will have the knowledge of how to tweak routines to suit their own bodies. Lifters that are newer to bodybuilding should start with a beginners full body routine or the hard gainers routine until they have the experience to move onto the 3 day split. The 4 day split should only be used by seasoned, experienced lifters.

Mon, August 13, 2012 @ 10:00 AM

8. prince india wrote:
hi..sir i am going to gym six days in a weak my bicheps size is 13 inch,my chest and back doesnt pump..sir pls give me a six day routine for mass building..

Sat, September 1, 2012 @ 5:45 PM

9. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Prince India, I do not recommend training with weights 6 times per week. This is too much. The body need times to repair. When we train in the gym with heavy weights, it actually tears down muscle tissue, then while we rest the muscle is repaired (if we consume enough quality nutrition through food or supplements), when it is repaired the body over compensates and the muscles are repaired bigger than they were previously (but only in very small increments).

If the body does not have this time to repair after we have trained the muscles will just get torn down without the growth. Even seasoned bodybuilders that have been training for years and years generally do not train more than 5 times per week. If you train too often you will over train and you WILL NOT GROW, unless you are taking steroids and this is something I definitly do not advocate.

I suggest you read the workout HARD GAINERS MUSCLE BUILDING SECRETS if you are a beginner (and with 13 inch biceps I'm assuming you are). You will grow bigger and faster following this routine than you will training 4, 5 and especially 6 times per week.

Tue, September 4, 2012 @ 12:42 PM

10. Steve wrote:
Surley triceps will end up overtrained? On their own day, with shoulders, and the chest? Thanks

Fri, September 21, 2012 @ 11:45 AM

11. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Steve, the triceps will get targeted to a lesser degree on chest day with benching and dips but won't get trained fully if the benching is wider gripped and you lean forward during the dips (as you should for chest dips). You will then get a few days rest until triceps are trained with back.

The amount of work the triceps get with shoulder press is minimal if the press is performed correctly, athough yes they do assist. The other shoulders exercise do not use triceps.

However, if you feel your triceps are being over worked then drop triceps on back day or decrease the number of exercises/sets. This routine is aimed at intermediates/advanced trainers that will know how their body is reacting to a routine, and will therefore adjust it to their preference.

Beginners that do not know how there body is reacting to a routine or are unsure how to adapt routine should follow the beginners full body or hard gainers routine.

I hope this clears up any confusion.

Fri, September 21, 2012 @ 3:24 PM

12. rocky wrote:
gud split bt too much exercises for arms..

Sat, November 17, 2012 @ 6:20 AM

13. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Try dropping one of the tricep isolation exercsises and DB/preachers for biceps if you find it is too much. It is important to include the forearm exercise otherwise you may experience an imbalance in the arms that could lead to tendonitis.

Mon, November 19, 2012 @ 9:02 AM

14. get muscle mass wrote:
not a bad routine, the arm work and total number of sets is not to much as long as you are recovering and eating properly. Although it would be nice to see a set or 2 of deadlifts on back day

Fri, November 30, 2012 @ 5:56 PM

15. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
I agree Deadlifts would be an excellent addition on back day, maybe 2-3 warm up sets and 1 full on working set of 5-8 reps.

Mon, December 3, 2012 @ 9:04 AM

16. Lifter 101 wrote:
Thanks for the great routine. tho I normally experiance forarms pain when doing curls is there a replacement ? also is it possible to add military press to shoulders workout ? or replace one of the exercises. Could we also train arms twice per week for better gains ? great info overall. Thanx.

Tue, December 11, 2012 @ 8:03 PM

17. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hi lifter 101, thanks for your comments. Military press would be an excellent alternative to the Dumbell shoulder press. I am not sure whether you are referring to bicep curls or wrist curls. if it is bicep curls, then are you using an EZ bar for your curls? if you are and are still experiencing pain in forearms then try lowering the weight some and doing higher reps or doing hammer curls instead. If the pain is a sharp pain then stop curling and seek medical advice, if it is from lactic acid build up then experiment with different weight and rep ranges.

I wouldnt train arms more than is detailed in the routine, as biceps is already being worked twice per week, once on bicep day and again during back day. Triceps will get worked on triceps day and chest day, and to a small extent on shoulder day. Including another arm session will most likely not lead to quicker gains. Just ensure you are increasing weight or reps by small increments each time you train and your arms will grow.

