When first starting out, it can be difficult to determine what workouts to do, how to eat properly, and how quickly you can expect to gain muscle mass. One program that was designed to help beginners gain muscle and strength, in a straightforward, no-nonsense manner is the Bony to Beast workout program.
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly Program offers beginner lifters (and some intermediates) a way to increase lean body mass, build muscle, and begin to learn basic strength progressions in the squat, hinge, press, pull, and carry. The program incorporates dumbbells, bodyweight, and barbell training over the course of a 25-week training program (Phases 0-4).
My first impressions were that Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program is very informative at explaining everything beginner lifters need to know, such as how to eat to gain weight, what lifestyle modifications must take place, and what to do in the gym (and how to do things properly) to maximize your progress. It also offers a wide variety of nutrition tips and exercise demonstration videos to further enhance your experience and results.
That said, I did find some flaws in Outlift’s Bony to Beastly Program that are worth discussing more in-depth:
- First, this program is not for intermediate or advanced lifters.
- Secondly, this program lacks diversity in the rep range training that would typically accompany a muscle growth program.
- Lastly, this program relies heavily on the beginner’s ability to moderate their own intensity, such as having lifters perform a set and leave two reps in the tank for most exercises.
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program is a very good workout option for beginners who want an easy to follow that also provides a great amount of information regarding diet plans, recipes, and lifestyle discussions on how to pack muscle and size in a well-balanced training program.
However, let me further dig into the reasons why another program may be beneficial to consider.
Why This May Not Be the Best Program for You
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program is a really robust training program, and hits the mark on many things. That said, I do feel there are a few key aspects of this training program that really stick out to me and could be an issue for some individuals struggling to gain muscle and strength.
1. TOO Beginner Friendly
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with helping beginners, it can underserve intermediate and advanced lifters who are looking to gain mass and size using Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program.
The workout program itself has a good amount of supportive content covering nutrition, recovery, mentality, and training tips, most of which are applicable to beginners and “beginner-intermediate lifters”.
If you’re not a beginner lifter and have more than 6 months of consistent strength training experience), then I recommend starting with a more advanced workout program.
One option you could try is the Fitbod app (click to get 3 free workouts), which will base your workouts on your performance in the gym. The app takes into consideration several data points that learns how you should be progressing based on your logged training history.
2. Lacks Variety in Rep-Ranges
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program spends the majority of training in the 5-12 rep range, which for MOST lifters is a great place to be in to develop technique, strength, and muscle.
That said, it would be helpful at times to hit higher rep ranges, such as 15-20 reps or 20-30 reps for some muscle groups that also have a good response to higher volume training, such as the deltoids, biceps, and triceps (and for some lifters, the quadriceps too).
3. May Be Difficult for Beginners to Monitor Intensity
When asking beginners to build up to a challenging rep number and take a set to near failure (leave two reps in the tank), you will often get some lifters who will hit the mark, some who will lift way too heavy, and others not heavy enough.
While this is just part of the game when working with beginners (and not in-person training), it can be a limitation since someone may be doing less work than necessary (or conversely too much work) to get the results they need.
That said, Outlift does address a lot of these concerns in the FAQ sections, however, they could also employ more rep range based programming (such as allowing the lifter to work within a rep range of say 8-12 reps rather than aiming for 10).
Especially over a 25-week time period, I would have liked to seen a lot more rep variation.
To recap, for a lot of lifters I would likely recommend another strength training program. In my opinion, this is why I feel you should go with a program like Fitbod instead of Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program:
- Allows for non-beginners to find challenging programs that integrate more advanced training techniques and progressions
- Does not always require you to estimate your abilities, but rather can use programs that project your rep max and use % – based training programs
- Provides you with in-app videos on proper lifting technique and form
- Modifies your workouts weekly to adjust to your individual performance week to week, to allow for better recovery and progress
Need a workout program? Get 3 free workouts on Fitbod right now.
Now, let’s dive into the full review of Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program.
Program Review – Outlift’s Bony to Beastly Program
Below you will find my full program review of Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program.
About the Creators – Shane Duquette and Marco Walker
Shane and Marco are two guys who have gained popularity by helping thousands of skinny people get the results they want.
Shane is a self-proclaimed art nerd who has been featured in Precision Nutrition and interviewed on NPR. He has been a product of his own program as well, gaining 65lbs, and now sitting at 11% body fat and can bench press 3 plates on each side.
Marco, Shane’s business partner, is a strength coach who has helped athletes of all levels increase strength, power, and performance. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science, and has experience working with high level strength coaches and athletes. He too has gained over 60lbs and is now more muscular and leaner than his former, skinny self.
Both Shane and Marco have also done this drug free, and with no radical or unhealthy diets or training programs.
What is Outlift’s Bony to Beastly Program
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program is 25-week (five, five-week training phases) geared primarily for beginner and beginner-intermediate lifters looking to gain weight, build muscle and prioritize the development of foundational strength in the squat, hinge, press, pull, and carry.
