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4 day Workout Split Training Legs Twice

March 06, 2024

4 day workout split training legs twice - Workout plan

If you’ve got 4 days a week to workout, yet you haven’t considered the upper, lower, upper, lower split; then it’s time to reconsider.

The 4-day workout split that trains legs twice a week, and upper body twice a week is our favourite training split. Whether you’re looking to build muscle, lose fat, get stronger, tone up, or develop a lagging muscle group – this workout will help you achieve your goals.

At the end of the day, our lower and upper bodies both makeup half of our anatomy – so it’s only logical that we spend half our time training each of them.  

There’s a whole load of reasons why this 4-day split is a great method of training regardless of your goals.

But we’re not going to keep you waiting, you came here for a 4-day workout split involving 2 leg days, and that’s exactly what we’re going to give you.

And if you’re interested in why this 4-day split is one of our favourites, stick around after the workouts where we’ll dive into the benefits of adopting this elite 4-day training routine.


4-Day Workout Split

No secrets here. 2 upper body days, and 2 lower body days – a great workout split to ensure each muscle gets the required volume needed for muscular development.

Both upper days hit all the muscles in the upper body and likewise, both lower days target all of the muscles in the lower body.

This isn’t like the bro split where you target 1 of 2 muscles in one session. No; on the upper days we’re targeting chest, shoulders, back and arms – and on the lower days we’re targeting the quads, hamstrings, glutes and calfs.

You’ll see why this is important later on. For the time being, let’s jump into the workouts.


Upper Workout 1



Bench Press

4 sets of 6-8 reps

Bent Over Row

4 sets of 8-10 reps

Shoulder Dumbbell Press

3 sets of 10-12 reps

Lateral Raise

3 sets of 10-12 reps

Preacher Curl

3 sets of 10-12 reps

Tricep Pushdown

3 sets of 10-12 reps


Lower Workout 1




4 sets of 6-8 reps

Romanian Deadlift

4 sets of 8-10 reps

Reverse Lunges

3 sets of 10-12 reps on each leg

Leg Extension Machine

3 sets of 10-12 reps

Glute Kickbacks

3 sets of 10-15 reps for each leg

Calf raises

3 sets of 10-15 reps for each leg


Upper Workout 2



Pull Ups

4 sets of 8-10 reps

Incline Dumbbell Press

4 sets of 8-10 reps

Close Grip Bench Press

3 sets of 10-12 reps

Incline Curl

3 sets of 10-12 reps


3 sets of 10-12 reps

Rear Delt Flys

3 sets of 12 reps


Lower Workout 2



Leg Press

4 sets of 6-8 reps

Hip Thrust

4 sets of 8-10 reps

Bulgarian Split Squat

3 sets of 8-10 reps on each leg

Leg Curl

3 sets of 10-12 reps

Abductor Machine

3 sets of 10-12 reps

Calf raises

3 sets of 10-15 reps for each leg



4-Day Workout Split Benefits

So why all the hype, what’s so good about the upper/lower training split?

Good question, let’s dive into the benefits.  


Better Distribution of Volume

The biggest benefit to the upper/lower training split is that you can distribute volume in an effective way to maximise muscle hypertrophy.

The research seems to suggest that the more volume you include in your training sessions, the more muscle you will gain, up until a certain point. Once you go past this point, progress will start to plateau and any additional volume may even end up harming muscle building.

That leads us to the next question “How many sets do we need to perform to maximise muscle building without going past the optimum point”.

Well, a Meta-analysis conducted in 2017 looked at how weekly volume affected muscle growth. The analysis categorised volume into 3 different groups:

  1. Less than 5 sets
  2. 5 – 9 Sets
  3. More than 10 sets

The meta-analysis included the results from 15 individual studies and found that the 10+ sets per week group experienced the most amount of muscle growth.

Effect of volume on muscle growth


This concludes that a minimum dose for building muscle would be 10 weekly sets per muscle group. But how about the upper limit?

Research in this area is lacking, and no studies have been conducted to test this upper threshold. Having said that, the general consensus among the fitness community is that the upper volume threshold is around the 20-set mark.

So, to build muscle we should stick between the 10-20 weekly sets per muscle group.

If you’re new to training you can get away with staying towards the lower end of the spectrum, but if you’re a seasoned lifter then it’s likely you’ll have to head towards the upper end of the spectrum to experience the same amount of gains.

The benefits of being a new lifter ay!

Unlike the traditional bro-split where you hit all of a muscle's weekly volume in one session, our 4-day upper-lower split allows for muscle volume to be split among 2 sessions.

