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[WOTM, 11/2014] Build An Elite Physique With The 4-Day Muscle Thrashing Workout Program

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Four workouts. One killer workout program.

Get ready to shatter everything you know about your current body. We’re tearing it apart, pumping it with HQ muscle tissue, and pushing it into full-blown upgrade mode. You’re on alert.

November’s WOTMThe 4-Day Muscle Thrashing Workout Program, is an extremely nasty, highly-intensive workout gauntlet that’s designed to slap on a layer of muscle mass AND attack excess fat stores. It’s split up into four individual workout plans—complete with supersets, HIIT, and high-velocity resistance training—that work together to form one cohesive workout program. Combined, they produce an uber-circuit of mass muscular destruction, as well as a calculated roadmap to keep your body balanced and guided in the right direction.

Here’s how the routine breaks down:

Follow it religiously for 8 weeks and you will see massive improvements throughout your body, including a rock-solid core, long lean muscles, and a brutally strong physique.

It’s an atomic bomb for your body. The main casualty — body fat, along with mutilated muscle fibers. DROP IT.



The 4-Day Muscle Thrashing Workout Program


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The 4-Day Muscle Thrashing Workout Program is broken up into 4 different workout routines, each of which hammers a different body part. It’s designed to run at least 4x per week. Depending on your schedule, goals, and fitness level, follow 1 of 3 tracks below:

  • (1) Standard Split — 4 days per week. A → B → OFF → C → D → OFF → OFF
  • (2) Accelerated Split — 5 days per week. A → B → C → D → OFF → OFF → A
  • (3) Hardcore Split — 6 days per week. A → B → C → D → OFF → A → B

The same workouts might not fall on the same day each week. That’s cool. But regardless of which schedule you follow and how you position rest days, ALWAYS progress from workout A > B > C > D, even if you unexpectedly miss a day. Everything is mandatory — DO NOT conveniently skip leg day because you felt “sick.” We’ll find you and make you do it twice.

A few other guidelines:

  • Rest for 1-2 minutes max in between sets.
  • Adjust the weight to your own ability and gradually increase it over time. Challenge = growth. Use the heaviest weight possible for the given number of reps (without sacrificing form).
  • The program includes 1 dedicated HIIT session, but it’s inherently high-intensity and interval-based. Additional cardio isn’t necessary, but welcome if you’re up for it,
  • If you’re new to lifting, or training in general, read this first as a primer.

And as always, it doesn’t matter how hard you bust your ass over the next 8 weeks. If your diet is utter garbage, you will not see the results you want. Stellar nutrition amplifies training and helps cultivate new muscle mass; whereas poor eating can completely wipe it out.

*Click on each applicable exercise name for a full pop-out video demo. A printable summary of all 4 workouts plans is available here.

 

Workout A — Legs & HIIT Cardio


 

1. Barbell Squats


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How To:

Protocol: 4 sets — 12 reps

Target Muscle(s): Legs (All), Core

  • (1) Load a barbell and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • (2) Tighten your core, keep your back flat, and squat down into your heels. Lower until your thighs are parallel with the floor.
  • (3) Press up through your butt and raise back up to start.

 

 

2. Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts


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How To:

Protocol: 3 sets — 12 reps/leg

Target Muscle(s): Hamstrings, Butt

  • (1) Stand up tall with a dumbbell/kettlebell in your right hand. With a slight bend in your left knee, maintain your balance, kick out your right leg, and slowly lean forward until your torso is parallel with the floor — all of the pressure should sit behind your left hamstring and butt cheek.
  • (2) Hold the stretch for 1s and powerfully drive up through your left heel into a full stand. Repeat a full set with your left side and repeat for the right.

 

 

3. Goblet Squat


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How To:

Protocol: 3 sets — 15 reps

Target Muscle(s): Legs (All), Core, Shoulders, Biceps

  • (1) Hold the top of a dumbbell so that it’s positioned over your chest. Keep it there throughout the movement.
  • (2) Tighten your abs, maintain a flat back, and squat down until your thighs are slightly below parallel. Keep your chest up.
  • (3) Contract your glutes and powerfully press back up to start.