Wed, December 12, 2012 @ 8:59 AM

18. gYmAddict wrote:
Hey there Matt, amazing site along with the workouts. I've been also experiancing the same pain in forearms as Lifter101 both arms above pinkies in the middle of the arm, have tried both Ez bar and a straight bar still burning and aching right after i drop the weight and also during movement, is it possible due to my undeveloped forearms since ive never done any isolation forearms movements? Tried hammer curls were way better. how would my biceps workout look like ?

Thank you.

Fri, December 14, 2012 @ 5:13 PM

19. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hi GymAddict, thanks for the positive comments. I think you are right that you are getting forearm burn from underdeveloped forearms. Just be careful you don’t have an underlying injury. There are a couple of things you can try; firstly to remove emphasis from your forearm in the curl movement try using a grip with your thumb on the same side of the bar as your fingers. This will help isolate your biceps and help remove the forearms from the exercise. Secondly, you can bring your forearms up to par with your biceps by doing more forearm work. Try including both palm up wrist curls and palm down, also reverse curls will help strengthen your forearms muscles.

Alternatively the bicep routine could be swapped to the following;

Biceps - 3 sets of close grip pull ups (emphasize the negative part of the rep by slowing it down)
Biceps - 2-3 sets Dumbbell hammer curls

Forearms- 2 sets reverse curls
Forearms- 2 sets palm up wrist curls
Forearms- 2 sets palm down wrist curls

If the pain ever becomes a sharp pain as opposed to a lactic acid/fatigue pain then stop what you are doing and seek medical advice.

Mon, December 17, 2012 @ 9:25 AM

20. Marcus Ray wrote:
I want to add lean masd but also fill out my shirts more and lose my stomach and get my V cut back. My question is how will this routine help with lean muscle mass and how can I lose my stomach

Sat, December 22, 2012 @ 3:12 AM

21. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
This routine will help add mass, whether it is lean mass will depend on your diet. It is difficult to add mass while trying to lose fat. This is because, to lose fat your body needs to be in calorific deficit i.e you are consuming less calories than your body needs to maintain its current weight. To gain muscle mass your body needs to be in a calorific surplus.

I would concentrate on one of your goals at a time, to either lose fat or gain muscle. However if you are a beginner to bodybuilding it will be possible to gain muscle and lose fat to begin with.

To lose your fat I would recommend weight training 2 to 3 times per week and adding 3 sessions of aerobic work lasting up to 1 hour per session. Aerobic sessions can be reduced in time if HIIT is used. Go to workout tab and look for "save-time-burn-fat-and-get-ripped-fast-with-interval-training". To speed up weight loss a 20 minute aerobic session can be added to the end of your weights session as well.

Wed, January 2, 2013 @ 2:59 PM

22. oli113 wrote:
how do you think this sounds for a week plan:
tuesday-chest and biceps
sunday-cardio and abs

Thu, January 31, 2013 @ 10:22 PM

23. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
sounds good, I personally would make one small change and that would be to train traps on friday after shoulders instead of the day before. There is a fair bit of trap involvement in some shoulders exercises and if they are fatigued from training them the day before you may find you cannot train shoulders to their full potential.
Other than that looks pretty sound. Dont forget to include tricep work.

Fri, February 1, 2013 @ 8:46 AM

24. oli113 wrote:
okay thanks..i have again changed it around and it now looks like this:
tuesday:chest and biceps
friday:rugby training
sunday:abs and cardio(unless theres a game)

Sat, February 2, 2013 @ 9:18 PM

25. ben wrote:
is this a good way to use the program and get enough rest

day1) chest and biceps
day3)shoulders and traps
day5)back and triceps
day6)legs and abs

Sun, February 3, 2013 @ 7:03 PM

26. lifter12056675 wrote:
hi, i am 16 and looking to put on mass but keep or gain speed for when im able to play rugby again, is this split good for that(i am also doing sprint training once a week) but was seeing if there were any changing i could make to incorparate rugby into the gym sessions or is it good for that already ?

Sun, February 3, 2013 @ 8:31 PM

27. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Ben, that is a good split. You could swap day 3 and 5 around if you feel your shoulders haven’t recovered from chest training by Wednesday. At the moment I am currently following Monday shoulders/traps, Wednesday back/triceps, Friday chest/biceps and Saturday legs/abs. I then hit cardio hard on Tues and Thurs. As I am currently cutting, I am keeping reps low and training heavy. I am also doing 20 mins cardio after each weights session. I keep Sunday for total rest.

