4 Day Push / Pull / Legs: The Ultimate Guide!


4 day push pull legs

The 4 day push / pull / legs split is an incredible way to train. The idea is simple: you train your entire body over three separate workouts. You have a “push” workout where you train your chest / shoulders / triceps, a “pull” workout where you train your back / biceps, and a “legs” day where you train your quads / hamstrings / calves.

If you want to learn more about the 4 days per week version of this split then this article is for you!

Introduction

  • Part 1: Advanced DC Training
  • Part 2: Mountain Dog Training
  • Part 3: Dorian Yates’ Forced Reps Training

In this comprehensive guide I will teach you everything you need to know about how to build muscle mass and strength using the 4 day push / pull / legs split. The push / pull / legs split is so effective because it reduces overlap between muscle groups.

For example you are training all of your “pressing” muscles on your push day so you never have to worry about your triceps being too sore when you train your chest or vice versa.

Most people train 3 days per week or 6 days per week when they use the push / pull / legs split. However, in my experience the 4 days per week version is the way to go for most people who want to get bigger and stronger.

One of the big advantages of the 4 day push / pull / legs split is you get to train body parts about once every 5 days. This “moderate” training frequency works incredibly well for most trainees. It was also a favourite of the world’s greatest strength coach Charles Poliquin.

Here is how you might organize your workouts over the course of the week:

Week #1

  • Monday: Pull
  • Wednesday: Push 
  • Friday: Legs 
  • Saturday: Pull

Week #2

  • Monday: Push
  • Wednesday: Legs
  • Friday: Pull
  • Saturday: Push

Week #3

  • Monday: Legs
  • Wednesday: Pull
  • Friday: Push
  • Saturday: Legs

Week #4

  • Monday: Pull
  • Wednesday: Push
  • Friday: Legs
  • Saturday: Pull

I recommend you train on Monday / Wednesday / Friday / Saturday or some other combination of days where you have a day off after 2-3 of your workouts. As you can see whatever body parts you trained on Monday of each week are also trained on Saturday each week.

You are training body parts 4 times in 3 weeks or about once every 5 days. Once again this is an AWESOME training frequency that works well for a lot of trainees.

There are enough rest days in between workouts for each body part so you can really attack your muscles with a lot of volume and intensity. However, the frequency is high enough that productive workouts add up fast for each body part.

In my experience the 4 day push / pull / legs split works great for bodybuilders who want to build as much muscle mass as possible.

In this guide I will teach you 3 separate bodybuilding programs that you can use with this split:

  • DC Training
  • Mountain Dog Training
  • Forced Reps Training

DC Training and forced reps training are lower volume / higher intensity training programs. On the other hand Mountain Dog Training is known as a higher-volume bodybuilding program but it also uses a lot of high-intensity techniques. I

f you want to build muscle mass then I am confident that at least 1 of these 4 day push / pull / legs programs will work awesome for you.

Note: if you have any trouble reading the routines presented here then check out this article on how to read a training program. Now let’s get down to business…

Part 1: Advanced DC Training

DC training is a high-intensity bodybuilding program that was invented by Dante Trudel in the mid 1990s. It uses a lot of advanced bodybuilding techniques like rest-pause sets, extreme stretching and 20-rep breathing squats to help you get stronger and to stimulate muscle growth.

If you are not familiar with the DC Training program then go ahead and check out the following article:

DC Training: The Ultimate Guide!

Dante Trudel believes most people using the DC Training program should train 3 days per week using a modified upper body / lower body split. However, Dante believes that some trainees will get better results using a 4 day push / pull / legs split. Here is how he organizes each of the workouts with this split:

Pull Day

  • Exercise #1: Biceps
  • Exercise #2: Forearms
  • Exercise #3: Back Width
  • Exercise #4: Back Thickness

Push Day

  • Exercise #1: Chest
  • Exercise #2: Shoulders
  • Exercise #3: Triceps

Legs Day

  • Exercise #1: Calves
  • Exercise #2: Hamstrings
  • Exercise #3: Quadriceps

Note: “back width” exercises include pull ups, pulldowns etc. while “back thickness” exercises include deadlifts and rows.

