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My Custom 4 Day Split - Advice and Recommendations

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NewKid
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2008/05/12 18:41:16 (permalink)
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My Custom 4 Day Split - Advice and Recommendations

So, its been 6 weeks, and thanks to TonyShark's 4 day split, I've seen great gains, however, I'm still having trouble with stimulating growth in certain areas, admittedly there was improvements, just not as much in other areas:

Chest
Long head and medial head of triceps
Rectus femoris of thighs
Gastrocnemius of calves
Carpi Unaris of forearm

So in this light, I'm going to try the following 4 day split that I have created which has usually an exercise in each part dedicated to an individual muscle, if anyone has any recommendations, please let me know, I plan to start my new plan tomorrow! The source for these exercises has came both from this forum, EXRX.net, and reading through fitness articles in Muscle And Fitness/Flex...:

Day 1: Chest, Biceps, Forearms

Barbell Bench Press: 3x8 (plus drop set to failure on last)
Incline Dumbbell Press : 3x8
Flat Bench Dumbbell Flye: 3x8
Weighted dip: 3x failure

Barbell Curl: 4x4, 4, 6, 8 (rest 2 mins)
Hammer Curl: 4x 4, 4, 6, 8 (rest 2 mins)
EZ Bar Preacher Curl: 4x 4, 4, 6, 8 (rest 2 mins)

Reverse Scott Curls: 4x 10, 10 30, 30 (Pump set)
Reverse Barbell Curl: 4x 10, 10 30, 30 (Pump set)
Barbell Wrist Curl: 4x 10, 10 30, 30 (Pump set)

Day 2: Back, Traps, Abs

Weighted Smith Machine Pull Up: 3x8 (plus drop set to failure on last)
Close Grip Lat Pulldown: 3x8
Deadlift: 5x10, 8, 6, 6, 6
Bent Over Row: 3x8
Barbell Shrug: 3x8 (plus drop set to failure on last)

Lying Cable Crunch:3x10
Standing Oblique Cable Crunch: 3x10

Day 3: Triceps, Shoulders, Abs:

Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extension: 3x8
Weighted Bench Dip: 3x8 (plus drop set to failure)
Close Grip Bench Press: 3x8
Dumbbell Kickbacks:3x8

Cable Lateral/Front Lateral Raise Superset: 2x8/10
Overhead Smith Machine Barbell Press: 3x8
Dumbbell Lying Rear Lateral Raise: 3x8

Crunch Machine: 3x10
Oblique Crunch: 3x10

Day 4: Legs, Calves

Wide Stance Smith Machine Squat: 4x 10, 10, 12, 12
Smith Machine Front Squat: 3x10
Leg Press 3x8(plus drop set on last)

Stiff Legged Dead Lifts: 5x10, 8, 6, 6, 6
Hamstring Curls: 3x8

Standing Calf Raise 3x8/12 (drop set on each)
(if available) Seated Calf Raise: 3x8


Drop-sets have been added in to really push my muscles to their upmost, pump sets on the forearms to try and stimulate more growth.









Again, comments and criticism welcome, better I get flamed and better results than praise and no gains, right?


post edited by NewKid - 2008/05/12 18:56:19
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    shibadybob
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    RE: My Custom 4 Day Split - Advice and Recommendations 2008/05/12 19:54:22 (permalink)
    No reason to try and re-invent the wheel mate!!

    Have you only been training 6 weeks?

    #2
    NewKid
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    RE: My Custom 4 Day Split - Advice and Recommendations 2008/05/12 20:03:06 (permalink)
    By all means no, I've nearly been training 2 years, just these are the areas I'm lacking in, my chest has always been stubborn, and my triceps are great on the lateral head but just not elsewhere. My arms have exploded recently overall but I want to make sure they are good everywhere as well as the rest of my body fitting in with it all.

    Any suggestions or would you think this is an okay layout for a 4 day split?
    #3
    Mad Manic
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    RE: My Custom 4 Day Split - Advice and Recommendations 2008/05/12 23:56:18 (permalink)
    Have you normally done this much volume in each workout mate? IMO it would take ages to finish everything in each workout but it depends how you train, whether you go to failure much, rest times, if you warm up much, etc. For me it would take too long to do all those sets but it depends, if you've done workouts like this before then fair enough. Maybe you could consider spreading it out over 5 days if possible, that's what I do.