 

 

4. Stability Ball Leg Curls


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How To:

Protocol: 2 sets — 15 reps

Target Muscle(s): Hamstrings, Butt

  • (1) Lie on your back with your heels on top of a stability ball.
  • (2) Press your heels into the ball and lift your body off the floor to form a straight bridge with your body.
  • (3) Powerfully contract your butt and hamstrings, and curl the ball inwards until your knees form a right angle — you should feel a massive contraction in the lower part of your butt, where it intersects with the hamstrings.
  • (4) Hold the contraction for .5s, roll the ball back out to full bridge and repeat. If this is too easy you can amp up the intensity by completing each curl with one leg (while keeping the second leg elevated in the air – 2:00 mark in this video demo).

 

 

5. Bulgarian Split Squats


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How to:

Protocol: 3 sets — 12 reps/leg

Target Muscle(s): Legs (All)

  • (1) Grab 2 dumbbells and stand in front of a bench or plyometric step (or use a couch, table, etc.).
  • (2) Place your right foot on top of the bench and step out roughly 2 feet. You should be able to stand comfortably.
  • (3) Lunge forward until your left quad is parallel to the floor. Keep your core tight and resist the pull to lean forward — stay as upright as possible.
  • (4) Powerfully push through your heel, contract your butt and hamstrings, and press up to a full stand.
  • (5) Complete a full set on one side and repeat for the opposite leg.

 

 

6. HIIT Cardio


Protocol: Treadmill — 1.5 miles

Pick a sprint speed that’s challenging, but make sure that you’re able to sustain it for the full .15 mile interval duration. Be careful with higher speeds — the treadmill will move with or without you.

We recommend starting off slower until you get the hang of it. Sprint speeds in the 11-12.5 MPH range are ultimately your goal. Altogether it should mirror a pyramid. The middle two intervals will be the fastest, with the first/last 2 slightly slower. If you hate the treadmill, we’ve blown out 4 other fat-torching HIIT workout protocols.

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Pages: Legs/HIIT | Shoulders/Abs | Back/Biceps | Chest/Triceps | Recap

Bryan DiSanto

Bryan DiSanto

Founder & Editor-in-Chief at Lean It UP
ELLO ELLO I'm Bryan DiSanto. I'm the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Lean It UP, a CPT/CSN/Fitness Coach, Chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu – Paris, NYU graduate, ex-fat kid, and all-around fitness junkie.

I also contribute to Men's Health Magazine.

When I'm not working on my abs (or somebody else’s), whipping up avocado roses and avocado toast, or running a Tough Mudder, I'm probably yelling at a Carolina Panthers game somewhere.

Come be friends with me on Snapchat (BRYDISANTO).
Bryan DiSanto

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  • Allen Cagle

    Like the multi day plans! Starting next week, thanks.

    • Definitely, we’ll try to blend more full splits with one-off workouts. Keep me posted on how it goes!

  • jazzman

    This looks like a great routine ! Can’t wait to start it next week. Got to get shredded by Christmas to justify that food fest

  • Dave Keirstead

    Starting this today and really excited! Had a ton of success with your Tough Mudder routine and plan to do so with this one as well!

    • Dave Keirstead

      Soooo after doing workout A yesterday and continuing on with B today I was definitely feeling like I needed one of those special post-leg day parking spots at the gym. My glutes and hamstrings hurt so good!!

      • Hahaha, you really should win one of those parking spots after finishing the program.

        Awesome, keep pushing, I’m very curious how the entire plan goes for you.

  • Ashlee

    THANK YOU for all of the WOTM plans. I’ve been loving them! Keeps my workouts on track and efficient. I’m on day 3/Workout C. Definitely feeling it from A & B workouts. Totally agree with Dave down there… my glutes and hamstrings were killed. Thanks again!!

    • Hey Ashlee — YOU GOT IT! So glad that it’s been working for you so far, I love murdering legs/hammys/glutes :).