Normally with DC Training you would perform 1 exercise per body part. For example you might do 1 rest-pause set for chest or 1-2 straight sets for back thickness or quadriceps. Of course this 1 exercise is followed up with an “extreme stretch” for that body part. 

You can make AWESOME progress with DC Training using the 4 day push / pull / legs split and just 1 exercise per body part. The workouts are very short which means your body will have an easy time recovering and getting stronger over time.

If you are using the 4 day push / pull / legs split with DC Training then you have the option of performing an extra exercise for weaker body parts. Dante Trudel calls this extra exercise a “widowmaker” exercise.

Let’s say that you have a phenomenal chest but your shoulders and triceps are lagging behind. Here is how you could set up your “push” workout:

Sample DC Push Workout

  • Exercise #1: Chest exercise rest-paused
  • Exercise #2: Shoulder exercise rest-paused
  • Exercise #3: Shoulder widowmaker exercise
  • Exercise #4: Triceps exercise rest-paused
  • Exercise #5: Triceps widowmaker exercise

As you can see an extra widowmaker exercise is added for your shoulders and triceps. So what the heck is a widowmaker exercise? I’m glad you asked!

Dante Trudel experimented with different ways to bring up someone’s lagging body parts. This is the method he found to work best. You are going to pick a key exercise for that body part and perform it every single time you train that body part.

Your widowmaker exercise should fit the following criteria:

  • Progression
  • Power Groove
  • Loaded Stretch

It should be an exercise where you can make a lot of progress over time. This means you can really add weight to the exercise over months and months of time. It should also have a “power groove” to it. This means you don’t have to worry too much about balancing the weight.

Finally this exercise should place your muscle under a deep loaded stretch. If you read my article on DC Training then you already know that Dante Trudel is a big believer in using loaded stretches to boost muscular hypertrophy. 

If you have lagging triceps then a great widowmaker exercise would be the hammer strength dip machine. This exercise meets all of our criteria: you can add a lot of weight to it over time, it puts you in a power groove and it places your triceps in a deep loaded stretch in the bottom position of the exercise.

Here is Dusty Hanshaw demonstrating the machine dip widowmaker for triceps development:

For your “Push” workout you would still rotate through 3 different rest-paused exercises like normal. However, you would perform your triceps widowmaker exercise every day after the man exercise. For example:

Workout #1

  • Triceps exercise #1 rest-paused
  • Triceps widowmaker

Workout #2

  • Triceps exercise #2 rest-paused
  • Triceps widowmaker

Workout #3

  • Triceps exercise #3 rest-paused
  • Triceps widowmaker

Workout #4

  • Triceps exercise #1 rest-paused
  • Triceps widowmaker

And so on.

One of the challenges with using the same widowmaker exercise every training day is that you might plateau on it after a few workouts. After all this is the entire reason Dante has you rotate through three different rest-pause exercises.

Dante gets around this problem by varying the rep ranges for the widowmaker. He wants you to start out performing 1 set of 30 reps to failure on your first workout. Almost every time you perform the widowmaker exercise you would make a big weight jump and let the reps fall downward. For example:

Triceps Widowmaker Progression

  • Workout #1: 180 pounds x 33 reps
  • Workout #2: 190 pounds x 31 reps
  • Workout #3: 200 pounds x 31 reps
  • Workout #4: 210 pounds x 30 reps
  • Workout #5: 220 pounds x 27 reps
  • Workout #6: 220 pounds x 29 reps
  • Workout #7: 230 pounds x 27 reps
  • Workout #8: 240 pounds x 25 reps
  • Workout #9: 240 pounds x 27 reps
  • Workout #10: 250 pounds x 26 reps
  • Workout #11: 260 pounds x 24 reps

And so on.

