T Nation

4 Day Split w/ PL Lift Emphasis


I've started a westside program recently, but I'm nostalgic about my high intensity bodybuilding workouts. I want to come back to a legs/chest/back/arms split, but improve my measly bench (~200lbs) and squat/deadlift. I was thinking of just starting every chest/legs session working up to a max using the westside methods, cutting out dynamic days and doing the rest of the split 3x6-20reps for 4-6 more exercises. The westside for bodybuilders program just doesnt have enough back and arm work for me. Would this just be wasting my time with the adding strength aspect, does anyone else have better ideas on how to keep my bench climbing while still hitting lats, calves, pecs, shoulders, bis etc?


5/3/1 variation?



I want a bodybuilding program though. like a split with basically chest/back/legs/arm days. but to still get stronger. every strength program requires things that lead to either 100set, 3hour days in the gym, or leaving out enough work for any real hypertrophy in calves, lats, biceps, shoulders etc


...you aren't listening :wink:


I think he needs an example:

day 1: 5,3,1 press and shoulders/upperback work.

day 2: 5,3,1 squat and quads/hams/calves work.

day 3: 5,3,1 bench and chest/triceps work.

day 4: 5,3,1 deads and back/biceps work.

Offcourse the days doesnt have to be in this order aslong as you have some days beetwen squat and deads.

example of chest and tricep day:

bench: 5,3,1.
incline press variation: 3x8-12reps.
flye variation: 3x8-12reps.
pushdowns: 3x8-12reps.
overhead work for tricep: 3x8-12reps.


look at the second to last post


there are more examples in that thread


Ok i think this covers what you want - go with 5/3/1

Day 1
Bench 5/3/1
Incline bench press 4 sets 6-8
Incline dumbbell bench press 4 sets 10-12
Ab work

Day 2
Squats 5/3/1
Hack squats 3 sets 8-10
DB straight leg deadlifts 3 sets 8-10
Leg extensions 3 sets 8-10 reps
Leg curls 3 sets 8-10 reps
Calve movement - low rest - 5 sets 15-20 reps

Day 3
Military press 5/3/1
Dumbbel press 3 sets 6-8
seated laterals 2 sets 8-10
Rear flys 3 sets 8-10
Rope pushdowns 4 sets 8-10 super setted with hammer curls 4 sets 8-10
Weighted or machine dips 3 sets 8 reps super setted with Concentration curls 3 sets 10-15
Overhead extensions 3 sets 8 repss super setted with EZ bar/barbell curls curls 3 sets 10-12 reps

Day 4
Deadlifts 5/3/1
pullups 50 reps different grips
DB rows 3 sets 10-20 reps
Shrugs 4 sets 10 reps
face pulls 3 sets 12 reps

unless you rest forever these workouts should not take u that long, i would say no longer then an hour


thanks guys. this helps a lot actually. fuck i'm just realising how shit i am at cramming everything i want into a succinct program :confused:


Why does it have to be a 4 day split?


doesnt really have to be. that's just what i'd prefer. anyhting less and i feel im not doing enough and i like doing 4-6exercises/body part rather than having to chuck things togehter


Good responses about the 5/3/1 layout here. Why not five days a week?

Legs/back assistance

One suggestion though--vary the training load/reps if you take this route: don't make both bench or leg days really low rep. One day could be 3-5 reps one the main PL movement, and the other could be higher rep.


maybe have a look at Mike O'hearn Power Bodybuilding program.

basically take your dead bench and squat , go heavy for 7-10 sets of 2-4 reps, and then move on to 2-3 more exercises 8-12 reps bb style.

google it.