I have been getting several requests via email for a good hypertrophy (muscle growth) workout. So I’ve put together a 4 day split workout aimed at muscle building and weight gain. This split workout hits each muscle group once per week. I have given this workout to many people who have achieved excellent strength and size gains.
Read this first:
Before you jump into the workout below I want to cover a few points that will help you get the most out of the workout.
- Get your technique right on every exercise. Swinging heavy weights around is not the way to build muscle. You must control the weight and focus on contraction. Remember, you’re not in the gym to lift the heaviest weights, you’re in there to build muscle.
- This workout should take about 45-55mins, not including warm up time. If you’re taking longer than that you’re resting too long. You should aim to keep your workouts short and intense for maximum results.
- You’ve got to have the nutrition to back this up. If you’re not eating enough calories, you won’t grow. It’s a simple as that.
- Supplements are also an important part of growing muscle. Post workout is the MOST important time of the day nutrition wise. I suggest you have a shake consisting of 35-40g of whey protein isolate, 60-70g of dextrose (or high GI carbs supplement), 5g of creatine and 5g of glutamine.
- To prevent injuries, you should start each workout with a 5-10min warm up and light stretches of the muscle group you’re about to work.
4 day bodybuilding workout:
Monday – Chest/Biceps/Forearms
To kick off the week we’re going to hit chest, biceps and forearms. It’s a good idea to switch the first 2 exercises in this routine (dumbbell bench and barbell bench) each week to promote good upper chest development.
- Dumbbell Bench Press – 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 8
- Incline Barbell Bench Press – 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 8
- Dips – 4 sets of MAX
- Cable Crossovers – 4 sets of 10 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Curl (alternating) – 4 sets of 12, 10, 10, 8
- Rope Cable Curl – 3 sets of 10
- Preacher Curl – 3 sets of 10
- EZ Bar Reverse Curl – 3 sets of 10
- Wrist Curl – 3 sets of 12
Tuesday – Legs/Abs
Heavy leg training is a MUST build your quads, hams and glutes. Squats you should be lifting as heavy as possible! Deadlifts should be done with slow rep timing, focusing on the stretch and contraction of the hamstring.
- Squats – 5 sets of 12, 12, 10, 10, 8
- Stiff Leg Deadlift (AKA Romanian Deadlift) – 4 sets of 12
- Leg Press OR Leg Extensions – 4 sets of 10 reps
- Leg Curl – 4 sets of 10 reps
- Hanging Leg Raise – 3 sets of 15 reps
- Swiss Ball Crunch – 3 sets of 20 reps
- Hover – 3 sets for MAX time
Thursday – Shoulders/Traps/Triceps
A few notes for this day. First, shrugs need to be slow with a pause for 3 seconds at the top of the movement. Second, tricep kickbacks need to be done with ultra-strict form with a 2 second pause at the top of the movement. Never leg your elbows drop below your shoulders!
- Seated Barbell Press – 4 sets of 8
- Dumbbell OR Cable Front Raise – 4 sets of 12
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise – 4 sets of 10
- Cable Reverse Fly – 4 sets of 12
- Dumbbell Shrug – 5 sets of 15, 12, 12, 10, 10
- Lying Dumbbell Extension – 4 sets of 10 reps
- Cable Tricep Extension (using rope) – 3 sets of 10
- Dumbbell Kickbacks – 3 sets of 12
Friday – Back/Calves/Abs
Back, calves and abs today. You’ll see I have wide grip pullups as the first exercise. These are THE KING of all back exercises and you should always kick off your back day with them. If you can’t do pullups, replace the exercise with lat pull downs and work up to it.
- Wide Grip Pullups – 4 sets of MAX reps
- Cable Row – 4 sets of 10 reps
- One Arm Dumbbell Row – 4 sets of 8 reps
- Close Grip Pulldown – 4 sets of 12 reps
- Standing Calf Raise – 5 sets of 15, 12, 12, 10, 8
- Seated Calf Raise – 5 sets of 10, 10, 8, 8, 6
- Decline Sit Up – 3 sets of 20
- Floor Crunch – 3 sets of 20 reps
- Hanging Leg Raise – 3 sets of 15 reps
If you’ve got any comments or questions about this workout routine feel free to post them below.