Eventually you would be lifting a HUGE amount of weight for about 10 reps. Once you get to about 10 reps you would swap out that triceps widowmaker exercise for a different one and start the process all over again.

Dante Trudel believes this is the absolute fastest way to bring up a weaker body part. 

Let’s go back to our original example. Let’s say for argument’s sake that you have a great chest but your shoulders and triceps are lagging behind. In that case you may want to perform widowmaker exercises for your shoulders and triceps immediately after your main rest-pause exercises for the day.

Here is what your 3 chest / shoulder / tricep workouts might look like on DC Training:

Push Workout #1

  • A1: 30 degree incline barbell press, 1 x 7-10**, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • B1: Hammer strength overhead press, 1 x 7-10**, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • C1: Seated lateral raise machine, 1 x 10-30****, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • D1: Bench press (shoulder-width grip), 1 x 7-10**, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • E1: Hammer strength dip machine, 1 x 10-30****, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed

**Performed as a DC-style rest-pause set. Train to failure in the listed rep range, take 10-15 deep breaths, train to failure a 2nd time with the same weight, take 10-15 deep breaths, train to failure a 3rd time, done!

****Performed as a DC-style widowmaker exercise for lagging body parts as describe above.

Note: extreme stretches are performed after you train each body part. The extreme stretches are not listed in the above routine.

Push Workout #2

  • A1: Hammer strength incline press, 1 x 7-10**, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • B1: Seated DB overhead press, 1 x 12-15**, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • C1: Seated lateral raise machine, 1 x 10-30****, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • D1: Dead stop skull crusher, 1 x 10-13**, 2/1/X/0, rest as needed
  • E1: Hammer strength dip machine, 1 x 10-30****, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed

**Performed as a DC-style rest-pause set. Train to failure in the listed rep range, take 10-15 deep breaths, train to failure a 2nd time with the same weight, take 10-15 deep breaths, train to failure a 3rd time, done!

****Performed as a DC-style widowmaker exercise for lagging body parts as describe above.

Note: extreme stretches are performed after you train each body part. The extreme stretches are not listed in the above routine.

Push Workout #3

  • A1: Flat DB press, 1 x 12-15**, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • B1: Standing barbell overhead press, 1 x 7-10**, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • C1: Seated lateral raise machine, 1 x 10-30****, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • D1: Bench press (reverse grip), 1 x 7-10**, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • E1: Hammer strength dip machine, 1 x 10-30****, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed

**Performed as a DC-style rest-pause set. Train to failure in the listed rep range, take 10-15 deep breaths, train to failure a 2nd time with the same weight, take 10-15 deep breaths, train to failure a 3rd time, done!

****Performed as a DC-style widowmaker exercise for lagging body parts as describe above.

Note: extreme stretches are performed after you train each body part. The extreme stretches are not listed in the above routine.

These Chest / Shoulder / Tricep workouts are a great starting point that you can use to design your push / pull / legs DC Training routine. If you want to learn more about how to use the 4 day push / pull / legs split then I highly recommend my article on DC Training:

DC Training: The Ultimate Guide!

I show how many advanced bodybuilders such as David Henry, Dusty Hanshaw and Cedric McMillan personally used the DC Training 4 day push / pull / legs split to bring up weak body parts and get jacked as hell.

Part 2: Mountain Dog Training

Mountain Dog Training is another one of the most popular and effective bodybuilding training programs in the world today.

Mountain Dog Training is a higher volume training program that uses many different training methods such as novel exercises, “high-intensity” bodybuilding techniques and loaded stretches.