This training program consists of three workouts per week, typically done every other day of the week. Each workout is roughly 60 minutes in length.
The program is split into five phases:
- The first phase (Phase 0) is for absolute beginners, and incorporates bodyweight and dumbbell exercises only.
- The second phase (Phase 1) is a progressed version of Phase 0, and includes heavier lifts with dumbbells. For non-beginners, Outlift recommends that they should start in Phase 1.
- The next three phases (Phase 2-3-4) all include barbell training. Barbell technique and strength are emphasized in each phase, with the squat, deadlift, and bench press being the main movements used to help increase muscle growth and strength. Dumbbells, cables, and bodyweight movements are also integrated during these phases to further push muscle growth and training volumes.
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly Program
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program is delivered to you in a robust package, one that includes:
- a 251-page ebook covering the program details, nutrition, and lifestyle tips
- 53-page workout program and planner
- Personal online portal to review diet plans, recipes, exercise videos, and community forum boards
The program itself is broken down into five, five-week phases (non-beginners can skip the first phase, Phase 0), each designed to prepare you for increased strength and muscle growth as the weeks and phases progress.
In the below sections, we will discuss the key training variables that every lifter should be aware of when looking to gain muscle and strength, and how Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program addresses each one.
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program is split up into five training phases, each five weeks in length.
All training phases follow a linear progression model, meaning that every week the lifter will either increase the weight they are using, and/or increase the total amount of work set they perform for an exercise (pre-determined in the program already).
Linear progression is effective for many beginners and intermediate lifters, however, it does have its limitations if the programming is too aggressive or if someone cannot properly recover week to week for whatever reason (often due to poor sleep, nutrition, stress management).
Due to this program being geared for for beginners and intermediates, this will often not be the case.
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program follows a three-day training split.
This program is designed to be completed with a rest day between each training session. If however, you want to work out more than three days per week, you can split up some of the workout circuits (A-B-C-D) and spread them across more days.
Be sure not to add any more sets, however, since the overall training volume per week is already taken into account. If you do spread workouts across more days, your workouts themselves would be shorter in time duration.
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program places high emphasis on the development of proficiency of five basic movement patterns: the squat, the hinge, the press, the pull, and the carry.
This specificity carries over throughout all phases, and the main compound lifts progress from light dumbbells to heavier dumbbells, and ultimately to the barbell.
Outside of the main compound lifts, this program offers a variety of movements done with dumbbells, bodyweight, and cables to keep things fresh and interesting.
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program is moderate in training volume, which can be expected when training three days per week.
With that said, most lifters should have no issues with recovery if they adhere to proper training intensities, make sure they are eating enough food to support training and recovery, are getting sleep, and use proper form and range of motion instead of comprising those two things to allow for heavier loads.
The overall training volume progresses from Week 1 to Week 5 of every training phase, allowing the lifter to stay within acceptable training volume ranges yet still progress week to week and not impede recovery.
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program progressively overloads throughout most of this program via increased loads, increase weekly training volume, and increase loading via switching to barbells from dumbbells.
The main compound movements (squat, hinge, press, pull and carry ) are progressed in a linear fashion week to week, with the first week of every new phase being used as a slight deload in the training cycle.
The accessory movements are also progressed weekly, however, it is up to the individual to monitor those progressions and know when it is time to add more weight except when the program advised the lifter to increase training volume (perform one more set than last week, which is detailed in the program).
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program is a very balanced and modest program in terms of recovery, however, it could be a shock to beginners who have not worked out consistently or hard prior to starting the program.
If the individual understands how important sleep, nutrition, and not training to complete failure is in the program, they will be able to best monitor their recovery and progress accordingly week to week.
If the individual is not a beginner, I suspect recovery to not be an issue, but rather that the training volumes and frequencies might not be enough to really push total body muscle growth (for advanced lifters).
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program is a templated program that is marketed towards skinny individuals that want to gain weight, build muscle, and get stronger.
Individual concerns like previous injuries, access to equipment, and training schedules can be an issue for some, but this would be the case for most templated training programs.
I feel that Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program offers good flexibility in terms of exercise swaps when compared to other templated training programs, however not as much when compared to working remotely or using a more personalized training app program like the Fitbod app.
5 Benefits of Outlift’s Bony to Beastly Program
Below are five benefits of Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program.
1. Long-Term Training Program for the Complete Beginner
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program is designed to take a complete beginner from zero (Phase Zero) to a well-versed, intermediate level lifter.
Over the course of the 25-week program (Phase 0-1-2-3-4), the lifter will learn the basics of bodyweight training, dumbbells, and barbell movements and have 75 workouts under their belt… not to mention more knowledge on how to eat to gain muscle and hopefully a better lifestyle conducive to continued muscle growth and strength in the future.
