What is a Sleeper Build?

What is a Sleeper Build?

The underdog of fitness

The latest fitness TikTok trend is "the sleeper build". But what exactly is this elusive physique, and why has it made waves in the fitness world? Let’s take a look at the sleeper build body, how you can get yourself one, and what gym clothing to wear once you've got it.

What does "sleeper build" mean?

A sleeper build isn't the usual physique you picture when you think of a fitness guy or girl. Forget ripped abs and huge bulging muscles popping out of a tank top - this is the exact opposite. Training quietly in the corner of the weights area, you'll find the unsung hero: the sleeper build.

Sleeper build refers to a person who looks skinny or weak until they flex and reveal that they are strong and muscular. This weightlifting and bodybuilding slang term has become popular on TikTok with thousands of videos accumulating millions of views.

Having a sleeper build is often accompanied by having a baby face and looking young or inexperienced in the gym. You don't notice their ripped physique at first glance, but don't be fooled; beneath their unassuming exterior and baggy clothing the sleeper is preparing to roll up their sleeves, flex their arms and showcase what they've got.

How do I get a sleeper build body?

By now you've spent hours in a TikTok hole, you're intrigued by the sleeper build, and you're wondering, "how do I get such a physique?"

Well, we have good news for you. Your best sleeper build bod is within reach. Here are 4 tips and things to focus on when creating your sleeper build.


First things first, focus on functional strength training. Compound exercises are multi-joint movements that work multiple muscle groups simultaneously, and they are great for building strength.

Here are 5 of the best compound exercises for a sleeper build body:

  • Barbell back squats: Powered from the hips and knees, squats fire up your leg muscles and core whilst engaging your back to support the load.
  • Heavy weight deadlifts: These concentrate the effort into your hamstrings, core, back, and trapezius muscles.
  • Push ups: A great body weight exercise to build strength in your upper body and create definition in your arms and chest.
  • Inverted row: Builds back strength and requires glute and core engagement to maintain a straight body position.
  • Bench press: A workout staple for most people, this movement puts effort into your chest and upper body. Goodbye skinny arms, hello sleeper build guns ready to flex.

You can find videos to watch online if you don't know where to start with these compound exercises.

Body weight exercises can be great but don't be afraid of weights, especially if you're a woman. Lifting weights will not make you bulky and overly muscular - it will help you build a solid foundation of strength, so get those reps in.


Next, don't neglect cardiovascular exercise. Whether it's jogging, cycling, or swimming, incorporate cardio into your fitness routine. It helps you lose weight by burning calories and eliminates excess body fat, so you'll see your abs coming through quicker. How much cardiovascular exercise should you be doing a week when working on your sleeper build? Our advice is 3-5 times a week.


Of course, when it comes to anything health or fitness-related, diet plays a vital role. Make sure you're eating lean proteins, carbohydrates, and healthy fats to fuel your hard work in the gym and support muscle recovery. If you want a sleeper build and you're currently overweight, be mindful of how many calories you're consuming when you eat. You should be in a calorie deficit. Don't forget to hydrate - water is your best friend.


Finally, prioritise rest and recovery. You're putting in a lot of effort, and your body will grow and repair itself during periods of rest, so make sure to get plenty of sleep and listen to the signs your body gives you. Overtraining can derail your progress and cause injury.

Sleeper build gym wear

Once you've got your sleeper build body, what will you wear to showcase it? Apocalypse Club have got you covered (quite literally) with some gym apparel suggestions to complement your understated physique.

We recommend sizing up in gym clothes - an oversized aesthetic will leave people guessing at the muscle definition underneath your baggy clothes. They won't even know you lift until you begin flexing. Boom - sleeper build body achieved.

Check out Apocalypse Club's range of gym wear here and get ready to surprise your gym crush with your flex and your fashion during your next workout.

Is a sleeper build a good body to have?

What defines a "good" body? Fitness isn't just about appearances; it's about functionality and overall well-being. Sure, having a toned six-pack is impressive, but can you touch your toes without pulling a muscle? Can you run a mile without gasping for air?

Having a good body isn't necessarily about having huge muscles or an ultra-lean physique. For one person, a "good" body might mean having visible muscles and a low body fat percentage. For someone else, it could mean being thin, toned, and very flexible. Another person may think a "good" body is a curvy one with a big booty.

Sleeper builds may not be the flashiest physiques on the gym floor, but we think this fun TikTok trend is a body worth aspiring to. The understated powerhouse is where it's at. So embrace the sleeper within you, and let your gains do the talking. The quiet ones are always the ones to watch out for.

Apocalypse Club is a trending gym clothing brand that provides training gear for your toughest workouts. Check out our entire collection here and follow us on Instagram for workout tips, health hacks and funny memes.

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