Mon, February 4, 2013 @ 9:04 AM

28. ben wrote:
thanks for your reply. I have 2 more questions. so today i did my chest workout and all my workouts went up a little bit from last time but my bench press stayed the same weight and i was only able to do 4 reps on set 1,2 on sets 3and4 do you think maybe i should workout chest more than once a week or is this normal. also would this be considered bulking or cutting? for the whole day i eat 1 apple 1non fat yogurt and then a lot of plain grilled chicken and a fruit cup and i only drink water

Mon, February 4, 2013 @ 9:16 PM

29. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Ben, as long as you are making progress on some chest exercises that is fine. Swap the order you do your exercises each workout so that one day you do bench first, next time dips etc. Also if you are not eating enough it will be difficult to continually progress.

It is impossible to know whether you are bulking or cutting without knowing the number of calories you are consuming.

Bulking will need more calories into your body than you use, around 200-300 calories more.

Cutting will require you to consume around 300-500 calories less than your body uses.

To work out how many calories your body needs go to:
and scroll down to the BMR calculator.

Tue, February 5, 2013 @ 8:28 AM

30. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
lifter12056675, if you main goal is to improve your ability on the pitch then i would follow a more compound exercise based routine such as the HARD GAINERS MUSCLE BUILDING SECRETS and supplement this with plyometric training such as Box Jumps, both single and double leg, box squats, drop jumps etc a couple of time per week. The compound exercises will build real strength and the plyometrics will hlep increase speed and power.

It may help if I knew what position you are playing, as the coaches are getting quite particular on what training you should be doing depending on your position.

Tue, February 5, 2013 @ 8:46 AM

31. BN wrote:

Tue, February 5, 2013 @ 10:10 AM

32. Rythm wrote:
Hello sir,
Do you think doing the chest & the exercise for biceps on the same day will be a wrong idea? Because Chest is a pushing exercise and the latter a pulling exercise. Do you think this exercise routine is correct ?
Monday - Chest / triceps
Tuesday - Shoulder / Biceps
Wednesday - rest
Thursday - chest / triceps
Friday - back / biceps
sat & sun - rest

Sun, February 24, 2013 @ 5:17 PM

33. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hello Rythm, the routine purposely splits so that back and triceps are trained together and chest and biceps are trained together. This enables the biceps and triceps to be worked twice per week. Once indirectly i.e. biceps gets worked when you train back through pull ups and rows etc and once per week Directly through the biceps workout. The same applies for triceps.

This routine is merely a suggestion, it is a routine that I have used myself and has proven to be effective for me. If you want to train with a more conventional split where triceps are worked on chest day and biceps are worked on back day then you must do that. See what is effective for you.

I personally feel that I cannot train biceps intensely enough when they are fatigued from back training.

Your routine does not train legs, a school boy error in my opinion. Training Legs has many more benefits other than preventing chicken legs. Too mnay to detail here.

Mon, February 25, 2013 @ 9:52 AM

34. Sam wrote:
Can I train 4 days on, 3 days rest? Is this over training?

Tue, March 12, 2013 @ 6:56 PM

35. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Sam, the amount of times you train each week should depend on how long you have been training, the intensity you train at each work out and your ability to recover.

I recommend beginners train no more than 3 times per week with heavy weights. Once you body is able to rcover properly from 3 sessions more can be added.

Your muscles grow while you recover so it is important to ensure that they are properly recovered before you train them again.

Wed, March 13, 2013 @ 9:36 AM

36. Osama wrote:
Can we switch Forward leaning Dips with Decline Dumbell Press ?? Forward leaning Dips has difficult angle to perform.

Mon, April 1, 2013 @ 10:21 AM

37. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
yes that would be a suitable alternative

Tue, April 16, 2013 @ 10:27 AM

38. Rythm wrote:
Hello Sir,
I've been into your mass-gain program since 2 months and I find myself improved with an increment of 6.6 lbs and I feel good. I've heard that
sticking on to the same workout-routine for quite sometime leads to body fatigue & the body tends to be used to it with no development/no gain. Do you think I should switch on to another workout schedule for having that shredded look from mass-gain? I feel since it creates a sudden shock to my body & it tends to respond again? If so what workout program do you recommend me for the shredded physique?

