What is the 4 Day Split?
The four day split workout is a workout plan that involves 4 weekly gym sessions. Each session targets a specific set of muscles. It tries to maximize exertion on the target muscle groups while allowing other muscles to recover on days when they aren’t being used. It’s also worth checking out the 3 Day Workout Split, if having only 3 workouts per week fits your schedule better.
In this article we’ll break down common variations of the 4 day split workout, including sample routines. We’ll also help you figure out if the 4 day split is a good fit for your workout routine.
Popular 4 Day Split Variations
The Upper Lower 4 Day Split Workout divides the four workout sessions into 2 days of upper body training and two days of lower body training. Working out half your body each session means you’ll be training a wide range of muscles groups. The idea is to exert one half of your body while the other half rests. Remember rest days are just as important as gym days. Another key benefit is you’ll be training each muscle group 2x a week which has been shown to result in significantly greater muscle growth when compared to just working each muscle group 1x per week (See Bro Split).
The Push Pull split is similar to the Upper Lower Split and provides a lot of the same benefits. Again you’ll alternate targeting half your body in each session. Push days include exercises where you’re pushing (Bench Press, Squat) and generally target the muscles in the front of your body. Pull days include exercises where you’re pulling (Pull Ups, Bent Over Row) and generally target the back of the body.
Push Day Muscle Groups: Chest, shoulders, triceps, quadriceps, and calves
Pull Day Muscle Groups: Entire back, biceps, hamstrings, and obliques
The biggest benefit of a push pull split is that you’re able maximise weekly set count for all your major muscle groups because you’re working them out twice a week. There’s lots of research that shows targeting the same muscle group multiple times per week is optimal in terms of muscle regeneration.
Classic Bodybuilder (Bro Split)
The classic bodybuilder 4 day split (sometimes called the Bro Split) is the meat and potatoes of four day splits. It involves training a specific isolated muscle group in each workout. It generally splits the sessions into back, chest, arms, and legs.
It allows you to focus entirely on a small set of muscles per session and gives a full week of recovery for each muscle group. A major benefit of focusing on a single muscle group per session is you can give priority to weaker muscle groups.
In recent years, there’s been a lot of research done that calls into question the effectiveness of working out a single muscle per workout. Regardless of the controversy, the Classic Bodybuilder split is a tried and true method that countless extremely successful lifters swear by for results.
Is a 4 Day Split Workout for me?
Working out 4 days a week gives you plenty of time in the gym to build a balanced routine that engages all parts of the body. It plays especially well with Upper/Lower and Push/Pull type splits because it gives you a balanced 2 days for each variation. It also gives you a good balance of exertion vs rest days that’s important for avoiding over training.
In a 4 day split, you can get away with shorter sessions than you can in the 3 Day Split, just because you have that extra day to train. Shorter sessions means you can focus more on quality sets, which can suffer if you’re trying to cram too much stuff into a single workout.
Working out in a four day split is a great way to get results and bring your workout routine to the next level. Whether you choose an Upper Lower, Push Pull or Classic Bodybuilder split the most important thing for results is consistency. Pick a plan that you enjoy and don’t be afraid to switch it up after a while if you start getting bored. If you feel like tracking your workouts, be sure to check out Hevy!