Ever want to look like Captain America, Hulk, or the Flash? Well, with Kinobody’s “Superhero Bulking” Program, you can attempt to do just that.
Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program offers a creative way to help beginner and advanced lifters achieve a muscular physique with high amounts of strength and physical abilities. This 32-week (8 months) muscle-building program has you lifting 3-day per week with the overall goal of gaining muscle and adding size specifically to the “Superhero physique muscles” (the chest, shoulders, and arms).
Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program is a long-term program that offers lifters a straightforward program to attack muscle groups in a phasic manner using exercises and training techniques widely accessible to most people.
In addition to the program, Kinobody offers nutrition insight on how to gain muscle and minimize fat gain throughout this bulking program. It also offers a wide variety of bonus workout material, workout substitutions, and exercise demonstration videos to further enhance the lifter’s experience and results.
That said, I did find some flaws in Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program that are worth discussing more in-depth.
Why This May Not Be The Best Program For You…
Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Advanced Muscle Building Program is all about the idea that you need to be proportional and be able to use the muscle you have.
According to Kinobody, their program differentiates themselves from bodybuilding plans geared for muscle growth because they want you to stay in a lean state year-round, and enjoy the process of doing so.
As Kinobody put it:
“Bodybuilders generally spend most of the year in a bulky state. And when they’re not overweight, they’re miserable dieting for long periods of time to get ripped on stage. It isn’t a true “lifestyle.“
While there is some merit to their statements about finding the balance between having a physique and being overly muscular where it can get in the way of you doing things, there are some flaws in that line of thinking and few things really stood out to me, such as;
1. The program itself lacks variety (you essentially do the same lower body exercises each workout for the entire program).
2. The program has an underwhelming amount of lower body-specific training volumes, which he does state is so you do not get “chunky, overly muscular legs”.
3. The program may not be the best program for an intermediate or advanced lifter looking to maximize their muscle growth
4. The nutrition information is pretty basic and doesn’t allow for variety or individual differences.
Let’s dive deeper into each of these reasons below.
EXERCISES AND WORKOUTS GET REPETITIVE
Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program consists of four phases, each eight weeks long.
Every week, you perform three workouts (chest and back, legs and abs, and shoulders and arms). Week to week, you perform the same exercises, for eight straight weeks, with the same rep ranges and advanced techniques.
In all phases (1-4), the leg day is essentially the same in terms of the exercises and the order in which you do them, which means for the better part 8 months ⅓ of your workouts will be nearly identical. This can get very repetitive, and actually stall some progress with muscle growth.
That said, lower body training seems to not be a priority with Kinobody’s programming, so if this doesn’t concern you then so be it.
With all that said, there are surely more effective ways of gaining muscle, and offering variety and logical progressions over the course of an 8 month period without having you repeat the same workouts, movements, and rep ranges for months on end.
If you are someone who is looking to have success on a program that is less than five days per week yet still offers variety and an effective strategy to gaining muscle, you should check out the Fitbod app. With the Fitbod training app, you can choose the training frequency that meets your needs and find an effective workout regimen that will help you reach your goals.
LESS EMPHASIS ON LEG TRAINING
Training the legs isn’t something most of Kinobody’s programs seem to be highly keen on, with the Superhero Bulking program stating that it specifically doesn’t focus on them as much because it would make your legs look “short and stumpy.” Furthermore, they state,
“If we build up our legs too much–this is actually quite easy to do–they will look short and stumpy. We’ll have the inevitable thigh chafe and an excessive feminine sweep along the outside of our quads. Worst of all, we’ll be forced to rock awful baggy pants … we won’t fit in anything else!”
If you are someone who doesn’t quite agree with that statement or is actually looking for a program that develops symmetry across the lower body and the upper body, then this program clearly doesn’t align with that vision (as they have clearly stated).
If you are, however, really after just increasing your upper body size (mainly chest, shoulders, and arms), this program may be for you.
If you’re a beginner lifter with less than two years of strength training experience), then I recommend starting with the Fitbod app (click to get 3 free workouts). The app takes into consideration several data points that learn how you should be progressing based on your logged training history.
LACKS TRAINING VOLUME AND PROGRESSIONS FOR THOSE LOOKING TO REALLY PUSH MUSCLE GROWTH
Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program has you training three days a week, with each muscle group being trained once per week (with the exception of the “specialization” muscle group per each phase, which is trained twice per week).
While the training frequency may suffice for beginner lifters looking to maximize muscle growth, the overall amount of training volume (sets per week) per muscle group is unbalanced and towards the lower end of most people minimal effective volumes – maximum recoverable volume ranges (12-18 total sets on average).