    MM
    post edited by Mad Manic - 2008/05/12 23:57:35
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    NewKid
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    RE: My Custom 4 Day Split - Advice and Recommendations 2008/05/13 12:51:17 (permalink)
    I'm sort of used to this much, i mean TS's 4 day had some pretty high volumes. To be honest, I really feel the need to push myself as of late.

    I'll be using the Animal Pak for this with my noraml protein supplements. as I've heard about it's benefits. I was planning on maybe using MetRX Amped but ****, it gives you some headache and the dosage contents is on the ridiculous factor in the Vit B department.

    Of course, its not just my diet and supplementation im relying on, but I reckon I'll need an extra kick for this
    #5
    Mortimer
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    RE: My Custom 4 Day Split - Advice and Recommendations 2008/05/13 13:02:43 (permalink)
    Ok my 2 pennies worth.

    First off what are you current stats...i.e height, weight, goals, length of training time (as in dedicated training time consistently), and a rough estimation of BF%.
    That seems like a LOT of volume there. It's more the kind of routine i'd expect to find in an issue of flex or musclemag. Tons of pump sets, drop sets to failure etc, and these are tools i'd steer clear of for now. Also the smith machine seems to feature heavily in your routine, i've nothing against the smith machine, but theres a couple of key exercises there that you'd be far better of performing using free weights IMO..for example i'd always perform Squats, Military press (overhead barbell) with free weights. Is there no access to a squat rack in your gym where you can perform these two from? Or have you a genuine reason you cant perform free weight versions of these two movements?

    I'll address each day of your routine and give some of my own Personal opinions on them and im sure others will add in their own advice as well:

    Day 1: Chest, Biceps, Forearms

    Barbell Bench Press: 3x8 (plus drop set to failure on last)
    Incline Dumbbell Press : 3x8
    Flat Bench Dumbbell Flye: 3x8
    Weighted dip: 3x failure

    Barbell Curl: 4x4, 4, 6, 8 (rest 2 mins)
    Hammer Curl: 4x 4, 4, 6, 8 (rest 2 mins)
    EZ Bar Preacher Curl: 4x 4, 4, 6, 8 (rest 2 mins)

    Reverse Scott Curls: 4x 10, 10 30, 30 (Pump set)
    Reverse Barbell Curl: 4x 10, 10 30, 30 (Pump set)
    Barbell Wrist Curl: 4x 10, 10 30, 30 (Pump set)


    I'd have thought for the Chest you could drop Dumbell flye and just have B/Bell bench and Incline D/B Bench would be adequate. If you've deffinately been training 110% consistently for 2 years and have already put on a fair bit of weight and put some decent size on then i can understand the need to bring up area's that may be lagging and therefore possibly leaving the flyes in there. For biceps I'd have stuck with one or two exercises. I'd usually opt for Barbell curls (i prefer straight bar although straight or EZ is fine) and either hammer curls or just plain D/B curls. You then have three movements in there for the forearms when in reality these will get hit in the majority of your other lifts such as deadlifts, barbell curls, pull downs, hammer curls etc etc.


    Day 2: Back, Traps, Abs

    Weighted Smith Machine Pull Up: 3x8 (plus drop set to failure on last)
    Close Grip Lat Pulldown: 3x8
    Deadlift: 5x10, 8, 6, 6, 6
    Bent Over Row: 3x8
    Barbell Shrug: 3x8 (plus drop set to failure on last)

    Lying Cable Crunch:3x10
    Standing Oblique Cable Crunch: 3x10


    Ok for back i'd say you'd be far better served just sticking to Deadlifts, Barbell Rows, Weighted Pull ups/Chins and the shrugs. You may even find shrugs get hit plenty during deadlifts, rows and the presses on shoulder day and could quite easily leave them out, or if you really feel the need add in D/B rows as another back movement. For abs you've working them on day 2 and day 3 with 2 exercises per day. You could just as easily have 2 sets of weighted crunches on one day and have hanging leg raises for 2 sets on the next. That would IMO be plenty. They too will be hit heavily during deadlifts, squats and overhead pressing movements.

