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A simple yet effective bodybuilding program - training program included

A bodybuilding program focuses on increasing strength and size. While some people argue bodybuilding is not good for increasing strength, they are wrong. While activities such as powerlifting and Olympic lifting are better geared toward improvements in strength, if a person completes a bodybuilding program and increases resistance over time, then that individual will see improvements in strength. It’s simple adaptation of the body to imposes demands, namely an increase in resistance used.

At the same time, due to the volume of work completed in conjunction with the types of exercise and body part focused approach to training, bodybuilding style of training is ideal for building a muscular body such as a bodybuilder’s or physique competitor’s. This is something that pure strength programs like powerlifting and Olympic lifting are not ideal for, though those programs will allow someone to build muscle.

Simply put, if you want to see reasonable improvements in strength and add quality mass to your body in the pursuit of an aesthetically pleasing frame, then the bodybuilding program may be for you. Included below is a bodybuilding program intended for advanced trainees due to the volume and exercises selection. It follows a three-week cycle and then repeats. With each iteration, the goal is to use more weight and/or where a rep range is present, complete more reps. Though simplistic in design, if followed over time consistently with enough intensity, the program yields results. We speak from real-world application of this program.

To get the most from this program, you must use the heaviest weight safely possible. What this means is you must be able to complete all reps in good form for each set and that the weight must be challenging, though you should avoid going to failure; you should generally have 1-2 reps left in the tank. For example, the first exercise is back squat with five sets of seven reps. The goal would be to use a weight that is hard for seven reps, but that you might be able to complete 8-9 reps if pushing max reps. If you can complete 225 for 8-9 reps before hitting failure, this may be a good load for the first set. Depending on how you recover, you may be able to use that weight for consecutive sets or you may have to drop weight. As an example for the first exercise, you may complete 225 pounds by five sets of seven, or you might drop five pounds each consecutive set and end on 205 for the last set. Again, to get the most from this program, you must use the heaviest weight safely possible. What this means is you must be able to complete all reps in good form for each set and that the weight must be challenging, though you should avoid going to failure; you should generally have 1-2 reps left in the tank.

On a final note, for body weight exercises such as the pull-up, add weight as needed to keep the exercise challenging within the target rep range.

Week 1 – Day 1

Barbell Back Squat – 5 sets x 7 reps

Barbell Front Squat – 4 sets x 7 reps

Barbell Straight Leg Romanian Deadlift – 4 sets x 12 reps

Leg Press Machine Single Leg Calf Raise – 5 sets x 15 reps

Leg Press Machine Calf Raise – 3 sets x Max reps

Week 1 – Day 2

Barbell Bench Press – 4 sets x 7 reps

Barbell Incline Bench Press – 6 sets x 15 reps

Barbell Decline Bench Press – 4 sets x 15 reps

Cable Bent Over Chest Fly – 5 sets x 15 reps

Week 1 – Day 3

Wide Grip Pull Up – 4 sets x 7 reps

Close Grip Pull Up – 4 sets x 7 reps

Barbell Standing Row – 3 sets x 15 reps

Dumbbell Single Arm Bent Over Row – 4 sets x 15 reps

Cable Seated Row – 3 sets x Max reps

Hyperextension Roman Chair Back Extension – 5 sets x 10 reps

Week 1 – Day 4

Barbell Overhead Press – 5 sets x 7 reps

Dumbbell Lateral Raise – 4 sets x 15 reps

Cable Lateral Raise – 3 sets x Max reps

Dumbbell Standing Back Fly – 4 sets x 15 reps

Cable Standing Rear Delt Crossover – 3 sets x Max reps

Week 1 – Day 5

Barbell Bicep Curl – 4 sets x 7 reps

Dumbbell Alternating Bicep Curl – 5 sets x 15 reps

Dumbbell Hammer Bicep Curl – 3 sets x Max reps

Dip – 4 sets x 10-40 reps pick a weight

Cable Straight Bar Tricep Pushdown – 4 sets x 15 reps

Cable Rope Tricep Extension – 5 sets x 15 reps

Week 1 – Day 6 (optional workout)

Dumbbell Incline Bench Press – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Machine Seated Chest Fly – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Barbell Standing Row – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Lat Machine Wide Grip Pulldown – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Barbell Bicep Curl – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Barbell Skullcrusher – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Week 2 – Day 1

