T Nation

Rate My 4-Day Bodybuilding Split


Hey everybody, I've been lurking on this site for a few months and finally decided to start an account.
edit: sorry for creating so many threads, trying to delete them right now

-lifting for 1.5 years, about 6 months of that consistently
-17 years old, 170 lbs, 5'8, 13-14% bodyfat (currently cutting to the single digits)
-been low rep strength training for the most part and looking to start bb'ing
-ectomorph with endomorphic tendencies (small frame, skinny-fat body composition, easy to gain weight)
-Squat 225 ATG, Bench 185 or 85's with dumbbells, Deadlift 365, Overhead Press 125 or 65's w/ dbs, Hang Clean 185, 14 Pullups (overhand and deadhang), and Dips w/ 70 lbs for 4.

-recent pics: http://i51.tinypic.com/oforup.jpg

With that in mind, I've developed a routine which I'll be using this summer. I'll be changing thing up as necessary but for the most part I'll be following this.

Monday: Abs/Legs
-Warm-ups: 12 pullups, 2 sets of 25 pushups, Leg Swings (side-to-side and front-to-back)
-Hanging Leg Raises 3 x 15
-Back Squat (to parallel) 2 ramp-up sets, 3 working sets of 5
- Weighted Leg Raises (off bench) 3 x 12-15
-Weighted Plank 1 x 1:00
-RDL's 3 x 10-12
-Leg Press (heavy) 3 x 6-8
-Leg Press 3 second descents 3x 8-10
-Narrow stance Leg Press 3 x 8
-Narrow stance Leg Press (3 second descent) 1 x failure
-unilateral leg extensions 3 x 15-20

Wednesday: Chest/ Tri's
-Warm-ups: Shoulder circles, 12 pullups, 25 pushups
-Incline BB bench 2 warm-up sets, 4 working sets of 6-8
-Flat BB bench 1 set of 10 at 135, 3 working sets of 4-6
-Parallel bar dips (weighted) (slight forward lean) 3 x 6-8
-Flat BB close-grip bench 3 x 8
-Dips (bodyweight) 50 reps, 1 set to complete failure
-Incline Cable Flyes 4 x 12
-Pushups- 50 reps then 1 set to failure

Friday: Upper Back/ Lats/Bi's/abs
-10 pullups, 25 pushups, shoulder circles, 2 sets of dumbbell snatches (5 reps each hand)
-Pullups: 50 reps OR Weighted Pullups: 1 bw warm-up set of 12, 3 working sets of 6-8
-Hanging Leg Raises: 3 sets of 15
-Hang Cleans 3 x 5
-Chest-supported T-bar rows 1 warm-up set, 3 working sets of 8
-1-arm dumbbell bentover rows (heavy, explosive): 3 sets of 8-10
-Jack-knife sittups (bodyweight) 50 reps + 1 set to failure
-Weighted Plank 1 x 1:00
-Kroc Rows: 1 set per side of 20+ reps
-Ez-bar curls (heavy, some 'cheating' allowed): 3 x 6-8
-Db alternating curls (strict): 3 x 8

Sunday: Shoulders/ arms
-Warmups- shoulder circles, 10 pullups, 25 pushups
-Seated DB overhead press: 2 warmup sets, 3 working sets of 4-6, 1 set of 8-10 at lighter weight
-Cable Lateral Raises ('heavy', some 'cheating' allowed) 3 x 10
-DB lateral raises (light, strict) 3 x 15 + 1 set w/ 3 sec descents to failure
-Cable Pushdowns 3 x 12-15
-Overhead DB extensions (double-handed) 3 x 10
-Machine Tricep Extensions (unilateral) 3 x 10
-Ez-bar curls (heavy): 3 x 6-8
-db hammer curls: 3 x 8
-Db alternating curls: 3 x 8
-Ez-bar curls (3 second descent) + 2 sets to failure (at least 6 reps)

Notes: I like warming up with a set of pullups and pushups, just gets me ready to lift. I don't go to failure on more than 2 sets per exercise. I realize there's a lot of volume but I'll be eating plenty and getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night (summer ftw). Sorry for the long post, but I'd appreciate any comments/critiques you guys can give me. Thanks!


That split looks fine, you have a good base. Just make sure your eating enough to recover.


Agreed on the good base, looks like you'll make some good gains

Routine looks good. But if you do start to lose a bit of drive/motivation, don't be afraid to cut down exercise selection a little. e.g. from 3 to mostly 2 direct exercises/bodypart. The exception maybe with back/delts/legs (they always benefit from more exercise selection).

Most beginner/intermediate programs will have you build up a good size base before concentrating more on "angles".


@ K-Man32 - thanks man, and yeah I'll definitely make sure to eat enough. I'm at a mild calorie deficit at the moment to shed some bodyfat, but when I start my summer bulk I'll start off with ~200g protein and ~3500 calories a day and make adjustments from there

@ its_just_me - If I start to burn out a bit I'll switch things up for sure, lately I've been going kind of crazy with the "angles" because as I've been getting leaner my weak points are becoming more glaringly obvious (especially my upper chest and teardrop). thanks for the input


Yeh that's perfectly fine. No-body should neglect large parts of a muscle group (especially upper chest).

I just mean that so long as an exercise serves it's purpose, then all is good. However, when you have many exercise that hit the SAME muscle, it only serves to drain recovery more and acts like a "redundant exercise". For example, you do dips which hits the lower chest (with very little upper chest stimulation unlike the flat bench which at least has SOME carry over to the upper chest) and in my opinion is a redundant exercise because you already do flat benching...and dips will emphasise the lower chest even more, thus making the upper chest appear even less developed. Better to put that recovery resources/energy into bringing out the upper chest more (e.g. more sets/more control for incline pressing).


When I do dips I don't lean forward very much so I do them more as a tricep exercise, but I definitely see your point. Thanks for the advice man


You're welcome


You should probably have RDL's on your back day, or something like good mornings. Also, your "warm up" sucks. Stick with pullups and pushups if it helps you feel ramped up, but before that take a look at something like this. 5 minutes of mobility work before each lifting session will do wonders for recovery and injury prevention in the long haul.