The Leangains workout that I do is modified to my goals but this is very close to the recommendation. I workout Monday, Wednesday and Friday and rest all other days. I almost exclusively use barbells.
My goal is to put my body under maximum amounts of stress in short bursts then get the hell out of the gym. No burnouts, no screwing around. Some days I do 5 minutes of abs and/or more accessory work but I do it knowing that I am just having fun.
*Tip: I have noticed that I get most of my shoulder/back pulls and injuries during this “fun” time and rarely do it anymore.
I do 2 working sets:
I do a few warmup sets on each exercise before I move to the working sets. The goal of the warmup sets is to get my body ready to be put under a lot of stress. Below is an example, obviously you would adjust for your own warmups.
Example: Bench Press Warmup Sets
- Warmup Set 1: Just the bar for 10 reps
- This gets your joints moving and prepares your body to handle weight. This also helps me practice my form for the heavy sets
- Warmup Set 2: 95lbs for 6 reps
- Add a little weight and practice form – further preparing for heavier presses
- Warmup Set 3: 135 for 3 reps
- Here I have enough weight to feel it. To preserve my energy for the big presses I only do 2-3 reps.
After warming up I’ll take a 2-3 minute rest and then do 2 working sets.
Set 1: The maximum weight I can do for the desired rep range.
Set 2: Drop weight by approximately 10% – take 2-5 minutes rest. The goal of the second working set is to do (1) one more rep than I did in Set 1. So if I did 7 reps in Set 1 – I will do 8 reps in Set 2 and then stop.
Even if I can do more reps I stop. I never go to failure.
I was told this helps you progress and although I don’t know the science behind it I can tell you that I have almost always progressed in weight/reps – even during when I’m cutting and in a caloric deficit (which is not common).
My Exact Leangains Workout
- Deadlift 3-5x
- Overhead Press 6-8x
- Weighted Chin Ups 4-6x (I got this weighted dip belt on Amazon)
- Barbell Rows 6-8x
- 1 set of Weighted Close Grip Chin Ups 6-10x
- Bench Press 6-8x
- Incline Dumbbell Press 6-8x
- Barbell Curls 6-8x
- Tricep Extensions 6-8x
- Squat 6-8x (I use these Rehband knee sleeves for knee protection)
- Leg Curls 6-8x
- Leg Extension 6-8x
- Weighted Wide Dips 6-8x
- Calves 12-16x
- 1 set of Ab Rope Pulldowns 25x
Get Used to Working Out Less
At first it may be hard to convince yourself to workout less. (3) Three days a week and (2) two sets per exercise are much less than I was doing before. I struggled with it at first because it didn’t “feel” like I was doing enough.
The key is to get it done, do it right and then force yourself to get out of the gym. For me the results don’t lie.