Workout Routines

The Lean Mass 15 Workout Routine

Get jacked and cut with this lean muscle-building four-week workout plan.

Shawn Perine thumbnail by Editor in Chief
The Lean Mass 15 Workout
Duration 3 days
Exercises 67
Equipment Yes
Get jacked and cut with this lean muscle-building four-week workout plan.

Gain muscle or get lean? It’s an age-old conundrum that plagues physique-builders the world over. To those looking for both it can often feel like the Judgment of Solomon—an agonizing choice that inevitably leads to an all-or-nothing scenario. However, there is a way, but it ain’t easy. yet if you’re willing to put in the effort, lean mass can be yours. The question is: Are you willing—and ready?

The Lean Mass-15 routine is a four-week plan that features a number of advanced training principles designed not just to build muscle, but increase cardio function and burn fat as well. that’s because, with its intense pacing and active rest periods, it’s partly a HIIT cardio routine—just one that also builds muscle.

Because of its intensity, this is not the type of routine you’ll want to follow for more than four consecutive weeks. A better strategy is to substitute it for your regular routine every four weeks, to give your body a chance to recuperate from this program, and because we always advocate switching things up on a regular basis. The body is always adapting to stress placed upon it (that’s exactly what’s going on with muscle growth), so when it begins to get used to LM-15, you’ll shock it with a new routine, and then go back again.

For the next four weeks, you’ll be moving a lot and resting little. Most of the rest periods, in fact, are active, which means about 95% of the 75 minutes you’ll spend in the gym each day will have you in motion. We understand a lot of guys find it hard to carve out 75 minutes for training, while others can manage 90 minutes or more. Don’t worry—this program packs maximum volume into minimum time for a workout that is as effcient as it is productive, and you can adjust the timing of it by slowing down or speeding up the pace. You’ll just need to adjust the weights used.

One other word about this routine: It is designed to elicit muscle hypertrophy, not necessarily strength, although increased strength is a natural by-product of any kind of resistance training. However, while it’s been said that a stronger muscle is a bigger muscle—and there is a general truth to this statement—it needs to be taken in proper context. A well-trained muscle is always going to be stronger and bigger than an untrained one, and it’s pretty safe to say that a guy who can squat 405 for 10 reps is going to have bigger quads than one whose 10-rep max is 135. But when it comes to volumizing muscles, heavier isn’t always better. Case in point: Ed Coan is arguably the strongest man, pound-for-pound, who ever lived. Standing 5'6" at a body weight of around 220 pounds, Coan squatted 1,019 pounds, benched 584, pulled a 901 deadlift, and has held more than 70 world records. Yet while Ed is impressively thick, he’s never carried anywhere near the lean muscle mass of pro bodybuilders of similar height—guys like Dexter Jackson, Branch Warren, Shawn Ray, and Lee Labrada, who, alternately, couldn’t have come near a 1,000-pound squat on their best days. So don’t worry if you’re not turning heads in the gym with the weights you’re using here; you’ll be turning them on the beach. Just remember: If you’ve got time to talk to your buddy about sports while doing the LM-15, you’re doing something wrong.

And check out our Editor-in-Chief Shawn Perine's supplement recommendations

Equipment: 
Yes
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Day 1

Exercise 1

Medium-Grip Pulldown
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5 sets
20, 17, 14, 11, 8 reps

Exercise 2

Seated Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
4 sets
15 reps

Exercise 3

Seated Cable Row You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, V-Handle Attachment How to
4 sets
16, 14, 12, 10 reps

Exercise 4

General Pushup You'll need: No Equipment How to
3 sets
15 reps

Exercise 5

Dumbbell Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
4 sets
14,12,10 reps

Exercise 6

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
3 sets
15 reps

Exercise 7

Cross-Bench Dumbbell Pullover
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4 sets
12 reps

Exercise 8

General Pushup You'll need: No Equipment How to
3 sets
15 reps

Exercise 9

Static Back Extension You'll need: Roman Chair How to
4 sets
15-20 reps

Exercise 10

Standing EZ-Bar Biceps Curl You'll need: EZ-Bar How to
3 sets
20,16,12 reps

Exercise 11

Bench Dip You'll need: Bench How to
2 sets
15 reps

Exercise 12

Spider Curl
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3 sets
14,12,10 reps

Exercise 13

Narrow Knuckle Pushup
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2 sets
15 reps

Exercise 14

Reverse Cable Curl
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3 sets
15 reps

Exercise 15

Pushdown
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2 sets
15 reps

Exercise 16

Standing EZ-Bar Biceps Curl You'll need: EZ-Bar How to
1 sets
REST-PAUSE TO 35 reps

Day 2

Exercise 1

Suspended Dip You'll need: Dip Station How to
4 sets
TO FAILURE reps

Exercise 2

Dip Bar Inverted Rows/TRX Row
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3 sets
15 reps

Exercise 3

Incline Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
4 sets
14, 12, 10, 8 reps

Exercise 4

Supported Dumbbell Row
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3 sets
15 reps

