Weight Lifting Routines for Building Lean Muscle: Use Effective Full-Body & Body-Part Split Workouts for Quicker Results

If you want to jump right into a weight lifting routine that will put some lean muscle on your frame, you'll find the exact routines you're looking for on this page.

But let us give you a fair warning...

Wthout learning some fundamental laws and principles first, you're not likely to see any real, long-term results from your training. Before jumping into a routine, its critical to understand the basic principles of weight training, how your body works and the factors that influence muscle growth...

In other words, you need a quick primer on the core principles of muscle hypertrophy(growth), the variety of things that control how much and how fast you build muscle. Without having this knowledge, the routines won't make much sense, it'll become easy to do the wrong things in the gym, and it'll be difficult to achieve consistency in your workouts.

So what exactly do you need to know? Here's a quick overview of the 3 broad categories you should have some basic knowledge in BEFORE starting a muscle building routine:

1) How & Why Does Muscle Grow? (this includes knowing a little bit about your muscular system...there are lots of reasons why its good to know this, with the most important reason being that it protects you from a lot of hype and scams out there)

2) Structure of an Effective Workout Program (includes things such as repetitions, sets, exercise selection, training frequency, periodization and some other factors. See our 4 Part Weight Lifting Tips Series for an easy to understand summary of the factors that make up a solid workout plan.)

3) The Truth Behind Nutrition & Rest (its not nearly as complicated or intense as the "bodybuilding" and supplement industry wants you to believe, but you still need to know what & when to eat)

The above 3 areas can go deep, real deep, but obviously you don't need to know everything in too much technical detail. A very basic understanding, from an up-to-date scientific perspective, is good enough to give you practical knowledge of building a great looking body.

Now lets move on to the weight lifting routines that are specifically designed for gaining lean muscle mass. However, this doesn't mean these workouts won't stimulate strength & conditioning gains as well. In resistance training, there is considerable overlap between different styles, so you get multiple benefits even when training for a specific goal.

The workouts below are broken down by Full-Body and Body-Part Splits. If you're new to weight training with less than 3 months of experience, we recommend starting with our Beginner's Guide to Weight Training article...

Keep in mind that even intermediate/advanced trainees should perform cycles of full-body workouts from time to time to add variety and different stimulus in their routines, as mentioned in our Weight Lifting Tips.

Full-Body Workouts

Compound Workouts
If you've been struggling to find time to workout, or if you've hit a plateau, or you're a beginner who's looking for best way to get started...Its time for you to get a superior workout while spending less time in the gym. Whether you're just starting out or need to change up your routine, the key is build a program using the best compound exercises to multiply your results in the gym and make the BEST use of your time.,.

HIT: High Intensity Training
H.I.T., or High Intensity Training, has become quite a "buzz word" in the fitness industry, particularly amongst bodybuilders looking to manage their time and still get good results from their training. Basically, HIT is a type of training style that focuses on completing a limited number of sets for a limited number of exercises under loads that are in excess of 60% 1RM(1-rep maximum) taken near failure, with a controlled training frequency...

HST: Hypertrophy Specific Training
HST, or Hypertrophy-Specific Training is a practical way to look at the scientific research and physiological principles behind muscle growth. By combing through the research and science, a workout model is developed that applies to the real world and falls in line with many "old school" principles, while differing with them as well in some key areas...

18 Minute Home Dumbbell Workout
The American University Athletic Department and PE Research has shown that all dumbbell workouts work extremely fast in producing strength and muscle gains with relatively short workouts (between 12-30 minutes). In only 6 weeks, some participants had an outstanding 110% increase in strength, such as the 210lb male whose seated incline press went from 95lbs to a whopping 205lbs!

Body-Part Split Workouts

Upper Body Workouts
There aren't too many things more impressive than a well-rounded upper body displaying a nice set of arms, round shoulders, defined chest and a good back...whether you're male or female, adding muscle in just the right places and reshaping your upper body can make you look like a celebrity with or without clothes on...

Lower Body Workouts
Its strange how the upper body takes most of the glory in the gym, even though weak & unshapely legs look even worst on a person with a well developed upper body! Whether its toothpick legs or fat thighs, an unbalanced lower body clearly makes people look unfit and out of shape. Whether man or woman, looking to tone up or add muscle, the lower body workouts & exercises on this page will help you reach your goals faster...

3, 4, 5 Day Split Workouts
One of the most common approaches to bodybuilding, whether recreationally or competitively, is to "split" up the muscle groups to train them separately in different workouts over a week. Body part splits can range from 3 days/week all the way up to 6 days/week, depending on how many muscle groups are trained per workout and the intended volume. Generally, 3-4 day splits are very common and highly effective...

Individual Body Part Bodybuilding Workouts
Bodybuilding, in its natural state, is a true art form that is appreciated for the visual appeal and striking symmetry that it creates. Having a lean, proportional physique is something that almost every person desires, but very few are willing to put in the effort it takes to get there. On this page, you'll find individual body part workouts, containing exercises, training tips & routines that you can follow. Keep in mind that there are MANY ways to group these muscles...

German Volume Training
German volume training, also known as the "Ten Sets" method, seemed to originate in Germany in the mid-70's and made popular by Rolf Feser, the German National Coach of Weightlifting. Professional weightlifters would use this protocol during the offseason to successfully put on lean muscle mass. Eventually, it found its way to the United States and bodybuilders experienced decent success with this training system...

5x5 Workout
The 5x5 training program is rapidly gaining popularity after if was successfully used by strength athletes to elicit very good increases in strength. In a nutshell, it is designed to work your muscles with a high degree of intensity, volume & frequency in a phased approach, and then allowing for adequate rest & recovery to prevent overtraining...

Dumbbell Workouts
Its a good idea to change up your workouts ever couple of months. Scientifically speaking, "muscle confusion" is more a theory than anything else, and muscle growth always comes down to the intensity, frequency & consistency of your workouts. However, switching up your workouts every couple of months prevents the routine from getting stale, it keeps you motivated, and it can keep your more "functional". Different exercises pose...