4 Day Maximum Mass Workout

A mass building routine that features a great combination of effective compound and isolation movements along with intense, high impact five minute burn sets.

Workout Summary

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

This is an intermediate muscle building workout for lifters who:

  1. Have experienced beginner gains and are confident they know how to build muscle.
  2. Have a solid grasp of exercise form on the major compound movements.
  3. Know how to set up an effective muscle building eating plan.

Overload. Overload is critical to the muscle building process. Push each set for the maximum number of reps, stopping that set either when you feel your form is slipping, or if you feel like you may fail on the next rep. Do not train to failure. The point is to stimulate growth, not annihilate your body and central nervous system.

Add weight to each exercise as frequently as possible, when it makes sense. I recommend using the same weight for every set of a given exercise, and when you are able to perform a comfortable number of reps on each set, add weight.

Rep Ranges. Rep ranges are simply a guideline. It's is ok to go over them, or a hair under at times. Again, the magic is overload. Rep ranges are simply a tool.

5 Minute Burn Periods. For each body part you will perform a 5 minute burn out period. These sets are brutal. Pick a weight that allows you to perform about 12-15 reps. Over a 5 minute period you perform as many reps as possible with that weight, starting and stopping sets as needed. Rest only long enough to catch your bearings and breathe, and then start knowing out more reps.

5 minute burn out periods are not about sets and reps. They are about finishing off an already fatigued muscle. Don't obsess (or even count)  over how many total sets you do. Instead, try to do as many reps as possible in 5 minutes using whatever rest periods you need to survive.

4 Day Maximum Mass Workout Split

Day 1
Back and Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 2 5
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 8-12
Wide Grip Pull Up or Lat Pull Down 3 10-12
Barbell Row 3 8-12
Seated Cable Row or Machine Row 5 Minutes Burn
EZ Bar Preacher Curl 3 10-12
Concentration Curl 3 10-12
Seated Dumbbell Curl 5 Minutes Burn
Day 2
Chest and Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 3 6-10
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 8-12
Chest Dip 3 AMAP*
Cable Crossover or Pec Dec 3 12-15
Machine Press or Dumbbell Bench Press 5 Minutes Burn
EZ Bar Skullcrusher 3 8-12
Two Arm Seated Dumbbell Extension 3 8-12
Cable Tricep Extension 5 Minutes Burn
Day 4
Quads, Hamstrings and Calves
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3 6-10
Leg Press 3 15-20
Hack Squat or Dumbbell Lunge 3 8-12
Leg Extension 5 Minutes Burn
Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 8-12
Leg Curl 5 Minutes Burn
Standing Calf Raise 3 10-15
Seated Calf Raise 5 Minutes Burn
Day 5
Shoulders, Traps and Forearms
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Barbell Press 3 6-10
Seated Arnold Press 3 8-12
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 10-15
Hammer Strength Press or Smith Press 5 Minutes Burn
Upright Row 3 8-12
Barbell Shrug or Dumbbell Shrug 5 Minutes Burn
Seated Barbell Wrist Curl 3 12-15
Barbell Static Hold 5 Minutes Burn

*AMAP = As many as possible.

Barbell Static Holds. Instead of performing reps you simply hold the bar as long as possible.

646 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 03/01/2018 - 22:39

Hey, I just finished the first week of this program and I am loving it so far! I have a question concerning rest days though. Since I'm typically busy during the weekends I decided to workout Monday-Thursday with no rest in between to complete the 4 days. Considering I have a body type that puts on fat easily, should I squeeze in a cardio day on Friday? Perhaps doing some intermittent fasting on the off days? Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 03/02/2018 - 09:41

Hi Shaheed,

Yes, you could certainly perform cardio on Fridays. I always try to remain lightly active on my off days. Doing so helps with weight maintenance and increases your body's ability to recover.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 02/19/2018 - 09:20

Hello first thanks you its a great 4 Day Maximum Mass Workout but now i finishe it in 8 week so what must i do after that i will repat the same program or what i dont know can you help me please

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/19/2018 - 09:25

Hi Ismail,

You can repeat or move on to a new workout. You may enjoy this one next: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/10-week-mass-building-program...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 03/13/2018 - 18:37
jesse j vasquez

can you post another one for men and women?

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Posted Mon, 02/19/2018 - 10:29

Ismail. Keep doing his split routine. Anymore your over training your muscles. Do research from people other then a certified trainer’s. Talk to people who have speciality degrees in this area and you will realize how easy it is to over train. It takes days for muscles to heal . Diet, rest and train hard. You will get results!

