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The Four Day Split Choice

Joe Kenn | Vice President of Education & Performance

Utilizing the programming tools we have previously reviewed:

  • Establishing the exercise pool, Breaking down movements into 3 categories, Total, Lower, and Upper Body

  • Developing sub categories of these movements

  • Placing movements into a specific classification

It is now time to discuss choice and order of exercise options. In this article, we will discuss and give several examples of the order of exercises. We will utilize the same exercise pool for each example. These are the predetermined choices we intend to utilize in our Four Day split programs.

The traditional split is 2 days of lower body work and two days of upper body work. This usually works in a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday succession with the Lower Body and Upper Body sessions alternating and Wednesday being a non-lifting day. The choice of what sessions starts the week is entirely up to the programmer. In my experiences, the Lower Body sessions usually started the week.

When the traditional Four Day split was introduced to athletics, coaches began to implement variations of the Olympic Lifts into the program. These movements were usually performed on the lower body days, but I have seen coaches program a variation of Olympic lifts in every session of the week. In the traditional programming sequences, we all were taught, Olympic lifts were always performed first. The reasoning you began each session with this movement was that it elicited the most dynamic or explosive intent. The structural absolute strength movements followed. The final movements were ancillary auxiliary movements. Depending on your creativity, you can have a diverse rotation of exercises depending of your preference.

Here are several examples of the main session of a Four Day Split program based on the same exercise pool.

Example 1 – 4 Day Program with Daily Olympic Lifts – Traditional Order

Example 2 – 4 Day Program with Olympic Lifts – Traditional Order

Example 3 – 4 Day Program with Priority Emphasis on Foundation Lifts and Pairing Order

As a bonus to this week’s blog and 60 Second Strength Coach, we will be hosting an Instagram Live Discussion on the FOUR DAY SPLIT on Thursday, April 23rd at 3pm EST on the Dynamic Fitness and Strength Instagram Page. During this 30-minute program, I will go out of my comfort zone and design some four day programs.


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