Mountain Dog Training is known for being very easy on your joints. John Meadows sequences his exercises in such a way that your muscles are annihilated but your joints and connective tissue stay healthy. Here is a basic template for his exercise selection:

  • Exercise #1: Joint-friendly activation exercise
  • Exercise #2: Power exercise for low-moderate reps
  • Exercise #3: Pump exercise and / or loaded stretch exercise

For example when John is training chest he usually starts with some type of dumbbell press or machine press. These exercises are very easy on your joints but do a great job of targeting the chest. Next John likes to move into a big compound exercise like the incline bench press for moderate reps.

Finally John likes to finish his workouts with exercises that either drive a ton of blood into the muscle or place the muscle in an intense loaded stretch. Great examples include machine pec-decs with post-failure techniques thrown in or stretch push ups to really open up the chest.

Here is an AWESOME video of John talking about how to sequence exercises the Mountain Dog way:

Don’t even think about reading further without checking out John’s video!

John Meadows is a very creative coach and uses many different training splits with his athletes. One of his go-to training splits is the 4 day push / pull / legs split. Many of John’s clients including IFBB pros Shelby Starnes and Marc Dugdale have used this split with a lot of success.

In John’s opinion it can be a little bit harder to really bring up your arms using the push / pull / legs split compared to a traditional “bro-split” with a separate arm day. However, if you are creative enough then you can still build impressive arms with this split.

Here are some sample Mountain Dog style workouts that you may want to try. Check it out:

Mountain Dog Style Push Workout

  • A1: 15 degree incline DB press, 4 x 15, 12, 10, 8**, 2/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • B1: 30 degree incline barbell press, 4 x 6, 3/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • C1: Decline hammer strength machine, 3 x 12-15****, 2/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: 30 degree incline rear delt swings, 4 x 20-25, 1/0/1/0, 30 seconds rest
  • E1: Seated Poliquin lateral raise, 2 x 10-12, 5/0/1/1, 60 seconds rest
  • F1: Standing cable rope pushdowns, 3 x 8-10, 2/0/1/1, 10 seconds rest
  • F2: Lying ez-bar extensions (to forehead), 3 x 10-12, 2/0/1/0, 120 seconds rest

**Perform 4 progressively heavier sets for 15, 12, 10 and 8 reps. You should leave a few reps left in the tank on your first 2 sets. On your 3rd set push it within 1-2 reps of failure. 

**Finally on your 3rd set go all the way to failure and then perform a triple drop set. Perform 8 reps, drop the weight, rep out the lighter weight to failure, drop the weight, rep out the lighter weight to failure, done!

****On your 3rd set train just shy of failure, then perform 6-8 partials out of the stretched position. Really try to feel your chest contracting during the concentric AND eccentric phase of the partials. You should feel a huge stretch in your chest as you perform these partial reps.

Mountain Dog Style Pull Workout

  • A1: Meadows row**, 4 x 8-10, 1/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • B1: 1-arm barbell row**, 4 x 10-12, 2/0/1/0, 120 seconds rest
  • C1: Lying DB pullover***, 2 x 10-12, 3/0/1/0, 60 seconds rest
  • D1: Wide overhand grip pulldown****, 3 x 12-15, 2/0/X/0, 120 seconds rest
  • E1: 45 degree back extension (with band tension), 2 x 6-8*****, 2/0/1/1, 180 seconds rest
  • F1: Standing DB pinwheel curl, 2 x 6-8, 2/0/1/1, 60 seconds rest
  • G1: Preacher machine curl, 2 x 10-12******, 3/0/1/0, 120 seconds rest

**Get a full stretch and contraction on every rep. Try to push your hip on your working side up towards the ceiling to maximize the stretch. In other words if you are rowing with your right arm then push your right hip up higher than your left hip to maximize the stretch on your upper back.

***Perform the bottom two-thirds of the range of motion only. This will help you to keep constant time under tension on your lats.

****Have your training partner push DOWN on the weight stack during the eccentric range all the way into the stretched position. This will let you eccentrically overload your lats. You will have to use a lighter than normal weight. See the video below.

