StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split

StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split is a six-week training program for bodybuilders looking to gain muscle mass and build a balanced physique. It is available right now as a premium program in the StrengthLog app.

If you’re looking for a versatile training program that you can tailor to your schedule, look no further than the 4-Day Bodybuilding Split. In this article, you’ll find a detailed outline of the program to help you decide if it’s for you.

Introducing StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split

StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split is a version of the so-called bro-split, a training split where you focus on one or two muscle groups per workout. 

The bro-split is by far the most popular bodybuilding split in the world. Virtually all competitive bodybuilders follow some type of bro-split.1 It allows you to dedicate several different exercises to each muscle group, hitting them from every angle with a combination of free weights and machines.

With a typical bro-split, you train each muscle group once per week. You hit your muscles hard when you train, combined with maximum recovery between sessions to promote growth. 

StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split is a bro-split and more. You can schedule your workouts to train each muscle group once per week or go for a high-frequency approach to suit your preferences and lifestyle.

The program lasts for six weeks, gradually increasing training volume and intensity, after which you can start over from week one, only this time a little bigger and stronger. It offers built-in progression to keep it challenging and rewarding.

Who Is StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split For?

This program is designed for the intermediate to semi-advanced bodybuilder looking for a versatile training program to build muscle. You can dedicate at least four days per week to lifting, and you want the maximum benefit for your invested time.

It’s not a beginner’s program. If you’re new to bodybuilding, try our Barbell Training Program for the Beginner or StrengthLog’s Upper/Lower Body Split Program. Those are excellent introductions to strength training and bodybuilding and will prepare you for more advanced programs like this one.

The Workouts

An overview of StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split looks like this:

  • Day 1: Chest and Triceps
  • Day 2: Back and Biceps
  • Day 3: Shoulders and Abs
  • Day 4: Legs and Calves

The workouts are designed for synergy, combining muscle groups that interact with each other. At the same time, they give you enough muscular recovery in time for the next session. You don’t accumulate fatigue, allowing for optimal performance every training session.

Here’s an outline of each workout. You can see details like the number of sets and reps, and the % of 1RM, where applicable, in the StrengthLog app. 

Workout 1, Chest and Triceps

You start StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split in style with a day dedicated to chest and triceps. Stacking these two muscle groups together offers several benefits.

  • Your chest and triceps are pushing muscles, working together in most exercises. When you’re pushing the bar away from you in the bench press your triceps assist in completing each rep.
  • Combining chest and triceps allows for optimal recovery between workouts. If you work them on separate days, you have to be more careful not to overtrain your triceps, as they will be involved several times in your workout split.
  1. Bench Press
  2. Incline Dumbbell Press 
  3. Standing Cable Chest Fly 
  4. Push-Up 
  5. Barbell lying Triceps Extensions
  6. Overhead Cable Triceps Extensions
  7. Tricep Pushdown

Workout 2, Back and Biceps

Just as with the chest and triceps workout, synergy is the name of the game in the second training session. When you train your back, you also engage your biceps extensively. Some back exercises, like the lat pulldown, are almost as effective as curls for building biceps.

This workout destroys (in a good way!) your back from top to bottom, and then you follow up with a complete bicep session.

  1. Barbell Row
  2. Lat Pulldown
  3. Seated Cable Row
  4. Shrugs
  5. Back Extension
  6. Barbell Curl
  7. Hammer Curl
  8. Incline Dumbbell Curl

Workout 3, Shoulder and Abs

The shoulder and abs workout is probably the least demanding workout of StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split. Training delts and abs do not require too much energy. You’ll feel the burn during the workout, but it’s not like training your back or legs which can leave you exhausted for hours.

Likely, you’ll appreciate that this workout doesn’t take too much out of you, as it is squeezed between back day and leg day. That approach lets you rest up between the heaviest sessions of the program while still allowing you to give your all when doing shoulders and abs.

  1. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  2. Dumbbell Lateral Raise
  3. Dumbbell Front Raise
  4. Reverse Machine Fly
  5. Hanging Knee Raise
  6. Cable Crunch
  7. Kneeling Ab Wheel Roll-Out
  8. Oblique Crunch

Workout 4, Legs and Calves

If you found day three of StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split to be a breeze, prepare to finish with a leg day that’ll have your quads, hamstrings, and calves begging for mercy, incapable of responding with anything but growth.

It requires a particular mindset to go all-out on leg day. As a bodybuilder with your eyes on the prize – a muscular, balanced physique – this workout is both challenging and rewarding.

  1. Lying Leg Curl
  2. Squat
  3. Leg Press
  4. Bulgarian Split Squat
  5. Leg Extension
  6. Seated Leg Curl
  7. Romanian Deadlift
  8. Standing Calf Raise
  9. Seated Calf Raise

Progression Model

The two primary ways to build muscle are lifting heavier and training more. In other words, progressive overload and training volume. You constantly want to challenge your muscles by forcing them to do something they aren’t used to.

That means adding weight to the bar whenever possible, preferably as part of a planned progression system, and gradually increasing training volume. At the same time, you can only recover from so much training. Do too much too soon, and you risk overtraining, the number one enemy of consistent gains.

optimal training volume bodybuilding

Sounds tricky? It can be, but StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split takes care of those two variables for you. It offers built-in progression that adds intensity and volume while allowing your body enough recovery to adapt and grow. The number of sets in the program optimizes muscle growth according to up-to-date scientific research.2 You start the lower end and increase both intensity and volume as your body adapts to the positive stress.

