StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split is a six-week training program for building muscle mass and a balanced physique. It is available right now as a premium program in the StrengthLog workout tracker.
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If you’re looking for a 4-day split for muscle and strength gains and overall better results, look no further. In this article, you’ll find a detailed outline of the workout program, what it’s about, and what you can expect when you hit the weight room.
Introducing StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split
You can reach your fitness goals in many different ways: a full body split for the entire body, an upper-lower split, a push-pull split, or a bro split, to mention a few examples.
StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split is a version of the bro split, a training split routine where you focus on one or two major muscle groups per workout.
The bro-split is by far the most popular bodybuilding split in the world. Virtually all competitive bodybuilders and advanced lifters looking to build as much muscle as possible follow a 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 specific muscle group once per week. You hit each body part hard when you train, then give them plenty of time to recover between sessions to promote growth.
StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split is a bro-split and more. You can schedule your workouts to train your different muscle groups 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 a little bigger and stronger. It offers built-in progression to keep things challenging and rewarding.
Who Is StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split For?
This program is designed for intermediate lifters and above looking for a versatile training program to build muscle. You have enough time to dedicate four days per week to lifting and want maximum benefit for your efforts.
It’s not a beginner’s program. If you’re new to lifting, this high volume style of training will likely be too much for you right now. Try our Bodybuilding for Beginners workout routine for the best way to get started. It is an excellent introduction to strength training and bodybuilding and will prepare you for more advanced programs like this one.
An overview of StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split looks like this:
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 optimal performance in every training session.
Here’s an outline of each workout. You can see details like the number of reps and sets, and the % of 1RM, where applicable, in StrengthLog.
Workout 1, Chest and Triceps
Everyone loves chest day, and 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.
- Bench Press
- Incline Dumbbell Press
- Standing Cable Chest Fly
- Barbell lying Triceps Extensions
- Overhead Cable Triceps Extensions
- Tricep Pushdown
You start the workout with compound movements using heavier weights and fewer reps, then move to isolation exercises and lighter weights where you go for the pump. That’s a great way to hit all muscle fibers for optimal muscle growth.
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. This is a pull workout for your back and biceps. You start with the larger muscle group, then curl your way to bigger biceps.
This workout destroys (in a good way!) your back from top to bottom, and then you follow up with a complete bicep session.
- Barbell Row
- Lat Pulldown
- Seated Cable Row
- Back Extension
- Barbell Curl
- Hammer Curl
- 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.
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise
- Dumbbell Front Raise
- Reverse Machine Fly
- Hanging Knee Raise
- Cable Crunch
- Kneeling Ab Wheel Roll-Out
- 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. A combination of lower and higher reps using the best exercises leaves your legs incapable of responding with anything but growth.
It requires a particular mindset to go all out on leg day as it taxes your whole body. As a bodybuilder with your eyes on the prize – a muscular, balanced physique – this workout is both challenging and rewarding.
- Lying Leg Curl
- Leg Press
- Bulgarian Split Squat
- Leg Extension
- Seated Leg Curl
- Romanian Deadlift
- Standing Calf Raise
- Seated Calf Raise
You constantly want to challenge your muscles by forcing them to do something they aren’t used to. The two primary ways to build muscle are lifting heavier and training more. In other words: progressive overload and training volume.
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.
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.
According to up-to-date research, you need 12–20 weekly sets per muscle group for optimal muscle growth, with advanced athletes requiring more training than beginners and intermediates.2 The number of sets in StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split keeps you within that interval at all times without compromising your recovery.
You start at the lower end and increase 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’s 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 that 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 can use our handy calculator:
It is based on one of the most accurate equations for predicting 1RM. While no 1RM equation is 100 % correct for everyone, it is more than good enough for our purposes.
Tailor StrengthLog’s 4-Day Bodybuilding Split to Your Schedule
Dividing your body 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 for four consecutive days, 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 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 you dedicate to rest and recovery.
How long should you rest between sets for best results? Research suggests a small benefit for longer rest intervals compared to short ones.3 Resting longer allows you to use life more weight and do more reps for a greater total volume, which could lead to more significant muscle growth over time.
If you have time, go for 2–3 minutes of rest between sets. Of even longer if you want. If you’re on a tight schedule or prefer a fast-paced workout, 1–2 minutes of rest works fine, too. You’ll probably notice that you might need to rest more between sets of heavy compound exercises like the squat than sets of exercises for smaller muscle groups.
The bottom line: you can get fantastic muscle building results from both short and long rest intervals. However, I suggest you rest at least one minute between sets, regardless of exercise, or you’ll find it challenging to maintain your strength levels the entire workout.
Training to Failure
Training to muscular failure is challenging and fun, but it can lead to overtraining and psychological burnout if you do it all the time.4 It places great stress on your muscles and your central nervous system. Research suggests that you don’t need to train to failure for muscle strength and size gains.5 6
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.
Make the final repetition of each set challenging but not impossible in compound exercises like the bench press, squat or overhead press. Select an amount of weight you can control even during the last few reps. Terminate your sets when you feel you could 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, 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, staying at week six until you feel the need to back off on the intensity and volume is a good option.
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:
Good luck with your training!
Looking for a 3-day split or a 5-day split to change things up? We’ve got you covered with the best workout split regardless of how many times per week you want to hit the gym.
- Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: June 2013 – Volume 27 – Issue 6 – p 1609-1617. Training Practices and Ergogenic Aids Used by Male Bodybuilders.
- J Hum Kinet. 2022 Feb 10;81:199-210. A Systematic Review of The Effects of Different Resistance Training Volumes on Muscle Hypertrophy.
- Int J Exerc Sci. 2022; 15(4): 910–933. Manipulating Resistance Training Variables to Induce Muscle Strength and Hypertrophy: A Brief Narrative Review.
- Sports Medicine volume 23, pages 106–129 (1997). Resistance Exercise Overtraining and Overreaching.
- Strength and Conditioning Journal: October 2019 – Volume 41 – Issue 5 – p 108-113. Does Training to Failure Maximize Muscle Hypertrophy?
- 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.