Advanced Workouts

Once you’ve built a decent base, using beginner principles and methods, you can move on to a more goal-focused routine, that is based on principles for advanced athletes.

Principles you will see in the advanced workouts section.

Okay so before we kick off, let’s get a couple of things clear.

  1. If we go back to the “Cyclicality” principle, we can remind ourselves that gaining muscle and burning fat cannot be done simultaneously, especially for natural athletes.

This is why, it’s important to have the so-called “Off-season”, “On-season” and transition period.

  • The off-season (Muscle gaining period) lasts for around 75% of your yearly cycle (8-9 months). This is the period of time, during which we use significantly higher intensity and powerful bodybuilding principles like sets until failure. This period is also characterized by the higher calorie intake. However, we should refrain from over-eating, to avoid excess fat gains.
  • The on-season (Fat shredding period) lasts for about 25% of your yearly cycle (2-4 months, depending on your starting shape). During this period, your training sessions are characterized by the higher levels of density, caused by the decrease in weight, increase in reps, and decrease in rest times. This is for the sole purpose of retaining the muscle you previously gained, as much as possible.
  • The transition period allows us to smoothly enter the new off-season, without gaining all the fat back in an instant (avoiding the yo-yo effect). Each week, we gradually increase our caloric intake and slowly make a transition to higher levels of intensity. This period usually lasts anywhere from 4 to 6 weeks, depending on how long the on-season was.
  1. In order to optimally stimulate our musculature, we need to switch from a 2 day Upper/Lower split, to a 3-day split. The 3-day split allows us to train LESS muscle groups every workout (Usually 2 groups per workout). This means that we can use more exercises and focus completely on the involved muscle groups, even at the end of the workout (where you usually get distracted and just go through the movements). Using this variation of the split principle, we let our body recover and hyper-recover the muscle fibers. The 72-86-hour frame between workouts, allows us to activate the musculature during it’s state of hyper-recovery, which is the peak state of recovery.
  2. Last but not least- Prioritize and expose your weaknesses. Enough said.

Let’s start building a sample workout.

Today, we will build an ‘advanced workout plan’ for Dan. Dan is a 22 years old, skinny, tall man, with little to none background in sports. One year ago, Dan decided to make a change for good and started visiting the gym.

He found out about MeanMuscles, and after a solid 8 months of reading, understanding and practically applying the principles he read on this informational platform, Dan made progress.

Dan was already 8 kilograms heavier. He could lift some decent weights on most of the compound movements and has successfully increased his cardio endurance. However, Dan just LOVED to train arms, and they got a little out of proportion with the rest of his body.

Still, he looked aesthetic because he didn’t completely neglect all his other body parts, but he was obviously arm dominant.

Dan’s strong and weak points (From Strongest to weakest)

  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Chest/back
  • Shoulders
  • Quadriceps
  • Calves

Now that we know what the first and last priorities are, we can move on to the actual workout, which is a typical Push/Pull/Legs workout, that would fit the individual’s profile, presented above.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Monday
Chest, front and side delts, triceps, sprints Back, bicep, rear delts Quadriceps, hamstrings, lower back, calves Rest, posing Monday Thursday Wednesday Rest, posing, repeat

You should already know that by now, but, warm up is mandatory.

We are giving you two variations of the Monday and Tuesday workouts. Beginners can start with the first one, as the second one is more advanced and is based on the combined approaches principle.

Body Part Exercise Repetitions
Chest Incline barbell bench press Set 1- 50-60% of 1RM – 15 repetitions
Set 2- 70% – 10 repetitions
Set 3- 75% – 7 repetitions
Set 4- 80% – 4 repetitions
Set 5- 85% – until failure
Flat dumbbell bench press 2 sets of 10 repetitions
Chest fly machine 2 sets of 15 repetitions – Good stretch and contraction, normal pace.
Shoulders Dumbbell shoulder presses Set 1- 10 repetitions
Set 2- 8 repetitions
Set 3- 6 repetitions
Set 4- Until failure
Dumbbell lateral raises 3 sets of 15 repetitions
Triceps Overhead dumbbell triceps extensions 3 sets of 10 repetitions
Machine triceps dips 2 sets of 12 repetitions

These workouts are done twice a week, after the weight workout (Monday and Friday for this specific routine). It’s recommended to do your sprints on a running track (400m), or somewhere you can measure the distance you’ve ran.

After a proper warm up, we do 6-8 laps in the following fashion: 110-140 meters of sprint, we build up maximum speed up until the 20th, 30th meter and try to maintain it for the next 80-110 meters. After these 15-20 seconds of sprinting, we do a light jog or walk until the end of the lap (290-260 meters). Then we rest, until we feel recovered for the next lap, which is done in the same fashion.