*****Perform one set of 6-8 reps with the bands just shy of failure, then drop the bands and immediately perform 1 set with just your bodyweight just shy of failure. Perform 2 of these drop sets.

******Train just shy of failure in the 10-12 rep range, then immediately perform 3-5 partial reps out of the stretched position. Perform 2 sets like this.

Mountain Dog Style Legs Workout

  • A1: Bilateral lying leg curl (feet dorsiflexed / pointing straight), 4 x 15, 12, 10, 8**, 1/0/X/0, 60 seconds rest
  • B1: 45 degree leg press with bands, 1 x 10***, 2/0/X/0, 180 seconds rest
  • C1: Machine hack squat, 4 x 10-12, 3/0/1/0, 120 seconds rest
  • D1: Walking alternating DB lunges, 2 x 20, 1/0/1/0, 120 seconds rest
  • E1: Romanian deadlift (using 25 lb plates), 8 x 8, 2/0/1/0, 30 seconds rest

**Perform 4 hard sets of 15, 12, 10 and 8 reps. On your last set perform 8 reps, drop the weight and perform 8 reps, then immediately perform 10 partial reps out of the stretched position. The partial reps should be performed with a 1-3 inch range of motion.

***Perform 1 “ascending-descending” set. Start with a weight you can perform about 50 times in a row if you really pushed yourself. Perform 10 reps with the initial weight, then add 25-45 pounds per side and perform another 10 reps. Keep increasing the weight and performing 10 reps until you cannot get 10 reps any more. At that point you start stripping 25-45 pounds off the leg press and perform as many reps as you can back down to the starting weight. See the video below for more details.

You now have 3 awesome Mountain Dog style workouts that you can use as part of your 4 day push / pull / legs split. Keep in mind these workouts are just a starting point.

John Meadows normally changes at least some of the exercises every single week for his clients. For some of his more advanced bodybuilders the entire workout changes every single week!

John also does a great job periodizing his workouts over the course of 2-4 months. He slowly ramps up the volume over several weeks, then cuts the volume way down and ramps up the intensity techniques. This is a fantastic way to periodize your workouts to build maximum muscle mass.

If you want to learn more about the Mountain Dog training style then check out John’s website at MountainDogDiet.com will be writing a comprehensive guide on the Mountain Dog training style in the near future so stay tuned for that as well!

Part 3: Dorian Yates Forced Reps Training

If you are a serious bodybuilder then I am sure you have heard of Dorian Yates’ high-intensity training style.

Dorian Yates was the best bodybuilder in the 1990s and won the Mr. Olympia title 6 times in a row from 1992 – 1997. Dorian’s training program was unlike anything the bodybuilding world has ever seen. He trained with 3-4 exercises per body part just like all the other pros.

The thing that made Dorian’s program unique is he performed 1 all-out set to failure per exercise. He performed as many warm up sets as he needed to get ready for his 1 heavy set. However, when he got to his heaviest set he trained all-out and left nothing in the tank.

On most exercises Dorian used forced reps to train beyond failure and totally annihilate his target muscles. Just take a look at Dorian performing the flat hammer strength machine for chest:

Talk about a high-intensity set!

Dorian performs 5 reps on his own followed by 3 extra “forced reps” with the help of a spotter. His spotter helps Dorian through the concentric range of these 2 extra reps but Dorian lowers the weight back down to the starting position all on his own. 

Dorian the following training split throughout his bodybuilding career:

Dorian’s Training Split

  • Day 1: Chest / Biceps
  • Day 2: Legs
  • Day 3: Off
  • Day 4: Shoulders / Triceps
  • Day 5: Back / Rear Delts
  • Day 6: Off
  • Day 7: Repeat!

This is an extremely effective bodybuilding style training split and it clearly worked for Dorian. It lets you train each body part once every 6 days with a large number of exercises. Dorian said in many interviews that you can also use the classic push / pull / legs split with his high-intensity training program.