      If you ever have any questions at all, feel free to throw them up on our message boards: http://leanitup.com/chat/forums/

  • jim

    Bryan, I love this workout. I just had one question on the first set of Chest. You say do 3 Total drop sets. If I read that right, that be 108 total reps?

    • Hey Jim — Sorry for the delay. Yup, it’s a max of 36 reps per drop set, so 108 reps total. Of course, it’s okay if you can’t hit the full 36, there’s a high chance you’ll fatigue before finishing.

  • Younes

    Thanks for the workout i have been enjoying it so far i just wanted your input on something, I manage to finish each workout in approximately an hour.. and i wanted to up my training to two hours a day in the coming month 1hour in morning & 1hour in evening.. the question is shall i do the same workout twice a day or try something else and could you give an example if so ? my main goal is to get to 13% body fat in the next month i am currently at 15%.. thanks for your time

    • Hey Younes — Generally I wouldn’t recommend doing THAT much, as the workouts are already hyper-intense. Over time it’s really hard on the body and can actually be counterproductive.

      That said, if you’re going that route, I’d follow the routine above and then supplement with targeted moves for any areas that you REALLY want to focus on.

      Maybe that’s more abs, HIIT cardio to tear off extra fat, or additional biceps/triceps work. Find your weaknesses/goals and emphasize them.

  • lisa poss

    Love all your workouts. I recommend you all the time. Love this one. Thanks!

  • Leigh Anne

    Hi…I am new to this site and am interested in the workout above. 4 day muscle thrashing routine. Question: Can I add more cardio? and Ab work is only on 1 day? Can I do more?

    • Hey Leigh — So awesome to have you here. Definitely. Feel free to modify the plans however you’d like to your own needs. And you can absolutely add additional ab work, I’ll never be opposed to that.

      Just keep in mind that in addition to the direct ab exercises, the majority of the exercises included do hammer the core and work the abs indirectly. And if you follow the “hardcore” 6 day/week schedule you’ll get 2 ab days during most weeks.

      Check out our ab workout section if you want to include an additional circuit: http://www.leanitup.com/category/muscle-it-up/workout-of-the-month/ab-workout-plans/

      And if you ever have any additional questions, feel free to drop them on our message boards: http://leanitup.com/chat/forums/

      -Bryan

  • Saurabh

    Hi,

    My gym is very crowded (public gym) and sometimes the equipments are occupied. Can I shuffle the exercises so that I can maintain the intensity? Like do exercise 1, then 3 and then 2? Of course I’ll maintain the supersets and not shuffle that combination.

    • Hey Saurabh — Of course, definitely shuffle as much as needed, I basically never get to do my workouts as they’re planned for just that reason.

      Keeping the workout moving (and highly intense) is the most important factor.

      -Bryan

  • Andy

    Hi, I am going to start with this routine today. Do I have to do this in the order you specified or can I do shoulders first then abs?

    • Hey Andy — If possible, try to run it in the order I laid out. It’s designed that way intentionally.

      Obviously if equipment is a problem though and it’s preventing you from doing the workout, adapt as needed.

  • Perris

    Hello. I have an athletically shaped body. I am kind of at the point now that if I lose more weight I feel I will not look as good. I do still have a layer of fat over my abs though…but that is my only problem area. I know most people say this but I really do just want to cut up and to be stronger. Would you say this workout plan would be good for me? I am 5’7, 174lbs, but I am built like an athlete…from running track for so long, so I carry my weight well.

    • Definitely. Given your measurements/body type, it looks like you just need to recompose your body while you’re maintaining your weight.

      This plan is fantastic for slapping on new strength and muscle mass, while cutting fat. It does it in a slow calculated way, but you’ll gradually find yourself dropping BF% while gaining muscle over time. That’s a net gain.

      That said, most of your progress will be determined by your diet/calories consumed. For the above, I’m assuming you’re eating around maintenance, which produces a slow calculated transformation. If you increase calories you might more gain muscle mass, while fat weight stays relatively constant (which is a net decrease in BF%). Conversely, if you drop calories, you’ll accelerate BF loss, but muscle mass will likely stay the same/increase slowly.