Throughout the Kinobody Superhero Bulking Program, Kinobody supplies you with a few training programs that can span over 8 months if done consecutively (Phase, 1-2-3, and a Bonus 4th Phase, each 8 weeks in length).
At no point in this stage does any of the training volumes per muscle group break the minimum acceptable volumes, with most muscles (besides shoulders and chest), being trained only 4-8 sets per week (well below the maintenance volumes of 8-10 total sets per week).
Furthermore, and most alarming, is the lack of emphasis on lower body training and back work throughout the program.
Most programs offer 4-6 total sets per week (on average) per muscle group, which is shockingly low if you are truly training to gain muscle mass.
Additionally, in phases where a muscle group is not the specialization muscle (for example in Phases 1 and 2, the arms are not the emphasis and are only trained with 3 total sets per week, which is exceedingly low on the growth scale, and actually may be nearing muscle loss due to lack of training.
If you are someone who is looking to maximize muscle growth, you need to push the volumes more to ensure you fall within the training volume norms for most muscle groups (or at least touch the lower end of the thresholds). While training 3 days a week does make it more challenging, you certainly can add a few more sets or another day to really take your training and results to the next level.
If you are someone who is looking to really maximize overall growth instead of hitting minimum thresholds, I would recommend checking out the Fitbod app, where you can get workouts that may better suit your needs as a more advanced lifter looking to build top-end muscle and strength.
NUTRITION RECOMMENDATIONS ARE BASIC
Kinobody’s Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program offers some nutritional guidelines to help you improve your muscle growth.
However, the recommendations seem to be very rudimentary for people who are not beginners (as we know, beginners can improve across most areas out of gates daily easily). Kinobody recommends eating a few hundred calories more than maintenance calories, with some days having you hit a few days under maintenance calories to keep body fat gain down during the bulk.
This is sound advice, however, it can be difficult for beginners or even people who have never bulked before to determine those numbers.
Additionally, nutritional needs are an evolving aspect throughout this program, which Kinobody fails to mention that you will most likely need to manipulate the numbers on a weekly basis to gain muscle and minimize body fat during this bulking program.
While these recommendations may work for beginners who have very little muscle mass or little foundation to build upon, these may not support more intermediate and advanced lifters looking to maximize muscle growth.
To recap, this is why I feel you should go with the Fitbod app instead of Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program:
Allows for you to choose programs that are suited for intermediate and advanced lifting and
Provides you with numerous programs to help drive your top end muscle growth
Provides you with in-app videos on proper lifting technique and form
Modifies your workouts daily to adjust to your individual performance week to week, to allow for better recovery and progress
Now, let’s dive into the full review of Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program.
PROGRAM REVIEW – KINOBODY’S SUPERHERO BULKING PROGRAM
Below you will find my full program review of Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program.
ABOUT THE CREATOR – GREG O’GALLAGHER
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Greg O’Gallagher is a popular Youtuber and Instagram fitness influencer known for his aesthetic training and diet programs for men and women, such as Greek God 2.0, Superhero Bulking, Goddess Toning, Kinobooty, and Warrior Shredding programs.
WHAT IS KINOBODY’S SUPERHERO BULKING PROGRAM
Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program is a robust program that offers a 32-week training approach that consists of four phases, each lasting 8 weeks. Each week consists of three workouts, ranging from 60-75 minutes approximately in the gym.
Within each phase of the program (1-4), the plan dedicated slightly more training volume to develop a muscle group greater. The first phase is dedicated to the chest and back. The second phase is dedicated to the shoulders, and the third phase is for the arms. The fourth phase, called the “Bonus” phase, attacks most of the upper body to a great extent equally. Regardless of the phase however, all muscle groups are trained in varying amounts throughout the week.
The program itself employs two main techniques to drive muscle growth. The first, is reverse pyramid training, which has a lifter build up to a heavy maximum for a given rep range with a given exercises, then take some weight off and perform another set at a slightly higher rep range. Finally, they will perform one more set with even less weight, for a slightly higher rep range. For example:
Weighted Pull Ups: 3 sets x 4-6, 6-8, 8-10 reps (reverse pyramid training).
The other technique used throughout this program is rest-pause training, which can be an effective way at increasing muscle growth and fullness. To do this, the lifter performs a given exercise for the given amount of weights to near failure, then rest a very short period (10-20 seconds), and immediately go back to performing the more reps with the same weight. For example:
Incline Dumbbell Flyes: 1 set x 12-15 reps + 4 sets x 3-5 reps (rest-pause training)
In addition to the 32-week training program, Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program offers nutrition guidelines for lifters looking to increase muscle over the entirety of the program. Kinobody recommends a series of progressively getting a few hundred calories above maintenance levels, with periodic fasting on rest or lighter days to keep body fat at bay. While there is little evidence to support this being any more of an effective bulking plan to gain muscle over the long term, it can be one strategy used for some individuals. Nonetheless, the recommendations are straightforward however lack individualization.
