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The absolute best guide to reach your goals and

Build lean muscle

Okay, so you want to build muscle, sculpt your body and get stronger - that's amazing! Look no further, this guide will teach you exactly how to achieve this.

Anyone can build muscle. Whether you are a complete beginner or you have years of experience, it's all about making small tweaks to your workouts and nutrition!

First, let's take a look at who we recommend this goal to:

• Anyone who wants to get stronger and lift heavier
• Anyone who wants to build and sculpt their muscles
• Anyone who wants to get started with strength training
• Anyone who have just finished a fat loss phase, or generally don't have a lot of excess fat on their body

Are you ready? Let's do this 👊🏼

Sarah Louise

Personal trainer & Founder of trainn

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Your workouts 

The workouts you do should always reflect the goals you're trying to achieve. They are one of the main elements needed to see the results you want. Here are the 3 main things we recommend you focus on:

#1 Strength train often enough 🏋️‍♀️

You've heard it before. To build muscle, strength training should be the main focus of your workouts. And hitting the right training frequency is key.

If you don't strength train often enough, your muscles won’t be challenged and therefore not see a reason to grow. On the other hand, if you strength train too often, your muscles won’t have enough time to recover and you might do more damage than good- it’ll be like painting the second layer of paint before the first coat is dry.

That’s why, the ideal amount to train each muscle group is 2-3 times per week. If not activated regularly, they’ll simply stay as they are.

#2 Apply 'progressive overload' 📈

Applying ‘progressive overload’ means gradually increasing the volume of your workouts by upping the weight, reps, sets or exercises in your workouts.

The reason for this is because your body gets stronger as you build muscle, and the same training volume simply won’t be challenging enough for you. For example 10 reps of 20kg squats can feel tough at week 1, but a lot easier at week 3. Here you can either increase the volume by upping to 12 reps, 25kg or adding an extra set.

Progressive overload helps us avoid hitting a plateau. While it’s great to feel like the barbell is getting lighter, it's really important to push yourself. The more comfortable your muscles feel with the exercises, the less likely they are to continue growing.

#2 Apply 'progressive overload' 📈

Cardio is great for improving your overall health, and is recommended no matter what your fitness goal is. However, we want our main focus to be on strength training, as this will help us build muscle.

If you want to include cardio, be strategic with it - doing too much or at the wrong time will leave you too tired for your strength workouts. Cardio burns energy, and we want to save this for your strength workouts. Too much cardio might burn the calories your body needs to build muscle, and therefore hinder your muscle building journey.

Your nutrition

Trainn App Goals

Your nutrition has a big impact in the results we see. It will be the fuel for your workouts, as well as help your body recover after and therefore get the most of your workouts. Here are our 2 biggest tips for adjusting your nutrition to suit your goal:

#2 Apply 'progressive overload' 📈

We all know that calories = fuel.

Not only are calories what fuel your day and workouts, but they also help build up your muscle tissue after you've done a workout. That’s why you need to make sure you’re eating enough if your goal is to build muscle. Aim to eat 200-500 calories above your calorie maintenance.

If you don't regularly eat enough, it's going to be harder for you to build muscle. Why? Let's compare it to building an extension to your house - in order to build the extension you need the extra materials for it. If not, you won't have anything to build with. The same goes for building muscle - if you don't eat the extra calories your muscles won't have any nutrients to build themselves up stronger with.

Your calorie maintenance depends on factors like your activity level, age, gender & current muscle mass.

For women, calorie maintenance is typically 1800 - 2300 cals. A moderate surplus will therefore be 2200 - 2700 calories.

For men calorie maintenance is typically around 2300 - 2800 cals. A moderate surplus will therefore be 2700 - 3300 calories.

#2 Apply 'progressive overload' 📈

You’ve heard it before. A high protein diet will give you all the nutrients and building blocks your body needs to build muscle. It will also help you feel full for longer and avoid big dips in sugar levels or energy.

Protein will help repair muscle tissue after every workout and build them stronger for the next session. It's ideal that we get protein spread out throughout the day instead of it all in 1 or 2 meals. There's only so much protein our body can absorb in one sitting.

As well as getting enough calories & protein, you also need to work enough carbs into your diet. They are what give you energy to have great workouts. A little extra carbs will allow you to squeeze in extra reps and therefore lead to better gains in the long run.

Great carb sources could be oats, brown rice, potatoes, wholegrain pasta or bread.

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Tracking your progress

Forget about generic training plans. These are workouts designed to help you improve week after week. At home or in the gym

Sandra had never set foot in a gym. Nor had she used any equipment for her workouts.. ever! However, when she started she feel in love. And we're gonna let the smile on her face speak for herself.

How Sandra built 5kg of lean muscle

Sandra had never set foot in a gym. Nor had she used any equipment for her workouts.. ever! However, when she started she feel in love. And we're gonna let the smile on her face speak for herself.

"I am obsessed with getting stronger. It feels so gooood being sore the next day and seeing the progress in the mirror. I never used to really notice any difference when I was just doing cardio. So if any of you are scared of stepping away from the treadmill and lifting weights, please take my word for it - it's amazing!"


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Hi, I'm Sarah Louise 👋🏼


I am one of the personal trainers on trainn, as well as the founder & creator of it all.

My aim is to take you on a personalised fitness journey to a body you love and a lifestyle you can maintain. Real advice. Real results.


After coaching thousands of clients for nearly a decade and gathering lots of experience, I have designed methods that are proven to make your results stick with you forever.

Take your fitness to the next level, regain confidence and create a consistent routine through personalised workouts, weekly goals, healthy habits & expert advice. All unique to you.

Start your fitness journey today

Start your fitness journey today 💪🏼

Download trainn to start your 14 day free trial with personalised workouts, healthy habits & advice

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