A Classic 4 Day Weight Lifting Workout Split

Need help setting up a workout schedule? Or maybe your tired of your regular routine and want to switch it up. Check out this traditional weight lifting weekly schedule.

Get the ice and Ibuprofen ready because this 4 Day Workout Split will destroy you.

In the best way, of course.

To maximize your gains in the gym, you’ll need to focus on consistent heavy compound exercises combined with the right amount of rest.

Overload on the workout without the rest and you’ll just beat yourself up.

This 4 Day Workout Split mixes muscle-blasting workouts with optimized rest intervals to boost your muscle progression.

Here’s what the workout looks like.

4 Day Workout Split | Summary

  • Days Per Week – 4
  • Workout Duration – 60 Minutes
  • Sets Per Exercise – 3
  • Rep Range – 4-6
  • Rest Intervals – 2-3 Minutes

4 Day Workout Split | Weekly Schedule

  • Monday — Legs
  • Tuesday — Chest and Triceps
  • Wednesday — OFF
  • Thursday — Back and Biceps
  • Friday — Shoulders
  • Saturday — OFF
  • Sunday — OFF

Building Muscle

Since this 4-day split is mostly comprised of heavy compound exercises, you’ll need sufficient rest in between workouts to return to efficient training strength.

That’s why you have 3 days off each week.

This schedule guarantee you’ll show up at each workout fresh and ready to progressive overload train.

Endurance Training

Notice Leg Day is on Monday (National Chest Day).

“Blaspheme!” Before you burn me at the stake, hear me out.

By blasting legs on Monday, you’ll be recovered for endurance training on the weekends.

Most endurance athletes save their long efforts for the weekend. With this schedule, leg training won’t interfere with your long runs or bikes.

Since Saturday is free, you can focus all your time and energy on endurance training. And with Sunday off, you’ll have a full day of recovery before hitting the gym again on Monday.

4 Day Workout Split | Training Method

Each workout should last around 60 minutes. Most of my other workout routines last 45-60 minutes, but those are generally for 5-6 Day Split Workouts.

Since you’re only working out 4 days a week, you may need a little extra time with each workout to make sure you sufficiently train all muscle groups.

Training in the low rep range close to failure is fatiguing. That’s why I recommend 3 sets per exercise. Any further than 3 sets and I find your form suffers or you must decrease the amount of weight. That, or you need to add more weight to the exercise.

You’ll perform each exercise in the 4-6 rep range. This is important for a 4-Day Split primarily made up of compound exercises.

  • By keeping the rep range low, you’ll be better able to focus on your form.
    • This helps with progressive overload training. It’s easier to track gains from 4 to 5 reps as opposed to 15 to 16.
  • Studies show high-intensity exercise increase muscle growth more than high-volume exercises

Rest for 2-3 minutes between each set. A study found lifters made large strength gains with 2-minute rest intervals. But those who trained with 4-minute rest intervals experienced “little additional gains.” That’s why I recommend at least 2 minutes of rest between each set.

4 Day Workout Split | Exercises

Legs | Day 1

Primary Exercises (followed by their alternative exercises):

  • Barbell Back Squat (Barbell Front Squat, Leg Press, Dumbbell Back Squat)
  • Romanian Deadlift (Dumbbell Single-Leg Deadlift, Bulgarian Split Squat, Hamstring Curl)
  • Barbell Glute Bridge (Barbell Reverse Lunge, Dumbbell Lunge, Glute Pull-Through)
  • Seated Calf Raise (Standing Calf Raise, Donkey Calf Raise, Leg Press Calf Raise)

Chest and Triceps | Day 2

Primary Exercises (followed by their alternative exercises):

  • Barbell Bench Press (Dumbbell Bench Press, Chest Press Machine, Floor Press)
  • Incline Barbell Bench Press (Incline Dumbbell Bench Press, Landmine Press)
  • Dips (Weighted Dips, Bench Dip)
  • Close-Grip Tricep Bench Press (Dumbbell Tricep Press, Tricep Press Machine)
  • Reverse-Grip Barbell Skullcrusher (Barbell Skullsher, Dumbbell Skullcrusher)
  • Cable Rope Pulldown (Cable Straight Bar Pulldown, Diamond Pushup)

Back and Biceps | Day 4

Primary Exercises (followed by their alternative exercises):

  • Barbell Deadlift (Dumbbell Deadlift, Suitcase Deadlift)
  • Barbell Row (T-Bar Row, Dumbbell Row, Seated Cable Row)
  • Lat Pull-down (Straight Bar Cable Pull-down)
  • Pull-up (Weighted Pull-up)
  • EZ Bar Curl (Barbell Curl, Bicep Curl Machine)
  • Hammer Curl (Bicep Curl, Zottman Curl)
  • Straight Bar Cable Curl (Rope Cable Curl)

Shoulders | Day 5

Primary Exercises (followed by their alternative exercises):

  • Seated Military Press (Standing Barbell Shoulder Press, Dumbbell Shoulder Press, Arnold Press)
  • Reverse Dumbbell Fly (Reverse Flye Machine, Seated Reverse Dumbbell Flye, Face Pull)
  • Lateral Dumbbell Shoulder Raise (Lateral Cable Raise)
  • Front Dumbbell Shoulder Raise (Front Cable Raise)

“Where are the abs!?” you’re probably wondering. Hold tight.

Most of these compound exercises require a significant amount of core strength to execute with proper form. So your abs are getting a great workout each day!

But to maximize abdominal strength gains, add this simple ab circuit onto your “lighter” days (shoulders, legs, and feel free to throw it in and the end of your other workouts if you still have energy).

*Make sure you do any ab-specific exercises at the END of your workout. Throwing them in at the beginning or throughout will decrease your power for other compound lifts.

Here are two ab circuits I cycle through each week: one focuses more on the obliques and the other focuses on the rectus abdominus.

Perform 10-12 reps of the first weighted exercise. Then perform the two bodyweight exercises to failure. Then rest for 2-3 minutes before repeating the circuit. Repeat the circuit 3x.

Ab Circuit #1

  • Hanging Dumbbell Knee Raise
  • Ab Bicycle
  • Decline Crunch

Ab Circuit #2

  • Landmine 180
  • Captain’s Chair Straight Leg Raise
  • Mason Twist

And that’s it!

Again, this is a more traditional weight lifting schedule. Many would consider this a “bodybuilding” type routine. Depending on your goals, you can alternate weeks of weight training and cardio training to keep things fresh! Have fun!

TFT Team

Our team at The Fitness Tribe often collaborates together to produce content. When you see “TFT Team” this is because the content was not written by a single author, but rather a team effort.

Need help setting up a workout schedule? Or maybe your tired of your regular routine and want to switch it up. Check out this traditional weight lifting weekly schedule.