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  1. #1
    It ain't me babe. Chapo's Avatar
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    Contemplating "4 Days On, 1 Day Off"

    So, I'm looking to change my routine and I'm considering "4 Days On, 1 Day Off" as described in this Joe Weider informational video I found on YouTube:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw_UWDuJQVw

    The routine goes like this:

    Day 1: Chest, Triceps, Abs
    Day 2: Back, Biceps, Forearms, Calves
    Day 3: Thighs, Hamstrings, Abs
    Day 4: Shoulders, Calves
    Day 5: Rest

    Has anyone here had any experience with this routine or with a similar routine? How did you like it? What were the results like?

    Also, does anyone know how I should approach this routine? For example, on 'Day 1', in regards to my potential chest workout, how many chest exercises should I incorporate? Should just do incline, flat, decline, and fly? Or should I look to do as many chest exercises as possible?

    Thanks for your help and input.
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  2. #2
    Bulking for Summer Nskrd's Avatar
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    Any particular reason why you need a separate day for shoulders and calves? Or why you're doing abs twice?

    Why not:

    Day 1: Push
    Day 2: Legs/Abs
    Day 3: Pull
    Day 4: Off
    Repeat

    Gives your shoulders more time to recover and increases the frequency on everything else vs the routine you posted (except abs, which you really don't need to do that often).
    "You can hate on me all you want to, but what can you possibly say to somebody who looks like Rambo, pretty much, without his shirt off?"
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  3. #3
    Mod Squad VoxExMachina's Avatar
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    Generally speaking, I wouldn't be a fan of 4 days of lifting in a row. Unless you are very new to lifting, you shouldn't be able to work out 4 days in a row unless you're sacrificing intensity, IMO.

    My gut feel is that you'd be outpacing your recovery ability and just limiting your gains.
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  4. #4
    It ain't me babe. Chapo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nskrd View Post
    Any particular reason why you need a separate day for shoulders and calves? Or why you're doing abs twice?

    Why not:

    Day 1: Push
    Day 2: Legs/Abs
    Day 3: Pull
    Day 4: Off
    Repeat

    Gives your shoulders more time to recover and increases the frequency on everything else vs the routine you posted (except abs, which you really don't need to do that often).
    I'm not sure what their reasoning was when they outlined this particular routine. They didn't say in the video. However, they did layout a routine similar to the one you described called "3 Days On, 1 Day Off". It goes like this:

    Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Calves, Abs
    Day 2: Back, Biceps, Calves, Abs
    Day 3: Thighs, Hamstrings, Abs
    Day 4: Rest

    I too thought it was a little strange that the calves and the abs get more extra attention, however I have heard that calves and abs can be worked out more frequently than other muscles because they recover quicker.

    In my case, I think that an extra calf and ab workout would be beneficial considering that those two are lagging on me.
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  5. #5
    It ain't me babe. Chapo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by VoxExMachina View Post
    Generally speaking, I wouldn't be a fan of 4 days of lifting in a row. Unless you are very new to lifting, you shouldn't be able to work out 4 days in a row unless you're sacrificing intensity, IMO.

    My gut feel is that you'd be outpacing your recovery ability and just limiting your gains.
    Would you recommend "3 Days On, 1 Day Off"? This is how it was outlined in the same video:

    Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Calves, Abs
    Day 2: Back, Biceps, Calves, Abs
    Day 3: Thighs, Hamstrings, Abs
    Day 4: Rest

    If not that routine, what would you recommend?
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  6. #6
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    Originally Posted by Chapo View Post
    Would you recommend "3 Days On, 1 Day Off"? This is how it was outlined in the same video:

    Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Calves, Abs
    Day 2: Back, Biceps, Calves, Abs
    Day 3: Thighs, Hamstrings, Abs
    Day 4: Rest

    If not that routine, what would you recommend?
    That's the age-old push/legs/pull routine. Only change I'd make is put legs in the middle, so you give your upper body some extra time to rest. You also don't need to do abs every day. If your abs are lagging, lose BF. That's the only way.

    Try:

    Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
    Day 2: Thighs, Hamstrings, Calves, Abs
    Day 3: Back, Biceps
    Day 4: Rest

    You can throw in some extra calf work if you want.
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by Chapo View Post
    Would you recommend "3 Days On, 1 Day Off"? This is how it was outlined in the same video:

    Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps, Calves, Abs
    Day 2: Back, Biceps, Calves, Abs
    Day 3: Thighs, Hamstrings, Abs
    Day 4: Rest

    If not that routine, what would you recommend?
    My personal recommendation would be to work out no more than two days in a row. But frankly, three in a row may be okay for you. You need to judge this for yourself based on how quickly you can recover. This is an individual thing, and also depends on factors such as how intensely you work out, what your nutrition is like, etc.

    When you go too many days in a row, a few things happen. First, you may find that on your third consecutive day in the gym you do not have the energy or strength to get the most out of your workout. So you are really not benefiting as much from that workout.

    Second, there is a balance between "overall" amounts of workout vs. rest time over the course of a week. So, while you may be okay working out for 3 or even 4 consecutive days this week, can you keep that up next week without losing energy / strength?

    A third thing to consider is that while your muscles may recover quickly, your central nervous system, joints, and ligaments are generally slower to recuperate. So you need to allow time for recovery of those systems...this can be done by balancing workout frequency as well as periodic de-loads.

