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

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.

About The 4 Day Workout


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.

Recommended: Need help building muscle? Take our Free Muscle Building Course

4 Day Maximum Mass Workout Split

Day 1 - Back & 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 & Triceps

Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 3 6-10
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 8-12
Chest Dip 3 AMRAP
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

Notes: AMRAP = As many reps as possible.

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

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

Post your post-workout swolfies in M&S gear on IG and tag @muscleandstrength, #muscleandstrength, or DM them to us to get a shoutout on Muscle & Strength stories!

1K Comment
Adem Bendj
Posted on: Tue, 07/09/2024 - 10:24

Hi, what are your suggestions after finishing the 4 Day Maximum Mass Workout?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 07/12/2024 - 08:21

We have plenty of workouts for you to do after this one, Adem. Check this link out, and see what you like.


Joshua Brothers
Posted on: Fri, 07/05/2024 - 14:45

I’m a little confused for the day five exercise. Isn’t the smith press and the seated barbell press the same thing?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 07/08/2024 - 08:43

They are similar but not exactly the same, Joshua. You have to stabilize the barbell, which makes it more challenging for all three heads of the shoulder muscle. With the Hammer or Smith Machine, you can concentrate more on the front delts because the weights are already stable thanks to the path of travel the machine restricts it to. I hope this helps!

Posted on: Sun, 06/09/2024 - 07:17

Im a beginner so idk if im mistaken.

But isn't all of these triceps exercises activate the long head ? So there should be another exercises that activate middle/Shot head also ?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 06/14/2024 - 08:08

Hi Shuri, all three heads are going to work with each triceps exercise, but it is a matter of which will be the most active. The cable extensions are also known as pushdowns, which will focus more on the short and lateral heads. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Tue, 05/21/2024 - 14:21

For the barbell static holds, where and how are we holding the bar? Standing like the top of a deadlift? Up like a shrug hold? Just want to ensure I'm holding it correctly. Thank you

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 05/28/2024 - 08:30

Hey Dave, you would be holding the top of a deadlift. No shrugs. This is simply a grip hold. Great question, and thanks for reading M&S!

Posted on: Mon, 05/13/2024 - 09:04

Hello, would it be ok to switch day 4 and day 5 around? I have 2 hour volleyball sessions each week on day 4 and worry about overcooking my legs that day. Thanks!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 05/27/2024 - 20:28

That makes sense to me. Go for it!

Bhavin Patel
Posted on: Wed, 04/10/2024 - 15:41

After complete this plan , what could be the next plan to follow?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 04/10/2024 - 18:22

We have a lot to choose from, Bhavin. Hopefully this will help.


Kenrick Gomindes
Posted on: Wed, 04/10/2024 - 08:01

I enjoy staying active, preferably through martial arts. What would you suggest I do on my rest days? I was thinking of incorporating a Tabata-style shadow boxing session. Do you have any opinions on that?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 04/10/2024 - 18:20

Hi Kenrick, good question. I think Tabata would be ok, and I think either shadow boxing would work well. As long as you give yourself one complete day off a week, you should be good.

Posted on: Mon, 04/08/2024 - 21:23

I feel like this is a silly question but for the burn set for the biceps should I aim to 12-15 both arms in total or 12-15 each arm. Thanks!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 04/09/2024 - 20:16

Not a silly question at all, Donny. 12-15 per arm each time.

Posted on: Sun, 04/07/2024 - 21:57

Hi, I was just wondering on day five does any exercise in the list hits rear delts at all? I was thinking to add rear delts exercise into to the mix, unless the program its them at another day that I'm unaware of? Thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 04/09/2024 - 20:15

Upright row gets the rear delts as well as the traps, but you can add in rear lateral raises if you like.

Posted on: Thu, 04/04/2024 - 23:52

This is a killer! 3 weeks in and love it. Thanks Steve!!

Posted on: Sun, 03/31/2024 - 16:31

Hi. Why there are one arm dumbell row and barbell row? What's the difference between these exercises

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 03/31/2024 - 20:11

Hi Janusz, thank you for reading M&S!

These movements are together for the same reason barbells and dumbbells are both used for presses and curls - the barbell allows you to go heavier while the dumbbells allow you to work on each side individually.

Posted on: Fri, 03/29/2024 - 04:58

Are three biceps exercises enough? What if i add barbell curls

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 03/29/2024 - 08:41

Hi Alex, keep in mind that the biceps are also working with your back movements because they are both pulling muscle groups. The biceps are assisting the back during these exercises.

That said, if you feel biceps are a weak part of your physique and feel the extra volume can help, then feel free to add the barbell curls in. Just follow similar set and rep schemes.

Thank you for reading M&S!

