Rapper Ja Rule is sporting a muscular new physique after adopting a new work-out plan while behind bars.

The Always On Time hitmaker, real name Jeffrey Atkins, was released from prison and placed on home confinement earlier this month (May13) after serving sentences for attempted illegal gun possession and tax evasion.

Fellow hip-hop star N.O.R.E. paid a visit to his pal at his New Jersey mansion on Thursday (16May13) and shared a photo of the pair with his Instagram.com fans - prompting devotees to comment on Ja Rule's buff look.

N.O.R.E. tells MTV News, "He was on his workout s**t heavy, that's all he kept talking about. He told me he got a workout plan (sic)."

And he reveals Ja Rule has wasted no time in getting back to work: "I think he ain't lose a step (sic). I see he's resetting up his Pro Tools (recording software) and his establishment and I think you're gonna hear some bars (new music) from him soon."

Ja Rule, who began his latest prison stint in 2010, was originally set to walk free in July (13) but was granted an early release.