Making a workout plan to gain lean muscle can seem a little daunting at first. A lot of people question when they should work out, if they should work out every day, and what they should be working out.
Following a strategic plan to the best workout for your desired goal is the only way you can get through weeks of exercise, especially at the beginning.
Below we have created a weekly plan to help get you in the groove of working out. Of course, tweak to your own preference and schedule.
Dedicate each day to a specific part of your body, that way other muscles have a chance to rest and do not get overworked. It is also important to know that you will get the most benefit out of working out in the morning after having fasted.
This will burn more fat and less carbs. But if you can’t manage to work out in the morning, working out any time is better than not at all.
Dedicate Monday to be your leg day. This means that the majority of your upper half will get a rest day, you do not want to over work the muscle too much.
Muscles worked out on Leg Day:
- hip flexors
Exercises for Leg Day:
- Barbell Squat (4 sets, of 4-6 reps) increase your weight as you get stronger
One rep: Holding the barbell resting on your shoulder behind your head, squat to where your legs are at a 90 degree angle and then using your leg muscles return to the standing position.
- Dumbbell Lunges (4 sets, 12 reps each leg)
One Rep: Stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand. Step forward with one leg and lower the body down so your need is bent at 90 degrees. Return to standing position. Alternate with left leg.
- Leg Press (3 sets, 12 reps)
One Rep: Using a leg press machine, with the amount of weight that you can handle. Sit down on the machine and place your feet on the platform, shoulder width apart.
Push with your leg muscles so the weights on the machine go up, slowly return the weights back down to starting position.
After working out your legs you may need to take a day off from them, making Tuesday your core day would be a great addition to your weekly workout plan for getting lean.
Muscles worked on Core Day:
Exercises for Core Day:
- Barbell Side Bend (3 sets, 12 reps each) 30 second rest between reps
One Rep: While holding an empty barbell in your hands and behind your head with feet shoulder width apart, begin this exercise by bending at the waist as far right as possible, then as far left as possible.
It is important to keep your head and back straight.
- Crunches (3 sets, 12 reps) 30 second rest between reps
One Rep: Lie flat on your back with your feet planted on the ground shoulder width apart. Place your hands behind your head, keeping your elbows in, roll your shoulders off the floor using your abs going up towards your knees. Then lower yourself back down to the starting position.
- Reverse Crunch ( 3 sets, 12-15 reps) 45 second rest between reps
One Rep: Lay flat on your back, with your legs fully extended and arms lying next to your torso with your palms flat on the floor. Move your legs up so they are bent at the knees 90 degrees and hovering above the floor.
Using your back and ab muscles, move your legs towards your torso until your hips have raised off the floor. Slowly return to starting position.
Because Wednesday is in the middle of the week, it is a great day to dedicate solely to cardiovascular workout.
Muscles worked on Cardio Day:
During cardiovascular activities, the majority of the muscles get worked out in your body, but not at the endurance when weight training. Just to name a few, these are the main muscles that feel some strain when doing a cardiovascular workout.
- Hip Flexors
Exercises for Cardio Day:
It is important to always start a cardio work out with a warm up. If you are working out on a tread mill most of them will have preset settings with a 5 minutes warm up that is slow.
It helps get your blood pumping at a normal speed your body can handle.
How long you want to jog or run for on cardio day is up to you. But if this is your first cardio day you should take it easy.
You can always increase your time as your weeks go by. A typical cardio day consists of a 20-30 minute moderate jog.
Also, always make sure you end your cardio with a slow cool down. Again, most treadmills have preset cool downs that will help you slow down your heart rate so you don’t put any shock on your body.
After taking an easy day, like a cardio day you can get back in the endurance by working out your back. A lot of times people don’t think of the muscles in their back, but when trying to make a workout plan to get lean, your back is included.
Muscles worked on Back Day:
- Lower back (lower trapezius)
- Middle Back (Rhomboids)
- Latissimus Dorsi
Exercises for Back Day:
- V-Bar Pull down (3 sets, 12 reps)
One Rep: Using a pulldown machine with a v-bar attachment. Grab the v-bar, stick your chest out and lean back only slightly.
Then pull the bar down by squeezing your shoulder blades together, until your chest and the bar almost touch. Slowly return the bar back to the starting position.
- Seated Cable Rows (3 sets, 8-12 reps)
One Rep: Using a low pulley row machine, sit on the machine with your knees slightly bent. Do not lock your knees! Lean over, and grab the bar handles, with your arms extended.
Using your back muscles, bring the bar to your chest. Slowly return the bar to the starting position.
- Barbell Shrug (3 sets, 6-8 reps)
One Rep: Standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Holding a barbell with your armed extended and in front of you. Raise your shoulders up as far as you can, as you are lowering them breath out and return to starting position.
Last, but certainly not least is arm day. You will start to notice your work in your arms first, especially if you are following the diet and workout routines specifically.
Muscles work on Arm Day:
Exercises for Arm Day:
- Triceps Pushdown (2 sets, 15 reps)
One Rep: Using a high pulling. Grab the bar with an overhand grib, standing with your torso straight, bring your arms downward till it touches the front of your thighs and your arms are fully extended.
Slowly return to the starting position.
- Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl (2 sets, 8-12 reps per arm)
One Rep: Standing with your feet shoulder width apart and a dumbbell in each hand, with your elbows close to the torso.
Only using the muscles in your lower arm, and keeping your upper arm still, curl your dumbbell up towards your chest. Lower back down. Alternating arms.
- Standing Bicep Curl (3 sets, 15 reps)
One Rep: While standing up using a cable curl bar, that is attached to a low pulley. Grab the bar with your palms facing upwards.
Curl the weights towards your chest while using your biceps. Lower them back down to starting position.
Your body and muscles need a break so most people take the weekend off. It is important to make sure that your body is getting the proper rest and hydration that it needs.