4 Day Split Routine: Intermediate Level

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If you end up doing the normal standard 4 day split; Mon, Tues, rest day, Thurs, Fri…. and you think you’re over training (ie; you’re still sore from the previous training sessions) Why not try adding recovery days. Therefore instead of the normal wed off day, take 2 or even 3 days off, before you repeat the cycle. This will allow you to train far harder, without over training.

Tips for beginners:
1. On the first training session, start off light, do 1 set per exercise. You might ache the next day, this is normal and shows you have trained well. Training well results in your body adapting to the stress applied. This causes your muscles to get stronger, firmer and more toned to cope with the stress you have put them under. You tend to ache the most the first few sessions, a dull ache however is good, often desirable and is a true indication that you have trained hard!

2. After a few weeks, perform 2 sets for each exercise. After around 3 months, perform a maximum of 3 sets per exercise. Always do an additional easy warm-up set of around 20 reps, to get the motion right and the blood into the muscle.

3. Perform a maximum of around 6-10 reps for each exercise. The weight you are using should be heavy enough, so that the last rep should be near impossible. Try and increase the weights or reps you are doing every session, to ensure you are progressing. When I say increase, it only needs to be a very little increase in weight, (in some instances, a tiny 1 or 2lb plate or extra 1-2 reps is fine.). Don’t ego train, i.e. throwing two additional big plates on the end of each bar and thinking you can lift it, only to struggle or bounce it up, is a waste of time. You’ll end up using bad form, which makes you look silly, and increase your chance of injury and on top of that you probably won’t even be using the actual muscle you are trying to work!

You’ll have noticed that some exercises also work other bodyparts, this is intended. These are called compound exercises. Don’t train forearms too hard, otherwise your grip strength will be reduced dramatically.

*Get proper instruction on all exercises or invest in a personal trainer to show you how to perform each exercise properly.

(If you want to know how to do an exercise,
click on its name and you’ll see an animated
graphic like this appear)

Day 1: Chest/Biceps:

Flat Bench Press (5 sets)
Incline Dumbbell Press (5 sets)
Close Grip Bench Press
Dumbbell Biceps Curl
E-Z Bar Curl
Hanging leg raises

Day 2: Legs:

Squats (5 sets)
Leg Press (5 sets)
Leg Extensions
Leg Curl
Forearms curls
Reverse forearms curls

Day 3: Off

Day 4: Shoulders/Traps:

Military Press
Upright Row
Lateral Raise
Hanging leg raises

Day 5: Back/Triceps:

Pull Ups
Close Grip Lat Pulldown
Close Grip Seated Pulley Row
Triceps Pushdown
Forearms curls
Reverse forearms curls

Day 6: Off

Day 7: Off

Avoid the temptation to add loads of sets or many different exercises to this routine, properly done, with the correct weight, this routine will be intense enough. I recommend that this routine is only performed by those who have been training for at least 6 months of training. Lower the sets in your next workout if you find you are still sore 3 days after working that muscle.


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Rob   |.
I thought the basic split included:
- Chest, Triceps
- Legs
- Back,
Biceps, Shoulders

I'm confused.

Dave   |.
On this four day split where would be the best day/s to slide in a cardio
session? Any help would be great, cheers

neil   |.
i would think the best days 2 do yur cardio is on yur days off mate or a little
bit be4 you hit the split programme
colin   |.
I have this routine as one of my staple sessions throughout the year. I found
that Cardio on Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday mornings worked best.
Dave   |.
Magic, thanks for the advice guys
Mason   |.
The best time to do cardio is after any 3 sessions for 20-30 mins max. The
reason is while weight training, you'll burn your glycogen stores and other
energy stores. When you go to do your cardio, your body will have to hit the fat
stores to keep you goin only if your keep your heart rate low enough to stay
outta cardio fitness zone. Also its been proven that cycling medium intensity
after training legs will help build size as it flushes the muscle with much
needed blood i.e nutrients which ur legs need to grow. Only for ten mins or so
will do, but its tough. Good luck.
bm   |.
i havent done weights since last october as i've been too busy playing football
but i want to hit the gym for the summer and bulk up the upper body.

presume this programme is ok? also, thinking of taking cellmass and/or nitrix by
BSN, recommended by someone to me.

anyone know much about either of these

Benn   |.
Usually when I workout I ensure that the muscle group is completely burned out
when I leave, usually a workout takes me around 60 - 80 minutes.

