Let’s face it, the older you get, the less time you have to spend at the gym. The particular reason for this is that life has finally caught up and you have responsibilities like working and taking care of a family. This means hitting the gym 6 days a week is out of the question, but you don’t want to give up on working out. That’s where the 4-day lifting routine comes in. It is easy to find four days to workout without having to sacrifice too much since the weekend already counts as two days, and now you only need to find two more days to workout during the week.
In addition to that, the 4-day lifting routine comes with another benefit, which is to give your muscles and body enough time to rest and recover. Resting and recovering are crucial to any workout as they give the body time to repair and strengthen itself so that it will be ready to give you its all in the next session without aches or risk of injuries.
You also don’t want to go below 4 workouts per week because an effective workout program should meet the following requirements:
- It should have 3 to 6 workout sessions per week.
- Each workout session should be between 25 minutes to 75 minutes.
- The workout routine should include both cardiovascular exercises and resistance training.
To make your 4-day lifting routine more effective, it would be better to go with split strength training workouts compared to full-body strength training workouts. Here is more on that!
Reasons Split Strength Training Is The Way To Go In A 4-Day Lifting Routine
Split strength training involves splitting your workouts so that you can target various muscles or body parts on different days (3). On the other hand, full-body or whole-body strength training ensures that you work out your whole body every day. There are benefits to both systems. If you are an amateur, the full-body strength training will help you get used to the workout; this is in the form of different exercises, how long you should do each, how to increase and reduce the intensity of the workout, and so on (3). The problem with the full-body strength training routine is that it is easy to hit a plateau (3). A plateau is where there are no changes in your body despite working out as you should. This mostly happens because you are doing the same exercises every day and the body gets used to them hence no noticeable change.
Another reason why full-body strength training is not the way to go is that you don’t concentrate on individual muscles and body parts which is an advantage of the split strength training routine.
4 Day Lifting Routine: You Are Working Your Body Generally
Hence although you might get to work most muscles at a time, you won’t have time or the energy to concentrate on all the muscles (3). For example, if you started with pulling exercises, by the time you get to pushing exercises, you may be tired, and hence you won’t put as much effort into the exercise as you should. Apart from energy, time might also not be on your side, and this will result in you not working out effectively as you should.
Apart from being able to concentrate on individual muscles and body parts, the split workout routine also enables you to do more exercises, more sets, and hence better results (3). If you only have two hours to work in a day, and you are using the full-body routine, you have to cover the whole body in two hours. If you have the same two hours and you are only concentrating on your legs, you’ll have enough time to do so many leg exercises as well as so many sets.
Another advantage is that the split exercise routine will help give body parts enough time to recover and repair themselves. If you only do leg exercises once a week, no matter how hard you go, since the next time you’ll work on the legs again is next week, the legs will have enough time to recover and repair themselves. This is a double advantage as it allows you to push yourself as much as you can in every workout hence better results.
4 Day Lifting Routine: Power Muscle Burn System
Since we’ve established why the split strength training routine is the way to go, the power muscle burn system is an exercising system that helps in building strength and muscles by focusing on three different approaches, all used in the same workout. These approaches are (1):
You start the workout by performing power sets. Power sets are sets that are performed in a three to five repetitions range (1). The aim is to start with a particular weight and lift it until you can do 5 repetitions for the power sets. When you get to that point, where you can lift that weight comfortably for 5 reps, then you can change the weight by increasing it. When in this approach, major muscle groups will approximately perform 2-4 power sets in every workout. Minor muscle groups, on the other hand, will perform 2 power sets for every workout (1).
After the power sets, you come to the muscle sets that are performed in the range of 6 to 12 repetitions (1). Just like the power sets, you start with a certain weight until you can hit 12 muscle sets comfortably. When you can do that, you can increase your weight for better results. In this approach, major muscle groups will perform 4 to 6 of total muscle sets in each workout using 2 different workouts. When it comes to the minor muscle groups, the muscle set you will perform are between 2 to 4 in each workout, and you can use either 1 or 2 exercises (1).
When it comes to the burn sets, you generally use isolation exercises to perform 1 to 2 burn sets for each muscle group (1). What you do here is that you select a weight that you can do 15 to 20 reps and perform 40 reps with it. You can first do as many as you can and then rest for a little bit before continuing with the reps. It would help if you didn’t rest too long. Just rest enough to regain your breath and energy. If you can hit 25 repetitions and above without rest, you can add the weight you are using. Major muscle groups use two burn sets, while minor muscle groups use between one and two burn sets.