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Posted Wed, 02/14/2018 - 19:08

I have just finished a upper lower body beginner split, is this good for growing the muscles bigger and taking it to the next level?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 02/15/2018 - 08:34

Hi Dan,

It's definitely a good routine. However, for lifters looking to maximize muscle growth, I always recommend stimulating the muscle multiple times per week (as you would in an upper/lower routine). Personally, I'd look to make your upper/lower more challenging if muscle growth is your main goal.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 02/14/2018 - 06:21

How should I do the barbell static hold?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 02/14/2018 - 11:13

Hi Diego,

Load up a barbell and hold on for dear life for the prescribed amount of time.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 11/27/2017 - 10:42

I just finished a 4 day split with a duration of 8 weeks. Is this a good split to begin with? Also why are there no abdominal workouts?

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Posted Sat, 11/18/2017 - 14:42

Duration 8 weeks , fine 2 months , then what you propose after we completed this one ?
Thx for this awesome routine !

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 11/20/2017 - 09:01

Hi Phil,

Our 10 week mass is a very popular program and a decent progression program from this one.

You can check it out here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/10-week-mass-building-program...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 11/02/2017 - 01:01

i go thrice a week and twice each day(morning and evening with a time gap of 7 hrs) for gym. please suggest me a good routine

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Posted Sat, 10/28/2017 - 18:29

Ive completed about 3 different workout routines off this website but this one is awesome. You can defiantly feel you have smashed your muscles groups after this one. After a few weeks into this routine and less rest between reps the 5 minute burn tests you big time.
Love this workout!

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Posted Mon, 01/15/2018 - 11:11

hi there,
just wondering about 3 different workout routines you did from this website.. did they actually work ?
if you don't mind telling me which ones you used if they worked

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Posted Sat, 10/21/2017 - 10:57

Hi Josh, in my gym.i got all the equipment to get through the program but not machine for the leg curl.Any suggestions for an alternate exercise ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 10/30/2017 - 09:22

Hi Dave,

Go with a Romanian deadlift or straight leg deadlift variation. You could also perform a Nordic hamstring curl or exercise ball leg curl, both of which are bodyweight versions of this exercise.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 10/11/2017 - 20:05

Hi Steve,I know you said in a different comment that this is a template and can be altered to suit the individuals wants and needs; but i was curious about the shoulder routine. Why do you start with the seated barbell press but also finish with the same thing for the burnout? This just wasn't the trend in any other muscle group so i was curious, would it be better to do a different exercise to better spread how much each head of the shoulder is being worked?

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Posted Sat, 09/23/2017 - 15:58

Hey Steve,

I'm currently just finishing a 28 day, fat burning 4 day split superset routine on a defecit diet. I'm looking for a new program that I can still shed some fat but start to pack on a bit of muscle as well. I'm curious if you'd advise against this program when Im on a defecit or if I should be able to accomplish both goals using this program, maybe add a little lose a little?

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Posted Thu, 09/07/2017 - 15:34

Been doing this program for 3 weeks and it definitely kicks your a$$. I've been following it as written and have been feeling soreness since week one. I have been doing cardio on Day 3 and take Days 6 and 7 off. For the burnout sets I use a weight that lets me rep out the first minute, and then take 15-20 sec breaks between burnout sets (to catch my breath and gain a little more strength to continue). For the rest of it, I've been following a progressive overload scheme and have seen some weights increase already.

Lester, I would say try the program as is for a week and then ask if you feel the need for more sets. This workout takes roughly 60 minutes. I do a couple of warmup sets for bench, squats, shoulder press, and deadlifts to get things started.

So, this 57 yr old body is getting a good workout with this program. Be honest and use a timer for the burnouts and minimize breaks. Keep your rest periods between sets on everything else at around one minute or so. Oh yeah, I also added some ab work on Days 1, 2, and 5.

Have fun!!

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Posted Wed, 09/06/2017 - 05:35

Very excited to start this program next week! Quick question -- Thinking of bumping up most of the sets to 4, instead of just 3 (or just 2 for the deadlifts). Is that okay?

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Posted Sat, 09/02/2017 - 03:54

Is the order of any great importance or can i change one exercise with the other so i dont have to change rooms on my gym from one to the next?