I have
started using this workout in the hope i will bring better size results but feel
that the bicep and tricep routines are simply not lasting long enough for me to
still be feeling it 2 days after.

Can anyone give me some advice on weather
this is better for building mass or should I revert back to working the muscle
twice as much and aching for twice as long?

Thanks in advance
Jez   |.

Thanks for advise there, but what would happen if you did cardio after
weights and you were in the cardio fitness zone? Ie, pushing it hard on the bike
for 20-30 min's after weights?
JM   |.
A little confused:

1. On the first training session, start off light, do 1
set per exercise.
2. After a few weeks, perform 2 sets for each exercise. After
around 3 months, perform a maximum of 3 sets per exercise.

And above the
program it says:

4 sets of each exercise with 6-10 repetitions except where

Can anyone clarify please?
James   |.
This is different to the other 4 day recommended routine on this site
previously. Which one is actually recommended?
James   |.
As in thread 10 I am a bit confused about the reps / sets.
scott   |.
best split routine is chest tris, back bis, legs shoulder, abs and core
stability, and cardio thus giving u 2 days off, best taken after the back sesion
and the carido session. Limit the levels of cardio to maximse muscle growth.
Mason   |.
Hey Jez,
Depends on wat yur goals are. If you trying to build up and are
training in cardio zone your gonna need those much needed calories for the
muscle to feed from to help bulk. But if you wanna cut up, still better to keep
heart rate lower unless you specifically want to improve fitness and not bother
with anything else.

Scott, honestly thats a crap split.... reason being, you
train chest hard usually what... 3 exercises for say 4 sets x 10 reps, then
triceps. Problem there is your triceps are gonna be fairly tired before you even
hit them, therefore won't be able to overload them as good and work them
individually.... same with back/biceps.

Best split if you have the time would
be... back/triceps...shoulders/abs/core...

That way each muscle can be worked
maximally with full effort and plenty of rest until needed again. Give it a go..
Will   |.
FAO bm:

BSN make crap products that don't work. Cellmass is expensive and
does not do anything close to what it claims and nitrix is a useless product
that will never work and cost you a lot of money. Just eat loads of food and
work hard in the gym.
James   |.

Re: Scott, honestly thats a crap split…. reason being, you train
chest hard usually what… 3 exercises for say 4 sets x 10 reps, then
triceps. Problem there is your triceps are gonna be fairly tired before you even
hit them, therefore won’t be able to overload them as good and work them
individually…. same with back/biceps.

If you're triceps are fairly
tired already it is easy to overload them. You may find it is harder to judge
progression because your tricep routine will be affected by how hard you have
done your chest that particular day so you won;t be able to judge your tricep
performance as well.

The problem is that the chest / tricep on same day may
work for him and not for you. And even then it may work for him some days and
then not work as well after a month, 2 months, 3 months etc.

Nature is a
bitch to control!

I prefer splitting things up a bit more but ensuring good
ian mclachlan   |.
I tried following spilt and it worked well


abs whenever
Ashley   |.
As always the basics are best, five day split, on each day one compound movement
as below and then choose two isolation moves and complete 3 sets and they 3 sets
on isolation moves but only take one set to complete failure!!

Day 1 Back -

Day 2 Chest - Bench press

Day 3 Legs - Squats or Leg press

4 Rest

Day 5 Shoulders - Miltary Press

Day 6 Biceps - Barbel Curls
(Straight Bar, as stimulates more muscle fibres)

Triceps - Skull Crushers or
Tricep Extensions

Day 7 Rest

As always plenty of protein at least 1.5/2.0
Grams if you are looking to add mass and 4 to 6 litres of water a day.

