There are a lot of training splits out there. Many people use a very standard three or four-day split. There are lots of ways to mix up the body over three or four days and this is another great option that I don’t see a lot of people using.
The split is more of a size-based style of training because it puts more of the focus on the back and quads which are the two largest muscle groups in the body. Overall size gains here means general size gains in the rest of the body by default. So if you are looking for something different or new, give this split a shot!
The Size Builder Split
This is a four-day split. You will do it over a normal week with three total rest days each week. But you can take the rest days whenever you want or need them as long as you take all three each week. Truly muscle growth occurs during the rest phase so don’t short yourself on the down time if you want to obtain maximum growth.
- Day 1 – Quads/Abs (squats)
- Day 2 – Shoulders/Traps/Calves
- Day 3 – Back/Hamstrings/Biceps (deadlifts)
- Day 4 – Chest/Triceps (bench press)
There are specific reasons for splitting things up this way. Ideally you want at least one to two full days between working quads and back because squats and deadlifts take the most out of your body. While the hamstrings are used in squats, they are also tremendously utilized in deadlifts and when working the lower back so we move them to that day.
Ideally you should look to take a rest day between days 1 & 2 or 2 & 3 to let the hamstrings and lower back fully recuperate from squats.
If you feel the need abs can easily be worked an additional day but more than twice a week can lead to overtraining. The abdominals get a surprising amount of work supporting the torso during both squats and deadlifts.
For shoulders you will use some triceps in your presses which is why there are a few days between them and the chest day. Ideally you can start with things like lateral raises and front rows to exhaust the delts so that on presses the triceps won’t get tired first. This is also excellent for ensuring you truly work them to failure.
Calves are only worked once in this split. Some people feel the calves are the type of muscle that can be worked two or three times a week like abs because they are such a high-density muscle. While you do walk and use your calves daily the same could be said about any muscles in the legs. Avoid overtraining and instead focus on getting the most out of your training on that day so the muscles earn those days of rest and growth.
A sample of this split with maximum rest days would be:
- Day 1 – Quads/Abs (squats)
- Day 2 – Rest
- Day 3 – Shoulders/Traps/Calves
- Day 4 – Back/Hamstrings/Biceps (deadlifts)
- Day 5 – Rest
- Day 6 – Chest/Triceps (bench press)
- Day 7 – Rest
You could also drop the rest day from Day 2 to Day 3. But the beauty of this program is that it does allow some level of flexibility if you need it. Perhaps you are sore or overly busy. Simply switch your rest days around and then keep going. If you are ready to get back to basics with the big lifts then give this split a try!