Training

How to Design your own 4, 5 & 6 Day Training Program with Examples

This Article is an Extension of the Push-Pull-Legs Training Program. Once you’ve reached a point where you can no longer improve with a Push-Pull-Legs A/B Rotation, you can Split Up the Body Parts to a 4 Day, 5 Day or even 6 Day Workout Program and allow each Muscle a few Days of Extra Rest for Additional Recovery & Growth in between the Workouts.

You can read more about other Training Splits & & Progressive Overload in these Articles below:
Progressive Overload Principles, Intensity Techniques & Structuring a Deload with Examples
Full-Body Workout Split for Beginners with Examples
How to Design your own Upper / Lower Body Program with Examples
How to Design your own Push-Pull-Legs Training Program with Examples



4 Day Training Split

You should be able to Develop the Majority of your Strength, Size, Density, Thickness and Muscle Maturity with a Push-Pull-Legs (A/B) Routine. When this Foundation has been Laid & Solidified, a Multiple-Day Split allows you to Train with more Volume and Focus on Refining your Physique, more so compared to what’s Possible with a Push-Pull-Legs Routine.

Switching from a 3 Day to 4 Day Training Split is another way to Improve Lagging Body Parts, if they’re not that far behind the other Developed Muscle Groups! There are Several Variations in a 4 Day Split when Switching from a PPL Routine, below are some Suggestions on the Initial Separation of Workouts, in order to Improve certain Body Parts:
• Chest & Shoulders; Chest & Triceps, Pull, Shoulders, Legs
• Biceps & Triceps; Push, Pull, Arms, Legs
• Quads & Hamstrings; Push, Quads & Calves, Pull, Hamstrings & Adductors
• Back Thickness; Push, Quads & Calves, Arms, Posterior Chain (Pullups, Dead or Rack Lifts, SLDL, Leg Curls, etc.)

Below is an Example of a 4 Day Training Program, where you Separate Leg Day into Quads & Calves Day and Hamstrings & Adductors Day:

Push Day

• Dumbbell Bench Press
• Dumbbell Bench Flyes
• Seated Cable Flyes
• Body Weight Dips
• EZ Bar Skull Crushers
• Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extensions
• Dumbbell Lateral Raises
• EZ Bar Front Raises
• Dumbbell Shoulder Press
• Hanging Leg Raises

Quads & Calves Day

• Barbell Squats
• Leg Press
• Leg Extensions
• Hack Squats
• Walking Lunges
• Seated Calf Raises
• Donkey Calf Raises
• Standing Calf Raises

Pull Day

• Body Weight Pullups
• T-Bar Rows
• Dumbbell Rows
• Dumbbell Pullovers
• Bent Over Dumbbell Rear Delt Flyes
• Barbell Shrugs
• EZ Bar Curls
• Cable Rope Curls
• EZ Bar Reverse Curls
• Barbell Wrist Curls

Hamstrings & Adductors Day

• Lying Hamstring Curls
• Seated Hamstring Curls
• Barbell Stiff Legged Dead Lifts
• Smith Machine Swing Curls
• Adductor Machine
• Barbell Hip Thrust
• Reverse Hyper Extensions


Structuring the Workouts in 4 Day Split

The 4 Day Training Split above, makes every Workout a Hardcore Workout, whereas an Extra Arm Workout would give you an “Easy” Day which isn’t as Demanding on your Central Nervous System as 4 Days of Heavy Compound Exercises.

The Example above might cause some Overlap and will Drain your CNS & Recovery if you go Hard on ALL Days, without Adequate Rest Days for Recovery. This means you’ll either have to Train at Reduced Intensity on Days where you Train Body Parts that are already Sufficiently Developed. If your Back is already a Strong Body Part, you basically turn that into the Workload of an Arm Day with 50% Intensity, allowing you to Train All 4 Workout Days in Succession.

Or you Incorporate more Rest Days in between Workouts, Resulting in a 2 Day ON & 1 Day OFF or 1 Day ON & 1 Day OFF approach for Maximum Recovery. In most Cases 2 Day ON & 1 Day OFF will be Sufficient to Train with 100% Intensity, each and every Workout

It highly Depends on how you’ve Developed your Physique with a Push-Pull-Legs A/B Routine and how you’d like to Progress your Physique further. Once you’re ready for a 4 Day Split you should know which Body Parts you Can & Can’t Train in Succession, due to CNS Overlap or Muscle Soreness, Preventing you from Training 100% the next Day!