Barbell Back Squat – 5 sets x 12 reps

Machine Leg Press – 4 sets x 7 reps

Barbell Good Morning Deadlift – 4 sets x 12 reps

Machine Seated Single Leg Calf Raise – 5 sets x 15 reps

Machine Seated Calf Raise – 3 sets x 15 reps

Week 2 – Day 2

Barbell Bench Press – 4 sets x 12 reps

Dumbbell Incline Bench Press – 6 sets x 12 reps

Dumbbell Decline Bench Press – 4 sets x 15 reps

Dumbbell Flat Bench Chest Fly – 5 sets x 15 reps

Week 2 – Day 3

Parallel Grip Pull Up – 4 sets x 12 reps

Dumbbell Standing Row – 3 sets x 15 reps

Dumbbell Single Arm Bent Over Row – 4 sets x 15 reps

Cable Seated Row – 3 sets x Max reps

Hyperextension Roman Chair Back Extension – 5 sets x 10 reps

Week 2 – Day 4

Dumbbell Standing Shoulder Press – 5 sets x 12 reps

Dumbbell Single Arm Lateral Raise – 4 sets x 15 reps

Cable Lateral Raise – 3 sets x Max reps

Dumbbell Incline Bench Back Fly – 4 sets x 15 reps

Cable Standing Rear Delt Crossover – 3 sets x 15 reps

Week 2 – Day 5

Cable Bicep Curl – 4 sets x 12 reps

Cable Rope Curl – 5 sets x 15 reps

Dumbbell Hammer Bicep Curl – 3 sets x Max reps

Dip – 4 sets x 10-40 reps

Cable Rope Triceps Extension – 4 sets x 15 reps

Cable Triceps Kickback – 4 sets x 15 reps

Week 2 – Day 6 (optional)

Dumbbell Incline Bench Press – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Machine Seated Chest Fly – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Barbell Standing Row – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Lat Machine Wide Grip Pulldown – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Barbell Bicep Curl – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Barbell Skullcrusher – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Week 3 – Day 1

Barbell Back Squat – 5 sets x 15 reps

Barbell Front Squat – 4 sets x 7 reps

Dumbbell Single Leg Deadlift – 4 sets x 7 reps

Dumbbell Single Leg Calf Raise – 5 sets x 7 reps

Dumbbell Calf Raise – 3 sets x 15 reps

Week 3 – Day 2

Barbell Bench Press – 4 sets x 15 reps

Machine Incline Chest Press – 6 sets x 15 reps

Dumbbell Decline Bench Press – 4 sets x 15 reps

Machine Seated Chest Fly – 5 sets x 15 reps

Week 3 – Day 3

Lat Machine Wide Grip Pulldown – 4 sets x 15 reps

Lat Machine Reverse Grip – 4 sets x 15 reps

Cable Bent Over Row – 3 sets x 15 reps

Dumbbell Single Arm Bent Over Row – 4 sets x 15 reps

Cable Seated Row – 3 sets x Max reps

Hyperextension Roman Chair Back Extension – 5 sets x 10 reps

Week 3 – Day 4

Machine Seated Shoulder Press – 5 sets x 15 reps

Dumbbell 90 Degree Lateral Raise – 4 sets x 12 reps

Cable Lateral Raise – 3 sets x Max reps

Dumbbell Seated Back Fly – 4 sets x 15 reps

Cable Standing Rear Delt Crossover – 3 sets x Max reps

Week 3 – Day 5

EZ Bar Bicep Curl – 4 sets x 15 reps

Cable Single Arm Bicep Curl – 5 sets x 15 reps

Dumbbell Hammer Bicep Curl – 3 sets x Max reps

Dip – 4 sets x 10 reps

Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension – 4 sets x 15 reps

Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension – 5 sets x 15 reps

Week 3 – Day 6 (optional)

Dumbbell Incline Bench Press -3 sets x 7-15 reps

Machine Seated Chest Fly – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Barbell Standing Row – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Lat Machine Wide Grip Pulldown – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Barbell Bicep Curl – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Barbell Skullcrusher – 3 sets x 7-15 reps

Nathan DeMetzNathan DeMetz holds degrees in Exercise Science, Business Administration, and Information Technology as well as certifications in strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, run coaching, and other areas. His credentials come from organizations such as Indiana Wesleyan University, Ivy Tech College, Utah State University, and the ISSA College of Exercise Science.

Nathan has 20 years of personal and professional experience in the health and fitness world. He works with people from across the globe, including locations such as Kuwait, Australia, and the USA.