Best Bodybuilding program for lean mass gain

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By robb the singh

Best Bodybuilding program for lean mass gain

Do you want to develop your muscle mass and have a well-defined musculature? Gaining lean muscle isn’t always easy. That’s why coaches have developed a lean mass gain program and give you all the keys to quickly gain lean muscle without fat mass and with high muscle definition.

Best Bodybuilding program for lean mass gain

Thanks to this lean muscle-building program, you will understand the basics of training: which exercises to practice with intensity, frequency, duration, and how to manage your progress.
Whether you are a beginner or more experienced, we give you all the advice to have a lean and athletic physique “Bodybuilding program for lean mass”.

Principle of training for lean mass gain

A lean muscle gain program aims to increase lean muscle mass while avoiding fat gain as much as possible. The lean mass gain program is for those who have gained mass and are now looking to be more defined or those who are directly looking for ultra-fast lean muscle gain without fat. 

Discover the essential principles of lean muscle training that must be an ideal combination of intensity, progressive increase in loads, and volume of work.

What to remember from your training program for lean mass gain

  • a training ratio of 75% weight training and 25% cardio
  • 70% basic exercises and 30% isolation exercises
  • the use of medium loads*
  • a training frequency of 4 times a week*
  • moderate-intensity*
  • a maximum of 1 hour

These data have been changing, and It depends on your progress.

Bodybuilding exercises for lean muscle

It is required to focus on one goal at a time. That’s why your lean bodybuilding program will first give lean muscle gain and then favor muscle definition.

Whether you are just starting out or not, your lean mass gain program includes both bodybuilding exercises, which have a high priority, and cardio exercises so as not to store fat mass (the goal being to gain lean muscle as a priority).

For the duration of your program, the ratio is as follows:

  • 75% strength exercises
  • 25% cardio

The objective is all to stimulate muscle gain as much as possible to reach a milestone and favor muscle definition.


Warming up is essential, especially if you are a beginner. Do not neglect this part of the training, and remember to warm up well at the start of the session.

If you are a beginner, start with 5 minutes of cycling or rowing and two long sets of exercises performed with light loads (15-20 reps at 25% RM).

If you are more experienced, you can start with:

  • 1 light and long series at the beginning of the exercise (15-20 reps at 25% RM)
  • 1 slightly heavier and shorter series (8-15 reps 50% RM) before starting the session

Basic exercises VS isolation

Even if the program to gain lean muscle is based on a mix of weight training and cardio, it includes a majority of basic exercises associated with isolation exercises. 

The first (squat, bench press, pull-ups, deadlift, etc.) stimulate muscle anabolism to gain more muscle by stimulating the main muscle groups.

The second (dumbbell curls, pulley extensions, leg extensions, etc.) located in specific areas will improve muscle design to make a “dry Bodybuilding program for lean mass muscle” look even more visible.

The ratio between core and isolation exercises should change as you progress. You must adapt your training to your level.

Cardio exercises

Cardio exercises are integrated into your training plan to have an impact on energy expenditure and avoid fat storage.

The lean mass gain program recommends cardio at the end of each session with moderate intensity, i.e. at 65% of the FCM (Maximum Heart Rate).

Beginner: 3 bodybuilding sessions

Day of the week Muscles worked

  •   Day 1 Shoulders / Triceps / Biceps
  •   Day 2 Rest
  •   Day 3 Quadriceps / Hamstrings / Calves
  •   Day 4 Rest
  •   Day 5 Dorsals / Pectorals / Abs
  •   Day 6 and 7 Rest

Confirmed: 4 sessions per week

Day of the week Muscles worked

  •   Day 1 Pectorals / Triceps
  •   Day 2 Quadriceps / Hamstrings
  •   Day 3 Rest
  •   Day 4 Dorsals / Biceps
  •   Day 5 Shoulders / Traps / Calves / Abs
  •   Day 6 and 7 Rest

The intensity in bodybuilding to gain lean muscle

Following a lean mass gain, the program requires great motivation and perseverance because it takes intensity, intensity, and more intensity to stimulate the growth of your muscle fibers.

Also, it is better to do a 60-minute session with intense training than a 1:15 to 1:30 session while staying in your comfort zone without forcing.

  • Intensification techniques are used as you progress according to your physical abilities. The dry mass gain program guides you throughout your evolution. In general, it is essential to go to failure almost systematically.
  • The objective is twofold. On the one hand, when the muscle burning sensation is at its maximum, enormous stress will be applied to the muscle and cause a radical increase in muscle tissue thanks to overcompensation.
  • On the other hand, maximum energy consumption will not contribute to consuming more calories instantly but also boost the metabolism afterward. And that’s what will make all the difference!
  • If you are a beginner, use a low intensity and gradually increase to high intensity at an expert level. It is how you will achieve ultra-fast lean muscle gain.

Training loads

  • That everything must be progressive! If you are a beginner, start with essentially medium loads to stay focused on the technique because the execution of the movement takes precedence over the load used. and prevent injuries.
  • Once you have mastered the execution of the movements, gradually get used to additional loads. After 6 months, you can increase your ratio in the following proportions: 40% medium loads and 60% heavy loads. It is only after more than a year of practice that you will be able to choose essentially heavy loads (80%) to gain lean muscle quickly.

Rest time

  • The rest times between the two series will be relatively short to allow a great solicitation of the muscles worked and to give intensity to the training. 
  • They vary from 1 min (for isolation exercises) to 75 seconds for polyarticular exercises.
  • Abs only need 30 seconds to recover between sets. After 1 year of practice, some exercises are performed in a superset, that is to say without rest time between sets.