In most Cases, Arm Development starts to Lag behind the other Body Parts when Following a PPL Routine, because Chest & Shoulders or Back & Traps are basically causing Pre-Fatigue in the Triceps & Biceps, which reduces the Stimulation for Hyper-Trophy, later in the Workout. When you notice that Arms aren’t as Developed as the Body Parts on your Torso or your Legs, moving Biceps & Triceps to their own Arm Day is very Beneficial to increase Recovery and Stimulate these Body Parts during a Separate Workout!


Rest / Recovery Days in 4 Day Routine

Taking Rest Days into Consideration, you can Schedule the Extra Arm Day into your Existing PPL Routine:
• 4 Days ON & 1 Day OFF; Push, Pull, Legs, Arms, Off, Repeat! (5 Day Rotation)
• 2 Days ON & 1 Day OFF; Push, Pull, Off, Arms, Legs, Off, Repeat! (6 Day Rotation)
• 1 Days ON, 1 Day OFF; Push, Off, Pull, Off, Arms, Off, Legs, Off, Repeat! (8 Day Rotation)

In other Cases you might want to Prioritize Leg Development over Arms, because Leg Day is very Taxing and you’re unable to Provide the Required Intensity for Hamstrings or Calves, after you’ve given Everything on Quads. When Leg Day in the PPL Routine becomes too Demanding, your Upper Body is Developed enough and doesn’t require Additional Splitting of Muscle Groups in order to progress, an extra Hamstring Day will greatly Enhance the Development of your Lower Body. While the added Day in between Workout, will aid in the Strength Progression & Recovery of all the Major Body Parts.

Taking Rest Days into Consideration, you can Schedule the Extra Hamstring Day into your Existing PPL Routine:
• 4 Days ON & 1 Day OFF; Push, Quads & Calves, Pull, Hamstring & Adductors, Off, Repeat! (5 Day Rotation)
• 2 Days ON & 1 Day OFF; Push, Quads & Calves, Off, Pull, Hamstring & Adductors, Off, Repeat! (6 Day Rotation)
• 1 Days ON & 1 Day OFF; Push, Off, Quads & Calves, Off, Pull, Off, Hamstring & Adductors, Off, Repeat! (8 Day Rotation)


5 Day Training Split

Once you’ve Completely Maximized Progress on a 4 Day Training Split and it’s Impossible to make Overall Improvements or Improve Lagging Body Parts, even though you’ve Scheduled Deloads, Increased Calories or PEDs or both, you can Transition into a 5 Day Training Split. While keeping Caloric Intake in Mind, a 5 Day Split is usually Preferred in a Caloric Deficit. Since there’s Adequate Rest Days in between Training each Body Part, Recovery remains Intact, even when Calories are Reduced while Workout Volume is increased. In this Case, PEDs are often much Higher compared to the Offseason, where Calories & Training Frequency is High. During a Cutting Phase, PED & Training Volume is High, but Calories & Training Frequency is Low-Moderate, which allows for Similar Recovery Capability and might even extend the need for a Deload, from 6-8 Weeks, to 12-16 Weeks, making it Ideal for an Entire Contest Prep or Cutting Phase.

Below is an Example of a 5 Day Training Program, where you Separate Leg Day into Quads & Calves Day and Hamstrings & Adductors Day, but Group Biceps & Triceps into an Arm Day:

Chest & Shoulders Day

• Dumbbell Bench Press
• Dumbbell Bench Flyes
• Seated Cable Flyes
• Kettlebell Hex Press
• Hammer Strength Chest Press
• Dumbbell Lateral Raises
• EZ Bar Front Raises
• Dumbbell Shoulder Press
• Hammer Strength Shoulder Press

Hamstrings & Adductors Day

• Lying Hamstring Curls
• Seated Hamstring Curls
• Barbell Stiff Legged Dead Lifts
• Smith Machine Swing Curls
• Adductor Machine
• Barbell Hip Thrust
• Reverse Hyper Extensions

