Main | Phase 1 | Phase 2 | Phase 3 | Phase 4

Phase 4 The Four-Day Split (Weeks 10-12)

After 9 weeks of consistent training with gradual progression in your exercises, total sets, weight and your training split, you're in the home stretch to becoming an advanced bodybuilder. By now you should be realizing incredible gains in your muscle strength, as well as in your mass and muscle definition. This phase completes your transition. When finished, you'll be ready to train with the best of them.

The 12-Week Beginner Bodybuilding Plan - Phase 4

"Once you've completed this final phase, you will be ready to take on advanced high intensity training techniques."

Now you'll train your entire body over the course of four workouts. This will help you to further increase the amount of work you can do for each muscle group and the intensity you can put into training each muscle group. This four-day training split will split up your body into a chest, triceps and abs workout; back, biceps and forearms workout; legs and calves workout; and shoulders, traps and abs workout. Yes, ab day comes twice per week now. Since abs help maintain your upright posture all day, they can withstand more frequent training. In fact, they respond well to it.

Once you've completed this final phase, you will be ready to take on advanced high intensity training techniques such as - supersets, drop sets, rest-pause and extended sets to name a few. You can find more info on these techniques right here at Bodybuilding.com, as well as my own website www.jimstoppani.com.

Weeks 10-12 Workouts

Do each workout below once per week--for example, Workout 1 on Monday, Workout 2 on Tuesday, Workout 3 on Thursday and Workout 4 on Friday.

Workout 1
1
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
3 sets, 4-6 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
2
Incline Dumbbell Press
3 sets, 6-8 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
3
Incline Dumbbell Flyes
3 sets, 15-20 reps (1 minute rest)
4
Cable Crossover
3 sets, 15-20 reps (1 minute rest)
5
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
3 sets, 4-6 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
6
Seated Dumbbell Press
3 sets, 6-8 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
7
Triceps Pushdown
3 sets, 15-20 reps (1 minute rest)
8
Hanging Leg Raise
3 sets, to failure (1 minute rest)
9
Air Bike
3 sets, to failure (1 minute rest)
10
Plank
3 sets, 1 minute holds (rest)
Workout 2
1
Bent Over Barbell Row
3 sets, 4-6 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
2
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
3 sets, 6-8 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
3
Seated Cable Rows
3 sets, 15-20 reps (1 minute rest)
4
Barbell Curl
3 sets, 4-6 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
5
Incline Dumbbell Curl
3 sets, 6-8 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
6
Preacher Curl
3 sets, 15-20 reps (1 minute rest)
7
Palms-Up Barbell Wrist Curl Over A Bench
3 sets, 12-15 reps (1 minute rest)
8
Palms-Down Wrist Curl Over A Bench
3 sets, 12-15 reps (1 minute rest)
Workout 3
1
Barbell Squat
3 sets, 4-6 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
2
Leg Press
3 sets, 4-6 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
3
Leg Extensions
3 sets, 15-20 reps (1 minute rest)
4
Romanian Deadlift
3 sets, 4-6 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
5
Lying Leg Curls
3 sets, 15-20 reps (1 minute rest)
6
Standing Calf Raise
3 sets, 25-30 reps (1 minute rest)
7
Seated Calf Raise
3 sets, 25-30 reps (1 minute rest)
Workout 4
1
Barbell Shoulder Press
3 sets, 4-6 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
2
Smith Machine Upright Row
3 sets, 6-8 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
3
Side Lateral Raise
3 sets, 15-20 reps (1 minute rest)
4
Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise
3 sets, 15-20 reps (1 minute rest)
5
Barbell Shrug
3 sets, 4-6 reps (2-3 minutes rest)
6
Dumbbell Shrug
3 sets, 15-20 reps (1 minute rest)
7
Reverse Crunch
3 sets, to failure (1 minute rest)
8
Crunches
3 sets, to failure (1 minute rest)
9
Oblique Crunches
3 sets, 15-20 reps (1 minute rest)

Phase 4 Rundown

Exercises

The exercises in this phase are ones you've been using in the previous phases, with yet another additional exercise added to most muscle groups. Triceps and biceps will not need an additional exercise added. These smaller muscle groups generally require less total work than the larger muscle groups (i.e. chest, back, shoulders and legs). Arm progress will come from the weight and rep ranges used.

Sets

Continue doing 3 sets per exercise. However, since you're now adding yet another exercise for most groups, you'll be doing an extra 3 sets for these muscle groups.

The 12-Week Beginner Bodybuilding Plan - Phase 4

"The exercises in this phase are ones you've been using in the previous phases, with one exercise added to most muscle groups."

Reps

In this phase, drop the reps to 4-6 on the first exercise you do for each muscle group, excluding calves, abs and forearms. This will maximize your strength gains. On the second exercise, drop to 6-8 reps per set for building strength and muscle mass. The final exercise or exercises will see the reps jump to 15-20 per set. Research from Japan has shown that combining heavy weight and lower reps with lighter weight sets for higher reps enhances both strength and muscle mass gains.

Weight

As you have been doing in the previous 3 phases, choose the proper weight for each exercise that allows you to hit the listed rep range. Continue to increase the weight as you can compete more reps than the listed rep range.

Rest

During this phase, rest 2-3 minutes between sets where you are using heavier weight and fewer reps. However, drop rest periods between sets down to one minute on the lighter weight sets where higher reps are performed. Doing higher reps with shorter rest periods will help to maximize growth hormone levels, which will lead to further gains in size and strength, as well an encourage fat loss for greater definition.

Pro JYM, 4 Lbs.
Pro JYM, 4 Lbs.
A Pure Blend of High-Quality Proteins in Exact Amounts to Maximize Growth, Recovery, and Repair*
Main | Phase 1 | Phase 2 | Phase 3 | Phase 4

About the Author

Jim Stoppani, Ph.D.

Jim Stoppani, Ph.D.

Jim Stoppani holds a doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of Connecticut and has been the personal nutrition and health consultant to numerous celebrity clients, including...

View all articles by this author

Workout