Being able to develop good lean muscle while dropping body fat at the same time should always be the goal, whether you’re competing or just training for a quality physique. In my opinion, it’s all about combining quality and quantity instead of choosing between the two.

The type of training that has to be done in order to achieve this entails combining fundamental mass- gaining movements with cardio, where the two are happening at the same time. This is a concept I call “Heat Burns Meat.” When you put a steak on the grill, what happens? Once heat gets to it, the fat starts to melt away. Well, the body works in the same way. To put on muscle size doesn’t mean we have to get fat in order to do that. I want to make sure that I’m seeing my quality muscle as it’s being developed, instead of it being hidden beneath a bunch of body fat. Incorporating cardio while you’re doing mass-gaining movements allows you to achieve this.

For example, if we’re looking at a chest and biceps workout, I would group the two body parts together in a superset fashion, but then also add either an abdominal move or a short bout of cardio (around 60 seconds) as a third exercise. I would perform one set of each (chest, then biceps, then abs or cardio) with little or no rest in between sets to keep the heart rate up and maximize thermogenesis to burn fat.

I would perform multiple “triplets” in this fashion (usually three groups), three to four sets of each. Because I’m training completely different muscle groups with each exercise, each one is allowed enough time to recover, allowing me to use a heavier weight on successive sets.

You can incorporate this Heat Burns Meat concept with all major muscle groups. I like to do the same type of routine as above for back and shoulders— three different groupings of back and shoulder exercises with abs/cardio added in. Start with your major mass-building exercises early on (pulldowns and barbell bentover rows for back, overhead presses for shoulders), and then move to isolation exercises (seated cable rows for back, lateral raises for delts).

I typically train legs on their own but still in a similar fashion. I prefer pre-exhaust in this case, in which I start with leg extensions or leg presses, then move to squats, then finish with crunches or leg raises for the abs. For hamstrings, I’ll do stiff-leg deadlifts, followed by leg curls, and then crunches. I don’t recommend doing a standard cardio movement when training legs—there’s no need to, since your leg movements are taxing enough. That said, battling ropes are a great cardio choice when training legs because they use the upper body and give the lower body a rest.

The one body part I haven’t mentioned here is triceps. I typically train triceps after training chest in the same workout. I would do the above chest/biceps/abs/ cardio workout, then train triceps along with calves after that.

Give this Heat Burns Meat style of training a try to ensure you’re getting leaner while building muscle. That’s the way it should always be! 

Lee haney rich gaspari


  • Bench Press | REPS: 8–10
  • Barbell Curl | REPS: 8–10
  • Hanging Leg Raise | REPS: 20


  • Complete 3–4 sets of each.
  • Increase weight every set on bench press and barbell curl.


  • Incline Barbell Press | REPS: 8-10
  • Incline Dumbbell Curl or Preacher Curl | REPS: 8-10
  • Jogging in Place or Stepup | REPS: 60 sec.


  • Complete 3–4 sets of each.
  • Increase weight every set on bench press and barbell curl.


  • Incline Flye or Dips | REPS: 8–10
  • Concentration Curl | REPS: 8–10
  • Incline Situp | REPS: 20


  • Complete 3–4 sets of each.
  • Increase weight every set on chest and biceps exercises.