Back & Traps Day

• Body Weight Pullups
• EZ Bar Rows
• Dumbbell Rows
• Dumbbell Pullovers
• Bent Over Dumbbell Rear Delt Flyes
• EZ Bar Pendlay Rows
• Barbell Shrugs
• Hammer Strength Shrugs
• Cable Shrugs

Biceps & Triceps Day

• EZ Bar Curls
• Alternating Dumbbell Curls
• Hammer Curls
• Overhead Lying Cable Curls
• Body Weight Dips
• EZ Bar Skull Crushers
• Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extensions
• Tate Press
• EZ Bar Reverse Curls
• Barbell Wrist Curls
• Hanging Leg Raises

Quads & Calves Day

• Barbell Squats
• Leg Press
• Leg Extensions
• Hack Squats
• Walking Lunges
• Seated Calf Raises
• Donkey Calf Raises
• Standing Calf Raises


Structuring the Workouts in 5 Day Split

Switching from a 4 Day to 5 Day Training Split is yet another way to Improve Lagging Body Parts and allow for more Recovery between Workouts. There are Several Variations in a 5 Day Split when Switching from a 4 Day Routine, below are some Suggestions on the Additional Separation of Workouts, in order to Improve certain Body Parts:

• Upper-Body; Chest, Legs, Arms, Shoulders, Back & Traps
• Lower-Body; Chest & Triceps, Quads & Calves, Shoulders, Hamstrings & Adductors, Back & Traps & Biceps
• Arms; Chest & Shoulders, Quads & Calves, Arms, Hamstrings & Adductors, Back & Traps


Rest / Recovery Days in 5 Day Routine

Taking Rest Days into Consideration, you can Schedule your Upper-Body Specific 5 Days Split in the Following way:
• 5 Days ON & 1 Day OFF; Chest, Legs, Arms, Shoulders, Back & Traps, Off, Repeat! (6 Day Rotation)
• 2 Days ON, 1 Day OFF, 3 Days ON & 1 Day OFF; Chest, Legs, Off, Arms, Shoulders, Back & Traps, Off, Repeat! (7 Day Rotation)
• 2 Days ON & 1 Day OFF; Chest, Legs, Off, Arms, Shoulders, Off, Back & Traps, Chest, Off, Legs, Arms, Off, Shoulders, Back & Traps, Off, Repeat! (15 Day Rotation)

Taking Rest Days into Consideration, you can Schedule your Lower-Body Specific 5 Days Split in the Following way:
• 5 Days ON & 1 Day OFF; Chest & Triceps, Quads & Calves, Shoulders, Hamstrings & Adductors, Back & Traps & Biceps, Off, Repeat! (6 Day Rotation)
• 2 Days ON, 1 Day OFF, 3 Days ON & 1 Day OFF; Chest & Triceps, Quads & Calves, Off, Shoulders, Hamstrings & Adductors, Back & Traps & Biceps, Off, Repeat! (7 Day Rotation)
• 2 Days ON & 1 Day OFF; Chest & Triceps, Quads & Calves, Off, Shoulders, Hamstrings & Adductors, Off, Back & Traps & Biceps, Chest & Triceps, Off, Quads & Calves, Shoulders, Off, Hamstrings & Adductors, Back & Traps & Biceps, Off, Repeat! (15 Day Rotation)

The 5 Day Split is often Performed over the Course of a Week, allowing for 2 Days OFF in between 2/3 Days ON. Usually you take a Day OFF after a Quads, Hamstrings or Back Day in a 5 Day Training Split, with a Chest, Shoulder or Arms Day as Padding in between the 3 Most Demanding Workouts of the Week; Quads & Calves / Back & Traps / Hamstrings & Glutes. Again, it highly depends on how you Chose to Split up the Body Parts in your Personalized 5 Day Split.

In some Cases there’s no Padding in between Demanding Workouts, and you might have to Lower the Intensity to Prevent Over-Stimulation of CNS or Compounding Workload which reduces Overall Recovery and might Result in Over-Training.

There are many ways to Split up your Body Parts for a 5 Day Workout Routine. You can also go with; Chest & Shoulders, Hamstrings & Adductors, Off, Back & Traps, Biceps & Triceps, Quads & Calves, Off, Repeat! It all depends on how you Recover, the Overlap Body Parts and which Body Parts you’d like to improve the most!


