How to Train for Leaning

Are you trying to get ready for Spring Break by getting rid of the beer gut? Having trouble preparing that epic beach-bod, even though you’re hitting the gym consistently?

Don’t worry, youngster. The problem may not be in your habit, but rather the way you’re training. Let’s attack this from the beginning.


Lemme guess, you’re looking for a good lean out program after one of two reasons:

  1. You just got done from bulking and want to be ripped.
  2. You haven’t worked out in a long time and want to be ripped.

Those are generally the two reasons, but there could be some I’m missing.

The biggest issue more often than not is in the training practices for the lean out program. The lifting practices in a lean out program and a bulking program and two totally different things.

For example, for a bulking workout, the lifter is trying to lift as heavy as they can even if it is for a short amount of reps for a limited amount of reps. This is because the lifter is trying to increase his strength and thus breaking down the muscle fibers, causing the muscles to grow quicker.

On a lean out diet, the lifter isn’t necessarily looking to lift as heavy as they can, instead they are looking to lift a slightly lower weight more times. This forces the muscles to burn more fuel so that they can keep up with the consistent endurance needs. This causes the leaning-out process.

The Training

As stated above, training for leaning out should be with lower weights but with more reps. Note: This does not mean you should not challenge yourself. Always challenge your lifts and endurance while leaning out, just don’t get discouraged if you don’t max out a lift.

When selecting the proper amount of reps and sets, always start between 10-12 reps and 4-5 sets. These are great base numbers to start out with, they will also help you adjust to what will keep you on track.

The Diet

As far as a proper lean out diet, there are many to choose from. Some diets emphasize low-fats, others no-dairy, and many paleo/low-carb (which as a matter of fact is my type of lean out diet). The type of lean out diet you choose is completely optional to whatever will work best for you, all of us have different responsibilities and time constraints.

Keep in mind that when doing a lean out diet that more sacrifices may be required. Yes, calories will be depleted. However, be sure to always eat enough to fuel your body. Don’t starve your muscles, please!


Leaning out is considered fun to few, but difficult for many. Yes, the results are amazing, but the road there is quite gruesome. The best thing to do is:

Do your research, get prepared, and get lifting!

How to Lean
Shouldn’t lifting always be this fun?

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