Posted on: Wed, 03/27/2024 - 16:13

I'm about to start this program and really excited for it. I see it being laid out as Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday. Will it hurt me to do all 4 days Monday-Thursday instead of taking a break day in between? It works better with the way my schedule lines up, but want to make sure I get the most out of the program.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 03/28/2024 - 20:51

How long have you been training, Nathan? If you're new to this, then the day off is going to make a difference. If you've been training a while and you know what you're doing, then you could get away with four straight days as long as you make sure to take those other three off.

Posted on: Sun, 03/24/2024 - 12:22

I was just wondering for a natural I thought you should hit each bodypart 2-3 times a week. Also I workout at home what would you put in place for a chest dip and also the leg extensions. Thanks

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 03/27/2024 - 07:46

Hi Steve, you can hit each bodypart 2-3 times a week with low volume, but you don't have to, nor do I think you should. I have been training natural for 25 years and have used all sorts of splits, and I found you can still make progress hitting everything once a week.

Chest Dip can be replaced with neutral grip dumbbell press (elbows in and palms facing each other). Leg extension can be swapped out for goblet pause squats. Hope this helps!

Bhavin Patel
Posted on: Sun, 03/24/2024 - 11:08

Hi, I want to start this plan, what if I do it for 5 weeks only and change plan, is it ok to do?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 03/27/2024 - 07:42

Hello, Bhavin! You could do that. You may not experience all the results the program has to offer, but you should see progress, even after five weeks.

Posted on: Fri, 03/22/2024 - 16:35

Does this work all muscles except the abs I don't want to leave any muscles out

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 03/27/2024 - 07:41

Sure does, Marcus. We even have some ab options included here if you like.


Posted on: Tue, 03/05/2024 - 08:03

Been doing this workout for a few weeks and really enjoying it. Only thing I'm wondering is with the 5 minute burn sets, if this would be considered 'junk volume' and have a negative impact on recovery?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 03/13/2024 - 08:35

If it would be something you do every single week forever, then it may be considered junk volume. But, for the purposes of this program and the time you choose to do it, no. You're pushing yourself to do something that you previously couldn't. The only way it will negatively impact recovery is if you don't take recovery seriously.

Yuri Nieuwoudt
Posted on: Sun, 02/25/2024 - 04:01

Hi, I just wanted to know if the days are set out in a specific order for a reason i.e. maximising rest time between different muscle groups etc.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 02/25/2024 - 07:13

Hi Yuri, yes. This plan is to maximize effectiveness, recovery, and puts you in the best position to succeed.

Istiaq Ahmed
Posted on: Fri, 02/23/2024 - 15:47

Can I lose fat with these workouts? I've at this workout for a while now and it fits my routine and I've been enjoying quite a lot.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 02/25/2024 - 07:12

You can as long as the diet and recovery are also based on your fat loss goals.

Posted on: Thu, 02/22/2024 - 15:18

I love this work out plan. Is there a similar version which can all be done at Planet Fitness. I found a 4-5 day version of planet fitness in another post, but those seem to be at a beginner level compared to this intermediate/advanced.

Thank you for putting in so much hard work in crafting these.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 02/25/2024 - 07:11

This can be done at PF, Max! I don't know if all PF locations are the same, but find the machines that your location has that work similar muscle groups and make the switches. When you do, let us know how you made the changes. Your experience may help others here. Thanks for the question and reading M&S!

Posted on: Wed, 02/21/2024 - 13:06

Why is this program only recommended for 12 weeks? What would I do after this program after running it for 12 weeks?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 02/24/2024 - 07:38

The author felt that after 12 weeks, you would need to switch to a different style of training to prevent burnout. You can find a new program here.


If you really like this one, give yourself a one-two week break and run it again.

Ryan Burke
Posted on: Tue, 02/20/2024 - 12:51

What is the recommended test between sets?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 02/24/2024 - 07:36

Standard sets is 90 seconds rest. BURN sets is absolute bare minimum during that five minutes.

Andre G
Posted on: Fri, 02/16/2024 - 04:35

Now,this looks like a good workout. Thanks a lot. Might be the best split on this site for this level

Posted on: Mon, 02/05/2024 - 12:38

Sorry if it is a dumb question, but what does "burn" mean with reps?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 02/15/2024 - 18:39

His meaning for burn in this program is written in the description for the five minute periods in the article. That term only applies to this routine.

Posted on: Mon, 01/08/2024 - 15:45

Thanks for this routine, I’m looking to try it over the next few weeks. However, I noticed that there’s nothing tor the abs, what abs programs can I add to this and what schedule will you recommend?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 01/09/2024 - 20:52

We have a lot for you to choose from, Jeremiah. Any of these should work well along with this program.


Posted on: Mon, 01/08/2024 - 14:19

Hi, just started this workout split and its great, just wondering if I need to be doing these exercises in order listed or at random as long as I get everything in a set day done?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 01/09/2024 - 20:51

Going in the listed order is recommended, but I understand gyms are set up differently. As long as the first exercise remains first, change them up if you need to.