    Day 3: Triceps, Shoulders, Abs:

    Seated Overhead Dumbbell Extension: 3x8
    Weighted Bench Dip: 3x8 (plus drop set to failure)
    Close Grip Bench Press: 3x8
    Dumbbell Kickbacks:3x8

    Cable Lateral/Front Lateral Raise Superset: 2x8/10
    Overhead Smith Machine Barbell Press: 3x8
    Dumbbell Lying Rear Lateral Raise: 3x8

    Crunch Machine: 3x10
    Oblique Crunch: 3x10


    I'd switch to having Shoulders first on this day as the triceps are a primary assistor muscle group for any heavy overhead pressing movements . I'd say you'd be better off training shoulders fresh starting with heavy pressing movements first as these will by themselves help stimulate the triceps while still allowing you to shift heavier poundages as both shoulders and triceps will be fresh. The triceps can then be trained seperately. I would say for shoulders All thats required is perhaps Military press, Seated D/B press and if needs be Lat Raises (since its a four day split it'll allow for the extra isolation movement though i dont feel you'd need all of the isolations you have added though i could be wrong). I'd have said your posterior delts would get hit doing Barbell and D/B rows as well as the military press, D/B press to a lesser degree. The medial head will get hit on pressing movements as well though i know many do add the lats in and so i've allowed for that in my take on it. For triceps I'd say all thats required if you put shoulders first would be CGBP and weighted bench dips or skullcrushers (or in your case Seated over head D/B extension or french press). IMO two movements for Tri's would more than suffice.


    Day 4: Legs, Calves

    Wide Stance Smith Machine Squat: 4x 10, 10, 12, 12
    Smith Machine Front Squat: 3x10
    Leg Press 3x8(plus drop set on last)

    Stiff Legged Dead Lifts: 5x10, 8, 6, 6, 6
    Hamstring Curls: 3x8

    Standing Calf Raise 3x8/12 (drop set on each)
    (if available) Seated Calf Raise: 3x8



    Ok for legs as already stated i'd swap smith squats for the free weight Squats from a squat rack (if available). If your going to squat i'd always prefer someone use free weights for them. If you cant due to some kind of genuine medical reason then Would the leg press not be a better alternative than the smith anyways? To that end for Legs i'd say all thats required would be Quads:Squats, Lunges or Leg press and for Hams just the SLDL's..and the ham curls if you really absolutely need them. Standing calf raises alone would be fine although i'd say it'd be better to opt for 12-15 reps.

    And thats my take on it. I know four day splits allow for more isolation work but i wouldnt say theres any need to go OTT on it. You have to really think it through. If you've been training with 110% consistency for that 2 years and have allowed for proper nutrition + rest/sleep for recovery AND have already made decent gains in overall mass then i'd say its fair to start working on lagging bodyparts or specific exercises to target in a specific manner i.e rear lat raise for the posterior delts. But its like someone who isnt really that big looking at his 13 inch arms and saying..." i need to concentrate on the peak of my biceps" OR assuming he is lacking in back development when bluntly put..he doesnt really have a big back to develop. If this makes sense. Im sure many will disagree with me but this is just my own personal opinion. There are plenty of routines on here that could easily better the one suggested in terms of exercise selection.

    Hope this helps and best of luck.
    post edited by Mortimer - 2008/05/13 13:10:05
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    shibadybob
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    RE: My Custom 4 Day Split - Advice and Recommendations 2008/05/13 15:00:34 (permalink)
    ^^Yeah what Mortimer said^^

    Too much volume and some poor exercise choices....

    some good advice there!
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    NewKid
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    RE: My Custom 4 Day Split - Advice and Recommendations 2008/05/13 16:19:38 (permalink)
    Thanks again for everyones input so far.

    Stats:

    5 ft 6, around 150-155lbs.

    Rough measurements examples:
    Bicep:14 inch
    Chest: 37 inch
    Waist: 28 inch
    Leg: 22/23 inch

    1RM examples:
    Chest: 80/90kg (in my opinion, this is poor)
    Squat: 130kg
    Deadlift: 100/110kg

    So as you can see, (if my figures are right) im not the biggest of guys, nor will I ever be, I'm looking for a bit more size and strength and correct proportion to what I already have. My chest nowhere near matches the rest of my body in my opinion, my forearms regardless of the beating my biceps have got havent got much bigger, and some more width on the back plus greater separation in the triceps would be great. I'm not looking to suddenly be defined enough for shows but I don't want some areas to seemingly overtake other areas in condition and strength.

    I'll explain some of my reasons for exercises, but this doesn't mean I haven't taken your points into consideration, as I've held off starting a day so as to get feedback and tips before I jump ahead.

