This 4 day "Drop 5" split is designed for the home trainee. This program is an upper/lower split that utilizes only dumbbell, barbell and bodyweight exercises.
Workout Summary

Workout Description

Editor's note: for more information on the Drop 5 System, please click here.

"Drop 5" three week cycles will be performed for the following lifts:

  • Squats
  • Bench Press
  • Deadlifts
  • Overhead Press

Each Drop 5 set is performed for as many reps as possible. There is no need to train to failure. Stop a set when your form starts to slip, or when you feel like you might fail on the next rep. Live for progression, but train smart.

Here is how the 3 week Drop 5 cycle shakes out for the 4 primary exercises.

  • Week 1 - 75% x AMAP, 70% x AMAP, 65% x AMAP, 60% x AMAP
  • Week 2 - 80% x AMAP, 75% x AMAP, 70% x AMAP, 65% x AMAP
  • Week 3 - 85% x AMAP, 80% x AMAP, 75% x AMAP, 70% x AMAP

*AMAP = as many reps as possible per set.

Starting Weight. When you initially start the Drop 5 program, base percentages upon your current one rep max. Add 5 pounds to the bar when your heaviest set for that week reaches the following number of reps:

  • Week 1 - Add 5 pounds the next time you perform this week when you are able to perform 10 reps (or more) on your 75% set.
  • Week 2 - Add 5 pounds the next time you perform this week when you are able to perform 8 reps (or more) on your 80% set.
  • Week 3 - Add 5 pounds the next time you perform this week when you are able to perform 5 reps (or more) on your 85% set.

How to "Drop 5". After adding weight to your top set, simply "drop 5%" weight for your next set. So your next set would be 5% fewer pounds than your heavy set, your third set 10% lighter, and your final set 15% lighter.


Drop 5 Four Day Home Workout Split

This is a 4 day training program for lifters looking to build muscle at home. Here is a sample schedule:

  • Monday - Lower Body A
  • Tuesday - Upper Body A
  • Thursday - Lower Body B
  • Friday - Upper Body B
Lower Body A
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlifts - Drop 5 Cycle 4  
Dumbbell Lunges 4 15-20
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlifts or Glute Ham Raise 4 12-15
Standing Barbell Calf Raise 4 12-20
Planks 4 60 sec
Upper Body A
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press - Drop 5 Cycle 4  
Upright Rows or Seated Arnold Press 4 AMAP
Pull Ups or Inverted Rows 4 8-12
Close Grip Bench Press 4 8-12
Barbell Curls 4 10-12
Lower Body B
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats - Drop 5 Cycle 4  
Goblet Squats 4 12-15
Stiff Leg Deadlifts 4 6-10
Single Leg Dumbbell Calf Raise 4 15-20
Ab Wheel Roll Outs or Weighted Sit Ups 4 15-20
Upper Body B
Exercise Sets Reps
Military Press - Drop 5 Cycle    
Barbell Row 4 8-12
Dumbbell Bench Press 4 10-12
Skullcrushers or Seated Two Arm Dumbbell Extensions 4 10-15
Seated Alternating Dumbbell Curls 4 10-12

Workout FAQ

How do I perform barbell calf raises?

Use straps and hold the bar in front of your body. Do not perform calf raises with a barbell on your back. This is far too dangerous.

When should I deload?

Listen to your body. There is no need to randomly deload every 4th week. If you start to feel beat up or fatigued take an off week or deload week after the end of your next 3 week cycle.

Even if you don't feel beat up, consider taking a light week after 9-12 weeks just to do something fun, refresh your motivation and heal up a bit.

Can I swap exercise "X" for exercise "Y"?

Yes, as long as it's a similar exercise variation. For example, you could use dumbbell rows instead or barbell rows, or any curl variation instead of seated curls.

Can I add in traps, forearm or whatever work?

You can, but don't go overboard. This program is well rounded as it stands.

Posted on: Sun, 07/16/2023 - 15:13

Can i replace lunges with bulgarian split squats?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 07/27/2023 - 07:08

You sure can, Jeff.

Micah CJ Taylor
Posted on: Thu, 01/28/2021 - 14:09

Is it okay to round up in weight due to lack of weights? For example, this is my working sets based off of my 1 rep max.
Deadlift: 300 - 225
Bench Press: 225 - 170
Squat: 230 - 175
Military Press: 140 - 105

Following the exact percentage, my numbers aren't accurate. I had to round up a few of them due to the weights being a weird number when following the percentages. Is this okay? I hope I made sense.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 01/29/2021 - 14:13

Hey Micah - yep that's totally fine!

Robert Lemus
Posted on: Fri, 04/03/2020 - 06:39

This workout plan looks great! I will try to do this since we're stuck at home nowadays. Thanks, Steve!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 08/26/2020 - 12:13

Awesome! Let us know how you like it, Robert.

Posted on: Wed, 05/20/2015 - 22:59

After reading I still don't understand this workout
At the first exerices with Drop 5 Cycle . How i can do those ? I have 70kg at home and do not understand how to train ?

Posted on: Wed, 08/13/2014 - 13:37

Hey Steve, just had a quick question. would it have the same benefit to change say db lunges to powerclean. Think i'm going to start next week and have a friend a work at work that is going to do this same workout.

Posted on: Tue, 07/01/2014 - 08:31

Hello Steve,

I am have just started your drop 5 diet, i am 20 , 179cm tall and weigh 78 and am in pretty good shape but trying to burn some stubborn excess fat! i do cardio 4 - 5 days a week. but just wondering what gains i can expect from this plan.
I wasn't sure whether to do a 4 day or a 5 day, but every fortnight i would not be able to workout on a wednesday, and due to family + Sport i can't really train on saturdays or sundays.
do i need to do that extra day every week? i don't want to get massive but i do want to gain some muscle and mainly get really ripped. Will this workout do that for me? will i gain much muscle from it? (of course this depends on me - but just a rough idea?)


Steve E
Posted on: Mon, 04/28/2014 - 14:10

I've been using a 5x5 "across" full body routine for almost a year now. I like the look of this routine, would it be a good natural progression from the 5x5?

What should the target reps be for the upright rows if going for AMAP?

Derek Gillespie
Posted on: Sun, 04/27/2014 - 08:51

I am about to deploy for 9 months would this be a good workout to get big and cut up? also how long should i do this workout plan aprrox?

Posted on: Thu, 03/06/2014 - 14:01

can i swap all the exercises using a barbell for replacing with dumbbells. Even if i wouldn't be able to get as heavy with them using dumbbells would I start to look disproportional.

Craig D
Posted on: Thu, 03/06/2014 - 10:50


For the upright rows since it is AMAP what is a good target number for those in order to determine weight to begin with?

zaid lateef
Posted on: Tue, 01/28/2014 - 07:22

hi steve

I need 4 day split workout plz.

Posted on: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 15:30

Great looking program Steve.

Two questions:

1) For 'lower body A' - can I swap db lunges for bb front squat?

2) Is it ok to change 'Upper Body B' to the tuesday workout and do 'Upper Body A' on friday?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 19:55

Hi Kirk,

1) Absolutely.
2) Absolutely.

zaid lateef
Posted on: Wed, 01/29/2014 - 00:19

Hi steve

can you give me 4 day split routine