A four-day workout routine – no magic at all!

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In case you are a dedicated believer towards recent inventions, wonder methods, crispy fresh tools, and scientific, proven or not really proven groundbreaking training techniques, then forget this article for good. On the other hand if you are fond of simple, but effective ways of doing things, then keep on reading.

Back to the basics

The truth is that there were well muscled people around even when the supercomplex scientific methods were yet to be invented. We do not state that they are to be neglected. We do not state that all of them are useless. But we do state that before you reach a certain level of development, they are rather confusing, and have little use. If you train hard and eat well, you will definitely see results – that’s it. Of course there are basic rules you need to follow (of volumes, regeneration, etc.), but you should not ‘overthink’ it. This is just body building. Not rocket science.

There are no wonder exercises included in this routine that are usually hidden from mortals. We just put the well known things in the right order, and then define a volume and intensity that would be ideal for most of you. The rest is up to you!

The magic of split routines

There is a constant debate on whether you need to work a muscle group once a week, or you should work on it more often. We found that both methods are effective when followed appropriately. The ‘one workout per muscle group a week’ method is more suitable for those who like to work a muscle group until it gets totally demolished. Such a way of working out a muscle group several times a week would lead to overtraining, but it is a must when done once a week.

So let’s see the routines!

Monday: Chest & biceps & forearms

Bench presses 15, 12, 10, 8, 6
Inclined bench presses 15, 12, 10, 8
Pull-overs 15, 12, 10
Flyes with varying inclination* 15, 12, 10
Standing EZ-bar biceps curls 15, 12, 10
Hammer curls 15, 12, 10
Biceps curls (reverse hold) 15, 12, 10
Concentrated biceps curls** 20, 15
Wrist curls 4×20

*: adjust the angle of inclination a bit for each set
**: You can do it on a machine or in a well supported posture, any way you want

Tuesday: Legs

Squats 12, 10, 8, 6
Front squats 15, 12, 10, 8
Leg presses 20, 15, 12, 10
Sissy squats 3 × as many as you can
Stiff legged deadlifts 15, 12, 10, 8
Lying leg curls 4 × 15
Standing calf raises: 4 × 20+
Seated calf raises 4 × 20+*

*: Do at least 20 reps per set!

.eursday: shoulders & triceps

Military presses (standing): 15, 12, 10, 8
Lateral raises 4 × 15
Bent-over lateral raises 4 × 14
Dips 4 × as many as you can
Pull-overs and presses 15, 12, 10, 8
Push-down (bar/cable)* 4 × 20+

*: vary them from workout to workout, or even from set to set

Friday: Back

Pull-ups 4 × as many as you can
Pull-ups with close grip* 4 × as many as you can
Bent-over rows 12, 10, 8, 6
Cable rows with close grip handles 15, 12, 10, 8
Deadlift 12, 10, 8, 6

*: you can do pull-downs instead, if pull-ups are too hard for you

Muscle groups are divided so that they have maximum time to regenerate. Note that warm-up sets are not included in the volumes listed above. You should only do the reps until and over failure in the last set at each exercise, so you need to pick the weights right to be able to do every rep in good form.

Do not fall into the trap of making the 12-rep set easy! The 12th rep should be very hard to do. If it goes smooth, increase the weight! Rest times should never exceed 2 minutes for large muscle groups and 1 minute for small muscle groups. You don’t go to the gym to jack around. Workouts should be completed in an hour – only your leg day might take a bit more time.

Your abs can be worked at every workout, even though we fond that two times a week is sufficient. Be sure to include sit-ups or crunches, and some kind of leg raises too.

What is not in the plan

Go jogging, running, or do some aerobic or even cardio training 1-2 times a week. This seems to contradict principles, but if you follow a good diet, it will not cause any problems, moreover it can improve your performance. We often get the question on what to do if someone likes to do basketball, football, etc. Do it! If you don’t enjoy it, if you feel like sacrificing another sport, then it’s not worth it. In addition your physique will get more balanced, if you take on another type of sports. Not to mention your stamina!

That’s all the magic. 4 hard workouts a week, good food, and some other kind of exercise. You can always customize this system with some experience up your sleeves, but if you are more than half a year into body building, and you do not know how to move on, you should definitely try this program – you won’t get disappointed!

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