    The smith machine on the weighted pull up is just a variation on the normal pullup except your positioned on a bench with plates on your legs, it just means when I don't have a spotter I can slide a plate off, (or whatever weight needed to come off) and keep going to really hit the back hard. Doing wide grip pull ups as fantastic as they are, aren't helpful when I don't have a spotter and try to push past failure. The close grip is there to make sure the lower and upper lats get balanced in the workout.

    On the wide stance squat, it's more to help balance as I may keel over and wreck myself again if I don't have a spotter, but regarding that I should maybe then lower any proposed weight, and concentrate therefore in the form. Again, same with the front squat and not having a spotter there to keep me balanced. I have used freeweights consistently since I hit my new gym, and am all for them in terms of preference, however I give myself the option of a Smith machine if need be on certain days.

    My forearms are hit with a pump to try and stimulate some sort of growth, I'll be moving onto a strength routine for them in around 3/4 weeks time, so as lifting on other exercises can improve. Just as I see it things for my forearms are going stale.

    As far as I've read, kickbacks target the medial head more than other areas, and overhead dumbbell for the long head, so hopefully doing exercises which focus on them more will boost growth

    In consideration to your point about shoulders, I'll now more than likely move them to first day as you suggested based on what you've wrote down for me.

    Any other info or suggested workouts instead of my own would also be appreciated.

    Thanks again guys
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    shibadybob
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    RE: My Custom 4 Day Split - Advice and Recommendations 2008/05/13 20:37:25 (permalink)
    If you have a power rack in your gym I would strongly suggest using it for squats with the spot bars at just a height to catch the bar from you if you fail. Having one person spot you from behind on a squat is just dangerous for both people involved anyway.

    For a guy your size looking to put on some mass, concentrating on training your forearms and doing kick backs just isn't gonna help mate. A simple, well balanced routine with good focus and steady progression is the way forward accompanied by a quality calorie surplus in your diet.

    but of course it's your decision in the end
    #9
    AUTIGER
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    RE: My Custom 4 Day Split - Advice and Recommendations 2008/05/13 22:36:32 (permalink)
    i haven't read thru all the posts above so Im not sure on their replies but i do agree that it seems like a little too much volume. I will just repost the same workout with a few changes:

    Day 1: Chest, Biceps, Forearms

    Barbell Bench Press: 3x8 (screw the drop set, you've been working out 2 years, no need)
    Incline Dumbbell Press : 3x8
    Flat Bench Dumbbell Flye: 3x8

    Barbell Curl: 2x8
    Hammer Curl: 2x8
    don't worry bout forearms honeslty

    Day 2: Back, Traps, Abs

    Deadlift: 5x10, 8, 6, 6, 6 (i think pyramid rep schemes are crap but if you like keep it)
    Weighted Smith Machine Pull Up: 3x8 (do they mean chins on these, if so then yes, if something stupid involving a smith machine then no :-)
    Bent Over Row: 3x8
    Barbell Shrug: 3x8

    Lying Cable Crunch:3x10

    Day 3: Triceps, Shoulders:

    Weighted Dip: 3x8
    Close Grip Bench Press: 2x8
    Skull crushers 2x8

    Overhead Barbell Press: 3x8
    Cable Lateral/Front Lateral Raise: 2x8 each
    Cuban rotations 2x12

    Day 4: Legs

    Squat: 4x 10, 10, 12, 12 (again on the pyramid, and why 4 sets this time, 5 on deadlift, and 3 on everything else...seems to complicated to be worth a crap)
    Front Squat: 3x10

    Stiff Legged Dead Lifts: 5x10, 8, 6, 6, 6

    Standing Calf Raise 3x8/12

    NOt sure if you said you only have a smith machine but guessing you do since all your compounds where being used on a smith machine, which is fine if thats all you got but do them free if you have the rack.

    #10
    fun meter
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    RE: My Custom 4 Day Split - Advice and Recommendations 2008/05/14 08:30:49 (permalink)
    For a guy your size looking to put on some mass, concentrating on training your forearms and doing kick backs just isn't gonna help mate. A simple, well balanced routine with good focus and steady progression is the way forward accompanied by a quality calorie surplus in your diet.


    I agree, I think you'd be better off with a more simple 4 or 3 day split, based mainly around compound exercises. Taking into account your stats, I think that would be the best way to go. Your Bench is fine for your weight. Focus on getting the Deadlifts up.

    Also, about the above routines, you should train Shoulders before Triceps. Otherwise you wont be able to lift anything overhead.
    #11
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