4 Day Workout Program to Build Serious Mass

4 Day Workout Program to Build Serious Mass
Got a goal to build some serious mass this summer? This workout might be the perfect one for you. But leg day haters beware - this workout has 2 leg days!

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Split
Intermediate
8 weeks
4
45-60 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
Male & Female
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Workout Description

It’s all about the mass, am I right?

If you’re looking to gain muscle mass over the next couple of months, this high volume workout is perfect for you.

The program includes 2 leg days, because as we all know your legs are the strongest muscle group in your body. Which means, they can lift heavier weight than your other muscle groups.

Why is this important? Because muscle protein synthesis is elevated for 48-72 hours after heavy resistance training1! In simpler terms, the extra leg day could help you gain more mass.

When performing this program, you’ll want to take 0-90 seconds of rest in between each set, superset, or triset.

Ideally, to gain mass, you’ll want to be in a ~250-500 calorie surplus. Use our BMR calculator here to figure out your daily maintenance calories and then add your desired amount of surplus calories to that total.

If you’d like to add cardio to the program, you are more than welcome to. Just be sure to account for the extra volume when you’re figuring out how many calories you should eat daily.

Give the program a shot for 6-8 weeks before taking a week to deload, track your progress, reassess your goals, and progress to another workout cycle.

If you have any questions or comments, reach out to us in the comments section below. We’re more than happy answer them and help you get another step closer to accomplishing your goals.

Monday - Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Squat 4 10-12
2. Walking Lunge 3 10 each leg
3. Leg Press 3 10-12
4a. Goblet Squat 3 15
4b. Leg Extension 3 15
4c. Leg Curl 3 15
5. Calf Raise 3 20
Tuesday - Chest and Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Bench Press 4 10-12
2. Dumbbell Incline Bench 4 12
3a. Hammer Strength Incline Press 3 15
3b. Pec Deck 3 12
4a. Standing Dumbbell Press 3 15
4b. Lateral Raise 3 15
4c. Front Raise 3 15
Wednesday - Back and Arms
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Pull Up 4 10-12
2. Dumbbell Row 4 12
3. Hammer Strength Row 4 10
4. Lat Pull Down 3 15
5a. Cable Curls 3 12
5b. Rope Pushdown 3 12
6a. Hammer Curls 3 12
6b. Dips 3 12
Friday - Legs
Exercise Sets Reps
1. Deadlift 4 10-12
2. Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 4 10-12
3. Plie Squats 3 12
4a. Standing Hamstring Curl 3 15
4b. Reverse Lunge 3 15
5. Calf Raises 3 20
references
  1. MacDougall, J. D., Gibala, M. J., Tarnopolsky, M. A., MacDonald, J. R., Interisano, S. A., & Yarasheski, K. E. (1995). The time course for elevated muscle protein synthesis following heavy resistance exercise. Canadian journal of applied physiology, 20(4), 480-486.

28 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Fri, 11/17/2017 - 10:25
Chris

What weight should I start out with

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 11/17/2017 - 15:03
JoshEngland

Hi Chris,

It's tough to say what weight you should start off with. I'd recommend picking a weight you know you can perform the prescribed reps with. If it feels to easy, move up in weight. If it feels too heavy, go down in weight.

If you're just starting off, spend the first week or 2 finding the appropriate weight and then the rest of the program progressing by trying to increase the weight you use as you're capable of doing so.

Progressing is also very individual. Some may be able to increase weight weekly, while others bi-weekly. Experiment a little (always erring on the side of caution), you'll find what works for you for the long-term.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 08/31/2017 - 15:04
matt

iam going to be giving this routine a try starting today is there a single day or can i make a single day for my abs and to lose my beer gut lol?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 09/01/2017 - 09:35
JoshEngland

Hi Matt,

You'll be better off including compound exercises (this program has plenty) and eating at a slight calorie deficit (eat less calories than you burn). Do that consistently for a while and you should be able to trade that beer gut in for a pair of abs. (It does take time, but if you're consistent, you'll get there.)

While your core is targeted indirectly, there are a number of ways you could add abs to this program if you really want to.

You could add a few ab workouts to the end of your leg days and/or on M/W/F simply by adding a few sets of ab isolation exercises. For some ideas, start here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/abs

Hope this helps and best of luck!

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Posted Tue, 08/29/2017 - 18:51
Matt C.