6 Day Training Split

This is Freak Territory and doesn’t apply for the Majority of the People to be Completely Honest. Most of us can’t sustain 6 Days per Week of Intense Workouts, unless you’re on a Boatload of PED’s and Calories to Fuel the Workouts and actually Recover from Training 6 Days per Week!

A 6 Day Split is High Volume Heaven, with Insulin Pre-Workout to Shuttle the Essential Amino Acids, Creatine, High Branch Cyclic Dextrin’s & Electrolytes into the Muscle, while perhaps also using OTC Pre-Workouts, 300-400mg Ubiquinol, 2-5 Puffs Ventolin (Salbutamol), Offseason Anabolics that increase RBC Count & Hematocrit, Cialis, Injectable AmPK & EPO, basically anything that Actually increases Performance in order to Sustain 2 Hour Workouts.

Taking Rest Days into Consideration, you can Schedule your 6 Days Split in the Following way:
• 6 Days ON & 1 Day OFF; Chest & Abs, Quads & Calves, Biceps & Triceps, Hamstrings &

This basically means you Train ALL Major Body Parts and a Secondary or Ancillary Body Part on Separate Days, which allows for very High Volume per Workout, with Adequate Muscle Group Specific, Recovery Capability in between Workouts.

Although you’ll be Training 6 Days per Week; Moderate-High use of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs), Structured & Timed use of Performance Enhancing Supplementation (PESs), High Caloric Intake with Accompanying Pharmacology, should Provide Adequate Recovery Capability with Limited Rest Days. Even when Calories are Restricted during a Contest Prep or Cutting Phase, Recovery shouldn’t be Impacted too Severely, especially when Volume is Reduced alongside the Caloric Deficit. Utilizing 100% of the Nutrients for Recovery, while pulling a bit of Body Fat from Reserves in order to Fuel Hyper-Plasia & Energy Production!

On a 6 Day Split Body Builders usually do 6 Exercises for the Main Body Part, followed by 3-4 Exercises for the Secondary or Ancillary Body Part you Train during the Workout. Workouts Typically last around 1 Hour as there’s very little need to Warmup or Prime other Body Parts, as those are Trained on other Days. With a Conventional PPL Routine, you spend a lot of Time on Warmup Sets, Feel Sets & Priming Body Parts before you reach your Working Weight. While with a 6 Day Split, you Perform a few Warmup Sets & Feel Sets for the Main Body Part, after your First Working Sets you merely need 1 or 2 Feel Sets in order to Prime yourself for another Working Set in the next Exercise. In the Meantime your Secondary Body Part gets Sufficiently Primed as well, reducing the need for Additional Warmups or Feel Sets, Allowing you to Transition straight into the next Body Part with little Time in between!

Keep in mind that Progressive Overload goes Completely out of the Window on a 6 Day Split during a Cutting Phase, as you’re simply trying to Maintain Size & Strength by Spacing Body Parts away from each other, reducing Overlap, while allowing for the most Amount of Recovery the Caloric Deficit, Moderate-High PEDs & Recovery Days between Workouts can Provide.

Many Body Builders chose to Rotate Exercises Week by Week, never Performing the same Workout as the Week before. Broscience tells us this Prevents Adaption, because it’s hard to make Continues Progress in regards to Working Weight and/or Reps during the Set, when Calories are Restricted for a Prolonged Period of Time. Another Part of this Philosophy to Rotate Exercise Weekly, is the Defeated Feeling you get, when your Strength starts declining on your Favorite Exercises. Since you’ve been working so hard to grow using Progressive Overload during the Offseason, seeing your Lifts reduce in Total Reps, followed by a reduction in Working Weight, is a Hard Pill to Swallow.

That’s why most Body Builders prefer to Train by Feel during the later Stages of a Contest Prep or Cutting Phase and do Exercises they Enjoy, Exercises that Feel Safe, Exercise that are easy to Setup but Provide Adequate Stimulation for Hyper-Trophy, Preserving Muscle Tissue even when Training Intensity is Balanced to a fine Line between Stimulation & Injury.

Once you’re at this Level you owe yourself an Obligatory Trip to the Muscle Factory Bangkok, Golds Gym Venice, Bev Francis’ Powerhouse Gym New York or Oxygen Gym Kuwait!!


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