Cardio workout intensity

A small part of lean muscle training remains devoted to cardio (25%) to eliminate any superfluous fat. The intensity will be moderate to stay within the window that uses stored fat as an energy source.

  • The cardio part of this program aims to eliminate fat mass. By mixing cardio and strength training you will develop your muscles and burn your fat.
  • You can choose the cardio activity of your choice: rowing machine/treadmill/skipping rope/bike… To measure the intensity of your cardio training, you need to calculate and know your FCM (Maximum Heart Rate).
  • The important thing is to respect the maximum recommended heart rate (60 to 65% of the FCM) which is the best frequency to eliminate fat.
  • Then as you progress, you will work on an alternating pace of variable heart rate, from moderate to higher to work your heart and your endurance. This work area improves lactic anaerobic capacity, in other words, power and resistance to intensity.

Training Frequency

The fault of beginners is to want to practice too much. However, training frequency is one of the factors that determine the intensity of your lean muscle program.
This is why the frequency will initially be 3 weight training sessions per week and will then increase to 4 weight training sessions after one year of practice.

It is not necessary to do more, because the regularity of the training is enough to trigger the lean muscle gain.
Rest is as important as strength training for muscle development, so follow the recommended rest days (1 day out of two when you start, then 1 day out of three, and always 48 hours in a row on weekends) to give your muscles the time to mend.

Training duration

The training duration of this lean muscle-building program is 1 hour for beginners because they still have low recovery capacities.
That’s why no intensification technique is necessary at this level. It then goes to 1h10 for the most advanced to increase the training to stimulate growth, without endangering the phenomenon of overcompensation.

Mass gain program

From a beginner stage to a more advanced stage of lean muscle, it will be necessary to adapt the training in terms of exercises, duration, and intensity of the effort.

Summary of your program

  • Objective: lean muscle gain, lean mass gain
  • Duration: 4 to 6 weeks
  • Supplements: beginner lean muscle gain program, confirmed lean muscle gain program, expert lean muscle gain program

Beginner program: 3 training sessions per week

Best Bodybuilding program
Best Bodybuilding program

Day 6 and Day 7 - Rest

How to adapt training to your progress?

The ratio between core and isolation exercises, loads, and intensity should change as you progress. You must adapt your training to your level.

Phase #1: Beginner Level (up to 1 year old)

  • Duration of the session: 1 hour
  • Training ratio: 75% strength training / 25% cardio
  • Frequency: 3 times/week
  • Rest: 1 day out of 2 and 48 hours on weekends
  • Intensity: Low to medium
  • Intensity Techniques: NO
  • Loads: 50% heavy / 50% moderate
  • Exercises: 70% core/30% isolation

Phase #2: Confirmed Level 

  • Duration of the session: 1h10
  • Training ratio: 75% weight training / 25% cardio
  • Frequency: 4 times/week
  • Rest: 1 day out of 3 and 48 hours on weekends
  • Intensity: strong to very strong
  • Intensity techniques: YES (Degressive, pyramid, superset)
  • Loads: 80% heavy/20% moderate
  • Exercises: 50% core/ 50% isolation

Lean muscle gain and nutrition

Nutrition for lean muscle is complex because you have to both limit calories and provide enough energy to meet the high energy needs of training.

  • Protein is essential for muscle gain. These are the bricks that are used to build muscles. Your protein intake must therefore absolutely be on the menu of all your meals and snacks.
  • Carbohydrates provide the fuel for the effort, which is why the quantities must be reduced, but not too much. Be careful, however, to select only the lowest glycemic indexes (GI), such as sweet potatoes, wholemeal bread, brown rice, legumes…
  • As much as possible, avoid saturated fats, sauces, and fried foods, without eliminating good fats (fatty fish, avocados, nuts, etc.) which have a metabolic role to play in muscle gain. To find out more, refer to our food programs and in particular the lean muscle gain food program.

Ideal dietary supplements


When you practice weight training regularly, protein needs to increase. Also, consuming protein powders ensures a sufficient intake at each meal to maintain and develop muscle mass.

Amino acids

When training, muscle stores of amino acids are used up and need to be replenished. Because they are essential for protein synthesis and muscle growth. Amino acid supplementation compensates for any amino acid deficiency.


This type of supplement is to be reserved for the most experienced. Indeed, creatine only gives its best effect on already developed muscles. 

It can sometimes be useful to take a natural hormonal booster once or twice a year, which will help to gain muscle. As for the very stimulating pre-workouts, based on creatine and caffeine, they will be used, taken at the start of the session, to make the most of increasingly intense workouts.

Bonus Tips

What to do after your Bodybuilding program for lean mass? Either you continue your progress by adjusting the calories and the weight training program to your level, or you change your objective and switch to another complementary program:

Mass gain program: this program, which has the primary objective of gaining weight and mass, includes 3 to 4 workouts per week entirely devoted to basic exercises that promote mass gain.

Lean and weight loss program: this program combines cardio and weight training to cut the muscles and make them appear more prominent by eliminating all fat and water, without forgetting to follow the lean bodybuilding nutrition program.

Shred Hardcore program: this “skinned” program offers 5 very intense sessions with specific techniques to have an exceptional physique, to be followed over 6 to 8 weeks.

Cross Training program: this program is based on the functional movements of CrossFit and high intensity. It offers 3 to 4 training sessions per week to learn to master the main movements, develop all your abilities and surpass yourself before joining a box “Bodybuilding program for lean mass”.

Need support to progress and turn a corner? Want a tailor-made program that meets your goals? Fitadium coaches support you with personalized monitoring of your training, your diet, or both.

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