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4 day split workout for bodybuilding

The 4 day split workout for bodybuilding differs somewhat to the 2 day split workout but has a number of areas in common with the 3 day split workouts. Where as the 2 day split workout requires bodybuilders to train and exercise each muscle group twice a week, the 3 day and 4 day split workouts require that bodybuilders exercise each muscle group only once a week.

For beginners, who are encouraged to train each muscle group 3 times week and for those who perform the push / pull or upper body / lower body two day split program exercising each muscle group once a week may not seem like enough. However, the 4 day split is a workout and training program aimed at advanced bodybuilders who are able to lift heavy weights and bombard each muscle group with multiple exercises without overtraining - something beginner and intermediate bodybuilders couldn't do.

4 day split workout: The benefits

A 4 day split workout training program allows experienced bodybuilders to create workouts that focus on large muscle groups and their historic stubborn muscle groups. Employing a 4 day split program means that bodybuilders can place huge amounts of stress on each muscle group, forcing them to breakdown and tear and then rest each damaged muscle group for a week, giving each area time to repair itself and develop slightly more resilience before the next stressful workout. And as every bodybuilder knows, this slight resilience spells muscle growth and progression.

4 day split workout: Choosing the exercises

The 2 day split workout allows bodybuilders to choose two exercises per body part. The 3 day split workout allows bodybuilders to choose 3 or 4 exercises per muscle group, depending on whether the workouts are cycled once or twice in a given week. The 4 day split allows at least a full week between each muscle group workout so bodybuilders can choose up to 4 exercises per large body part (legs, back, chest, shoulders) and 3 exercises for smaller body parts (abs, biceps, triceps, calves).

This means that bodybuilders can choose a variety of exercises that place stress on each muscle group in different ways. For example a bodybuilder could create a chest workout which includes the incline press for the upper chest, the decline press for the lower chest, the flat bench for mid chest and cable crossovers to place isolated stress on the outer chest area.

The 4 day split workout also allows bodybuilders to exercises that will shock their stubborn body parts into growth. For example, using the 4 day split workout bodybuilders will have time to include isolation exercises for calves and forearms etc without spending more than 60 minutes in the gym, something they couldn't do if they employed the full body or 2 day split workouts.

4 day split workout: The workout

As the name suggests the 4 day split workout sees bodybuilders visit the gym 4 times a week, with each workout concentrating on training a particular muscle group. With the 4 day split workout bodybuilders have a large variety of training options. They could pair their muscle groups in a number of ways. Below I have written down some suggestions.

  • Day 1 - Chest + triceps
  • Day 2 - Legs
  • Day 3 - Back + abs
  • Day 4 - Shoulders + biceps

Alternatively, the 4 day split could look like this:

  • Day 1 - Chest + biceps
  • Day 2 - Legs + abs
  • Day 3 - Back + triceps
  • Day 4 - Shoulders + traps

But these suggestions are by no means the only options available to bodybuilders. As long as each 4 day split workout day includes only one large muscle group bodybuilders can pair up the smaller muscle groups in any manner they see fit. The 4 day split workout also allows bodybuilders to choose whether they want to concentrate on a stubborn muscle group only on a particular day. For example a bodybuilder who finds it hard to shock their back muscles into growth many feel that they train only this muscle group on a training day rather than this muscle group and another.

4 day split workout: Organising your training week

It is possible to create a 4 day split in a number of ways. Remember there are 7 days in any given week and this training program will take up only 4 days. So, with that in mind the 4 day split workout could look something like this:

  • Monday - Chest + biceps
  • Tuesday  - Back + abs
  • Wednesday - Legs
  • Thursday  - Rest
  • Friday - Rest
  • Saturday - Shoulders + triceps
  • Sunday  - Rest

Or, a training plan could separate rest days more evenly throughout the week, like so:

  • Monday - Chest + biceps
  • Tuesday  - Rest
  • Wednesday - Legs
  • Thursday  - Rest
  • Friday - Back + abs
  • Saturday - Rest
  • Sunday  - Shoulders + triceps

While creating a 4 day split training plan aim to separate workouts throughout the week. Due to the intensity fo each workout it wouldn't be advantageous to train over 4 consecutive days and resting for the next 3 days.

4 day split workout: Workout intensity

Performing the 4 day split workout isn't the only way to increase the stress placed on each muscle group. Below are some advanced techniques aimed at shocking stubborn body parts groups into muscle growth.

Technique
How to performance
Cheating reps
Perform all reps with perfect technique but as your strength diminishes use momentum to move the weight for a number of additional reps
Rest-Pause
Perform your set as normal but once you have reached muscle failure, stop for 15 seconds before lifting the same weight again and work to muscle failure once again.
Drop set
Choose a weight that is slightly heavier than your normal weight. Perform a set to muscle failure and then immediately strip the bar or dumbbells of some weight before carrying on without any rest.
Superset
Pair two exercises for the same muscle group together. Perform the first exercise as normal and then follow this by performing the next exercise without any rest.
Pre-exhaustion
Choose two exercises for the same muscle group - one compound exercise and one isolation exercise. perform the isolation exercise followed by the compound movement without rest.

It must be stressed that these techniques should only be used sparingly. Bodybuilders should aim to include one of these techniques in every other workout at most otherwise they risk overtraining, a situation which will reduce and even stop further developments in muscle mass development.

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