For the Monday leg routine, what is 4a. 4b. 4c. all about? Is that meant to be interchangeable or do all 3 in one workout?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 08/30/2017 - 09:42
JoshEngland

Hi Matt,

letters represent supersets and trisets. So if the workout says 4a, 4b, 4c, you'd perform all of those lifts right after another with no rest in between exercises. Once you've finished all the exercises, you take your rest period and that equals 1 set.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 08/03/2017 - 01:02
Ali

How could I incorporate traps and abs. With which workouts and what should I do?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 08/03/2017 - 11:58
JoshEngland

Hi Ali,

There are a number of ways you could add abs and traps to this program. You could add a few ab workouts to the end of your leg days and/or on M/W/F simply by adding a few sets of ab isolation exercises. For some ideas, start here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/abs

For traps, you could incorporate them on either the day you work shoulders or the day you work back. Add a couple sets of trap isolation exercises. For some ideas, check these out: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/traps

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 07/31/2017 - 18:21
Cameron

Hey Josh
What should the tempo of each lift be?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 08/01/2017 - 09:36
JoshEngland

Hi Cameron,

A 2/0/2 rep tempo is thought to be ideal to maximize time under tension during hypertrophy lifts.

Hope this helps! If you're giving the program a try, let us know how it goes!

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Posted Sat, 07/08/2017 - 16:50
Kevin Hynes

What's a Plie squat ??

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/10/2017 - 10:06
JoshEngland

Hi Kevin,

Below is a link to a good demonstration vid.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DlnYtOX5zIo

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 06/24/2017 - 14:07
Alden Miller

What percentage of max would be good for most of the exercises?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/26/2017 - 09:24
JoshEngland

Hi Alden,

Shoot for 75-85% of your 1RM on all exercises within this program.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 06/17/2017 - 18:26
Bao

Why is back and arms combine for one day?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/19/2017 - 10:01
JoshEngland

Hi Boa,

Arms and back are on the same day to make this program a 4 day split that allows for 2 leg days.

You're more than welcome to have them each on their own day. To do this you can either add a workout day to make this a 5 day split or trade out one of the leg days for an arm day (however, I would not recommend this option).

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 06/13/2017 - 16:24
Luke Hawkins

Heya,

I'm just wondering why some exercises are labelled 4a, 4b, 4c as opposed to there being just a list of 1,2,3,4.

Many thanks.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/14/2017 - 10:05
JoshEngland

Hi Luke,

Those represent supersets or trisets.

So you'll perform exercises 4a, 4b, and 4c one right after another without any rest in between exercises before taking a rest period in between the triset.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 06/14/2017 - 18:15
Luke Hawkins

Ah many thanks!

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Posted Sun, 06/04/2017 - 23:55
Vandit Jain

nutrition overview?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/05/2017 - 10:06
JoshEngland

Hi Vandit,

Find out your BMR here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

To build muscle add ~250-500 calories a day and make sure you eat enough protein to recover from your workouts and enough carbs to fuel your workouts.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 06/04/2017 - 21:42
Dan

Hey what about abs? Which day should I do them?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/05/2017 - 10:04
JoshEngland

Hi Dan,

While you'll get enough indirect core work, you're more than welcome to add in additional direct core work if you feel it is necessary and will help you reach your goals. I've provided a link to our ab workouts page below. Feel free to add one to the tail end of your preferred workout days or on rest days.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/abs

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 06/05/2017 - 10:09
Dan

Thanks Josh, I'm starting this workout today so perhaps i'll be doing abs on friday then.

Cheers!

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Posted Sun, 06/04/2017 - 10:44
David Marchant

?I am very interested in trying this soon when I start a lean bulk. I want to gain weight very slowly so it's mostly muscle and not fat. I know that has a lot to do with being in a slight calorie surplus and not overeating too much. I have a question though. What amount of resting between sets should a person do on this program? 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes, etc.?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 06/05/2017 - 10:02
JoshEngland

Hi David,

Keep rest periods between 45-60 seconds.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 07/09/2017 - 00:17
David Marchant

Now I've completed 3 weeks of the program and I must say, "Wow, it's hard." The worst day for me is Friday because after deadlifts, I'm exhausted and the other leg exercises are hard as well particularly the reverse lunges (Yuck!) I've been doing some light cardio on Thursday and Saturday to keep fat gain at a minimum. So far, my weight has stayed pretty constant but I've been steadily making gains on the amount of weight I'm lifting. I'm most proud of 32.5lb. weighted dips. I'm going to try the 35lb. plate next week on dips.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 07/10/2017 - 10:13
JoshEngland

Hi David,

That's awesome dude! That's what you want, gains without the weight/fat gain.

Don't be afraid to bump the calories up slightly (~250 cals) if you want to push the needle on the scale, especially if your goal is to increase your mass. Slight increases to your calorie intake while resistance training will help you increase your lean muscle mass and minimize any fat gain.

Keep up the good work!