Thanks and greetings from germany

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 09/05/2017 - 09:32

Hi Mike,

This program is simply a template. You're more than welcome to alter it to better fit your needs and your goals.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 08/30/2017 - 20:42

What position should you hold the bar for the static hold on day 5?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 08/31/2017 - 08:53

Hi Pat,

I'd go with a shrug set up and holding it either in front or behind your body. Personally I'd go with in front of your body. You can make it even more challenging if you have a thick bar or pair of fat grips.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 08/28/2017 - 20:38

I noticed that there aren't any ab workouts on here, my abs are kind of weak, when should I add in ab workouts? Also I did the first day's workout and I really wish I owned a pair of straps because my grip gave out so many times.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 08/29/2017 - 13:51

Hi Jon,

You're abs are indirectly targeted through compound movements. If you feel the need to isolate your abs, you can always check out our ab workouts database:


Developing grip strength can take some time. Below is an excellent article to help out


Also, you certainly could use straps. We have a fairly inexpensive pair you could purchase:


Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 08/23/2017 - 09:21

Hi how long shall i rest between each set roughly

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 08/24/2017 - 10:15

Hi Ollie,

Rest periods should be between 30-60 seconds.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 08/07/2017 - 20:02

My wife is overweight. We're both starting g at the same time. Would this be good for her to build fat and tighten loose skin?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 08/08/2017 - 09:02

Hi John,

This is more of an intermediate based workout program. Some beginners might be able to perform it if they've been exposed to weight training before. If you guys are brand new to the weight room, I'd highly recommend working together with a trainer for a couple of workouts so they can introduce you to all the lifts as well as an appropriate program suitable for your goals.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 08/07/2017 - 09:57

Hey josh,

for each compound movement, would it be alright if i reduced the rep range to a lower range? like for flat bench press, doing 2 mid range reps and the last set to 4-6 reps.
and another question, can i apply what i i just said above to the barbell shoulder press and changing that compound to a standing military? thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 08/07/2017 - 10:15

Hi Danny,

Yes, depending on your goal that should be fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 07/18/2017 - 03:05

Hey Josh!

I been on this program for two weeks. I tend to do the higher end of reps for the compound movements that leaves me gassed towards the isolation exercises. Also, I did start the program as a beginner. Would you advise switching the program at this stage or persist with the plan following the lower end of reps. Cheers.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 07/18/2017 - 09:14

Hi RZ,

That's awesome ! Congrats on your success so far!

You can do either or. If you're enjoying this program, I'd recommend sticking with it and trying to make it harder by either switching up the rep ranges or increasing the weight you're using (or both). If it's becoming stale you could look for a new program to try out.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 07/13/2017 - 05:31

Do we have to do the exercises in this specific order?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 07/13/2017 - 10:04

Hi Andrei,

No you don't. But it's generally a good idea to do compound exercises (big lifts - squats, bench, deadlift) at the beginning of your workout. Then, you can do more isolated exercises (chest fly, bicep curl) towards the end.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 07/02/2017 - 11:07

How about the warm ups? is there any specific warm ups i should do before the workouts? or should i just use lighter weight before the actual workout and follow the sets and reps after my usual warm ups

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 07/05/2017 - 09:23

Hi Kim,

This article is a great starting point: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/warming-up-for-dummies

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 07/02/2017 - 06:58

Many thanks for the great workout routine.. could we add cardio to this mass building program

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 07/05/2017 - 09:22

Hi Sherif,

Of course! Just be sure to pick a form of cardio that doesn't negatively affect your ability to recover from your workouts or your performance in the weight room.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 07/01/2017 - 10:08

Hi josh
How to do Barbell Static Hold
There is no video to learn
Or some pictures

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 07/05/2017 - 09:17

Hi Mustafa,

To do a static hold you hold a barbell in front of you or dumbbells to the side of you until you can no longer hold the weight any more. We will try to get a demonstration video online in the near future.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 06/28/2017 - 02:41

Dear Josh,
I have been doing this awsome Workout plan for 5 weeks and I can see a Clear progress. Thanks again for your support. I need to ask you a question please....

In the morning I'm having a Pea protein shake and in the evening after my intense gym workout I'm having Gold standard whey protein isolate with 1 BCAA capsule (1000mg). Is this ok? Please advise me.


JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 06/28/2017 - 09:37

Hi Iasoka,

Awesome! Congratulations on your progress!

This supplement stack seems good to me, but it's always best to consult with your medical practitioner on your specific supplementation needs.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 06/28/2017 - 09:59

Thanks Josh. You guys are the best!!!

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Posted Thu, 06/22/2017 - 18:27

Hi Josh ,
Thanks a lot for this good workout . but i was wondering what is the best workout after 8 weeks ?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 06/23/2017 - 09:10

Hi Tarek,

I'm glad you're enjoying the workout, but I can't take credit for it as it isn't mine. Best is relative as everyone will react differently to the same workout. It's really about experimenting and finding what works best for you and sticking to it. With that said, below are a couple of my favorite 4 day splits:



Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 06/05/2017 - 23:17

This is an awesome workout routine since I can't dedicate 7 days of the week due to a busy schedule! Thank you so much. But I was wondering, if you could give me some abs exercises and not a workout routine for core. I'd like to do abs after every gym day.