Body Builder Training Program

Body Builder Training Program


Amateur bodybuilding is the most effective way used by the athletes to build and tone their muscle. Muscle-building activities put a lot of strain on the joints and muscles. Therefore, athletes need to know the challenges the exercises pose to their muscles and joints. Thus, developing a program that alleviates the problems becomes critical for amateur bodybuilders (Chappell, & Simper, 2018). An amateur bodybuilder need to find the right gym with the required equipment, develop the right exercise technique to alleviate damage to the muscles, and to continuously change the routine to give room for muscles recovery. The trainee needs to find a gym that has the right weights and exercise machines that fit him; ease of access to trained personnel to guide him and the facility ought to be clean since it offers a conducive environment and proximity to living quarters for convenience (Robinson, Lambeth-Mansell, Gillibrand, Smith-Ryan, & Bannock, 2015). The body of an athlete becomes easily used to training routine hence the need to vary exercises for an amateur bodybuilder. The routine that was initially challenging becomes simpler as time lapses hence the need to increase weights and try new exercises as one progress in training. The right warm-up activities before the start of any training session involve making the muscle warm by undertaking light and low-intensity cardiovascular exercises. Also, stretching exercises can be used as part of a warm-up routine (Jarthon, 2018). The phases involved in amateur bodybuilding are the foundation phase, hypertrophy, and cutting back. The program for one year is divided into two sections with foundation and cutting back phase taking 8 weeks each in the half year while hypertrophy phase takes 10 weeks.

Foundation Phase

The foundation phase training entails isometric poses, postures, and breathing exercises that help to strengthen and elongate the core of the body, make the posterior muscle chain active as well as decompress the spine. Initially, the athlete can start with 10 minutes exercises to let the muscles assume the role of supporting their body rather than the joints. The exercise will reduce any pain, increase strength and give more energy to the body system. The athlete can take yoga, or take a static pose that focuses energy, increase breathing without the use of any gym equipment. The suitable foundation training program will run for 8 weeks with 4 days per week. The schedule will involve compound lifts that will result in increased muscle strength and muscle accumulation (Bryant, 2019).The exercises in each week will alternate between heavy slated for Mondays and Fridays and light slated for Tuesday and Fridays.

This will allow time for the body to recover from heavy workouts as sets are alternated. The program aims to give the athlete a rest period between exercises giving muscles room to rest and ensuring efficient time usage. The list of exercises for Monday is the bench press, military press, and close grip bench press three times repeated over 6 sessions each. On Tuesday, barbell squats with standing calf, leg extensions and seated calf raised three times with 10 repetitions, while Thursday entails bench press, military press, and close grip 30 times. The Friday sessions will involve barbell squats or standing calf raises, leg press, and dumbbell lungs that are done each 12 times (Robinson, Lambeth-Mansell, Gillibrand, Smith-Ryan, & Bannock, 2015). Both squats and deadlifts used in the foundation exercises are known for great mass building that makes the athlete benefit from the heavy training involved in the two exercises. The athlete should avoid taking dextrose since it will result in an upsurge of insulin that will result in fat accumulation. Fat accumulation is not ideal for muscle accumulation. Before starting work out, the athlete should take oatmeal, skim milk, and whey protein for 60 to 90 minutes to time (Jarthon, 2018). During the work out, the athlete should take whey, grape, and a gallon of water. After the work out, upon the lapse of 30 minutes, the athlete should take protein, carb, and fat in the diet.

Hypertrophy Phase Training Program

When the body gets exposed to certain stimuli, such as exercises, they develop a certain level of adaptation resulting in muscle accumulation. Thus, hypertrophy can be said to be a physiological adaptation to physical and metabolic demands. Muscle hypertrophy is guided by certain principles namely specificity, overloading, adaptation, and ability to reverse through loss of gains attained during exercises. It occurs through protein balance that involves synthesis and breakdown (Chappell, & Simper, 2018). This involves muscle tension, damage, and metabolic stress. The training program involves exercises that use low to intermediate ranges of repetition with progressing loading. For example, the Barbell chest press has 3-5 sets with 12 repetitions with a rest period of 2 minutes. The combination provides the desired stimuli for muscular hypertrophy. These exercises ought to be done 3-4 weeks in alternation for 10 weeks. The hypertrophy phase will involve a workout that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps (Robinson, Lambeth-Mansell, Gillibrand, Smith-Ryan, & Bannock, 2015).

During warm-up, the athlete should get involved in the self-myofascial release and dynamic stretching. In the self-myofascial release, the athlete ought to take pectoralis, upper trapezius, and latissimus dorsa exercises in a set of 2 lasting 30 seconds each. The dynamic stretching activities include ball cobras and push up with a rotation that is organized in 2 sets with each taking around 15 seconds. The exercises aimed at improving core balance are stability crunching, and stability ball bridge each having two sets over 15 seconds (Chappell, & Simper, 2018). The resistance training aspect will target the chest with the use of a standing cable fly, shoulders use standing upright barbell row and triceps will involve standing triceps cable extension. The resistance training program will take 3 sets each organized into 6 – 12 repetitions with a rest of 2 minutes. During cool down, the athlete will use the upper body ergometer for 10 minutes, self-myofascial release similar to warm up and static stretch.