    Lastly, remember that the point of going to the gym is to cause an adaptive response so that your body repairs itself during your rest periods. If you don't give it time to repair, then the whole purpose of working out in the first place is somewhat pointless, other than to burn calories or look at cardio bunnies.

    Bodybuilding is a marathon, not a sprint.
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  8. #8
    It ain't me babe. Chapo's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nskrd View Post
    That's the age-old push/legs/pull routine. Only change I'd make is put legs in the middle, so you give your upper body some extra time to rest. You also don't need to do abs every day. If your abs are lagging, lose BF. That's the only way.

    Try:

    Day 1: Chest, Shoulders, Triceps
    Day 2: Thighs, Hamstrings, Calves, Abs
    Day 3: Back, Biceps
    Day 4: Rest

    You can throw in some extra calf work if you want.
    Nice! That actually sounds pretty good! But what about forearms? Would you throw them in on Day 3? Also, I usually do three to four sets per exercise. For example, on chest day, I'll pyramid and do incline, flat, decline, fly, and pullovers. Do you think that that's too much or too little? Should I always be aiming for exhaustion?
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  9. #9
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    Originally Posted by Chapo View Post
    Nice! That actually sounds pretty good! But what about forearms? Would you throw them in on Day 3? Also, I usually do three to four sets per exercise. For example, on chest day, I'll pyramid and do incline, flat, decline, fly, and pullovers. Do you think that that's too much or too little? Should I always be aiming for exhaustion?
    Only you can tell how much you can handle and recover from. If push yourself everyday in the gym this routine can be very intense. Try it out first and see how you respond, but I personally wouldn't recommend doing more than 4 exercises of any particular muscle group for a natural bodybuilder, even on a split routine. Likewise, adjust exercises for smaller muscles accordingly (2-3 tops). I've never done direct forearm work, yet my forearms are fairly decent. For most people, incorporating hammer curls and reverse curls into their bicep day will do the trick.
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  10. #10
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    4days on/1day off is what I use right now and have had the best success with.

    -chest/shoulders/abs
    -back/traps/calves
    -arms/abs
    -legs/calves
    -off


    I think 4 days in a row is the perfect amount if you have good diet, rest, and training.
    ~Stylin On U Crew~


    Have the courage to accept what you can't alter and to alter what you can't accept.

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    DriDDerz
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  11. #11
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    I have used 4 days on, weekend off with success, currently I am in the gym mon-friday off sat sun

    splits look like this
    1- Legs
    2- Chest
    3- Back
    4- Bi/tri
    5- shoulder/ab

    if I did 4 days split was this

    legs/abs
    chest
    back
    bi/tri/shoulder

    I like splitting it up one extra day though since I enjoy being in the gym.
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  12. #12
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    two days for calves where everything else gets one day? That just seems really stupid to me. I know calves are hard to grow but seriously just hit them hard when you hit them if you wanna see big growth. Personally sprints have hit my calves better than anything, and it seems pointless to put such focus on calves when they're one of the least functional muscles (as far as adding additional calf strength goes).
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    Good luck to you. I'd probably suggest going easy on the volume as I tend to find even on a 2 on 1 off routine, that morning of the 3rd day I literally feel like I've been up til late drinking like an animal. Clear cut sign to me that I am pushing the limits of over-training.

    Play around and see if it works for you. You might find it does.
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  14. #14
    Registered User CKJ's Avatar
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    I'd say listen to your body. I do

    Monday - Biceps/Back
    Tuesday - Chest/Shoulders/Tris
    Wednesday - Legs/Abs
    Thursday - Biceps/Back
    Friday - Chest/Shoulders/Tris
    Sat - Legs/Abs

    And I'm fine. I work out first thing in the morning. It's a good feeling to do that and recover all day + sleep. It's worked really well from my old pattern. If I feel like I can't take it on some mornings I just don't go and continue on the same pattern in a different order. It may be unpopular with some but listen to your body.
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    Originally Posted by Chapo View Post
    Has anyone here had any experience with this routine or with a similar routine? How did you like it? What were the results like?
    I tried something similar with chest on day one and shoulders on day 4...

    With only a days rest in between the two (with both being trained twice over 10 days) I found it too hard on my shoulders.

    Though, only way to know is to try it for a while and see how it effects you...
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    check youtube ,dorian yates explained the importance of 4 days on ,one day off

    The routine goes like this:

    Day 1: Chest, biceps
    Day 2: legs Calves
    Day 3: back ,low back
    Day 4: Shoulders, triceps
    Day 5 off. you need to work muscle groups completly fresh every day,give them plenty of rest
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  17. #17
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    Just do a push/pull, currently doing that now.

    Pull 1
    Hip flexion
    Row
    Vertical pull
    Rear delts

    Push 1
    Chest compound
    Chest secondary compound
    Bilateral squat compound
    Tricep isolation

    Pull 2
    Knee flexion
    Row
    Vertical pull
    Rear delts

    Push 2
    Overhead compound
    Overhead secondary compound
    Unilateral quad compound
    Overhead Tricep isolation

    Core work (done at home on off day)
    Reverse crunches
    Curl ups
    Bird dogs

    Then 2 days off and repeat

    Edit: holy chit sorry for re-bumping an old ass thread
    Age: 28
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