5 Day Intermediate Bodybuilding Program by Ripped Body: The Smart Routine For Strength and Hypertrophy Gains

by Nader Qudimat
Updated June 11, 2023
Goal (or Type)
Experience Level
Made for intermediate trainee's. 
Linear periodization.
4 Weeks
Made for any level lifter
Comprehensive book available for program
Made by world champion lifter
Tries to appeal to everyone

Bottom Line

Ripped Body is one of the trusted sources for workouts. 

This is a 5 day intermediate program for bodybuilding made by Ripped Body. 

It's a 4 week program with the final week being a deload period. 

Every week volume is decreased while weight is increased.

If you're able to make progress weekly without reducing volume then the beginner program by Ripped Body is better suited for you as it'll let you make more progress. 

Make sure you make a copy of the spreadsheet. For how to save spreadsheet instructions on mobile, click here, or desktop, here.

Ripped Body has incorporated the principles of programming from the Muscle and Strength Pyramid Training by Eric Helms, Andy Morgan and Andrea Marie Valdez. 

It's a well recommended literature because of it's effectiveness.  

5 Day Intermediate Bodybuilding Program By

The 5 day program from Ripped Body is from this blog post

You can save the spreadsheet from here (made by

Here's how the program looks visually:

Image from

Program Progression

The progression with Ripped Body's intermediate program is fairly straightforward. 

You'll see images below to visually see how the reps and weights progress. 

Compound Exercises 

Starting from week 1, you'll use 8 reps, then week 2, it'll decrease to 7, then week 3, down to 6 reps. 

Then on week 4, it resets back to 8 reps. 

But this depends on the exercise on how many reps the week starts with, as accessory movements have higher reps than compound lifts. 

Image from

Accessory Exercises

Image from

How you progress with accessory exercises is shown in the image above. 

Depending on the total of reps you've achieved in the first week.

So if you do 3 sets of 12 reps, then that should be written down as 36 reps in that row of the exercise. 

If you can achieve the highest possible reps for a particular exercise, then you can progress with weight. But the weight stays the same if you haven't achieved that, which is okay. 

Achieving all reps and recording it down will make the spreadsheet automatically add 2.5kg / 5lbs to the exercise for the following week. 

For bodyweight exercises like dips and pull ups, you can add weight with either a weighted vest, dip belt, or a dumbbell between your feet. 

If you don't have any of these options and can't use a dumbbell between your feet, then use a backpack that can hold the weight, or find a creative way to carry weight around your body. 

It's better if you can save for a weight belt as that can be used for many years to come.  

Warm Up

You can warm up in any shape or form of exercise you want but it should be light and it should get the blood flowing, and you should break a sweat. 

Once you do that, for 5-10 minutes, perform a few light sets of very light weights and work your way up to your working weight for that exercise. 

You should do at least 3-4 warm up sets before your actual workout, and then follow the program's workouts. 

You can do 1-2 warm up sets before a specific exercise after the first warm up set, depending on the muscle. 

Ripped Body FAQs 

These are questions that are frequently asked about the Ripped Body program.

I can't / won't do exercise ___, can I substitute?

You can. For every exercise there's an alternative. Here's what Andy Morgan recommends on his blog for substitutes

Can I use the same exercise twice in 2 different training sessions? Like deadlifts on day 1, then deadlifts on day 3?

Yes but only if you have one for high reps, and another for low reps (lighter weight and heavy weight).

I'm sick or busy, and have missed some time from training, where do I start?

By warming up you'll be able to tell how your body feels with what amount of weight. It's okay if you need to go lighter. 

I play sports, will I overtrain with this program?

You may need to start lighter than normal, which is fine. Then you can work your way up but give yourself a few weeks to get used to the training.

Who Is Ripped Body's Program For?

PHUL is made for athletes and bodybuilders.

If you want to get as big as possible while getting strong, then PHUL is something you can try. 

However it's not made for beginners. 

It's too complex so for that reason, it's better to stick to something simpler like a 5 x 5 type of program.  

Ripped Body Intermediate vs Novice?

The difference between the novice and intermediate program is that the novice program has less volume, frequency and exercises.

The intermediate program has more volume and sets. 

If you're just starting out, then you'll definitely want to go with the novice. 

If you're not sure, it's best to start with the novice anyway as you can always switch to intermediate. 

Signs of Burnout?

Over training is possible in any program, and it might be because of a number of reasons. 

Perhaps your stress is high, sleep is terrible or you're eating poorly. 

There's some symptoms to look out, like this:

  • Pain at joints like knees, elbows, shoulders, etc.
  • Soreness at distal portion of muscle.
  • Like feeling sore near joints.
  • Lack of proper sleep
  • Suddenly feeling sick or a cold coming on- immune system is compromised.
  • Loss of libido
  • Depression

If you ignore these signs and keep exercising, you will eventually hit a plateau and will increase chance of injury.

If you're already experiencing these symptoms, take it easy and avoid pushing yourself for at least a week or two.

Recommended Reading

The creators behind the Ripped Body program are smart and know what they are doing when it comes to training and diet. 

These are the recommended literature to dive into.

They dive deep into the principles behind these programs. 

These are comprehensive reading materials that will help you make the most out of your training. 

The authors behind these books and the Ripped Body program are:

  • Eric Helms:  coach, athlete, author, educator, and researcher.
  • Andrea Valdez: lifelong athlete, experienced coach, and content creator.
  • Andy Morgan: expert online training and nutrition coach.

If you have any questions, leave a comment below and I'll do my best to help.

by Nader Qudimat

Forged by iron and cold steel, I'm Nader, a mid-30s natural bodybuilder. Once a 100lb skinny guy, I've transformed into a 200lb muscular athlete with over 15 years of lifting experience. Today, I leverage my transformation and extensive experience to guide countless individuals on their fitness journeys.

Click here to check out my 12 year transformation: Natural 12 Year Transformation

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