For example, a typical “bro-split” chest day would see all chest volume performed on one day, whereas we have been able to distribute chest volume over 2 “upper” sessions.

The reason why we have done this, and the reason it’s beneficial, is a result of findings from one of the leading hypertrophy researchers - James Krieger. 

The data shows that muscle-building plateaus after performing 6-8 sets on one muscle group in one training session. So there’s no reason to blast the chest with 20 sets in one session if all of the sets after the 8-set mark do not bring any additional benefits – that’s just a waste of time.

6-8 sets per muscle for hypertrophy


A better approach would be to hit 6-8 sets on multiple muscle groups in one session so that we can build muscle in the most efficient way possible – and that’s exactly what our programming sets out to do.

As a result, we will be hitting the muscles in the upper body twice a week, and we’ll also be targeting the muscles in our lower body twice a week too.

This leads us nicely to our next point.


Train Each Muscle Twice A Week

Okay, this is a slight overlap from the points we made a few moments ago, but it’s always good to hammer home the benefits of the 4-day split. 

As we mentioned, the way our program has been designed means that we get to work each muscle twice a week.

While we know why it works out like this, let's look at some research that looks at the effect of training muscles twice a week.

A study conducted in 2016 by leading hypertrophy researchers Schoenfeld, Ogborn and Krieger investigated which training frequencies promoted the best hypertrophic outcomes. They looked at training muscles either once, twice or 3 times a week and found that training a muscle twice a week was more beneficial than both once and three times a week.

This ties up nicely with the research mentioned in the previous section. If progress plateaus after 6-8 sets per muscle group – there’s no point doing say 15 sets for one muscle group in one session when you could split over two sessions which will avoid any wasted sets.  


Half and Half

Now this doesn't go for everyone, but most men prefer training the upper body and most women prefer training the lower body – and that’s fine, we all have our favourites.

What’s not fine is if we neglect one or the other.

You don’t want to walk around with an Arnold-like back coupled with chicken legs or a Kardashian-like bum but an underdeveloped upper body – it’s all about balance.

Both the upper and lower body account for roughly 50% of our mass each, so it makes sense that we train them equally. And that’s the reason why our 4-day split includes 2 upper and 2 lower body sessions.


Allows For Recovery

You don't build muscle in the gym. In fact, your muscles are broken down while you work out. It’s after your session when you’re recovering that your muscles grow back bigger and stronger.

SRA is a term that describes the process our bodies go through in response to training. The ‘S’ stands for stimulus (which is the workout itself), the ‘R’ stands for recovery (which is the period after the training session where your body returns to the baseline) and the ‘A’ stands for adaptation (the process of growing bigger and stronger in response to the stimulus).

The below graph shows an optimal SRA curve where we wait for the adaptation process to level off before we hit another workout.

SRA Optimum Recovery Graph


This is what we’re aiming for with our training so that we can continue to progress with building muscle and strength.

If we do not allow enough time for recovery in between our sessions, then we won’t be allowing enough time for the recovery process to complete and we’ll never even reach the adaptation process – take a look at the below graph to help illustrate this. 

Effects of not allowing enough time for workout recovery


As you can see, not enough time for recovery will result in regression rather than progression – not what we’re after!

We have designed our 4-day training split so that you have at least 72 hours between both the upper and lower body sessions. This will allow ample time for recovery so that the SRA process has enough time to complete, and we can experience the gains we’ve worked so hard in the gym for.

There’s nothing worse than smashing our workouts, only to sell ourselves short by not resting for long enough.

Note – During times of recovery we need to get our nutrition on point. If we’re looking to build muscle we need to be in a calorie surplus and if we’re looking to lose body fat we need to be in a calorie deficit. Check out either of the linked articles for more information on how much you need to be eating to help you achieve your goals.


Final Thoughts

And there it is, our 4-day training split which trains legs twice a week.

If you were previously unsure as to whether this split was the right one for you, we hope we’ve been able to make your decision that little bit easier.

As we covered, there are many brilliant benefits to training in this way and you can now understand why this is up there with our favourite training splits.

Try following the workouts we designed for 6-8 weeks and watch your gains skyrocket!

Note as we just mentioned, your gains will only ever be as good as your nutrition. So combining the right nutrition with this 4-day workout split will see your progress soar to new heights – enjoy!

Thomas D
Thomas D


Thomas is a dedicated fitness enthusiast with over 12 years of experience in the gym. As a level 2 qualified gym instructor, he combines his passion for working out and nutrition to help others achieve their fitness goals. Thomas stays up to date with the latest fitness research and follows the work of top experts in the field. With a balance of textbook knowledge and real-life experience, he provides practical guidance to help others reach their full potential.

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