Zr52.5Cu17.9Ni14.6Al10Ti5 bulk metallic glass (BMG) alloy samples in both rod and plate geometry were prepared. Different free volume states were obtained through thermal treatment. The plastic deformation ability of the BMGs was investigated through both a three-point bending test and compression test. The three-point bending results reveal the important role of free volume content on the formation of multiple shear bands, as the shear band propagation can be efficiently stopped due to the existence of the stress gradient from the surface to the neutral plane. In compression, the sample size rather than free volume controls the shear banding behavior.