How to Gain Lean Muscle                                 


In order to gain lean muscle you need to train at a controlled high intensity movement pattern with a low number of repetitions. If you are seriously dedicated about developing lean muscle I have found 3 sets of 8 repetitions work well over four sessions a week for ten weeks, then try the 5×5 method for the next 12 weeks. Once you’ve finished the cycle, start again! If you are looking at high-end weight lifting then the principles change, due to the nature of the game.

The four sessions being:

  • Back and Biceps
  • Legs
  • Shoulders and Core
  • Chest and Triceps

Benefits of Lean Muscle Training

  • Increase in lean body mass.
  • Increase in metabolic rate.
  • Increase in bone density.
  • Decreased risk of injury.
  • Building back lost muscle tissue.
  • Enhanced posture.
  • Higher prevention of diseases.
  • Healthier when old.

Lean Muscle Tips

  • Heavy load resistance training may produce superior improvements in lean muscle and strength compared to lower load resistance training (Hoim, Reitelseder, Pedersen, Doessing, Petersen, et al., 2008).
  • Protein supplementation increases muscle mass gain when undertaking resistance training.
  • Recovery between sets is vitally important. For loads less than 90% of 1 rep max, 3-5 minutes rest between sets allows for greter strength. When testing for maximal strength, 1-2 minutes between each set should be sufficient. However, for muscular power, a minimum of 3 minutes should be prescribed between each set (Willardson, Jeffrey M, 2006).

Selected Lean Muscle Articles

  • Weightlifting is good for your heart and it doesn’t take much. Full article at Science Daily.
  • Increasing lean mass and strength: A comparison of high frequency strength training to low frequency strength training by Michael H. Thomas. Full article found at Centralspace.
  • Older and stronger: Progressive resistance training can build muscle, increase strength as we age. Short article found at Science Daily.
  • For workout gains, embrace variety. Full article found at Wall Street Journal.
  • Bedtime protein for bigger gains? Science Daily

External Links

More information about Weight Lifting at British Weightlifting 

Coach Mag

Strength Shop UK

BBC – How to get into weightlifting