What to Look For in a Bodybuilding Program

Written by the Boostcamp staff
Feb 10,2024|13 min| 56

A Comprehensive Guide to Making the Right Choice for your gains

Bodybuilding is based on looks, unlike powerlifting which is based on strength in the big three compound movements. Bodybuilding is a sport that requires the athletes to display great amounts of muscle mass as well as some great conditioning. However, this is not an overnight endeavor, and requires some extensive time in the gym, resistance training. That being said, you do not want to enter your bodybuilding journey blindly; embarking on the exhilarating journey of bodybuilding brings with it the need for a well-structured training program. However, with an abundance of options available, selecting the most suitable one can be an overwhelming task. 


This article aims to provide an in-depth exploration of the key factors to consider when choosing a proper bodybuilding training program, ensuring that your fitness journey is not only productive but also tailored to your specific goals and preferences.

What to Look for When Choosing a Bodybuilding Program

Let’s dive in to see what exactly a bodybuilding training program should include for you to succeed at what you are looking to do.

Crystal Clear Goals

First thing’s first, the cornerstone of any successful bodybuilding program lies in crystal clear goals. Whether your aspirations revolve around bulking up, building muscle mass, and increasing overall strength, or sculpting a shredded physique that really is stage ready, having a distinct vision will serve as the guiding light in selecting a program that aligns perfectly with your objectives. 

Progressive Overload

Among the fundamental principles of effective bodybuilding is the concept of progressive overload. This entails a gradual increase in the intensity or volume of your workouts over time to stimulate continuous muscle growth. It is imperative to choose a program that not only acknowledges but strategically incorporates this principle, offering a structured plan for progressive advancements in weights, repetitions, or exercise difficulty.

Exercise Selection

You don’t want a program that just centers around the squat, bench, and deadlift, as that is tailored more towards powerlifting and will not help your bodybuilding goals. A well-rounded bodybuilding program should encompass a balanced mix of exercises. Yes, it should include the compound movements, such as squats, deadlifts, and bench press, engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously, fostering overall development, but that is not all. On the other hand, a good bodybuilding program should also include accessory movements, like bicep curls and tricep extensions, target specific muscle groups, contributing to a harmonious physique.

Frequency and Duration

Assess the time commitment required by potential programs. Some advocate for shorter, more frequent workouts, while others emphasize longer, less frequent sessions. Your choice should align seamlessly with your schedule and lifestyle, ensuring sustainable adherence to the program, finding three day to six day programs are always good.

Volume and Intensity Dynamics

The delicate balance between volume (the total amount of work) and intensity (the level of effort) is pivotal for optimal muscle development. Seek a program that strikes the right equilibrium, providing sufficient workload without crossing the threshold into the realm of overtraining.

Rest and Recovery

Overtraining can be a significant roadblock in your bodybuilding journey. A superior program places a strong emphasis on the importance of rest and recovery. Look for recommendations on sleep patterns, active recovery strategies, and scheduled deload weeks to allow your body the necessary time to rejuvenate.

Expert Endorsement

Seek out programs created or endorsed by reputable fitness experts or organizations. Thoroughly research the credentials and track record of the program's creator to ensure that the principles are firmly rooted in sound fitness science. Expert endorsement can provide a valuable reassurance of the program's efficacy.

Realistic Expectations

Be cautious of programs promising miraculous results in an unrealistically short span. Building a formidable and well-defined physique is a journey that demands time and consistency. A credible program sets realistic expectations, promoting a sustainable approach to fitness that aligns with your long-term health and well-being.

Adaptability

Recognize the ever-evolving nature of your fitness journey. Opt for a program that demonstrates adaptability, allowing for modifications and variations as your fitness levels progress and your goals shift. For example, if you experience an injury and cannot squat, then perhaps you could leg press instead, so finding a program that allows for that customization is always crucial.This flexibility is crucial in preventing plateaus and maintaining a challenging yet achievable routine.

Nutritional Compass: Guiding Your Fitness Journey

A comprehensive bodybuilding program should extend beyond the gym, incorporating nutritional guidance as a vital component. Proper nutrition is a cornerstone of muscle recovery and growth. Look for programs that provide insights into macronutrient ratios, meal timing, and strategic supplementation to enhance your overall results.

Our Recommended Bodybuilding Program

We would not leave you hanging and wondering which program is best, we have hand-picked our favorite bodybuilding program for you to take a look at.

Kong: Savage Size in 12 Weeks

KONG Savage Size in 12 Weeks is a free 12-week program designed for novice and intermediate lifters, that can be found right on the Boostcamp app. On the KONG program, you should only be in the gym for 75 minutes a day, five days a week, so you have plenty of time to prioritize your recovery. The KONG program is designed specifically to build savage size in a 12 week, or 3 month period (hence the name). KONG is designed with 3 blocks of 4 week chunks, and each of these 4-week blocks are separated by exercise selection, exercise order, and set and rep progression.

The KONG program is broken down into the following 3 phases:

  • Week 1-4: Volumizing

  • Week 5-8: Pyramids

  • Week 9-12: Reverse Pyramid

Take a look at our full review on KONG to see if it is a good bodybuilding program for your needs.

Where to Find Other Bodybuilding Programs

When it comes to finding some great bodybuilding workout programs to help with your fitness journey, you would want to find a program that caters to your needs and guides you in the right direction, making sure that you are making the most gains. If you are looking to stay on track and continue with linear progression, then finding a good workout program is the key. Where do you look for a good bodybuilding workout program? Check out the Boostcamp App for some great programs. 

Boostcamp is home to over 50 FREE workout programs that consist of strength, hypertrophy, or functional fitness, or both, from the push pull legs program all the way to upper lower. However, with Boostcamp, you don’t have to just follow a pre-written program, you also can create your own program as well, and track your progress to make sure you are on the right track. That being said, when you are looking to incorporate some arm training to further your powerlifting progress, then check out Boostcamp.

Wrap Up

Choosing the right bodybuilding training program is a pivotal step in sculpting the physique of your dreams. By meticulously considering factors such as clear goals, progressive overload, exercise selection, frequency, duration, volume, intensity, nutritional guidance, adaptability, rest, recovery, expert endorsement, and realistic expectations, you can embark on a fitness journey that is not only tailored to your individual needs but also stands as a testament to your commitment to excellence. Remember, consistency and dedication are the bedrocks of success, and the right program serves as a compass guiding you towards unlocking your full potential in the realm of bodybuilding.

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