Also am a little worried about my lower abs since it still has that pooch/fat layer, although I train twice-per-week along with Shoulder&traps(on Tues) and with Legs&Calves(on Fri) & also I feel my upper chest with no worked-out feeling since I don't feel the line coming from the lower pecs to upper pecs

Wed, April 24, 2013 @ 6:23 PM

39. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hi Rythm, workouts should be changed every now and then to keep motivational levels high and to stop your muscles becoming to used to the work load your giving them. You can simply swap exercise order, ie dumbbell fly's first and then dips and then move on to benching or you can reduce rest time between sets or change tempo's or you change your routine altogether.

I will be adding a new routine to the site very soon called 'opposite muscle training'. You may want to give this a try.

In terms of the unwanted body fat around your lower abs, you will need to reduce your calories and add some HIIT training to remove this go to;

You can can either reduce your calories to around 300 below your BMR (+ calories burned) and add 3-4 session of HIIT until you lose your belly fat or you can try reducing your calories by 500 below your BMR (+ calories burned) and add 4 sessions of HIIT for 2 weeks and then go back to adding mass for 2 weeks and then repeat.

Naplam fat shredders will help you remove this fat and help you work harder during gym sessions. They are not magic pills but they will certianly
accelerate the fat burning process if you follow the above.

Thu, April 25, 2013 @ 9:30 AM

40. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hi Rythm, workouts should be changed every now and then to keep motivational levels high and to stop your muscles becoming to used to the work load your giving them. You can simply swap exercise order, ie dumbbell fly's first and then dips and then move on to benching or you can reduce rest time between sets or change tempo's or you change your routine altogether.

I will be adding a new routine to the site very soon called 'opposite muscle training'. You may want to give this a try.

In terms of the unwanted body fat around your lower abs, you will need to reduce your calories and add some HIIT training to remove this, find details on HIIT at;

You can can either reduce your calories to around 300 below your BMR (+ calories burned) and add 3-4 session of HIIT until you lose your belly fat or you can try reducing your calories by 500 below your BMR (+ calories burned) and add 4 sessions of HIIT for 2 weeks and then go back to adding mass for 2 weeks and then repeat.

Naplam fat shredders will help you remove this fat and help you work harder during gym sessions. They are not magic pills but they will certianly
accelerate the fat burning process if you follow the above.

Thu, April 25, 2013 @ 9:42 AM

41. Rythm wrote:
Alright Matt, I'll work on that yet I still have 1 more query. As you stated, this program is a pure mass gain program & with a strict diet and proper exercise I've seen a weight-gain of 3Kgs in 2 months. Do you think I should switch onto Lean mass program ? Because I don't have a correct idea about HIIT program about what should I do. I've only heard before that running/jogging/swimming for 30-45mins can burn fat. If you don't mind can you please give me a good HIIT program for me to know what is so I can follow along with my weight training program?

Thu, April 25, 2013 @ 5:58 PM

42. Rythm wrote:
And by the way HIIT program should be done how many days a week? can i do this program on Wednesday & saturday (With both days being rest from weight-training) and sunday being a total rest for body recovery?

Thu, April 25, 2013 @ 6:55 PM

43. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hi, you can stick with this routine format changing some of the exercises and experimenting with different rep ranges. To keep muscle gain whilst cutting it is important to keep the big lifts in your routine; squats, shoulder press, deadlifts, bench press, rows. Try a rep range of 5-8.

Go to the '' page to learn about HIIT (high intensity Interval training), basically warm up on a treadmill ie jog at 7.5 km for 5minutes, then do 1 minute low intensity exercise (e jog at 8.5km per hour) and then follow this with 1 minute of high intensity exercise (ie run on treadmill at 15 km per hour). Then keep repeating, low for 1 min and high for 1min. Do this for a maximum of 20 mins, start at 10 mins (warmup and then 5 high and 5 low) and increase at each workout.

Do this after your weights routine, so that you still have days off from the gym.

Fri, April 26, 2013 @ 10:19 AM

44. Rythm wrote:
Is it necessary to do the rep change of 5-8 of (of 3-4 sets) with lesser weights for "Definition"?

Sat, April 27, 2013 @ 1:48 PM

45. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hi Rythm, when cutting it is necessary to keep the wieght heavy. The lower rep range should allow you to handle more weight. Do not use lesser weight when cutting, it is important to keep strength as this will help keep muscle mass.

Mon, April 29, 2013 @ 9:36 AM

46. Rythm wrote:
Hi Matt,
I've a 1 more query to you. While Cutting, I've heard that HIIT works the best to lose fat with no lose of hard-gained muscle at gym, but while bulking-up do you think HIIT works the best. If so how many sessions should be done per/week? or a low intensity interval training(cardio) should be taken-up for a 30-40mins duration works the best during bulking-up? Actually my intention is to gain a considerable weight-gain & then get that shredded look with these programs.

