The Best Lifting Routine to Build Lean Muscles

A loose barbell

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It’s almost the end of the year. If you set a bold, sweeping fitness resolution in January, forget it in the summer and are now cramming multiple gym sessions in a day to achieve your fitness goal — the final month of 2023 is the best time to focus on your workout and see visible results. How can you transform your resolution into a reality in one month? One way is by sticking to a lifting routine consistently. 

Weight Lifting Training Benefits

A man bending ready to do his lifting routine

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

According to a fitness expert, you can see favorable results from your workout routine within a month or two if you train three to five times a week. However, there are variables affecting the fitness outcome. 

You’ll likely notice the effect much faster if you’re a beginner than gym buffs with better body condition. You must also account for good nutrition, as it’s one of the equations to reach your fitness goal. Combining consistent workout and balanced nutrition can do wonders for your health and physical body. 

A weightlifting routine has abundant benefits for the body. As muscle mass reduces with age, you want to build and train your body while you still have the energy to do it. This way, you can carry the habit of exercise through old age. Lifting weights or any strength training can benefit you in several ways. 

  • Strengthen the bones: When you lift weights, you apply pressure to the bones, increase their density and prevent osteoporosis. 
  • Maintain a healthy weight: Moving can burn the calories from the food you eat and increase your metabolism. 
  • Manage long-term illnesses: Lifting exercises can boost your immunity and keep diseases at bay. 
  • Boost your quality of life: By training your bones and joints through weightlifting, it becomes easy to accomplish everyday tasks. 

What’s a Good Lifting Routine?

A weight for lifting routine

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

An ideal lifting training exercise engages the entire body, from the chest to the legs. As each person has a different body type and response to movement, it’s best to work with a fitness coach to determine how many sets and reps are suited for you. They can also arrange the sequence most safely.

Here are some examples of the best strength training routine for each body part. 


Doing chest exercises can accentuate the muscles around this area and make your chest look firm. But more than the look, the chest muscles are essential in many everyday tasks, such as pushing the door open or doing yard work. Here is a list of exercises to enhance chest muscles. 

  1. Incline push up
  2. Pushup
  3. Flat bench press
  4. Decline bench press
  5. Cable crossover
  6. Incline bench press
  7. Resistance band pullover
  8. Chest dip


Building arm muscles can help you sustain any lifting activity — like carrying heavy gardening tools. Train your arms and build endurance with these series of exercises. 

  1. Bicep curl
  2. Wide curl
  3. Hammer curl
  4. Bent-over tricep extension
  5. Overhead tricep extension
  6. Tricep dip
  7. Front-to-lateral raises
  8. Rear delt fly
  9. Shoulder or military press

Shoulder and Back

People often ignore their back and shoulders, but these rotating muscle groups contribute to how long you can endure doing a lifting task. You rely on these two body parts when you bend, lift, turn or twist. The following exercises can reinforce your shoulder and back frames.

  1. Lat pulldowns
  2. Chin-ups and pull-ups
  3. Bent over rows
  4. Lat pulldowns
  5. T-bar rows
  6. Seated cable rows
  7. Back extensions
  8. Dumbbell front raises
  9. Barbell and dumbbell shrug
  10. Seated front dumbbell press
  11. Bent over lateral raises
  12. Dumbbell front raises
  13. Deadlifts
  14. One-arm dumbbell rows


Core strength is as crucial as other body areas. A stable core allows for optimal movement. As it connects the lower and upper body, training can provide a substantial base of support to the midline whenever you move. Here are some resistance training exercises.

  1. Plank
  2. Side plank
  3. V-sits
  4. L-twists
  5. Russian twists
  6. Bicycle ab crunch
  7. Dumbbell side bends
  8. Dead bug
  9. Leg raise:
  10. Ab wheel roll-out


Your legs support your entire body weight and you must aim to have a strong lower body foundation for walking or running. Here are some exercises to build leg muscles. 

  1. Barbell squat
  2. Dumbbell squat
  3. Dumbbell lunge
  4. Barbell hack squat
  5. Bridge
  6. Leg extension
  7. Seated or standing calf raise
  8. Leg curl
  9. Deadlift
  10. Leg press

Why Create a Lifting Routine With a Coach

A personal trainer and his client just completed doing their lifting routine

Photo by Victor Freitas on Unsplash

The best lifting routine combines several exercise variations, targeting each muscle group. Since you have different levels of strengths and weaknesses from other people, collaborating with a fitness coach is vital to developing a lifting routine that works for you. 

Your trainer will create a routine based on your capability and health condition. 

How Many Times Should You Lift Per Week?

A report from the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans suggests adult Americans do at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity training weekly to achieve health benefits from exercise. It’s about 30 minutes to 1 hour of lift training five days a week. If you’re not meeting this, it’s not too late to switch up your morning routine to include a gym session. 

While it’s recommended to exercise every day, an expert suggests doing a lifting routine for a minimum of two to three days a week or up to five days max. If you go to the gym seven days a week, limit strength training to five days and do a different variation, like cardio, for the other two days. The purpose of this is to give the body time for recovery. Regardless if you’re set to achieve your goal in a month, you need some downtime from weightlifting to recuperate. 

What Are the Risks of a Lifting Routine?

Exercising every day is good, but it comes with risks if you do it inappropriately. You increase the risk of injury if you lift too much weight you can’t handle. You might drop weights and cause an injury to yourself or other people. Doing the exercise improperly can do more harm than good to your body.

If you want to embark on a fitness journey, work with a fitness instructor or coach to guide you. They can correct your posture or form during exercises and hold you accountable for your progress. More importantly, they can customize a fitness routine that suits your body build, level of mobility and overall ability. 

Build an Effective Lifting Routine With a Coach

Safety must be at the forefront of your fitness goal. Find a trustworthy coach to help you attain your goal without compromising your health. Weightlifting exercises can sometimes be intense, especially if you challenge yourself. A coach can be a spotter and ensure you do the sets and reps correctly and safely. 

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