All of
the above is receipe to get HUGE :)
rob   |.
Im finding it hard to get bigger can anyone help,below is my weekly training,am
i doing to much?

calf raises
lunges 5
sets on all excerises
bent over rows
seated barbell press

close grip bench press
lying french press
bicep curl
ez bicep

cycling about 20 miles

dead lifts
leg ex
leg curl
dumbell shoulder press

dumbell bench press
seated ez french
bench dips
ez preacher curl
dumbell preacher curl
wrist curls


cycling ocassionaly
Andy   |.
there are no exercises for your abs in this routine
Andy   |.
also in workout 1 its titled chest/biceps with the exercise close grip bench
press in it when doesnt that do tricep for than chest ??
Andy   |.
for is supposed to be more*
mike   |.
I need some advice guys, i need to lose 12 lbs to bring my weight in line, as i
am assessed as clinically obsese.

I am currently training 3 days a week
doing boxersize, weight based circuits and general circuits for over a year.
The training routine i have is 2hrs (one day), 1.5hrs (next day) then rest for 2
days then 1.5hrs, then rest for 2 days.

I have come to a point where my
weight is at a stand still at 86kgs. My diet has improved, i am taking
Thermobol and am finding it difficult to break the 86kg barrier. All advice is

Many thanks

Graeme   |.
So on the first two exercises of work days, we do alight warmup say 10reps then
say a set of 8reps with slight weight increase, then five sets of work set! reps
of 8-10 slight weight increse on each of the last work sets!
Then rest of
excerises! slight warmup, then two work sets of 8-10
Im i wright saying this!
Please help
chris   |.
all of the above advice is good,the key to success is changing your routine
around periodically.basically speaking don't stick to the same routine for too
long.i try to change mine for myself and my clients every 4-6 weeks therefore
trying to avoid a plateau physically and mentally as lets face it the same
routine can become boring!!
if you are looking to gain weight then the best
best is to reduce your cv work to virtually nothing and increase your calorie
intake,that in partnership with a good solid and progressive program can't
really fail,as they say its not rocket science!!
if you are trying to lose
weight i would advise cardio work of 3-4 times a week at a moderate to high
intensity including interval training and classes like spin,again chop and
change to avoid getting used to the same thing.
i'm just another
person(Personal trainer!) giving advice but as one guy said what works for one
doesn't always work for ano...
Stuart   |.
Best way to lose weight is long, low intensity cardio. Like say walking or slow
cycling and I don't mean really slow just so that you are not getting to out of
breathe where you won't be burning fat. Work out your fat burning training
zone(65% of max heart rate) and buy yourself a heart rate monitor. Keep your
heart rate in your fat burning training zone for 45 mins to an hour 3 times per
week. Maybe take in a Bodypump class or circuit class to tone up.
Michael   |.
Hey Guys, ive been training for 6-8 months now and have seen some results, but i
have stoped training lately due to exams and lack of motivation, i train in my
house and have a gym in my garage, my body fat percentage is high, would i burn
fat by taking maximuscles cyclone and pack on size, or just pack on size?
would appreciate it if you could write back.. thanks guys
aaron   |.
Michael, bearing in mind I am no expert cyclone won’t make you lose body
fat and unless you own a big mansion with well equipped gym I'm not surprised to
hear you’ve lost motivation especially with exams looming.

at home is ok and does work for some people if they are well motivated, from a
personal point of view, I feel more motivated being with others that train and
being in a well equipped gym but again that personnel preference. I tried
working out in my garage with weights and a bench but soon grew out of this
basic equipment.

Bearing in mind you have only been training for 6 months you
need to get back to your original motivation, every workout you walk into you
must be 100% motivated concentrating on your form and the way you exercise the
muscle groups of the day.

As you are a beginner without making this
complicated you need to understand what type of body you have before training
Timmy  - Mr   |.
Hey, not sure if anyone could provide any advice.....have been doing this
routine for the last 8 weeks and so far working really well.

However i've been
told to vary exercises very slightly after 8 weeks. Is anyone to provide slight
exercise alterations as to shock the system.


mike  - when to do cardio and how to put on mass and stren   |.
I do cardio in the morning before work and do weight training after work.
try to stay on the lower end of my target heart range to condition my heart and
lungs and burn some fat but not to much so I lose energy and mass.
I found
that training chest shoulders triceps on monday
legs on wednesday and back and
biceps on friday got me stonger and more mass because of the use of heavy
compound movements ( no isolation stuff) I do abs after cardio sessions in the
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