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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.

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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.

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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.

How strong should I be?

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
One Arm Dumbbell Row38-12
Wide Grip Pull Up or Lat Pull Down310-12
Barbell Row38-12
Seated Cable Row or Machine Row5 MinutesBurn
EZ Bar Preacher Curl310-12
Concentration Curl310-12
Seated Dumbbell Curl5 MinutesBurn
Day 2
Chest and Triceps
Bench Press36-10
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press38-12
Chest Dip3AMAP*
Cable Crossover or Pec Dec312-15
Machine Press or Dumbbell Bench Press5 MinutesBurn
EZ Bar Skullcrusher38-12
Two Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension38-12
Cable Tricep Extension5 MinutesBurn
Day 4
Quads, Hamstrings and Calves
Leg Press315-20
Hack Squat or Dumbbell Lunge38-12
Leg Extension5 MinutesBurn
Stiff Leg Deadlift38-12
Leg Curl5 MinutesBurn
Standing Calf Raise310-15
Seated Calf Raise5 MinutesBurn
Day 5
Shoulders, Traps and Forearms
Seated Barbell Press36-10
Seated Arnold Press38-12
Dumbbell Lateral Raise310-15
Hammer Strength Press or Smith Press5 MinutesBurn
Upright Row38-12
Barbell Shrug or Dumbbell Shrug5 MinutesBurn
Seated Barbell Wrist Curl312-15
Barbell Static Hold5 MinutesBurn

*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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