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How to Build Muscle: The 4 Day Split Program

The 4 day split program is as excellent way to build muscle. Here is how to implement it into your training.

How to Build Muscle: The 4 Day Split Program

Strength and muscle building can help and support the other. You can hardly build strength without muscle, just as you can’t build muscle without strength. But still there are differences.

When we talk about hypertrophy, it is important to remember that everybody is different. Two people can be on the exact same program and experience different results. However the underlying principles of hypertrophy, like strength training, are universal.

Some athletes get jacked using bodyweight movements, or just by looking at the weights, whilst others have to work twice as hard to put on the same amount of muscle. This is an important reminder.

how to build muscleSource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc

You can choose to follow the practices of the biggest guy or fittest female in the gym, but the methods that work for them might not work at all for you. Once you understand the principles then you can adapt and apply the right methods in order to find the best way for you.

What is Hypertrophy?

Hypertrophy is simply the increase in size of an organ or tissue through the enlargement of the cells that comprise it.

A hypertrophy program is designed not to increase strength or improve athletic performance (although there is an overlap, of course), but to primarily cause muscular growth by increasing the size of your muscle fibres.

Remember, the 4 Day Split Program is not designed to improve strength or power. This program is strictly for the purpose of gaining serious muscle size.

Use this plan for 6 – 8 Weeks, than change in order to stop the muscles getting too used to a certain workload.

The 4 Day Split Program is a killer. You do not use heavy weights, but you won´t need them.

How to Build Muscle: 4 Day Split Program

Day 1
Back and Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 2 5
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 8-12
Wide Grip Pull Up or Lat Pull Down 3 10-12
Barbell Row 3 8-12
Seated Cable Row or Machine Row 5 Minutes Burn
EZ Bar Preacher Curl 3 10-12
Concentration Curl 3 10-12
Seated Dumbbell Curl 5 Minutes Burn
Day 2
Chest and Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 3 6-10
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 8-12
Chest Dip 3 AMAP*
Cable Crossover or Pec Dec 3 12-15
Machine Press or Dumbbell Bench Press 5 Minutes Burn
EZ Bar Skullcrusher 3 8-12
Two Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension 3 8-12
Cable Tricep Extension 5 Minutes Burn
Day 4
Quads, Hamstrings and Calves
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3 6-10
Leg Press 3 15-20
Hack Squat or Dumbbell Lunge 3 8-12
Leg Extension 5 Minutes Burn
Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 8-12
Leg Curl 5 Minutes Burn
Standing Calf Raise 3 10-15
Seated Calf Raise 5 Minutes Burn
Day 5
Shoulders, Traps and Forearms
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Barbell Press 3 6-10
Seated Arnold Press 3 8-12
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 10-15
Hammer Strength Press or Smith Press 5 Minutes Burn
Upright Row 3 8-12
Barbell Shrug or Dumbbell Shrug 5 Minutes Burn
Seated Barbell Wrist Curl 3 12-15
Barbell Static Hold 5 Minutes Burn

*AMAP = As many as possible.

Barbell Static Holds. Instead of performing reps you simply hold the bar as long as possible.

How to Build Muscle: 4 Day Split Program

If you enjoyed learning about the 4 Day Split Program, check out these articles on German Volume Training and the Upper/Lower Body Split.

Why is Recovery Important?

An important goal of every training session is to break down muscle. Without recovery, a significant portion of that work might be a waste of time. So, what exactly happens during recovery? That’ll depend on the person and activity, but generally, four different things are happening while you’re resting.

Synthesis of protein: This is what leads to muscle growth. During recovery is when most muscle is built, because muscle protein synthesis increases by 50% four hours after a workout (like resistance training).1

Rebuilding of muscle fibres: Microtears in muscle fibers are a normal part of exercise, happening when we put strain on our muscles. Recovery allows these fibers to heal and become stronger during that process.

Fluid Restoration: We sweat (and lose a lot of fluid through exhaled air).2 Hydrating before, during and after a workout is important, because these fluids help deliver nutrients to organs and muscle through the bloodstream.

Removal of metabolic waste products: Acids (via that pesky little proton associated with lactate) accumulate during a workout, and recovery gives the body time to restore intramuscular pH and re-establish intramuscular blood flow for oxygen delivery (among other things).

Try the 4 Day Split Program!

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