2. Extremely Educational
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program is a very, very robust training program, with 251-pages of information, a 53-page workout manual, and an online portal with a community forum for a lifter to go wild in.
Outlift covers the program specs, how it is laid out, and even offers exercise video demos and swaps for most exercises in the program.
3. Emphasizes 5 Foundational Movement Patterns
Any program that helps lifters of any level improve their technique and performance in movements like the squat, hinge, press, pull, and carry will most certainly be effective at building muscle, strength, and fitness.
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program has identified those five movement categories as the key ones they will progress over the course of the program, which will certainly help establish better strength, posture, and long-term progress for all lifters.
4. Offers Exercise Technique Videos and Alternatives for All Movements
Most of the movements in Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program come with video links that demonstrate proper lifting technique and form to maximize performance and minimize injury.
Additionally, the exercises have viable alternatives that you can use if you do not have access to a specific piece of equipment.
5. Wealth of Information on Nutrition
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program is more than just a workout template… it is a complete package that also includes a detailed nutrition program.
The 251-page ebook covers everything you need to know about gaining weight, and how to do it. They offer you tips on how to eat more, eat less (if needed), how to adjust your diet weekly based on your progress, and how to progress once you complete the initial phases.
3 Negatives of Outlift’s Bony to Beastly Program
Below are three negatives of Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program.
1. Long-Term Commitment
While this may not be some individuals who understand progress takes months, some lifters suffer from serious training program ADD (meaning they cannot simply stick to a program for more than 8 weeks at a time).
If you know you are someone who cannot commit to a program for 4-5 months straight or are hesitant about starting such a long-term program, this might be an issue.
That said, that repetitive, long-term nature is also what makes this program very effective at developing muscle growth and strength, and as a beginner or any level lifter, real progress takes much longer than most people think.
2. Not Designed for Advanced Lifters
While this program can definitely produce results for anyone who sticks to it properly, it most likely isn’t the most effective program at increasing muscle mass and strength for non-beginners. Non-beginners may find the programming too basic, almost too basic. The lack of systematic progressions of intensity, training volumes, and training frequencies may limit overall growth for more serious lifters who are also willing to commit to a harder training program.
3. Minimal Emphasis on Maximal Strength Development
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program is geared primarily for beginners, which would make sense why the development of maximal strength is not a main programming concern.
For beginners and intermediate lifters, it is more advantageous and recommended to first develop muscle hypertrophy and movement technique prior to pushing towards true strength maximums.
That said, for non-beginners who are looking to really push strength, this program is not meant for that.
It could be a good beginner program to use prior to a more advanced strength program, but I would not recommend this to an intermediate or advanced strength athlete due to lack of maximal strength emphasis.
Who is Outlift’s Bony to Beastly Program For?
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program is a solid option for any beginner lifter looking to gain lean body mass, strength, and do it while expanding their workout IQ.
This long-term program focused on five foundational movement patterns (the squat, the hinge, the press, the pull, and the carry), and integrates modalities like bodyweight training, dumbbells, barbells, and cables to help progress you in a way that will build muscle and optimize progress over time.
This is also a great option for lifters who can commit to a longer training process and are not easily swayed by wanting to do random workouts because they get workout ADD.
But, before you jump on the program, make sure you consider the drawbacks listed above.
My main concerns for the program is:
(1) that Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program lacks appeal for more advanced lifters as it places little emphasis on maximal strength development over time.
(2) can be very challenging for lifters who are not well versed in lifting as a whole, as it requires a basic understanding how pushing yourself to near failure, but not to failure. This can be challenging for some beginners to grasp at first, however this is also simply part of the beginner process, regardless of the program.
(3) that Outlift’s Bony to Beastly program is a LONG training program (25-weeks), much longer than some beginners can mentally commit to starting out.
Outlift’s Bony to Beastly Program – Final Recommendation
This program is a great training program for beginner and beginner-intermediate lifters who are looking for a program that progressively ramps up the complexity and difficulty over time to help them increase lean body mass, strength, and workout IQ.
That said, if you are an advanced lifter, you may find the program to be too basic and not account for your individual needs.
While this may also be a negative for some, the high amount of information (training and nutrition) provided in this program will often result in great results.
Lastly, I would suggest that this program is ideal for beginner lifters who are looking to develop muscle mass, strength, and baseline understanding of complex movement patterns.
Final Program Review Score…
9.1 out of 10
For those reasons, I really think this program hits the mark across the board for most beginner lifters who are looking for realistic results, without having to make drastic changes in their lifestyle and schedule (3-day per week workout program).
Additionally, the nutrition recommendations and program is supported by science and does not require any fad dieting, supplements or gimmick (unlike Kinobody’s Programs).
For most other individuals though, who may want to put more work in and/or are not beginners (or intermediates who can only train a few days a week), I recommend you check out the Fitbod App, as it allows you to choose programs based on your level, training schedules, and goals, and customizes your workouts weekly to adapt to your previous performances to improve your results every week.
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