Muscle building – Four-way split

This training approach consists primarily of exercises with free weights but also includes isolation exercises to stimulate specific muscle groups. These exercises lower the risk of injury when using heavier training weights. The number of reps is set at around six to ten, depending on the exercise.

Training units

The plan consists of four short but intensive units per week. Two consecutive training units are followed by one or two rest days. Training unit A works on the chest and triceps, training unit B focuses on the legs, calves and abs. After the rest day, training unit C works on the back and biceps. In training unit D, the focus is on the neck and shoulders.

The following training plan is set up for a training duration of four weeks.

Training unit ATraining unit BTraining unit CTraining unit D
Exercise Sets Reps Break
Flat bench dumbbell presses 3 6-8 4-5 min.
Incline bench presses on the Smith machine 3 8 4 min.
Pullovers 3 6-8 4 min.
Overhead dumbbell extensions 3 6-8 4 min.
Cable pullovers 3 6-8 3-4 min.
Exercise Sets Reps Break
Squats 3 6-8 4-5 min.
Hack squats 3 6-8 4-5 min.
Leg curls 3 8-10 3-4 min.
Seated calf raises 3 8-10 3-4 min.
Crunches with extra weights* 2-3 8-10 2 min.

*To do crunches with extra weights, a plate is placed on the chest and the exercise carried out. This enables you to regulate that muscle failure occurs in the eighth rep.

Exercise Sets Reps Break
Bent-over barbell rows 3 6-8 4 min.
Bent-over dumbbell rows 3 6-8 4 min.
T-bar rows 3 6-8 4 min.
Barbell drag curls 3 6-8 4-5 min.
Alternating seated dumbbell curls 3 8-10 4 min.
Dumbbell shrugs 3 6-8 4 min.
Exercise Sets Reps Break
Presses on the Smith machine 3 6-8 4-5 min.
Machine shrugs 3 6-8 4-5 min.
Dumbbell presses 3 8-10 3-4 min.
EZ bar shrugs 3 8-10 3-4 min.