Here is how you would organize your workouts over the course of the week:

Week #1

  • Monday: Back / Rear Delts / Biceps
  • Wednesday: Chest / Shoulders / Triceps
  • Friday: Quads / Hamstrings / Calves
  • Saturday: Back / Rear Delts / Biceps

Week #2

  • Monday: Chest / Shoulders / Triceps
  • Wednesday: Quads / Hamstrings / Calves
  • Friday: Back / Rear Delts / Biceps
  • Saturday: Chest / Shoulders / Triceps

Week #3

  • Monday: Quads / Hamstrings / Calves
  • Wednesday: Back / Rear Delts / Biceps
  • Friday: Chest / Shoulders / Triceps
  • Saturday: Quads / Hamstrings / Calves

And so on. The 4 day push / pull / legs split lets you train each body part once every 5.3 days which is very close to the training frequency that Dorian used during his bodybuilding career.

The main challenge with the 4 day push / pull / legs split compared to Dorian’s original training split is that your arms don’t get as much attention. You have to train your arms at the end of a long upper body workout so you might not have as much energy during these sets.

Many bodybuilders such as Ronnie Coleman have built HUGE arms using a modified push / pull / legs split so this shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Here are some Dorian Yates style push / pull / leg workouts that you may want to try. These workouts were modified based off Dorian’s original routine. Check it out:

Dorian Yates Style Chest / Shoulders / Triceps Workout

  • A1: 30 degree incline bench press (medium grip), 1 x 6-8, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • B1: Flat hammer strength machine press, 1 x 6-8**, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • C1: 30 degree incline DB fly, 1 x 8-10**, 2/0/1/0, rest as needed
  • D1: Smith overhead press, 1 x 6-8, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • E1: Seated DB lateral raise, 1 x 8-10**, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • F1: Standing unilateral cable lateral raise, 1 x 8-10**, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • G1: Standing cable pushdown (straight bar / pronated grip), 1 x 6-8**, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • H1: Lying ez-bar extensions (to forehead), 1 x 8-10, 2/0/1/0, rest as needed 
  • I1: Standing unilateral cable pushdown (supinated grip), 1 x 6-8**, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed

**Perform 1-3 forced reps with the help of a spotter after reaching muscular failure.

For inspiration you can click right here to see Dorian performing his chest workout.

Dorian Yates Style Back / Biceps Workout

  • A1: Nautilus pullover machine, 1 x 6-8**, 3/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • B1: Hammer strength pulldown (supinated grip), 1 x 6-8**, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • C1: Conventional deadlift, 1 x 6-8, 2/1/X/0, rest as needed
  • D1: Seated unilateral hammer strength row, 1 x 6-8**, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • E1: Bent-over rear delt DB raise, 1 x 10-12, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • F1: 90 degree back extension (barbell on back), 1 x 6-8, 2/0/X/1, rest as needed
  • G1: 45 degree incline DB curl (supinating grip), 1 x 6-8**, 1/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • H1: Standing ez-bar curl (wide / supinated grip), 1 x 6-8, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • G1: Unilateral preacher machine curl, 1 x 6-8**, 2/0/X/0, rest as needed

**Perform 1-3 forced reps with the help of a spotter after reaching muscular failure.

For inspiration you can click right here to see Dorian performing his back workout.

Dorian Yates Style Quads / Hamstrings / Calves Workout

  • A1: Bilateral machine leg extension, 1 x 10-12**, 2/0/X/1, rest as needed
  • B1: 45 Degree Leg Press, 1 x 10-12**, 2/0/X/1, rest as needed
  • C1: Machine hack squat (feet low and narrow on the platform), 1 x 7-9**, 2/0/X/1, rest as needed
  • D1: Bilateral lying leg curl (feet neutral / dorsiflexed), 1 x 6-8**, 1/0/X/1, rest as needed
  • E1: Romanian deadlift (to mid-shin height), 1 x 8-10, 3/0/X/0, rest as needed
  • F1: Kneeling unilateral leg curl (feet neutral / dorsiflexed), 1 x 6-8**, 1/0/X/1, rest as needed
  • G1: Standing machine calf raises, 1 x 10-12, 1/0/X/1, rest as needed
  • H1: Seated machine calf raise, 1 x 14-16**, 1/0/X/1, rest as needed

**Perform 1-3 forced reps with the help of a spotter after reaching muscular failure.

For inspiration you can click right here to see Dorian performing his leg workout.