Thu, May 2, 2013 @ 12:21 PM

47. Rythm wrote:
Because if i do HIIT during bulking up, I gotta have more calories surplus food since i burn more calories in just very short interval, am a little insecure due to this that i don't gain mass during mass gain program. And the cardio for 30-40mins, i suppose it burns calories and we lose the muscle mass too along with it. So what do you think should i do during bulking up and cutting program?

Thu, May 2, 2013 @ 12:31 PM

48. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hi Rythm,

While bulking, cardio should be done to keep fit and for health purposes but yes it will burn calories which can be detrimental to gaining weight/muscle so dont go overboard. It is very difficult to burn fat and gain muscle. So put gaining mass on hold for a little while and concentrate on losing that tummy fat.

You can can either reduce your calories to around 300 below your BMR (+ calories burned) and add 3-4 session of HIIT until you lose your belly fat or you can try reducing your calories by 500 below your BMR (+ calories burned) and add 4 sessions of HIIT for 2 weeks and then go back to adding mass for 2 weeks and then repeat.

Naplam fat shredders will help you remove this fat and help you work harder during gym sessions. They are not magic pills but they will certianly
accelerate the fat burning process if you follow the above.

While cutting it is important to keep lifting heavy to maintain muscle, it is unlikely you'll add much muscle during this phase but if you stop lifting you'll lose muscle along with your fat.

Once you are down to a bodyfat percantage you are happy with then concentrate on building mass again but keep an eye on body fat levels and decrease calories accordingly if necessary, so that you are gaininmg lean mass. The other approach is to continuelly cycle a bulking phase with a cutting phase. Most people using this approach bulk during autumn/winter and cut for summer.

Thu, May 2, 2013 @ 2:36 PM

49. Rythm wrote:
Ok Matt. I'll work on that. Really your tips are helpful. Thank you. By the way, I'll start my cutting phase for a short while until i lose my tummy fat :-)

Thu, May 2, 2013 @ 6:11 PM

50. hawaiianbuilt wrote:
Hey matt I train chest arms back shoulders and legs twice a week. Well I'm pretty much lifting everyday so u think it'll be a good idea to use your work out routine
? I heard over training isnt good so I'm planning to change up my work out routine but having
A difficult time figuring out what to do lol help please? Thanks bro

Mon, May 6, 2013 @ 11:54 AM

51. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hi hawaiian built, this 4 day split works well for many but if you are progressing on full body routine then there is no need to change.

I would always recommend a full body routine for beginners to start on and then progress to a double split performed twice a week before moving on the more advanced 4 day split.

The double split works like this, monday chest/shoulders/triceps, tuesday legs/back/biceps then thursday chest/shoulders/triceps again, Friday legs/back/biceps again.

Tue, May 7, 2013 @ 9:23 AM

52. Anthony wrote:
Great plan the only thing I substituted was the t bar rows with bent over rows. What about forearms though?

Thu, May 30, 2013 @ 8:21 PM

53. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Glad you like it Anthony, bent over rows are a good substitution, in fact just as good if not better if your lower back can stand up to it. The forearms are worked with Reverse Barbell Curls or wrist curls on bicep day.

Fri, May 31, 2013 @ 9:54 AM

54. Steven wrote:
Can I do the work out on alternate days?

Monday - Chest/Biceps
Tue - Rest
Wed -Legs/Abs
Thur - Rest
Fri - Shoulder
Sat - Rest
Sun - Back and Triceps/Abs
Mon - Rest
Tue - Chest/Biceps

And so on...

Sun, June 2, 2013 @ 4:11 AM

55. Rythm wrote:
Hi Matt,
I've a query ! Can i've 1tbsp of peanut butter as a post workout protein source with a banana instead of Whey protein? My confusion is that my peanut butter which i bought from stores has 9g sugar but am having just 1tbsp . So is there any problem?
And can we've complex carbs such as pasta with chicken breast for dinner ?

Wed, June 5, 2013 @ 5:58 PM

56. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Steven, you can split the routine up in that way if it suits your shcedule. There is no exact science of days/time to train. The only downfall of this schedule is that thre will be 8 days in between training the same bodypart, try it and see how you are gains are.

