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How To Build A Lean Muscular Physique Without Going To The Gym

How To Build A Lean Muscular Physique Without Going To The Gym

  1. Are you looking to build a lean muscular physique without having to pay for a gym membership? 
  2. Do you have an interest in learning how to develop an effective training plan with little to no equipment? 
  3. Are you serious about learning how to shred down body fat while building a lean physique? 
  4. Do you have an interest in transforming your entire training program to get results as fast as humanly possible? 
  5. Are you tired of wasting your time and not getting results? 
Building a lean muscular physique requires a multi-faceted approach. Since I’m a strength and conditioning coach and have trained hundreds of athletes over the span of my 17 year career I am a huge fan of building athletic lean physiques.

For the sake of today’s discussion I’m aiming the goals of today’s article here to help you to build that same lean muscle rather than the bulky bodybuilder physique. So with that being said let’s take a look at what you can do build that same body without the worry of making an extra trip to the local gym.

Lean Muscular Physique: Bodyweight Calisthenics

A ground view of man in the push-up position showing only his hands and legs.

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When it comes to building muscle there is a very good reason why bodyweight calisthenics have withstood the test of time and have propelled the physical fitness and muscular development of cultures of warriors, athletes, and some of the fittest human beings in all of history.

Calisthenic bodyweight movements such as push-ups, pull-ups, burpees, and jumping jacks allow you to build lean strong functional muscle while also allowing you to scale the tempo, load, and volume of work to challenge your body in many different ways.

For instance, if you’re proficient at performing push-ups and can bang out 30 or 40 repetitions at once then to challenge yourself further all you need to do is elevate your feet up onto a bench which will redistribute more weight to your arms, or simply invest in a weighted vest to intensify the movement.

There are only two ways to build strength and this involves increasing either reps or intensity for total volume. You just got a concrete example of how to do both of those things with this push-up example. Either do more push-ups, or make the push-up exercise more challenging.

Lean Muscular Physique: Kettlebells

I’m a huge fan of kettlebells. There is also reason that this training implement has been around for hundreds of years first appearing in the Russian dictionary around the 1700’s.

Kettlebells provide tremendous value to your strength and conditioning by allowing you to easily load your body while performing several dynamic movements to challenge you and help you to build a super lean muscular physique.

Kettlebell training involves dynamic movement that is the perfect marriage between strength and grace when working on mastering your body. Dynamic kettlebell lifts such as snatches and swings will help you blowtorch body fat while building a tremendous level of physical work capacity.

In addition to this you can easily structure your training with kettlebells to get in an entire training session with just a single kettlebell. This is about as minimalist as you can get outside of just training with only bodyweight calisthenics. A single kettlebell can just about provide you with all the gym you need my friend.

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Start training effectively to build your lean muscular physique. You need a plan so make sure you jump on my 30 Introductory HIIT Workouts. Click the image above to get started!

Lean Muscular Physique: HIIT

Aside from lifting heavy weight another way you can stimulate some serious lean muscle mass development is by implementing a HIIT system. HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and is pronounced “hit.”

HIIT involves you performing an exercise(s) with as much speed and effort as possible for a designated set of reps, or for a designated amount of time. This interval of intense work is followed by an interval of active recovery before you perform a subsequent round. You continue this until the designated amount of work is completed.

There are many different HIIT workouts you can employ for optimal lean muscle development. A good example of a HIIT workout would be if you performed some hill sprints for 30 to 40 yards at a time.

Sprinting up a hill with all out effort will quickly start to send your nervous system into overdrive. Your heart rate and respiration will go through the roof once you complete the uphill run because the HIIT exercise is anaerobic.

Believe me you’ll feel the oxygen debt that your heart will have to pay back after 10 to 15 of these uphill 40 yard sprints. In addition to this it’s been shown that your body will release growth hormone into your bloodstream from intense exertion from anaerobic workouts such as HIIT.

I can personally attest to this. As a practitioner I have personally maintained HIIT workouts for several years and I’m now 41. I promise I feel strong and have managed to develop and maintain an athletic physique for years even with a very hectic work schedule with running my business. If I can do it then you can too!

Workout template for lean muscle mass:

The following is a simple workout template that you can apply to your training to build lean muscle mass without having to take the extra trip to the gym. Keep in mind that you can scale the workout to suit your fitness and strength ability.

The following workout consists of both free weighted movement (kettlebell) and basic bodyweight movements. Keep in mind basic movements can be challenging to perform for much of the population so it’s up to you to meet the challenge.

You’re responsible for understanding proper technique of the given movements. Study them carefully and apply them to the best of your ability.

Keep in mind that when you see mentioned numbers following an exercise that the first mentioned number is designating the number of sets followed by the second number which is designating the number of reps for the exercise.

Example: Push-ups: 3×10

Also if you see the word superset perform the first mentioned exercise and designated number of reps and then with little to no rest perform the second mentioned exercise and designated number of reps.

Make sure that your joints are prepped for movement and that you invest the time to warm up prior to any strength movement or workout listed below.

The following template consist of a 4 day training split. I would recommend that you train three days on, one day off, one day on, and two days off with this sample workout.

Warm up: Mobilize your shoulders and hips

Day 1:


Push-ups: 5×15 (if you want to intensify the push-ups simply load with a weighted vest or elevate our feet up onto a bench)

Pull-ups: 4×8 (on the last two sets and for the last two reps slowly descend from the bar to the base of the pull-up counting down from 5).


Bear crawls: 3×20 yards

Jumping jacks: 3×30

High tension planks (hold plank and create as much tension as possible throughout your body during the hold) : 5×30 second holds with 10 second rests between


Day 2:


Kettlebell goblet squats: 6×15 (moderately heavy)

Single arm single leg deadlift: 3×5 (each leg with bodyweight only)

Superset: HIIT

Kettlebell swings: 3×20

High knee sprint runs in place: 3×15 (count off the second raised knee)


Day 3:


10–50 yard sprints: Total 500 yards (rest 90 to 120 seconds between each sprint run)


Day 4:


Push-ups: 5×15

Pull-ups: 5×8


Kettlebell military press: 3×6 (each arm)

Kettlebell single arm rows: 3×6 (each)

High tension planks (hold plank and create as much tension as possible throughout your body during the hold) : 5×30 second holds with 10 second rests between


Lean Muscular Physique: The Takeaway

To upgrade your fitness program you need to learn how to effectively apply the various modalities I’ve pointed out here. The thing that all of these training models have in common is that they are all very dynamic in nature. These will train you to effectively move your body through various patterns elevating your physical exertion. This will help you to cut through the BS and get you faster results.

Are you implementing any of these training styles during your home workouts? 

What are you currently doing to train when you don’t make it to the gym? 

Post up below in the comments to share. 

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5 Key Reasons You Should Be Using The Goblet Squat 

Why Is The Impact Of The Deadlift So Great?

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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