Dorian used these types of workouts year-round with very little changes to his exercise selection etc. You may find that you “stall” on one or more exercises after a few weeks or months of using this type of routine. In that case I recommend you swap out the exercise you stalled on for another one but keep everything else the same. 

When you are using a high-intensity training program like Dorian Yates’ program it is critical that you use a training logbook to track your progress.

Actually using a logbook is ESSENTIAL regardless of what program you are using. However, when you use a high-intensity bodybuilding program it is even more important. Dorian recorded every single workout that he performed in a training logbook. Before he hit the gym he would look at his logbook to see how much weight he lifted last time.

Here is an example of what Dorian’s logbook looked like for his chest / biceps day:

  • Exercise #1: 30 degree incline bench press
    • LT: 415 x 7
    • TT:
  • Exercise #2: Hammer strength flat press
    • LT: 300 x 6 + 2 forced reps
    • TT: 
  • Exercise #3: 30 degree incline DB fly
    • LT: 80’s x 8 + 2 forced reps
    • TT:

And so on.

The symbol “LT” stands for “Last Time” and the symbol “TT” stands for “This Time.” Before every workout Dorian reviewed his logbook to see what numbers he had to beat.

In this example Dorian incline bench pressed 415 pounds for 7 reps in his last workout. This tells Dorian that he has to hit 415 pounds for 8 reps or perhaps bump up the weight to 420 pounds and shoot for 7 total reps.

You might not increase your weights every single workout. However, the act of TRYING to get stronger every workout help you to maximize your progress.

Another big benefit of the training logbook is you know right away if you are not making progress. If your strength stalls or even decreases then you know your routine is not working and you have to change some things around.

The bottom line is the Dorian Yates training program is one of the best ways for a bodybuilder to train. It is easily one of the best programs to use with the 4 day push / pull / legs split.

Conclusion

4 day push pull legs

The 4 day push / pull / legs split is one of the most under-rated training splits in the world. There are so many things to love about this split:

  • It reduces overlap between body parts.
  • You train body parts once every 5 days (this is optimal for many trainees).
  • It is very versatile. You can use high volume or high intensity bodybuilding programs as well as many strength based programs with this split.
  • You only train 4 days per week so recovery is still prioritized.

If this split is so great then why don’t more people use it? That is a great question. A lot of what people do in the gym is “monkey-see, monkey do.” If it weren’t for Dante Trudel using this training split as part of his advanced DC Training program then I might not have ever heard of it myself.

This reminds me of something that the world-famous strength coach Charles Poliquin said many years ago: “Your mind is like a parachute: it only works when it’s open!”

If you have an open mind then I highly recommend you give the 4 day push / pull / legs split a shot. It works great for any goal but it is especially effective if you are an intermediate or advanced bodybuilder who wants to build as much muscle mass as humanly possible.

Three of the best bodybuilding programs to pair with this split are DC Training, Mountain Dog Training and Dorian Yates High-Intensity Training. There are many other great bodybuilding programs but I am confident at least one of these will work awesome for you. 

“Vision is not enough. It must be combined with venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps; we must also step up the stairs.”

Thank you for reading and I wish you the best of luck on your strength training journey!

Dr. Mike Jansen

I am the creator and owner of Revolutionary Program Design. I help advanced athletes take their training to the next level and achieve results they never imagined possible.

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