Abercrombie Workout: Transform Yourself Into A Male Fitness Model

August 28, 2023 | 317 Comments

You know…there’s a very specific reason why you don’t see pictures of pumped up overly muscular men in clothing stores.

It’s because the majority of people (women especially) are turned off by people with bodybuilder esque  physiques.

Sure, we all say “Damn look at that guy” when we see massive men like Ronnie Coleman or Kai Green walking around, but that’s the extent of it.

My guess is that only about 5-10% of guys actually want to look like a bodybuilder. Most other guys would be perfectly content with physique akin to an Abercrombie model.

Am I wrong?

Abercrombie workout routine
Be honest with yourself. Who looks better, the Abercrombie model or Ronnie Coleman?

Abercrombie workout

The Abercrombie workout below is split up into 2 parts:

  • Part 1: Increase muscle tone without putting on size and lose body fat
  • Part 2: Gain muscle without fat

Part 1

The first part of the Abercrombie workout focuses on losing body fat. Ideally, you should be at least 10% bodyfat before moving on to the Phase 2.

Check out the following articles is you help on losing body fat:

During Part 1 of the workout, your goal is not to build muscle. Instead you’re going to focus on increasing muscle tone without increasing the actual size of your muscles.

This will give you really hard and dense muscles without actually getting bigger, similar to Bruce Lee.

And how do you increase muscle tone without getting bigger? Most people would tell you to lift light weights for high reps (15+ reps) but this is a huge mistake. The secret to increase muscle tone is by lifting heavy weights for low reps.

There are 2 golden rules you must follow when you want to increase muscle tone without size:

  • Lift heavy weights for low reps
  • Don’t lift to failure. Stop at 1-2 reps short of failure.

So for example, if you can lift a weight for 7 reps, you should stop at 5. The key here is to do more sets while avoiding fatigue in your muscles.

A workout following these principles would look something along the lines of this:

Note: For a complete step by step blueprint on how to lose fat and get ripped, check out Superhero Shredding.

Mon (chest & back)

For each exercise below, choose a weight you can only do for 7 reps max (that means you fail at 7 reps), and only do 5 reps. Perform 3 sets per exercise.

  • Incline dumbbell press
  • Dumbbell row
  • Bench press
  • Weighted pull-ups

Wed (shoulder & arms)

For each exercise below, choose a weight you can only do for 7 reps max (that means you fail at 7 reps), and only do 5 reps. Perform 3 sets per exercise.

  • Standing military press
  • Barbell curl
  • Close grip barbell press or weighted dips

Friday (lower body)

For each exercise below, choose a weight you can only do for 7 reps max (that means you fail at 7 reps), and only do 5 reps. Perform 3 sets per exercise.

  • Front squat
  • Deadlift
  • Bulgarian split squat (exception: do 3 straight sets of 6-8 reps per leg)

Part 2

Now you’re done with Part 1.

And by now you should look pretty good. Your abs should be defined and you muscles should be showing plenty of definition.

But your job is not over yet.

It’s time to move onto phase 2 of the Abercrombie workout.

Phase 2 will focus on gaining muscle with minimal amounts of fat.  To accomplish this, you’ll need to focus on a higher rep range (8-15 reps) as well as eat in a slight caloric surplus.

The diet is relatively simple.

You’ll simply be eating at your maintenance level every day and  on the days you lift weight, you add an extra 500 calories. This will allow for lean muscle growth with minimal amounts of fat.