Thu, June 6, 2013 @ 8:43 AM

57. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Rythm, the reason body builders and athletes take whey protein after they train is because whey is a very fast acting protein. Its gets to your muscles very quickly and can therefore start helping with the repair of muscle (muscle growth) within the brief post workout window when the muscles are most reception.

Peanut butter contains a lot of fat which will slow down the absorption of any protein it contains. Peanut butter is fine but not for post workout nutrition.

Sugar post workout (within 20 minutes) is not a problem as it will help replenish glycogen stores.

The best post workout meal to take to advance gains in my opinion is a scoop of Atomic whey, 60g - 80g of glucose and 5g of Creatine X mixed with water, taken immediately after training.

Carbs are fine but try to take most of you days allowance a couple of hours before training 100-150g and the other 150 g spread throughout the day, include plenty of fibrous vegetables.

Thu, June 6, 2013 @ 9:07 AM

58. Tim wrote:
What could you substitute machine exercises for. Eg leg press lat raises

Thu, June 20, 2013 @ 1:36 PM

59. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hi Tim, I am assuming you mean Lat pulldowns? if you have no access to machines replace Lat pulldowns with a different variation of pull up or if you are pooped after your sets of wide grip pull ups do 2 or 3 sets of negative wide grip grip pull ups. Instead of leg press do barbell lunges. Instead of tricep rope pulldowns do overhead tricep extensions or bench dips.

Fri, June 21, 2013 @ 10:13 AM

60. Sammy wrote:
Could I do this routine using the 5x5 method? Same exercises on the same day but do 5x5 instead, I've been doing moderate weight with higher reps for 6 months now but I've heard the 5x5 is a great way to build mass

Tue, July 9, 2013 @ 9:13 PM

61. dhruba bora wrote:
i feel a pain while exercising front press, incline bench press etc. How can i recover from this ?

Mon, July 15, 2013 @ 6:56 PM

62. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Sammy, 5 x 5 is an excellent routine. see it is based around the 5 x5 system. 5 x 5 focuses on strength gain, it envolves only the big combination exercises like squat, row, deadlift and bench press. There is too many exercises and isolation exercises in the above routine to do it with a 5 x 5 set and rep format.

This routine above focuses on muscle hypotophy. If you goal is strength then by all means do the 5 x 5, its a fantastic routine and one I use myself from time to time to help me break through plateaus. If gaining muscle is your goal then following a routine like the above.

Tue, July 16, 2013 @ 8:56 AM

63. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
dhruba bora, you need to go to see a doctor. You may have a rotator cuff injury or similar. I am not a doctor, I am a fitness instructor and therefore cannot diagnose or recommend treatment.

Tue, July 16, 2013 @ 8:58 AM

64. Chaz wrote:
Can you add forearms to shoulder day

Sun, September 1, 2013 @ 4:17 AM

65. Tyler wrote:
Is it okay for the rest days to be on Thursday and Saturday?

Fri, September 13, 2013 @ 10:40 PM

66. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hi Chaz, you could add forearms to shoulder day but if you train back the next day without a rest day it may affect your back workout. Your forearms may be fatigued from training them the day before and stop you being able to handle sufficient work to train your back effectively.

Mon, September 16, 2013 @ 11:12 AM

67. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
hi Tyler

Rest days as Thursday and Saturday will be fine.

Mon, September 16, 2013 @ 11:14 AM

68. danny wrote:
how long should each work out take?

Sat, November 2, 2013 @ 7:31 PM

69. Matt wrote:
The "what is rep timing?" button is broken btw

Wed, November 6, 2013 @ 2:36 AM

70. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hi Danny, the workout should take about 50 minutes. try to ensure you complete it in less than an hour. if it is taking more than an hour you are resting too long between sets.

Wed, November 6, 2013 @ 10:04 AM

71. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Thanks Matt, link for 'rep timing' now repaired.

Wed, November 6, 2013 @ 10:08 AM

72. Andrew wrote:
Matt, wouldn't switching triceps on chest day and biceps on back day be more appropriate? Just curios as to why they are that way compared to the normal 4 day split I see.