The nutrition requirement during the hypertrophy phase is as indicated in the chart table below.

caloric IntakePositive Energy Balance
Recommended protein intake1.2 – 1.7g/kg Body Weight
Muscle Building and Recovery Strategies·       Consume a mixture of carbohydrates and amino acids before and immediately after workouts. Adequately replenish glycogen stores immediately after workouts by ingesting high glycemic carbohydrates and proteins in a 4:1 ratio within 30-45 minutes.   ·       Meet daily carbohydrate needs. ·       Avoid high protein diets. ·       Stay hydrated. As little as 3% dehydration can hinder performance. ·       Avoid ice baths. Coldwater immersion has been shown to attenuate the acute anabolic process and long-term adaptations in muscles (4).

Source: (

Muscular hypertrophy can be summarized as in the diagram below.

Source: (

The athlete will progress from the stabilization phase to strength and finally to the power phase during the hypertrophy training program following the exercise regimen outlined.

Cutting Phase training program

The cutting phase training will cover the whole week with exception of Sunday with different training outlined for each day. However, the training needs to be accompanied by the right nutritional level. The table below outlines the exercise regimen for each day with the time set. The athlete should start with an aggressive cutting phase that is to lasts 8 weeks (Bryant, 2019). The athlete should aim to lose 0.75 % of their body weight every week since if they lose more than that; they may lose too much weight. This will result in disastrous loss of muscle and fat over a very short span.

MONDAY – LEGSWalking lunges16-204
 Barbell front squat8-104
 Barbell back squat12-154
 Leg press202
 Bodyweight walking lunges40 with 20 for each leg2
TUESDAY – Back & BicepsPulls up6-85
 Barbell bent-over row8-104
 Barbell biceps curl10-124
 Rack pull8-103
 Hammer curl15-202
WEDNESDAY- REST DAYStiff leg deadlift12-154
 Barbell hip extension10-124
 Smith machine 1 & ¼ squats10-124
THURSDAY – LegsDumbbell shoulder press8-104
 Barbell incline bench press8-104
 Cable fly8-104
 Lying hamstring curl10-123
 Seated calf raise (superset with 5b)103
  Standing calf raise (superset with 5c)203
  Skipping60 seconds3
FRIDAY – Chest, shoulders, and tricepsDips (superset 4b)15-203
 Dumbbell lat raise10-123
 EZ bar overhead triceps extension (superset with 5b)8-203
  Hammer grip cable tricep pulldown (superset with 5c)8-102
  Press up 2
SATURDAY – Conditioning circuitPull-ups or chin-ups 10
 Dumbbell squat & press 10
 Hanging leg raises or knee raises 10
 Heavy medicine ball slam 10
 Burpee with a press-up 10
SUNDAY –Rest dayMuscle recovery time  

Source: (

Circuit training is essential during cutting down since it results in a heavy cardiovascular workout but helps in weights training such as strength. However, the training is very demanding since the athlete is involved in the workout throughout. During the cutting phase, the athlete should focus on maintaining a low-calorie intake. Thus the athlete should avoid taking white bread and sugary items to avoid spiking of insulin which leads to fat accumulation (Jarthon, 2018). The athlete can use the following food products as a source of their carbohydrates oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta, whole wheat bread and cereals, vegetables, fruits, brown rice, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. The right diet components during the cutting phase should adopt a ratio of 40-40 -20 representing protein, carbs, and fat. Thus the total calories should be 40% of protein, 40% of carbs, and 20% of fats.

One day training program during Foundation phase In Keeping Fit Limited

Work outSETSFrequency
Bench Press/Bent-Over Barbell Row34-6
Military Press/Barbell Shrug34-6
Close-Grip Bench Press/Barbell Curls34-6
Barbell Squats/Standing Calf Raises38-12
Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift/Seated Calf Raises38-12
Leg Extensions/Seated Leg Curls38-12

The training program from Keeping fit limited an organization I work for seeks to stick to compound lifts only with between 60 -90 seconds between every set. During the warm-up phase, the athlete will be involved in stretching exercises that allow for cardiovascular movements (Bryant, 2019). The first three items relate to heavy lifts while the latter three relates to light lifting during the foundation phase. The light lifting phase is the cool-down time. Thus they aim to improve muscular strength and mass. The program will use cues that promote more time for heavy work out giving the athlete time to recover. Since the sets are alternating as each exercise regimen is undertaken, it gives muscles time to recover between sets without undue time wastage.


Bryant, J.(2019).Body Building. The complete Guide to unlocking Muscle

Chappell, A. J., & Simper, T. N. (2018). Nutritional peak week and competition day strategies of competitive natural bodybuilders. Sports6(4), 126.

Jarthon, J. M. (2018). Testing body typology through the practice of bodybuilding. Staps, (1), 47-64.

Robinson, S. L., Lambeth-Mansell, A., Gillibrand, G., Smith-Ryan, A., & Bannock, L. (2015). A nutrition and conditioning intervention for natural bodybuilding contest preparation: case study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition12(1), 1-11.

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