Preparing for StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split

Before heading off to the gym for the first workout of StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split, it would be a good idea to establish your 1RM in the bench press and the squat. Your 1RM is your one-repetition maximum, the heaviest weight you can lift once with maximal effort.

You might already know your 1RM in the bench press and the squat, in which case you don’t have to do anything else. You’re good to go. If you don’t know it, and you don’t want to figure it out by doing heavy singles in the gym (you’re a bodybuilder, not a powerlifter, after all), you can use our handy calculator:

The Best 1RM Calculator: Calculate Your One Rep Max

It is based on one of the most accurate equations for predicting 1RM. While no 1RM equation is 100 % accurate for everyone, it is more than good enough for our purposes.

Tailor StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split to Your Schedule

Dividing your body up into four workouts is ideal if you’re looking for a versatile training split. Most of us can’t schedule our lives around our training like a pro bodybuilder. With StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split you can do the opposite: tailor your training to fit into your life puzzle without your gains suffering.

  • Treat it like a classic bro-split and train each muscle group once weekly. For example, make Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday your training days. That way you get a day of rest after the most challenging days of the program. In addition, you get the weekend off. Of course, you can use any other combination of days to structure your training week to fit your schedule.
  • Train four days in a row followed by a rest day, then start over from day one. You’ll train each muscle group two times per ten days. This approach requires the ability to recover fast, but it could be ideal if you prefer a higher training frequency.
  • Make StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split a two-on/one-off routine. You get more rest than in the previous suggestion but still train each muscle relatively frequently.

In the default split in the StrengthLog app, you train each muscle group once per week, meaning four training days and three rest days. You decide which days to train and which days are rest days.

Training to Failure

Training to muscular failure is both challenging and fun, but it can lead to overtraining and psychological burnout if you do it all the time.3 It places a lot of stress on both your muscles and your central nervous system. Research suggests that you don’t need to train to failure for gains in muscle strength and size.4 5

However, if you’re an experienced bodybuilder, training to failure can offer some benefits for maximal hypertrophy. In StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split, you train to failure some of the time but not all of the time. That way, you get the potential benefits but avoid burnout. “Stimulate, don’t annihilate” as 8-time Mr. Olympia Lee Haney famously said in the 1980s. And he was right.

For compound exercises like the bench press, squat or overhead press, make the final repetition of each set challenging but not impossible. Select an amount of weight you can control even during the last few reps. Terminate your sets when you feel that you could probably grind out one more rep without losing form if you had to.

When you perform isolation exercises, feel free to train to technical failure. Unlike absolute failure, which means you can’t do another repetition with any form, good or bad, technical failure is when you can’t complete another rep with proper form.

When You Reach the End of StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split

After six weeks, you have completed a round of StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split, hopefully coming out on the other end a little bigger and stronger than before.

If you’re relatively new to the bodybuilding game, you can expect to have gained significant amounts of muscle. If you’re a ten-year bodybuilding veteran, gains come much slower.

Regardless of your training experience, if you enjoyed the program and the results, feel free to start over from the beginning. The lower training volume of week one is almost like a deload week, and you’ll feel the difference in your strength levels.

Alternatively, if you’re feeling fresh and strong, you could stay at week six until you feel the need to back off on the intensity and volume.

Before starting over, test your new 1RM in the squat and the bench press or use our calculator to update the weights you’ll use for the next round.

Follow This Program

Want to start StrengthLog’s 4-Day Workout Split?

It’s available exclusively in our workout app StrengthLog.

While this program requires a premium subscription, StrengthLog itself is entirely free. You can download it and use it as a workout tracker and general strength training app – and all basic functionality is free forever.

It even has a bunch of free programs and workouts. However, our more advanced programs (such as this one) are for premium users only.

Want to give premium a shot? We offer all new users a free 14-day trial of premium, which you can activate in the app.

Download StrengthLog for free with the buttons below:

>> Click here to return to our list of training programs.

References

  1. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: June 2013 – Volume 27 – Issue 6 – p 1609-1617. Training Practices and Ergogenic Aids Used by Male Bodybuilders.
  2. J Hum Kinet. 2022 Feb 10;81:199-210. A Systematic Review of The Effects of Different Resistance Training Volumes on Muscle Hypertrophy.
  3. Sports Medicine volume 23, pages 106–129 (1997). Resistance Exercise Overtraining and Overreaching.
  4. Strength and Conditioning Journal: October 2019 – Volume 41 – Issue 5 – p 108-113. Does Training to Failure Maximize Muscle Hypertrophy?
  5. Journal of Sport and Health Science, Volume 11, Issue 2, March 2022, Pages 202-211. Effects of resistance training performed to repetition failure or non-failure on muscular strength and hypertrophy: A systematic review and meta-analysis.
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Andreas Abelsson

Andreas has over 30 years of training experience and is a highly appreciated writer and educator on exercise, fitness, and nutrition. Few people stay more up to date and have a better grasp of the field of exercise science than Andreas.