Sprints are the only type of running that has a positive stimulus for muscle growth, due to the fact the biggest tension is observed during the 15-20 second range of intense running at maximum speed.

This fashion of training has a positive effect, when it comes to aesthetically developing the lower body. The biggest load during sprints, falls on the weak muscle groups in our lower body (Mainly the hamstring-glute separation and the calves, which, are in fact problematic groups for most bodybuilders)

Body Part Exercise Repetitions
Back Wide grip pull-ups 4 sets until failure
Barbell rows/T-Bar rows Set 1- 50-60% of 1RM – 15 repetitions
Set 2- 70% – 10 repetitions
Set 3- 75% – 7 repetitions
Set 4- 80% – 4 repetitions
Set 5- 85% – until failure
V bar vertical lat pulldowns (Narrow grip pulldowns, using the cable rows extension) 4 sets of 10-12 repetitions, good stretch and contraction, normal pace.
Dumbbell pullovers (Elbows slightly bent to engage the lats more) 3 sets of 15 repetitions
For the back dumbbell pullovers exercise, we use a significantly lower weight, goal is to get a good stretch after we’ve used a heavy load on the previous exercises.
Rear delts Rear delt dumbbell flys 3 sets of 12
Biceps Straight bar bicep curls 3 sets of 10
Machine preacher curls 4 sets of 12

advanced workout based on the “combined approaches” principle

For this workout, we can use the same weekly scheme, however, we observe a slight change in the fashion, in which the exercises are done.

Body Part Exercise Repetitions
Chest Flat barbell bench press Pyramid- 15,12,10,8,6
Incline barbell bench press + Pec deck 4 sets
For the incline bench press, we go for 8-10 reps with moderate intensity, followed by significantly higher intensity and reaching failure on the pec deck.
Dumbbell flys 2 sets of 15 repetitions
Shoulders Dumbbell shoulder presses 4 sets of 10
Lateral raises + front raises (Dumbbells) 4 sets – Again, moderate and high intensity, 12-15 and 6-10 repetitions respectively.
Triceps Overhead dumbbell triceps extensions (One arm) 4 sets of 10
Machine triceps dips + skull crushers 4 sets – Moderate/high intensity with 10-12 and 6-8 reps respectively (Do not reach failure on skull crushers, this is an exercise that puts great tension on the triceps tendons)
Body Part Exercise Repetitions
Back Pull ups 4 sets until failure
Lat pulldowns + T-Bar rows 4 sets- Moderate & high intensity for 12 and 8 reps until failure respectively
Cable rows 3 sets of 10 reps
Rear delt flys (Dumbbell) 3 sets of 15
Pullovers 3 sets of 15 reps
Bicep Straight bar bicep curls 3 sets of 12
Preacher curls + Cable curls (Front double bicep curls) 4 sets, moderate and high intensity for 10 and 8 reps respectively.
Body Part Exercise Repetitions
Legs Bodyweight squats 4 sets of 15
Barbell squats 4 sets of 12
Leg presses + leg extensions 4 sets, moderate intensity on both exercises, 15 and 12 repetitions respectively, focus on peak flexion on the second exercise.
Dumbbell lunges 3 sets of 12
Romanian deadlifts + laying hamstring curls 4 sets, moderate and high intensity for 10 and 8 reps respectively.
Calves Standing + seated calf raises 5 sets of 15 – high intensity, 15RM.


In case if you missed it, please make sure to read our article on ‘Bodybuilding Posing’.

Gaining complete control over your musculature, is one of the most important things you can do as an advanced trainee. Posing and stretching also gives that fine detail and round shape of the skeletal muscles.

You can pose and stretch in between your sets during a workout. This will help you stay focused and prepared for your next set.

Complete posing workouts (Rotating all the mandatory poses) can be done after every workout, and on rest days.


As an advanced athlete, your goal is to get used to a yearly training cycle, that includes a muscle gaining, fat shredding and transition phase. You also get used to extreme workloads and reaching failure.

Your cardio workouts switch from cross running to track attack in the form of intense sprints, which are the perfect hypertrophy boost, especially for the lower body.

You perfect your physique and the way you show it by consistently doing posing sessions, in between and after the workouts, as well as on rest days.

The workouts given in this section are just ONE option. The exercises in those workouts might work optimally for one person, but not so well for another. The important thing is to keep the same weekly scheme, principles and volume/intensity of the workload.

Other than that, you can experiment with other exercises, to see which ones work best for you. We, at MeanMuscles, gave you OUR picks for the best exercises for each muscle group- These picks are a product of year long experience in the gym, and feedback of our online and one-on-one clients.

Stay aesthetic!

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