3 Day a Week Workout For Lean Muscle

3 Day a Week Workout for Lean Muscle

Are you interested in packing some lean muscle mass on your frame? But maybe you’re hesitant because you don’t have much free time for exercise? A 3 Day a week workout for lean muscle is just what you need to get lean and tone your body.

We live in a fast-paced world, and our schedules are often packed. But if you make some time for your workouts, it will be a very gratifying decision. That is guaranteed.

To that end, we’ve created this 3 day a week workout for lean muscle gains. Here is everything you need to know:

The 3 Day a Week Workout For Lean Muscle

Here is the basic premise of the 3-day a week workout:

Week 1:

  • (2) A-day workouts
  • (1) B-day workouts

Week 2:

  • (2) B-day workouts
  • (1) A-day workouts

Continue to alternate like that each week: (2) A-days and (1) B-day; (2) B-days and (1) A-day, and so on. This creates a very balanced approach over time.

Muscle Groups Worked in Your 3 Day a Week Workout

A-day Workouts

  • Chest
  • ‘Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Legs (optional depending on fitness goals)

B-day Workouts

  • Back
  • Biceps
  • Abs

How These Workouts Are Set-Up

In each of the workouts, your primary goal is to train your largest muscles first while you’re still fresh, and progressively move to smaller muscles. (1)

So, for example, you can start with your back or chest (larger muscle groups), and progress through your workout to your biceps, triceps, abs, and calves (smaller muscles).

  1. Keep each workout around 30-45 minutes – this will be more than enough to provide adequate resistance training without overworking and impairing recovery.
  2. All you need are 1 or 2 sets of dumbbells:
    10/15# Dumbbells for smaller muscles (biceps, triceps)
    20/30# Dumbbells for larger muscles (back, chest)
  3. To start the workout, do some dynamic stretching – this will warm you up, mobilize your body, and prepare you for the workout. You can then do about 5 minutes of low-intensity cardio on a treadmill or stationary bike.
  4. Then, move on to your resistance training – it should take you about twenty minutes.
  5. And to wrap things up, do ten to fifteen minutes cardio (jumping rope is great at home). If you’re more advanced, you might choose high-intensity interval training (HIIT) on the treadmill. Click to see a great routine for HIIT on a treadmill.

A-Day Workout

ExerciseRepsDumbbellDetails / Description
Classic Push-ups15-30 RepsN/AClassic push-ups
Bench Push-ups10-15 RepsN/ABody slightly elevated w/ hands on a low table
Side Raises6-12 Reps10#Start w/ Dumbbells at your side, and lift straight out
Standing Press6-12 Reps10#Start w/ Dumbbells in up position, extend straight above you.
Tricep Extensions6-12 Reps20#Start with dumbbell above head, and lower behind your head.
Bench Dips6-12N/AWith hands on a table, lower yourself till upper arms parallel to floor.
Body Squats10N/A

B-Day Workout

ExerciseRepsDumbbellDetails / Description
One-arm Rows6-12 Reps20#From horizontal position, lift dumbbell to the up position.
Two-arm Rows15-20 Reps10#Feet on ground, Hand on high table or kitchen counter
Dumbell Curls6-12 Reps20#Perform curls with left and right arms in unison.
Hammer Curls6-12 Reps10#Perform curls with each arm in unison, but no rotation.
Crunches20-30 RepsN/AArms crossed over your chest, and squeeze the abs to the up position
Flutter Kicks10-20 RepsN/ALay flat, hands under butt, perform scissors with legs straight.

3 Day a Week Workout Cycle

So the workout cycle would look like this:

Monday:  A-day workout
Wednesday:  B-day workout
Friday:  A-day workout

Monday:  B-day workout
Wednesday:  A-day workout
Friday:  B-day workout

Monday:  A-day workout
Wednesday:  B-day workout
Friday:  A-day workout

Monday:  B-day workout
Wednesday:  A-day workout
Friday:  B-day workout

And you repeat this cycle to create balance, so over the course of a month you’re getting equal workouts with each muscle group.

The Importance of Training Intensity and Effort

3 Day a Week Workout for Lean Muscle GainsBuilding muscle is a tough but very rewarding process. It requires intense effort, and you have to stimulate your muscles adequately through weight training.

Each workout should be as intense as your experience allows. Perform two to three sets for each muscle and aim for six to twelve reps on each set.

Most importantly, remember that if a workout feels too comfortable, you need to push yourself more. Otherwise, you won’t be able to cause an adequate stimulus for muscle growth.

The Importance of Rest Days

Prevailing wisdom suggests that we need to go all-in if we can ever hope to make progress. Well, this is true, but only to a degree.

Yes, your workouts should be challenging, and you shouldn’t feel like you’re cruising through them. But, you should also have recovery days, as they will allow your muscle to recover between workouts. This will give them the chance to grow bigger and stronger. (2)

So, make sure to have a rest day between your workouts – a schedule to follow is the one from our 3-day a week workout for lean muscle.

And always do your best to eat a lean muscle diet, which is an important part of muscle building and getting lean.

Final Considerations

Before we wrap this up, there are three other things worth covering:

  1. You should have a post-workout protein shake within 30 minutes of your workout – this will help kickstart the recovery process and give your muscles the fuel they need to recover and grow. We recommend Muscletech Nitro mixed with 8 oz of skim milk, or mixed with Muscle Milk Pro Series. A super dose of all the nutrition to power your lean muscle building!
  2. Make sure that you’re well-hydrated, especially on your workout days, as proper hydration is essential for your gym performance and muscle growth.
  3. According to some statistics, 75 percent of Americans are overweight or obese – that’s three out of every four people! So, doing cardio every day including your workouts days, is a great way to be the fourth person in this statistic! 😊

Adding cardio around your resistance training is a great way to burn extra calories, prevent unwanted weight gain, and build lean tissue with resistance training. This is always a good solution, as many people wonder if you should do cardio before or after weights.

Click to see a powerhouse chest workout at home.

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David Williams

A diet and fitness enthusiast, David is an ex-Army Airborne Ranger and Infantry soldier with decades of fitness and wellness experience. A West Point graduate with a degree in engineering, he focuses on technical research related to fitness, nutrition, and wellness. He loves the beach and working out, and spending time with his wife and daughters.

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  1. Kilpatrick, J. (2019). Which Muscle Group Should You Work Out First, Larger or Smaller? LIVESTRONG.COM. https://www.livestrong.com/article/471151-which-muscle-group-should-you-work-out-first-larger-or-smaller/.
  2. Nunez, K. (2019). Exercise Rest Day: Benefits, Importance, Tips, and More. Healthline.

Click to see our medical disclosure.