The sample workout for Part 2 looks something like this:

Monday(Push day)

  • Flat dumbbell press – 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Incline dumbbell fly – 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Standing military press – 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Dumbbell lateral side raise – 3 sets x 13 reps per arms
  • Skullcrushers – 2 sets x 12 reps
  • Parallel bar dips – 2 sets x failure

Tues (Pull day)

  • Weighted pull ups – 4 sets x 8 reps
  • Cable rows (close grip) – 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Barbell curls – 4 sets x 8 reps per arm
  • Dumbbell curl variation – 4 sets x 12 reps
  • Pull ups – 2 sets x failure (with body weight only)

Thurs (Legs/calves)

  • Back squat – 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Reverse dumbbell lunges  – 3 sets x 10 reps per leg
  • Seated calf raise – 3 sets x 12 reps
  • Standing calf raise – 3 sets x 12 reps

Friday (shoulders/traps/arms)

  • Seated military press – 3 sets x 8 reps
  • Shrugs  – 3 sets x 10 reps
  • Tricep extension – 3 sets x 15 reps
  • Curl variation – 3 sets x 15 reps

The workout above is based on Visual Impact For Men, which is hands down my favorite workout routines for building a non-bulky physique. Check out the video below to learn more about it.


What to do after the workout?

So what do you after the 2-part abercrombie workout?

Well obviously, the first thing you should do is to go the nearest bar and take advantage of any lonely cougars with your newly sexified body.

Oh, you mean with regards to your workout and diet, my mistake. In that case, it really depends on your overall physique goals.

Do you simply want maintain your new body? If that’s the case, you can just do 3 full body workouts each week. That’s plenty enough to maintain muscle.

If you want to gain even more muscle, you can repeat Part 2 again.

Fitness models for life

Walk up to 1000 random women on the street and ask them “Who do you find more attractive, bodybuilder or an Abercrombie model?”

My guess is that 90-95% of the women will choose the Abercrombie model.

Bodybuilders reading this article probably already hate me but that’s cool, I’m ready for your hate comments.

317 Comments - Leave Your Thoughts

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  1. Hey Keith,

    So, obviously each of these workout plans you’ve set up aren’t each just for one week. It makes sense that you wouldn’t only carry out part 1 for a week and then part 2 for a week. How many weeks do you suggest continuing on each part? Thanks man!


  2. Shoulder to waist ratio is the most important area. That is my problem with many modern day bodybuilders. Half of them have a huge barrel waist near the width of the shoulders.
    You wanna keep that waist tight and those delts wide. From experience I’d go for a PP/PPL repeated twice a week. Unless you are extremely gifted in the shoulder department I’d also put in more shoulder work. Rear and side felt predominantly. I’ve found Upright Rows (Wide Grip), BTN Presses and Face Pulls to be effective at building width.

  3. Why should one not lift to failure and stop at 1-2 reps short of failure?

    Isn’t that against the very idea of muscular hypertrophy?

    1. bc the point of this phase isn’t hypertrophy. AB models arent trying to be the most muscular. They’re after that more “refined” and “toned” look.

  4. A diet with most protein, then carbs, then fat is to go with?
    I am planning to go for this workout routine now and I was thinking I was gonna eat clean, like oats and protein powder for breakfast, lots of vegetables and chicken for dinner and sweet potatoes with beef or fish for night meal

  5. I did part 1 for 3 mos and am 2 weeks away from completing 3 mos of part 2. I’m eating my maintenance calories on off days and + 500 on workout days. I’m 6’4 188 lbs, 53 yrs. Everything looks great except for abs. Still have a little fat around the waist. Any suggestions? Mahalo.

  6. I’m over weight, have some muscle mass but have at least 40 lbs to loos.
    6’ tall 212lbs
    Should I just stick with faze one with a heavy calorie cut till I loos 40 or 50 lbs?

      1. Ok great, thanks.
        What’s the ideal weight I should’ve be at be fore I move on to faze two? 170LBS? I till I can see my abs?

        1. There’s no “ideal.” Just keep making progress and you’ll see where you need to be as you lose weight.

          1. Keith, I’ve started phase 1. I’m mor focused on loosing weight as I have 40 or 50 lbs to loos.
            Last week I did phase 1 and a one mile jog and some walking every day. Ive also been fasting.
            I did all that and only had two Meeks that week.
            Do you see lifting weight in this phase while basically not eating for a week a problem?
            I get the obvious stuff, not practical and the bounce back on eating, so fare it hasn’t been a problem.
            So is there a problem with long fasting and the lifting in your phase 1?
            In need to get this weight off
            Thanks for all your help.

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