Sun, January 5, 2014 @ 4:33 AM

73. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hi Andrew, in this 4 day split Biceps aren't trained with back and triceps aren't trained with chest so that they are not already fatigued, this way they can be trained with heavier weights and with more intensity. In the usual split you see when triceps are trained with chest, it is difficult to train them with full intensity. In the split above they will get some stimulation on chest day and then again with full intensity on triceps day. I have found training arms this way is a great way to see real improvements in arm development. However the routine is only one way of training and if you want to train triceps with chest then go for it :-)

Mon, January 6, 2014 @ 9:06 AM

74. Jeff wrote:
Hi again Matt. I have created a new workout with my old exercises and added some new ones. Any chance you could review it for me and suggest any changes? I know it will need some tweaking, but at least this is more along the lines of one of your split routine workouts. This is what I've come up with so far:


-Bench press - 4 sets 10 reps
-Incline bench press - 4 sets 10 reps
-Incline fly - 3 sets 10 reps

-Alternating biceps curls - 5 sets 10 reps
-Seated concentration curls - 4 sets 10 reps
-Hammer curls - 4 sets 10 reps
-Palms up wrist curls - 2 sets 10 reps
-Palms down wrist curls - 2 sets 10 reps

-Weighted crunches - 4 sets 20 reps
-Dumbbell side bend - 3 sets 10 reps


-Shoulder press - 4 sets 10 reps
-Palms-in shoulder press - 4 sets 10 reps
-Shrugs - 3 sets 10 reps

-Lateral raise - 3 sets 10 reps
-Front raise - 3 sets 10 reps
-Upright row - 3 sets 10 reps
-Crouched rear delt row - 3 sets 10 reps



-Standing military press - 4 sets 10 reps
-One arm row - 4 sets 10 reps
-Deadlift - 3 sets 10 reps
-Bent over barbell row - 4 sets 10 reps
-Good mornings - 4 sets 10 reps

-Narrow grip bench press - 3 sets 10 reps
-Tricep kickback - 3 sets 10 reps
-Seated tricep extension - 3 sets 10 reps


-Toe raise - 4 sets 10 reps
-Leg extension - 5 sets 10 reps
-Squats - 5 sets 10 reps
-Stationary lunges - 1 sets 10 reps
-Side lying leg lifts - 5 sets 10 reps

-Weighted crunches - 4 sets 20 reps
-Leg raises / reverse crunch - 4 sets 10 reps
-Weighted pelvic thrust - 4 sets 15 reps
-Dumbbell side bend - 3 sets 10 reps
-Punching with dumbbells - 5 sets 25 reps



Fri, February 28, 2014 @ 8:12 AM

75. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hi Jeff, just a couple of points, standing military press is a shoulder exercise so drop that from back day. If mass is your goal drop the side lying leg lifts (these will do nothing for gaining mass and will just add to your fatigue). Do squats first on leg day.

Apart from that the routine is good as an advanced 4 day split. Advanced being the operative word. If you have been training less than 3-4 years and are steroid free, this is going to be way too many sets for optimum muscle growth. In fact this is too much for a natural bodybuilder full stop.

Cut it down to about 2 to 3 exercises per body part and do a couple of warmup stes then 5 sets max on compound exercises and 2 to 3 sets on any isolation exercises. For the compound exercsies do 5 to 10 reps and isolation 8 to 12 reps. keep workout sessions to less than an hour.

The focus should be progression, adding either weigfht or reps to each exercsise while keeping good form.

Eat wholesome foods, take whey protein between meals ( and take 5 to 10g of creatine per day (

Recovery is the key to building muscle.

Fri, February 28, 2014 @ 8:43 AM

76. Big bear wrote:
Great workout this 1 I have been training for some years now and weighing 130 kilograms didn't think I could grow much more at only 5.11 but after doing this for 6 weeks I see real improvements in mainly shoulder and bicep mass the only improvement I made after a fortnight is changed the rep system to 12,12,10,8,8 this helped me feel the muscle working more but over than this workout is spot on

Thu, March 13, 2014 @ 12:32 AM

77. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Thanks Big Bear, really glad to hear it worked for you. keep lifting :-)

Thu, March 13, 2014 @ 8:20 AM

78. Jv wrote:
Mon - legs
Wed - back tricep
Fri - chest bicep
Sat - shoulders traps

Thu, March 13, 2014 @ 3:36 PM

79. Administrator (Matt) wrote:

mon - legs
wed - chest bicep
fri - back tricep
sun- shoulders traps

Thu, March 13, 2014 @ 3:50 PM

80. Shaminder wrote:
i want to know how to loose belly fat while building muscles and do i need to restrict my calorie intake while doing so ?

Fri, March 14, 2014 @ 9:51 AM

81. DOOMCREW33 wrote:
I am trying to put together a routine where I can hit my Traps, Triceps, & Biceps twice a week. I am having trouble spacing it out so that I don't train these parts to close together. I do Chest and Triceps on Monday, Back and Biceps on Tuesday, not to sure after this point. If you can help me fill in the pieces I would appreciate it.

