Here is a 4 day routine that utilizes a 5×5 scheme for the compound movements and a higher 8-12 reps for accessory movements. In order for you to get the best results with this program, be consistent and always strive for progression. Check out below what rep goal means.
Goal Of This Workout
This routine is designed to maximize your results by utilizing big compound lifts and supplementing with a good variety of accessory lifts.
This routine is designed for anyone who is looking to build strength and muscle.
It is recommended that you are comfortable with your form in the big compound lifts and you have are able to consistently train if you are to make the most of this routine.
Diet and Nutrition Tips
You can beat your muscles down in the gym but the only way to recover (build) muscle is to fuel your body with quality food.
I try to stick to an 80/20 rule when I look at nutrition. This means that 80% of my meals are prepared by me and I make sure to get the best quality food that I can.
No, this doesn’t mean you have to get natural grass fed free roaming cows who get massages every day and free range chickens who get to walk the beaches to benefit from eating whole foods.
Learn to Cook
Cooking isn’t as hard as you may think. I never was allowed in the kitchen as a child so trust me when I say anyone can do this with some patience. The trick is learning technique and then going after the complex meals.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know how to cook 5 course gourmet meals, but I have no problem eating enough varieties of a protein and vegetable to keep me happy. I made a pretty good meatloaf and lasagna once.
Long story short here is the sooner you learn to cook, the sooner you will notice changes in your performance and physique.
Note: If you cannot get good foods into your mouth, this section is irrelevant. You really can’t out train and out supplement a crap diet.
I personally like apple mango, but all flavors are good.
This is a great blend without too many stimulants.
MTS Machine Whey Protein: 5lbs
This is in my opinion the best tasting protein on the market. Period.
Great blend with no secrets, no amino spiking, and it is some of the best in the industry.
So far I’ve had Red Velvet and Cookies and Cream. Both are A+.
Marc Lobliner has his sweetening on point with these supplements.
I’ve used mixed berry and grape and I love them both.
Once you get your diet on point, taking a multi-vitamin is important as a strength athlete.
Get the most of your gains and life with this multi-vitamin.
Cardio and Conditioning Tips
I would recommend doing a short 20-30 minute cardio session post workout at least twice a week for optimum muscle growth and recovery.
If you are running low on time, a short 5-10 minute high intensity interval session at least twice per week will help with maximizing your progress.
Note: Some low intensity walking, hiking, bicycling, etc is helpful to improve your quality of life and recovery from your workouts.
Here is a sample schedule:
- Day 1 – Workout A
- Day 2 – Workout B
- Day 3 – Off
- Day 4 – Off
- Day 5 – Workout C
- Day 6 – Workout D
- Day 7 – Off
The benefit to starting on a Monday is while everyone is benching and hogging the dumbbells, you are squatting and doing legs and not have to wait for any equipment. This is convenient so you can go in with your prepared session and smash it out.
4 Day Gym Workout Routine for Men
|Standing Bent Over Laterals||3||36|
|Incline Chest Flies||3||24|
|1 Arm Tricep Extensions||3||36|
|Standing Bent Over Laterals||3||36|
|Bent Over Barbell Rows||5||25|
|Standing Bent Over Laterals||3||36|
|Standing Bent Over Laterals||3||36|
Rep Goal – This is the total reps you have to complete in the given sets. For instance a 3 set 36 rep goal would basically be 3 sets of 12.
*- Front squats can be impossible for someone with bad posture such as myself. If you cannot do front squats, use a hack squat machine; most gyms have one labeled a hack squat machine or a V Squat. If you can’t do either of these, leg extensions will work as well.
** – Planks aren’t the same rep goal scheme as other lifts. When you are supposed to do planks, do 3 sets of 1 rep and record your results for each set. The goal to beat for next time is to beat the combined time of those 3 planks. Keep the rest short; 60 seconds and really squeeze the abs and back and keep that core tight.
You might have noticed bent over lateral raises on every day; most people have underdeveloped rear delts and this is a great exercise that will hit multiple muscles which include rear delts, lats, and traps. I recommend these over a reverse pec deck because most people do not use the machine correctly.
If you have been spending time developing rear delts or are a wuss and want to do pec deck, then disregard the last few sentences.
Leave your comments, questions, or results below! I answer them all.
245 thoughts on “4 Day Gym Workout Routine for Men”
I’m just starting out at the gym and am cooking more meals at home. I’m 5’8″, 205 lbs. I’d like to get back to 175 with lean muscle. Any suggestions?
If you start cooking most of your meals at home and controlling portions you will drop a bit of weight initially and then slowly reach your goal with enough consistency. Cut out soda and other sugary drinks initially and then start “eating to fuel your body” instead of eating everything you like. I try to have people stick to an 80/20 rule so 20% of your calories can come from whatever you want as long as the 80% is from nutritious quality food.
Slow changes in diet will make great changes in your waistline and then training in the gym will help build muscle and further along your progress. It’s almost impossible to out train a crappy diet so consistently do whatever you can and strive for better.
If you have any more questions feel free to ask!
2 weeks into this workout and I really enjoy it. One question, and I’m sure you get it all the time. Biceps. Will it hurt my recovery if I throw a 3×12 spider curl in at the end of back day? Just for a little extra help. My biceps grow very very slowly.
If you feel alright, it won’t hurt to add in some extra bicep work. 3×12 would be fine, just don’t go crazy and add like 4 more bicep exercises :)
How often should I increase the weight on these excercises?
Generally I recommend trying to increase the weight each week. If you increase and then start to fail on the last reps of each set, keep the weight and then train until you can complete all reps of all sets.
