The Anti-Hero Training Plan: Build Big, Brutal Muscle & Strength

Nothing pretty here! You’re about to become a big, bad anti-hero behemoth. This no frills, get it done 4 day workout split will help you pack on both muscle and strength.

  • Main Goal

Build Muscle

  • Workout Type


  • Training Level


  • Program Duration12 weeks
  • Days Per Week


  • Time Per Workout45-60 minutes
  • Equipment Required

Barbell, Bodyweight, Dumbbells

  • Target GenderMale & Female
  • Recommended Supps

Pre-Workout (optional)
Whey Protein Isolate
Branched Chains (intra)
Multivitamin Packs

Workout Description

Brad Borland is a strength & conditioning specialist, cancer survivor and the founder of WorkoutLab.

Raw muscle and strength is impressive when witnessed with our own eyes. With the constant stream of superhero movies churning at the theaters, CGI and techniques of Hollywood magic can make the meekest of actors appear to have superhuman strength, speed and sometimes more muscle. But when we see someone at the local gym perform a feat of strength, carry an impressive amount of muscle or have the ability to execute some sort of agility or body weight strength move we pause for a brief moment of awe and the desire to experience it for ourselves.

These movie heroes possess abilities only seen in movies, but what about you? Can you build a strong, lean and muscular physique to blow away those “heroes” with a specific, no-frills program that will produce real-world results?

Building a foundation of big, brutal muscle and strength isn’t easy and at times can get a bit ugly – but, boy can it get fun! Although challenging, this program leaves out the unnecessary noise and focuses on the infrastructure of training.

The core of this program covers all the bases regarding building some muscle, developing functional strength and keeping you lean as long as a sensible diet is followed. Become the anti-hero and build something real. Enough talk, let’s take action!

Anti-Hero WorkoutThe Anti-Hero Training Plan Principles

  • Perform this training plan for four to six weeks. Afterward, take a break or go to a program with decreased intensity and workload.
  • Perform each workout once per week such as Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
  • Fight the urge to add in ancillary exercises such as chest flys, cable work and leg extensions. This plan utilizes the basics for a reason – to build muscle and strength. You can, however, add in some cardio on non-training days.
  • Feel free to alter the order of some exercises and/or substitute in some alternative moves for personal preference due to injury prevention or equipment availability.
  • Pay considerable attention to rest periods and warm-ups.
  • Try keeping a record of your workouts for easy reference. Attempt to lift either a little more weight or one or more reps each session. If you don’t succeed every time, don’t let it derail your motivation. Simply note it, move on and try again for the next training day.
  • Above all, since this program stresses progression, don’t let your ego get in the way of proper form and technique. Slow and steady progress trumps short-lived perceived daily personal records.

The Anti-Hero Training Plan

Day 1
Upper Body
Exercise Warm Up Sets Working Sets Rest
Incline Bench Barbell Press 2x12 4x4-8 60
Flat Bench Barbell Press 4x4-8 60
Close-Grip Pull-Up (weighted if needed) 2x12 (pulldowns) 4x4-8 60
Bent-Over T-Bar Row 1x12 4x4-8 60
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3x6-10 60
Standing Lateral Raise 3x6-10 60
Floor Crunch 3x20 30

Day 2
Lower Body
Exercise Warm Up Sets Working Sets Rest
Seated Calf Raise 2x12 4x6-10 30
Stiff Leg Deadlift 2x12 3x6-10 60
Barbell Squat 2x12 4x4-8 90
Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squat 3x6-10 60
Barbell Curl 2x12 4x4-8 60
Close-Grip Decline Bench Press 2x12 4x4-8 60
Hanging Leg Raise 3x20 30

Day 3
Upper Body
Exercise Warm Up Sets Working Sets Rest
Incline Bench Dumbbell Press 2x12 4x6-10 60
Flat Bench Dumbbell Press 4x6-10 60
Wide-Grip Pull-Up (weighted if needed) 2x12 (pulldowns) 4x6-10 60
Bent-Over Barbell Row 1x12 4x6-10 60
Standing Barbell Push Press 3x6-12 60
Wide-Grip Barbell Upright Row 3x8-12 60
3-Way Sit-Up 3x20 30

Day 4
Lower Body
Exercise Warm Up Sets Working Sets Rest
Standing Calf Raise or Single Leg Calf Raise 2x12 4x8-12 30
Dumbbell Stiff Leg Deadlift 2x12 3x8-12 60
Barbell Bulgarian Split Squat 2x12 4x8-12 60
Barbell Front Squat 4x6-10 60
Seated Dumbbell Curl 2x12 4x6-10 60
Parallel Bar Weighted Dip 2x12 4x6-10 60
Lying Leg Raise 3x20 30

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