Mon, March 17, 2014 @ 9:02 PM

82. Aamir wrote:
For how much time this 4 day workout split should be done.... n when du v have to chnage the exercises. or we can du same exercise for 4 to 5 weeks ???

Wed, March 26, 2014 @ 9:21 AM

83. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Aamir, you can stick with this routine for as long as you are making gains improving strength. Change the isolation exercises as you feel fit but stick with the compound exercises.

make sure that you deload every 6 to 8 weeks.

Wed, March 26, 2014 @ 9:48 AM

84. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
shaminder, to drop fat you must be in a caloric deficit. Use the BMR calculator to work out your daily calorie need and reduce that number by up to 20%. Eat only wholesome natural foods and introduce interval training on the days you are not lifting weights. Ensure you are getting enough protein.

If you are new to lifting start with the full body routine or the hard gainers routine.

BMR calculator here:

Wed, March 26, 2014 @ 9:50 AM

85. Aamir wrote:
Can u place a perfect routine 4 me as m facing some problem

Wed, March 26, 2014 @ 9:51 AM

86. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Aamir, I am not sure what you are asking. It would be impossible to write the perfect routine for any individual without knowing a massive amount of information about them and how they respond to different types of exercise. I can only suggest routines for you to try. For individual exercise prescription you need to see a reputable personal trainer.

If you are a beginner (less than 6 months experience) do the full body routine.

6 months to 18 months experince go for the 3 day split.

More than 18 months try the 4 day split.

You will need to tailor these routines depending on how your body reacts, adding or removing exercises/sets/reps etc.

Most importantly, to increase muscle mass you need to eat more calories than your bodies BMR of good quality wholesome foods and ensure you are consuming enough protein.

Wed, March 26, 2014 @ 10:06 AM

87. Kevin wrote:
Love the workout! question about back day, Instead of dumbell rows and t-bar could i swap those for barbell rows and seated cable rows? or are those exercises in there cause they work differently than those i listed? or would i be hitting the same muscles twice?

Wed, March 26, 2014 @ 4:04 PM

88. Kevin wrote:
If i wanted to swap t-bar rows and dumbell rows for barbell rows and seated cable rows would that be good? also maybe throw in some cleans on back day as well like a 3x8. Would that be ok? or would those specific exercies be better?

Wed, March 26, 2014 @ 9:03 PM

89. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hi Kev, barbell rows are a great exercise, the only down side to them is that they can put strain on your lower back. Most Tbar rows nowadays are chest supported which eliminates this strain.

Cables rows are a good alternative. As I cycle exercises I will often include both of the two exercises you have mentioned so by all means swap them over. Cleans are a great exercise for adding mass, however they are quite taxing on the body. Keep good form and decrease the total number of sets per workout if you're including them.

The above routine is a guide and individuals should add/reduce exercises depending on how their body is reacting to the work.

Hope that helps :-)

Thu, March 27, 2014 @ 8:34 AM

90. Kostas82 wrote:
What about this its 4 days lifting 3 years
Wed-hiit cardio
Sat-hiit cardio

My goal is to lose a lilte of bodyfat too

Fri, April 4, 2014 @ 9:28 AM

91. Jeff wrote:
Thanks very much for all your help Matt. I'm starting my 6th week of this routine next week and I'm progressing nicely. I'm very glad I found this website of yours. I have one question though - I'm going to be taking my first deloading week after next week and I was wondering what you find works best for you when deloading with this routine? No weights, but more cardio? Keeping the workout the same but halving weight, lowering amount of reps etc? I understand deloading preferences won't be the same for everybody but I just wanted to know what works for you. Thanks, Jeff.

Sun, April 6, 2014 @ 1:19 AM

92. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hi Jeff, for my deload I will either take a complete week off from lifting weights or half the number of sets i do for each workout for a full week. The one I will choose will depend on how I feel in terms of overall fatigue and Whether I think I need a week off. I will often coincide a week off with my holiday (vacation if you're american).

Mon, April 7, 2014 @ 9:05 AM

93. Administrator (Matt) wrote:
Hi Kostas82, that looks like a good split. The introduction of HIIT is a good addition and should help you on your way to losing fat, so long as you're cutting calories and eating clean.

Mon, April 7, 2014 @ 9:11 AM

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