Best 4-Day A Week Lifting Routine
Now since we know the benefits of using the split strength training routine, it is essential to decide how you are going to split your workouts. There are various ways you can use to split your workouts. Try use your upper and lower body, where on one day you choose to work the upper body and the next day you go for the lower body, and that goes on as you alternate after each day (3). You can also split your workouts according to the types of exercises; you can have some days for push exercises and other days for pull exercises (3). Also you can group your routine by muscle groups, which is the routine we are going to use for the 4-day weight lifting routine.
In this 4-day lifting routine, we will group our workout routine as follows:
- Day 1: Chest and Triceps
- 2-nd Day: Back and Biceps
- 3-rd Day: Rest
- Day 4: Legs ( Quads, Hamstring, Calves)
- Day 5: Shoulders, Traps, and Forearms
- 6-th Day: Rest
- 7-th Day: Rest
4-Day Weight Lifting Routine
Here are all the exercises that you should do each day to work the muscles for that particular day, as well as the sets and reps. In places where terms like burning, power, and muscle are used, confirm from above to see how many sets and reps you should do.
In case you are unable to do any of the exercises in the 4-day lifting routine, you can replace them with exercises that still work the same muscles so it won’t create an imbalance in the 4-day lifting routine. For each exercise, make sure to maintain the right form to prevent injuring yourself.
CHEST AND TRICEPS
- Triceps Pushdown – 3 sets – (10 reps)
- Bench Press – 3 sets – (6-10 reps)
- Dumbbell Flys – 2 sets – (40- Burn)
- Cable Tricep Extension – 5 minutes – (Burn)
- Push-ups – 1 sets – (100-200 reps as quickly as possible)
- Chest Dip – 3 sets – (As many as possible)
- Seated French Press – 2 sets – (6-12 reps)
BACK AND BICEPS
- Deadlift – 2 sets – (5 reps)
- Seated Dumbbell Curl – 5 minutes – (Burn)
- One-arm, Elbow-in Dumbbell Row – 3 sets – (10 reps)
- Pullup – 3 sets – (As many as possible)
- Lat Pulldown – 2-3 sets – (6-12 reps)
- Barbell Row – 3 sets – (8-12 reps)
LEGS (QUADS, HAMSTRING, CALVES)
- Leg Extension – 5 minutes – (Burn)
- Dumbbell Step-up – 3 sets – (10 reps)
- Plie Squat – 3 sets – (10 reps)
- Burpee – 1 sets – (50 reps)
- Standing Calf Raise – 3 sets – (10-15 reps)
- Squat – 3 sets – (6-10 reps)
SHOULDERS, TRAPS, FOREARMS
- Seated Barbell Press – 4 sets – (3-5 reps)
- Hammer Strength Press – 5 minutes – (Burn)
- Seated Arnold Press – 2-3 sets – (6-12 reps)
- Barbell Shrug or Dumbbell Shrug – 5 minutes – (Burn)
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise – 2 sets – (40 reps)
4 Day Lifting Routine: Benefits Of Strength Training
The 4-day lifting routine is part of the strength training group of exercises, and these are the benefits associated with them:
Help In Building Strength And Muscles (2)
This makes everyday activities like lifting a box of toys or carrying groceries easier.
Help Strengthen Your Bones (2)
Strong bones are important as they reduce the risk of fracture and other bone-related conditions.
Help Improve Your Joint Flexibility (2)
Strength training helps improve your joint flexibility, and this helps prevent the risks of arthritis.
Help With Weight Control (2)
This is from the fact that strength training helps in building strength and muscles. Muscles have a high resting metabolism as they burn more calories at rest compared to fat mass, and hence this helps with weight loss.
Help With Balance And Stability (2)
Strength training exercises help increase flexibility, balance, and stability, and this is beneficial as you get old because it prevents risks associated with falling and injuries.
Help Build Confidence
You walk confidently when you know you have six-packs compared to having a fat belly; when you have nice toned legs compared to large legs.
The Bottom Line
The 4-day lifting routine provides a spit exercise program that allows you to work different muscles on different days, thus being able to optimize the routine. The main aim of this 4-day lifting routine is to build muscles and strength. While training, aim to make progress on every set to get the maximum results from the workout routine. You can go making small changes to the 4-day routine until it fits into what you want. If you feel like 6 reps are too many, start with 3 and add the number of reps as you get used to the exercise. It is also not a bad idea to alternate exercises every week, after all, diversity is the flavor of life, and it helps target more muscles differently.