Exercise 5

Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
3 sets
14, 12, 10 reps

Exercise 6

Dumbbell Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
2 sets
15 reps

Exercise 7

Pec Deck
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3 sets
15 reps

Exercise 8

Reverse Pec Deck
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2 sets
15 reps

Exercise 9

Incline Pushup You'll need: Box How to
1 sets
REST-PAUSE TO 50 reps

Exercise 10

Pushdown
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3 sets
20, 16, 12 reps

Exercise 11

Reverse Cable Curl
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2 sets
15 reps

Exercise 12

Lying EZ-Bar Triceps Extension You'll need: EZ-Bar, Bench How to
3 sets
14, 12, 10 reps

Exercise 13

Drag Curl
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2 sets
15 reps

Exercise 14

Bench Dip You'll need: Bench How to
3 sets
15 reps

Exercise 15

Standing Dumbbell Curl
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Exercise 16

Narrow Knuckle Pushup
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1 sets
REST-PAUSE TO 35 reps

Exercise 17

Seated Calf Raise You'll need: Bench How to
3 sets
20, 15, 10 reps

Exercise 18

Standing Calf Raise You'll need: Box How to
3 sets
20, 15, 10 reps

Exercise 19

One-Arm Cable Crunch
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3 sets
15-20 reps

Exercise 20

Kneeling Ab Wheel You'll need: Ab Wheel How to
2 sets
TO FAILURE reps

Day 3

Exercise 1

Leg Extension
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4 sets
20, 17, 14, 11 reps

Exercise 2

Lying Leg Curl
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2 sets
15 reps

Exercise 3

Leg Extension
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4 sets
8-10 reps

Exercise 4

Back Squat You'll need: Barbell, Squat Rack How to
4 sets
17, 14, 11, 8 reps

Exercise 5

Barbell Straight-Leg Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
4 sets
12 reps

Exercise 6

Leg Press
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4 sets
17, 14, 11, 8 reps

Exercise 7

Abductor Machine
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Exercise 8

Walking Lunge You'll need: No Equipment How to
1 sets
TO FAILURE reps

Exercise 9

Seated Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
4 sets
20, 16, 12, 8 reps

Exercise 10

Dumbbell Flye You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
3 sets
15 reps

Exercise 11

Bent-Over Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
4 sets
16, 14, 12, 10 reps

Exercise 12

Incline Pushup You'll need: Box How to
3 sets
15 reps

Exercise 13

Barbell Upright Row You'll need: Barbell How to
3 sets
14, 12, 10 reps

Exercise 14

Barbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Barbell How to
2 sets
15 reps

Exercise 15

Barbell Shoulder Press You'll need: Barbell How to
3 sets
14, 12, 10 reps

Exercise 16

Dumbbell Shrug You'll need: Dumbbells How to
2 sets
15 reps

Exercise 17

Seated Calf Raise You'll need: Bench How to
3 sets
20, 15, 10 reps

Exercise 18

Standing Calf Raise You'll need: Box How to
3 sets
20, 15, 10 reps

Exercise 19

One-Arm Cable Crunch
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3 sets
15-20 reps

Exercise 20

Kneeling Ab Wheel You'll need: Ab Wheel How to
2 sets
TO FAILURE reps

Day 3

Exercise 1

Leg Extension
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4 sets
20, 17, 14, 11 reps

Exercise 2

Lying Leg Curl
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3 sets
15 reps

Exercise 3

Lying Leg Curl
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2 sets
15 reps

Exercise 4

Leg Extension
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4 sets
8-10 reps

Exercise 5

Back Squat You'll need: Barbell, Squat Rack How to
4 sets
17, 14, 11, 8 reps

Exercise 6

Barbell Straight-Leg Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
4 sets
12 reps

Exercise 7

Leg Press
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4 sets
17, 14, 11, 8 reps

Exercise 8

Abductor Machine
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3 sets
15 reps

Exercise 9

Dumbbell Crossover Lunge You'll need: Dumbbells How to
1 sets
TO FAILURE reps

Exercise 10

Seated Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
4 sets
20, 16, 12, 8 reps

Exercise 11

Dumbbell Flye You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
3 sets
15 reps

Exercise 12

Bent-Over Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
4 sets
16, 14, 12, 10 reps

Exercise 13

Incline Pushup You'll need: Box How to
3 sets
15 reps

Exercise 14

Barbell Upright Row You'll need: Barbell How to
3 sets
14, 12, 10 reps

Exercise 15

Barbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Barbell How to
2 sets
15 reps

Exercise 16

Dumbbell Shoulder Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
3 sets
14, 12, 10 reps

Exercise 17

Dumbbell Shrug You'll need: Dumbbells How to
2 sets
15 reps

Exercise 18

Seated Calf Raise You'll need: Bench How to
3 sets
20, 15, 10 reps

Exercise 19

Standing Calf Raise You'll need: Box How to
3 sets
20, 15, 10 reps

Exercise 20

Kneeling Ab Wheel You'll need: Ab Wheel How to
3 sets
TO FAILURE reps
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