Workout Routines

3 total-body workouts to build lean muscle all over

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

Pushup
Geber86 / Getty
Geber86 / Getty
Duration 45
Exercises 6
Equipment Yes

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.

Add lean muscle all over Day 1: Deep core and grip strength

Exercise 1A.

Side Plank You'll need: Medicine Ball How to
Side Plank thumbnail
4 sets
45-60 sec. (each side) reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 1B.

One-Arm Farmer's Walk You'll need: Dumbbells How to
One Arm Fat Grip Farmers Walk  thumbnail
4 sets
Walk for 30–45 sec. (each side) reps
30 sec. rest

Exercise 2A.

Lat Hang Stretch You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Hanging windshield wiper thumbnail
4 sets
Hold 30-45 sec. reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 2B.

Deadlift/Shrug Combo You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Deadlift/Shrug Combo  thumbnail
4 sets
4-6 reps
30 sec. rest

Exercise 3A.

Suitcase Carry You'll need: Kettlebells How to
Exercise: How to Do a Suitcase Carry thumbnail
4 sets
Walk for 45-60 sec. reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 3B.

Bentover Row You'll need: Barbell How to
Bent Over Row  thumbnail
4 sets
4-6 reps
30 sec. rest

Add lean muscle all over Day 2: Hamstrings, quads, and glutes

Exercise 1A.

Quadruped Rotation You'll need: No Equipment How to
Exercise: How to Do a Quadruped Rotation thumbnail
4 sets
6 (each side) reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 1B.

Swiss Ball Rollout You'll need: Swiss Ball How to
Swiss ball rollout  thumbnail
4 sets
6 reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 1C.

Barbell Hip Thrust You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Hip Thrust  thumbnail
4 sets
8-12 reps
60 sec. rest

Exercise 2A.

Reverse Lunge You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Reverse Lunge thumbnail
4 sets
8-12 (each side) reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 2B.

Sled push How to
Man pushing prowler thumbnail
4 sets
Push for 60 sec. reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 2C.

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift thumbnail
4 sets
8-12 (each side) reps
60 sec. rest

Add lean muscle all over Day 3: Power chest and shoulders

Exercise 1A.

Suitcase Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Suitcase Deadlift  thumbnail
4 sets
30-60 sec. reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 1B.

Kettlebell Clean You'll need: Kettlebells How to
Kettlebell clean thumbnail
4 sets
8-12 (each side) reps
120 sec. rest

Exercise 2A.

Renegade Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Renegade Row thumbnail
4 sets
8-12 (each side) reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 2B.

Pushup How to
Pushup  thumbnail
4 sets
To failure reps
120 sec. rest

Exercise 3A.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Dumbbell Lateral Raise  thumbnail
4 sets
6 reps
0 sec. rest

Exercise 3B.

Push Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Push Press thumbnail
4 sets
4-6 reps
120 sec. rest
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