Program Delivery & Training Variables
Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program is delivered to you via Teachable, an online software that is used commonly with educational content and courses. The program is a robust offering of explainer videos, background information, FAQs, and bonus material like supplemental workouts and nutrition advice.
The program itself is broken down into four, eight-week blocks (phases), each designed to prepare you for the next, which a specific muscle group being focused on more than others.
Phase 1 – Chest and Back
Phase 2 – Shoulders
Phase 3 – Arms
Phase 4 – Bonus (Trains everything slightly more in general, with exception of legs)
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 Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program addresses and/or doesnt’ address each one.
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Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program follows a basic linear progression model, meaning that you come in week to week looking ot increase the loading from last week or the reps you performed (with the same weight as last week). This double progression model allows for some more flexibility in the training program instead of simply just increasing the weight week to week.
Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program follows a three day a week training split, with the first and third sessions training the upper body, and the second session focusing on the lower body, calves, and abs.The upper body muscles that are trained on the first and third days of the week will vary based on the specific phase of the program.
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Kinobody’s Greek God 2.0 program focuses on developing the chest, shoulders, back, and arms (which they describe as the “Superhero Muscles”. The program itself is heavily skewed towards developing the upper body, which from a specificity standpoint does just that.
They use large compound movements like incline presses,pull up, dips, and overhead presses in addition to more isolated exercises like chest flyers and bicep curls to develop muscle growth. The specificity of this really dedicated to doing movements that are easily performed and when done properly can have good returns for most lifters.
However, this program is not a program designed for optimal athetlicicm, strength, or power for more advanced lifters, and underdeliver in overall training volumes for most muscle groups (even with the more aggressive loading and intensity demands).
Kinobody’s Greek God 2.0 program offers beginners a simple and easy to follow program to help them gain muscle and strength using compound movements and isolation exercises. The overall average training volume (weekly sets) is however, low, when compared to some established ranges.That said, the work sets that are performed tend to be on the more intense side of things as they are taken to failure and rep maxes often, however even so, training columns are towards the lower end (or even exceeding low for more muscle groups).
Throughout this program, my biggest concern is that it is under delivering training volume to people, meaning that the training may fall short if you are looking to maximize muscle growth outside of the beginner realm.
Below is a representation of the weekly training volume (sets) per phase, per muscle group. Keep in mind it has been established that levels below 8-10 weekly sets tend to fall within maintenance volumes and are often not optimal ranges for optimal muscle growth.
Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking program has no direct protocols of overload outside of simply having the lifter lift heavier or do a few more reps from week to week. This simple format can be effective for beginners and individuals looking for an easy way to progress and track things, however it is not the most optimal way to do so if you are looking to gain maximal strength over the course of the 32-week training program.
Again, these protocols will work well for beginners since most things do if they are followed consistently, however I do have some reservations when it comes to more advanced lifters looking to maximize muscle growth and strength development.
That said, Kinobody does offer some advanced overloading technique for most movements, such as reverse pyramid sets and rest-pause sets. These are all great ways to apply overload from session to session, and can be very portnet for beginners and more advanced lifters alike.
Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program has low overall training volumes, low training frequency (three days per week), and does not have the lifter lifting above their 90% maxes often (however some movements do have you pushing to failure in the 4-6 rep range, which is close to true 90% maximums for most people.
Unlike the Greek God 2.0 program, this program does have you pushing to near rep maximums on the first set of every exercise. This can, in more advanced lifters, especially the stronger ones, tend to increase neural fatigue, joint and ligament loading if proper technique is not used, and if recovery is not optimal.
That said, the program is three days a week, and allows for higher amounts of recovery between sessions. The biggest concern would be to ensure proper lifting mechanics as you chase heavy rep maxes, which is not fully discussed in the material. Kinobody does offer an exercise vault, which details exercise movements and tutorials, but even some of these exercises are suspect to excessive momentum (swinging weights around) and suspect form.
Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program is designed for beginners and intermediate lifters who want to gain muscle and aesticially, “look like a Superhero”. The program itself is straightforward, yet offers little exercise swaps for individuals who may have issues with some movements. The exercises themselves are extremely common and can be done in most gyms, and are all beginner friendly exercises.
I feel that Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program offers beginners a simple program to get started and progress very easily, however it can be underwhelming in terms of the overall training volume and progressions for non-beginners and does not update on a personalized basis when compared to using a more personalized training app program like the Fitbod app.
3 BENEFITS OF KINOBODY’S SUPERHERO BULKING PROGRAM
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Below are three benefits of Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program.
