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Jump to the routine

3 total-body workouts to build lean muscle all over

The key to forging an iron physique is simple: Leave no muscle behind.

Jump to the Routine
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Pushup
Geber86 / Getty
Pushup
Geber86 / Getty

Some guys are able to achieve out-of-this-world physiques because of genetics that attract muscle to their bodies like a magnet. But more often than not, that’s not the case.

The way you take your body to the next level is by looking beyond the lifts you’ve been rotating through since college. There’s nothing wrong with going back to basics every once in a while. But if you want to learn some new moves—and build a ton of lean muscle—then this is the three-day, total-body workout program you need.

How it works

If you went to a trainer he’d give you an assessment, and the results would likely be the following: You have a weak core, poor grip strength, a lack of mobility in your upper torso, and tight hips. Most guys suffer from these problems—the result of doing only exercises you enjoy.

Our program addresses the areas you’ve overlooked—those poor, deflated muscles begging for your attention, attacking them with lifts you’ve never tried. Some moves, like the quadruped rotation and single-leg RDL, will enhance your mobility, allowing you to activate even more muscle. For moves like the clean, the farmer’s walk, and the presses, change up the usual barbell for a sandbag (a loaded duffel bag will suffice), which will improve your grip and strengthen your core at the same time, enabling you to do even more new exercises.

Directions

Perform each workout (Day I, II, and III) once per week, resting at least a day between each session. Exercises marked A, B, and sometimes C are done in sequence, so you’ll complete one set of A, then B, (then C, if applicable), and then rest. Repeat until all sets are complete for each exercise in the group, and then move on to the next group.

Routine

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Add lean muscle all over

Day 1: Deep core and grip strength

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 1 of 6

Side Plank

Equipment
Medicine Ball
Sets
4
Reps
45-60 sec. (each side)
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 2 of 6

One-Arm Farmer’s Walk

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
Walk for 30–45 sec. (each side)
Rest
30 sec.
Exercise 3 of 6

Lat Hang Stretch

Equipment
Pullup Bar
Sets
4
Reps
Hold 30-45 sec.
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 4 of 6

Deadlift/Shrug Combo

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
4-6
Rest
30 sec.
Exercise 5 of 6

Suitcase Carry

Equipment
Kettlebells
Sets
4
Reps
Walk for 45-60 sec.
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 6 of 6

Bentover Row

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
4-6
Rest
30 sec.

Add lean muscle all over

Day 2: Hamstrings, quads, and glutes

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 7 of 6

Quadruped Rotation

Equipment
No Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
6 (each side)
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 8 of 6

Swiss Ball Rollout

Equipment
Swiss Ball
Sets
4
Reps
6
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 9 of 6

Barbell Hip Thrust

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
8-12
Rest
60 sec.
Exercise 10 of 6

Reverse Lunge

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
8-12 (each side)
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 11 of 6

Sled push

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
Push for 60 sec.
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 12 of 6

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
8-12 (each side)
Rest
60 sec.

Add lean muscle all over

Day 3: Power chest and shoulders

Exercise
Equipment
Sets
Reps
Rest
Exercise 13 of 6

Suitcase Deadlift

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
30-60 sec.
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 14 of 6

Kettlebell Clean

Equipment
Kettlebells
Sets
4
Reps
8-12 (each side)
Rest
120 sec.
Exercise 15 of 6

Renegade Row

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
8-12 (each side)
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 16 of 6

Pushup

Equipment
Sets
4
Reps
To failure
Rest
120 sec.
How to
Exercise 17 of 6

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Equipment
Dumbbells
Sets
4
Reps
6
Rest
0 sec.
Exercise 18 of 6

Push Press

Equipment
Barbell
Sets
4
Reps
4-6
Rest
120 sec.
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