Lean Muscle Workout Plan

Lean Muscle Workout Plan

Building muscle seems like a simple task at first. So why do you even need a lean muscle workout plan? But then, as you get into the process, you realize just how many things you need to consider.

One nuanced factor is how to put together a solid lean muscle workout plan that is sustainable…and simple. Most over-complicate a simple process, and as a result most regular people feel a workout plan is just too much of a hassle.

The Critical Factor for a Lean Muscle Workout Plan

Lean Muscle Workout PlanWe can build muscle in many ways and through many activities. So long as the stimulus is somewhat novel and intense enough, the body will have no other choice but to build muscle.

But, to build lean muscle at an optimal rate, you need to do resistance training. You need to place enough tension on your muscles, and you need to fatigue them. That way, you will signal your body that your muscles play an essential role, and you need them to develop so that they can handle that stress better in the future. (1)

To avoid confusion, resistance training means weightlifting or bodyweight training in the context of this workout plan.

How to Optimize Lean Muscle Gain

Before we get into the lean muscle workout plan, let’s go over some important considerations for optimal training:

1) A proper warm-up is a must – it helps prepare your body and mind for the workout, minimizes the risk of injury, and allows you to perform better. Some dynamic stretching and light cardio should be enough. 

2) Aside from doing cardio before training (as part of your warm-up), you should also do some aerobic exercise after the workout. This will help you burn extra calories and get lean. You can build a lot of lean muscle over the course of a year, but you won’t look lean if you carry more than 20% body fat.

3) Contrary to popular belief, two workout days per week is plenty for most people who live a healthy life and don’t aspire to become professional bodybuilders. You can do a lot of productive work in two workouts a week (weightlifting workouts), and you don’t have to dedicate yourself to a split of six weekly workouts to get anywhere.

4) If you are trying to get lean, and are dieting 5 days a week with 2 semi-cheat days, build your two workouts around your cheat days. This way your muscles are fueled for your workouts.

5) You must lose fat and get lean in order to have an attractive, lean body frame. Fad diets are not sustainable over time, so you must get control of your daily and weekly calorie intake and expenditure. Knowing your BMR is a very good place to start, as it tells how many calories you burn in a typical day.

Your Lean Muscle Workout Plan For Optimal Results

Each week, do 1 A-day workout, and 1 B-day workout. That is all that is required to get lean and hard, and if you lift hard on these two days you can build a great, lean physique. 

A Day

B Day

For each body part: 3 sets of 6-12 repetitions

A simple process that gets down to the fundamentals. It’s all you need to do build a lean, muscular frame that puts you in the top 5% of people in terms of fitness.

Start both workouts with the largest muscles first – chest and back. Then, progressively move down the list, and do some direct work for the smaller muscles – your shoulders, triceps, biceps, and such.

Begin with three sets per muscle group, and aim to do each set in the 6 to 12 repetition range. Plenty of ‘experts’ out there like to complicate the process, but it’s incredibly simple to train for optimal growth and get lean.

And most importantly, if you don’t have a gym membership, these bodyweight workouts and home workouts are plenty sufficient to build lean muscle. With a lean diet and doing these workouts two days a week with good intensity, and you can achieve a lean and fit frame.

Some Final Considerations for Optimal Muscle Gain

Before we wrap up this post, here are three final considerations:

1) Nutrition is key to building lean muscle and a great physique. See rule #2 on this list of 5 steps to ripped abs

If we don’t take good care of our fuel, all of our gym efforts will be in vain. So follow lean muscle diet plan, which is the key to build muscle and getting lean.

So when it comes to workout nutrition:

  • Drink a whey protein shake after training
    (Muscletech Phase 8 mixed with Skim Milk is a good one)
  • Eat lots of lean meats
  • Consume a variety of veggies of all colors
  • Get plenty of complex carbs (oats, whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc.)
  • Consume some healthy fats (walnuts, almonds, natural oils, etc.)

2) Adequate hydration is vital for your everyday life, especially on your workout days. Aim for eight to twelve glasses of water per day, and make sure to have water before, during, and after your workouts. (2)

3) Get enough sleep. Research seems to suggest that anywhere from seven to nine hours is enough for us to optimize our gym efforts. (3)

See more on building lean muscle.

Picture of David Williams

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.

See All Posts


  1. Avi@fitbod.me. (2021, March 31). Deskpass. Fitbod.
  2. Palsdottir, H. (2021, October 11). Drink 8 glasses of water a day: Fact or fiction? Healthline.
  3. How much sleep do we really need? Sleep Foundation. (2021, March 10).

Click to see our medical disclosure.