I have been following a strength training program for about 14 months (Stronglifts 2.5 months, Starting Strength the remaining time).

I'm getting a bit bored of it (going to the gym feels like a chore) and would like to try a bodybuilding program for a change.

I like to use barbells and would like a program on the lines of Starting Strength, if that is even possible. Only 'safe' exercises and if possible fast to execute. I would hope to be in and out of the gym in 40 min.

Any suggestion?

  • Fierce 5 has a nice intermediate program outlined here along with many more on that same link.
    – TestWell
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 17:04
  • What's a "safe" exercise as opposed to an "unsafe" one?
    – rrirower
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 17:23
  • Good question. Cannot really substantiate, but to take Riptoe's opinion on it, any exercise done in a machine is 'unsafe' Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 17:27
  • Can't say I agree with his opinion.
    – rrirower
    Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 17:35
  • Thought about it and 'unsafe' from my point of view would be any exercise that would increase my chances of getting injured by allowing me to do more weight than I would normally be able to and/or inducing/allowing me to assume bad form. Commented Oct 21, 2015 at 18:59

1 Answer 1


Like most training programs, there’s no one size fits all. Bodybuilding training is somewhat different in that the goal is to build, shape, and expose the body’s musculature. As such, there's no specific program you can call “Bodybuilding” even though there are plenty of trainers that will try to sell you such a program. Bodybuilding is more of a life style than a training program. It has components that overlap with strength training. You can use barbells for compound movements, and, typically use dumbbells for isolating specific muscles. And, as far as time is concerned, it’s dependent upon how your training routine is designed. I would suggest you take a look at some of the more common ones for a starting point. For example, "Push/Pull" splits up the routine into exercises that “push” and exercises that “pull”. There are many others, but, the goal would remain the same in that you “split” the routine into different segments so that you can expend more energy on a specific 'weak' body part. “Weak” in terms of development, not, necessarily strength.

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