How to Build Lean Muscle

 Here is a snapshot of me during Spring 2013 using the plan outlined in my “Get Lean Muscle! Your Complete Rapid Fat Loss and Lean Muscle Gain Program”.  This plan is very similar to the Lean Hybrid Muscle Plan that I have reviewed. You can find the link in the popular post box below.


Click the picture to see programs I have reviewed, use and recommend!

Here is a before and after picture taken of yours truly while experimenting with various nutrition and workout plans.


My Thor Workout Program That I used
For the Above Transformation -> Click Here

Are you ready to discover the simple principles that will help you burn fat and build lean hard muscle! If anyone tells you this isn’t possible, they are sadly misinformed!

Building lean muscle takes consistent hard work and dedication but these things are well within your grasp!

The Best Way to Build Muscle Starts with these elements:

  1. A high quality training / workout plan
  2. Proper Nutrition
  3. Life Style (sleep, stress, drugs and alcohol, etc)

I will cover these top 3 elements of success to build lean muscle and burn fat in the sections below.

You will find example workout routines and nutrition plans to set you on the right path.


Let’s dive in!

These training principles aren’t what you’ll find in the latest muscle magazine!

Ok, now for the fun stuff (well, a bit painful as well)!

So is it best to work back and biceps? How about Chest and Triceps? Maybe I should work Chest with Biceps? and on and on it goes….

The truth is that unless you are an advanced bodybuilder, none of those combinations work! You heard me right. Those combinations all treat your muscle groups in isolation.

Here’s a “typical” Muscle Mag routine for “Chest, shoulders and triceps” day:

  1. 3 sets of 10 bench press
  2. 3 sets of 10 incline press
  3. 3 sets of 10 chest flys
  4. 3 sets of 10 lateral raises
  5. 3 sets of 10 triceps press downs
  6. you get the idea…

That’s simply too much volume AND too much isolation. This type of routine will work for a bodybuilder on steroids but not for you and not for me!

Isolation routines where you split your entire body into “parts” is simply not the best way to build muscle for most individuals…
male or female!

You’re a body builder!


Isolation body part routines may sell magazines but I promise it’s not the best path to building that lean muscular body you are seeking! I’m not telling you to eliminate completely from your workout though. There is always a place of isolation exercises for lagging body parts, injury rehab or just plane fun (like curls!).

 Full body workouts using compound exercises like squats, deadlifts and over head presses will produce the best muscle building results

That was a very generic statement. Hang with me!

I want you to read the following pair of statements that I have heard repeated many times in various forms by top strength coaches:

  • (almost) Everything works

  • Nothing works forever!

Let that sink in for a minute… I admit it’s yet another generic statement but the philosophy of it will guide you well. It means design or find a “good” weight lifting program and follow it until your body adapts and you see diminishing returns. When that happens, change something about it! This usually translates into a 3-6 week time frame for most individuals with 3 weeks being the amount of time it might take a gifted athlete to adapt to a program.

The Lean Hybrid Program is Ready
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Learn How To Get Your Done-For-You Hybrid Workouts Here

These basic eating principles will make
or break your lean muscle building success!

Guess which factor is the most important for gaining muscle and losing fat? Here’s a hint… Not training. You train to always build muscle. Not cardio! Cardio is the most overused method for fat loss and most often leads to loss of hard earned muscle.

Nutrition is the MOST IMPORTANT factor for lean muscle gains while burning fat at the same time! Of course training is still very important. Without the proper stimulus your body simply won’t transform.


  • Eat five to six meals a day. This is important to provide a steady flow of protein and nutrients as well as stimulate your metabolism.
  • 3 or 4 of these meals should come from REAL FOOD
  • The remaining 2 or 3 meals can come from high quality protein shakes
  • Eat several servings of salad or fibrous veggies each day (broccoli, cauliflower, etc)
  • Always drink a whey protein shake immediately after your workout to help with recovery and growth
  • Limit your carbohydrate consumption to slowly absorbed, low sugar sources and cycle your carb intake to maximize hormones.
  • No sweets, pastas (that’s right!), baked goods, junk foods etc. The exception to this is a weekly cheat meal.


I am a big, big fan of carb cycling meal plans. I have seen them work amazingly well with the majority of people who use them. Carb cycling is very beneficial as it optimizes hormones for concurrent fat loss while allowing you to build lean muscle! This is an advanced topic so more on it later on.

For now, just remember that carb cycling provides the ultimate burn fat – build muscle synergy!

Let’s take a look at the best meal plan to get started with.

For most people, a nutrition plan that consists of 50% protein, 30% healthy fats and 20% carbohydrates is best for maximizing muscle gains and minimizing body fat.

This is called a body recomposition meal plan because you can burn fat and build muscle at the same time. Trust me, I have experienced it first hand… and so have thousands of others! I requires discipline and adjustments to get it just right though. When you do, it’s really the best way to build muscle.

A Quick Word on Protein Shakes

I was spinning my wheels for years living off of EAS Myoplex shakes and simply not getting the results I wanted. Sure I was getting stronger and building muscle but I didn’t have the lean chiseled muscular look that I wanted!

I have used Biotest Grow with good success but nothing tops Beverly International’s Ultimate Muscle Protein (formerly Ultra Size). I have built my best physique ever using products from Beverly. I learned about Beverly International products at a Charles Poliquin strength training seminar back in 1999 (yes, that long ago!). My wife and I started using Beverly International and have never looked back! Are there other awesome products out there? Absolutely, just bear in mind that the more a product is marketed, the less effective it probably is…

Sample Body Re-composition Meal Plan

Here is a sample plan similar to the first one I ever used:

Sample  Lean Gain / Fat burning Nutrition Plan:

Meal #1
1 whole egg and 5 egg whites
5 oz lean chicken, turkey or beef
1/2 cup (before cooking) oatmeal
1 Tbsp flax or fish oil

Meal #2
Milk Protein based shake with 2-4 Tbsp whipping cream
1 cup cottage cheese with 1/3 cup pineapple

Meal #3
6-8 oz chicken breast
6 oz sweet potato or 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
1 cup veggies or salad with low cal dressing

Meal #4
Same as meal #2

Meal #5
8 oz 93% lean beef, chicken, turkey, fish or sirloin steak
2 cups veggies (broccoli, green beans, spinach, etc)
1 Tbsp fish oil or flax oil

Meal #6
Repeat any of the meals above but replace any starchy carbs with a piece of fruit such an apple, pear or berries (no bananas, grapes or raisins) and stick to chicken, turkey, eggs or protein powder.

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