      • Perris

        Thank you so much for taking the time to respond back. I probably need to cut back on my calories a bit. Thanks again.

        • You got it. I’d drop them very slightly (200-300 calorie deficit), but don’t do anything too drastic.

          The workout itself churns up calories like crazy, so a big deficit really isn’t needed.

  • Knucklehead

    I’ve now gone through this 8 week program with really good results, but I’m starting to feel stagnant. What plan would you recommend I go to next?

  • Rhys Niemann

    Hey, thinking about starting this routine with 6 sessions a week. Any advice for fat loss alongside this plan ? Would it be worth doing if fat loss is a goal? (As well as maintaining/increasing muscle mass)

    • Hey Rhys —

      The beauty of intense resistance training is that it’s probably THE most effective way to burn fat and recompose the body.

      Follow it as-is for 4 weeks and monitor your progress — you can always throw in an extra HIIT session each week.

      Really, the best advice I can give you is to focus heavily on maintaining a clean diet. Eat well to supplement your training—and definitely up your protein, to support the increased muscle breakdown—and you’ll see extremely exciting results.

      I love your drive. Keep killing it and let me know if you have any questions!

      -Bryan

      • Rhys Niemann

        So should I be going for as heavy as I can do for that rep range? Made some decent strength gains recently in terms of squat, deadlifts and presses

        • Exactly! Use the heaviest weight possible that lets you hit the prescribed # of reps (12, 15, whatever).

          Once you hit that number with a given weight, increase it during your next set and workout. That’s the basic concept of “progressive resistance,” which is absolutely key for strength gains.

          As you up the weight, it’s okay if you can’t initially hit the given # of reps. It’ll come with time.

          • Rhys Niemann

            Thanks Bryan! Great website too by the way, been looking through for a while now!

  • Luis

    Hi Brian. Awesome workout! Quick question- I used to be a long distance runner but I permanently damaged my aquiles heel and I can’t run anymore. Any advice on how to do the HITT cardio workout without having to run on the treadmill?

    • patrick

      Bike?

  • Patricia

    I love it. I like how each day is working a combination of muscle groups and not just focusing on one. Will definitely be doing this for the next weeks to come.

  • Sara

    Hi Brian. I’ve been using your plan for about 6 weeks and i think it’s great, i’ve improved greatly and see changes in my body… however the only exercise where I haven’t increased weight is squats….I still get DOMS after a leg day so I know I’m working my muscles. Any ideas why that might be? Thanks!

    • Hey Sara! It’s hard to say without seeing your workouts personally, but try dropping the reps and increasing the weight. You might’ve hit a plateau and it could be as simple as switching up your rep schemes,

      Try this — instead of squatting for 12 reps, try 5 rep sets at a heavier weight. You’ll automatically increase the weight and spark new gains, and hopefully see pretty substantial strength increases over time.

      Make sure you keep your form on point.

      • Sara

        Great, thanks Bryan. I strictly follow your routine (and try to eat as clean as possible) and on average I increase weights every 1.5-2 weeks or so…I’ll try to do what you suggested when squatting and hopefully it helps. I always keep my form on point though, not worth risking an injury! Thanks again!

      • Sara

        Brian, just to let you know I’ve increased the weight and dropped the reps, and I’ve seen immense gains, I went from 30kg to 40kg squat in just 2 weeks!
        On a different note, been doing this plan for 9-10 weeks now, would you recommend to switch to a different one? If so, do you have any to recommend?
        Thanks for everything!

  • Sara

    Bryan, just to let you know I’ve increased the weight and dropped the reps, and I’ve seen immense gains, I went from 30kg to 40kg squat in just 2 weeks!
    On a different note, been doing this plan for 9-10 weeks now, would you recommend to switch to a different one? If so, do you have any to recommend?
    Thanks for everything!

  • Hi Brian, I just started this plan today, and im super excited. I did sprain my shoulder three weeks ago, not better yet, but getting there. Tomorrows Shoulder/AB workout may not be a great idea for me yet, is there something else I can do this week, and possibly next in place of the B day while I wait out the shoulder issues 🙁

  • Recon5

    Calves. I do not see them.