The goal is to progress somehow whether that’s increasing weight or increasing the amount of reps that you are able to do.
Is it ok to add more accessory movements? Bicep curls, calves, crunches, etc.. Or will it defeat the purpose of the program? Thanks.
You could slowly add in some more accessory movements as long as the main exercises aren’t becoming compromised.
No problem :)
Hey Cutty any tips on how to improve the incline flies? Seems like most of the time I do them I feel my front delts working more than my chest?
Make the bench a little flatter. I’ve always had best luck having them like 1 step below what I would use for incline db bench. You don’t need a super high incline, just a little bit of one.
Hi This looks really great will give it shot. Just a few questions?
1) After doing Deadlifts, wouldnt it be harder to do bentover rows? I feel like my back would be too fatigued for them.
2) Can I switch the leg press for a hamstring exercise?
I’ve never had issues with doing bent over rows after deads, try them both ways and see how you feel. If you feel fatigued either way, you can replace with some 1 arm dumbbell rows or use the machine that simulates bent over rows but gives you a pad to lay on. That’ll keep you from fatiguing your lower back.
Leg press is already in the routine. If you don’t want to do front squats I would recommend using the hack squat machine, goblet squats, or lunges. Leg extensions are alright but they put a lot of stress on your knees.
First off, love the site. I am 48, but new to weight lifting. This has been by far the best site I’ve found for what I feel like is realistic information. So many sites seem to be centered around guys who are much more advanced than I am. I’m lifting to lose fat and regain some of the strength that I’ve lost as I’ve gotten older. I’m 6’1″ and 230 pounds with 29% body fat. I really don’t care how much I weigh, but I definitely need to get leaner. I’m hoping lifting does the trick. I tried running a few years ago. Lost a lot of weight, finished a marathon, looked like I was sick. I don’t need to be skinny; I need to be leaner.
I’ve been doing this plan for about a month and have gained 8 pounds. I think its working because my pants still fit the same, so I’m assuming the weight gain is muscle. I haven’t changed my eating because I have been focusing on learning how to lift. Now the plan is to adding in an 80/20 eating plan. I really enjoy lifting. I don’t even mind doing 20 minutes of intense cardio after my workout.
Sorry for all the personal info. I just wanted to let you know that there are people out there who are having success using your site and appreciate it. Now a couple questions.
When do you take creatine? I just started using 5g a day, but am wondering if there is a best time. Some things I’ve read say right before a workout, others right after, and some say both.
Are there alternatives to standing bent over laterals? Instead of doing them every workout it would be nice to have another rear delt exercise to mix it up.
Again, thanks so much for putting together such a great site.
Thank you for the kind words. I’m glad I’ve been able to connect with you in that sense. I’ve known a few people that “cardio’d” their weight away and they look pretty sickly afterwards due to all muscle loss. Weight gain is okay – it means you’re building some muscle and recomping your body. Cardio and conditioning is good – I look at it as heart conditioning more than a way to lose weight.. because running on a treadmill for 20 minutes and only burning a couple hundred calories just doesn’t seem the most efficient way to burn calories :).
80/20 is a great way to go – you aren’t limiting yourself so much that you have super cravings and you are giving yourself some room to not start becoming orthorexic or develop bad ocd tenancies with your eating. I personally would take creatine as soon as I would wake up – granted I went to the gym shortly after, but I don’t feel that timing is necessarily that important. If it is, it’s only by a marginal % which you shouldn’t worry about. I would recommend coming up with a routine and sticking to it. If that means waking up every morning and taking your supplements and downing the creatine then, or before bed, or after your workout, whatever works… just be consistent.
In regards to the bent over laterals, higher volume face pulls and reverse pec dec would be two other good options. I’ve noticed an improvement with my shoulders now that I work my rear delts. I had a bad imbalance in my front delts from all of the pressing and front deltoid movements that my shoulders were not healthy – it is a common thing that many people don’t care too much about. Face pulls and the bent over laterals are great for your traps as well.. it’s one of my favorite movements really.
Thanks again for all of the kind words, I’m glad to hear you’re back at it and I’ve been able to help. If you have any more questions feel free to throw them up!
Bringing this back from the dead, LOL…
I found your workout while searching for some things I could do in a home gym. I’ve been lifting on and off for 40 years, so I know tons of exercises, but I’m also smart enough not to re-invent the wheel.
My question… I HATE front squats. I can’t seem to be able to hold the bar and it not hurt me in some way. I read to do hacks or V’s or even extensions, but you mention a hack squat machine. How about the old style, old school barbell hack squats? I used to love them, or maybe even DB box squats. Which would you suggest? I want to do BB hacks, but this is your workout, so I’m asking you for your opinion.
The rest of it I have down except for the pullups, which I don’t have the strength to weight ratio to do right now (plus a REALLY bad left shoulder), but will sub in lat pulldowns for for the time being.
Hacks or heavy goblet squats would work out pretty well. Everything else sounds great man, let me know how it goes if you decide to try it.
I have a garage gym, no leg press. Any suggestion on a replacement movement? Right now I’m using leg extensions
Goblet squats aren’t a “replacement” but it would be a pretty good one.
Starting my second week… added curls in on day three. Just 3 sets of 8… will alternate EZ bar and seated alternating. Just wanted a little more arm work than the back work was providing.
Also, I’m going to slack off on the bent overs. Probably two days a week instead of four.
I really love the base workout that you provided!
Sounds like a good idea Paul. Let me know how you progress!
just wondering, is there any ex for biceps? missing or on purpose?
There is plenty of bicep work from the pulling and compound exercises for your arms to grow. If you feel that you need to do endless sets of curls, feel free :)