4 Day Early Intermediate Strength Building Split

This is a 4 day strength building workout great for post-beginners to early intermediates who want to build strength and mass. Strive for progression and you will make marked progress. This program was designed to run for 4 months or longer. I have adopted this system and I plan on utilizing this as long as possible.

A secondary goal with this program is to build muscle along with strength. This split is going to give you a great balanced base that you will be able to build up your whole lifting career.

Day 1
ExerciseSetsRep Goal
Bench Press525
Close Grip Bench336
Incline Dumbbell Bench324
Chest Press Machine336
Tricep Extensions336


Day 2
ExerciseSetsRep Goal
Barbell Rows525
Pull Ups324
1 Arm Dumbbell Rows324
Dumbbell Preacher Curls336


Day 3
ExerciseSetsRep Goal
Barbell Overhead Press525
Arnold Press324
Lateral Raises336
Skull Crushers336


Day 4
ExerciseSetsRep Goal
Straight Leg Deadlifts324
Leg Extensions336
Seated Calf Raises336
Barbell Curls336


If you have any questions or comments be sure to leave them below!

22 thoughts on “4 Day Early Intermediate Strength Building Split”

    1. I don’t know fully what your question is regarding but if there’s a 5 set and 25 rep goal scheme that’s what you are shooting for is a 5×5.

    1. Keep them as long or short as you need them. On the big compound lifts I shoot for 1-2 minutes but if I need more I’ll take it. With the smaller lifts I’ll try 30-45 seconds. No need to jump in too quickly, but short enough that you push yourself.

  1. Hey Cutty!
    Im currenly doing the 3-day-muscle-mass workout plan and im thinking to run this program next.
    So is this ment to be 4 days in a row? MTWT and the weekend is off?

    Thanks in forward,

    1. I would suggest doing something like monday/tuesday/thursday/friday to get some rest in between but if you can recover quick enough that would work. It would give you a longer recovery from the gym, but I think Thursday your nervous system would be toast.


  2. I just started working with the 4-day strength workout, and am finishing up my new maxes for the program. What would be a decent percentage to start with for the sets? I understand the system, but am just curious where to start.

    1. I would start with 75-80%. It doesn’t sound like much but moving up 5 lbs a week you end up hitting your maxes pretty soon. By then your body is recovered and you will start to break new PRs. You can kind of treat the first couple weeks as speed work if you want to.


    1. You can do them in any order, it’s just what I’d consider optimal. Feel free to change what you need to fit your schedule and needs.

  3. Hey cutty! Doin this routine now. Wanted to know if you recommend doing some cardio on the off days (wed & sat). And also if there are any recommended ab workouts that you would add to the program? Or if they get enough from the compound lifts in the program?

    1. Glad to hear from you! You can do cardio every day… think of it more as conditioning. The better conditioning you have, the more work output you can produce. This means that your overall life improves as you stay moving.

      You can add in whatever ab exercises you’d like, although I can squat 550+ and deadlift 605 beltless due to training similarly. I have no issue with core strength and I believe that a lot of isolation movements are nothing but aesthetics. If you’re lean enough that you can see the start of your abs, do some isolation movements. If you just want to strengthen your core, the exercises should be enough. Core movements such as planks, medicine ball throws, and uneven loading of your body (carrying a 50lb dumbbell in one hand) like a farmer walk make some great functional improvements to your physique.

  4. Do you recommend following this split if I have been at the gym for only two months? I followed a 3 day muscle building routine but I want to start over by building strength?

    1. Add in ab work so long as it doesn’t affect the rest of your workout and you’ll be fine.

  5. A little background, I’m 53 and have lifted since my teen years, stopped heavy presses and stopped barbell after my shoulder injury 5 years ago. I injured it at work not the gym. Kept a steady moderately heavy (100×6-8 flat bench, etc.) dumbbell routine and machine work so I’ve maintained my 190-200lbs lean body and some of my strength. Joined a new gym since I moved and it’s a powerlifting gym. I’m very intrigued watching these guys push some serious weight and would like to give it a try since my shoulder hasn’t given me issues in a couple years now. Would you suggest I do this routine or something else?

    1. Run pressing weights that you know are safe and work your way up. Ask your doctor about some shoulder rehab/prehab work – different stretches and band exercises can help strengthen the parts that need it.

      You shouldn’t have an issue, just go slow and maintain good form.

  6. Will do, already have done extensive rehab and have a good stretching program. Have seen others doing band work and will try that as a warm up. Thank you, I’m looking forward to getting started.

    1. A tip to help get your shoulders into a safer position is to setup on bench, and then lift your back and squeeze your shoulder blades together… kind of like you got smacked with a rubber band in the middle. It helps put your shoulders into a less dangerous position.

      Good luck Norm, keep me up to date on progress :)

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