1. SIMPLE AND STRAIGHTFORWARD WORKOUT STRUCTURE
Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program is basic in nature, which can actually be very beneficial for individuals who tend to overthink and over complicate training.
The workout program is three different workouts per week, each focusing on body part or body part groups. Each session lasts roughly 60 minutes, and consists of 5-6 exercises, each done for 3-5 total sets.
Over the course of each phase, the same exercises are performed and progressions are done very easily by either increasing the weight or increasing the reps (but never both in the same session).
By making things very “simple”, you can help beginners stick to a program for a longer term, which will most likely lead to better results.
2. SETS LIFTER UP TO PUSH THEMSELVES
As stated above, the program is very simple and straightforward, which is exactly what is often needed with beginners in a gym.
Beginners aside, it is refreshing to see a program that even more advanced lifters could vibe with.
The program pushes the intensity and lets lifters work to daily efforts for their first set, which sets the tone for the rest of the sets. In doing this style of training (reverse pyramid training) you allow a lifter to really attack workouts yet still get quality work in.
3. EMPHASIZES COMPOUND AND ISOLATION EXERCISES
Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program incorporates a good mix of compound movements and isolation exercises to increase muscle growth.
Focusing on key compound movements helps maximize general muscle growth and can really help push strength in the process.
The addition of more direct, single-joint exercises, often done after the main compound lifts, is a great addition to further drive muscle growth and target a muscle more directly..
4 NEGATIVES OF KINOBODY’S SUPERHERO BULKING PROGRAM
Below are four negatives of Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program.
1. LACKS SIGNIFICANT TRAINING VOLUME AND FREQUENCY
When analyzing the overall training volumes for each muscle group (see table above), regardless of the phase of specialization, all muscle groups were trained with minimal effective volumes or less, meaning the training volumes may not actually be most optimal for muscle growth for individuals other than beginners.
2. LITTLE EMPHASIS ON LEG TRAINING
Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking Program places little emphasis on lower body training in relation to the shoulders and chest.
This is mainly due to the fact the creators felt that training the legs the same amount as the upper body would result in excessive leg growth (which for anyone who has ever really tried to grow their legs would tell you, isn’t the case).
If you at all think this sounds a bit out of touch, you most certainly will find this program to not be something for you.
The overwhelming amount of written disdain for training the legs, even remotely, leads me to believe this program is 100% targeting the upper body only lifter.
Granted, Kinobody suggests that superheroes don’t have big legs because they are bulking, and that’s why this program trains them in very, very low volumes (to again, look like a superhero).
3. NUTRITION ADVICE IS NOT BEST FOR EVERYONE
Greg offers some nutritional advice that on its face value is sound.
To gain muscle, you need to train hard and eat food. His recommendations are fairly straightforward and include having people eat a few hundred calories more than their maintenance calories per day.
He does suggest eating under maintenance or at maintenance on non-lifting days to also help keep minimize excessive body fat gain. There were some aspects of the nutrition advice that were a bit misleading, however.
To recap, the advice can be a tad misleading and not fully based on some pretty established principles on muscle growth nutrition.
4. WORKOUTS ARE REPETITIVE
Performing workouts in a repetitive manner is actually pretty beneficial for lifts, as it allows for progressive overload and the ability to increase skill and technique under loads over time.
That said, doing the same leg day workout for 32 weeks, for example, might be a tad excessive.
Throughout the program, there is some variety from session to session, however, each phase has you repeating the same workout exercises, in the same order, for the same rep ranges, for eight weeks on end.
Furthermore, the leg day (2nd session of the week) is nearly identical in each phase of the program, which could be an issue if you are someone who was expecting to get some variety in your 32-week workout journey.
WHO IS KINOBODY’S SUPERHERO BULKING PROGRAM FOR?
Kinobody’s Superhero Bulking program is geared for lifters who want to increase size and general strength in their upper body, without gaining too much size in the lower body. The workout program itself is a 3-day plan, offering baseline training volumes that could be a good option for beginners who have minimal time allowances and are looking for a bare bones workout to get some results.
This program is called an “advanced training program”, however, I am skeptical of the overall training volumes, training frequency, and progressions will actually lend themselves to significant muscle growth for intermediate and advanced lifters who already have been training hard for longer periods of time.
KINOBODY’S SUPERHERO BULKING PROGRAM – FINAL RECOMMENDATION
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This program, even with its flaws in delivering higher training volumes for intermediate and advanced lifters, is a viable option for beginners or lifters looking for an easy to follow program that can deliver muscle growth in a simple 3-day program.
The program emphasizes compound movements for muscle growth and strength development, which is also a benefit to this plan. For $99 total, you can get 32-weeks of workouts (albeit you really get four phase, each with the same three workouts… so you really are paying $99 for 9-10 different workouts… because the leg day is nearly identical for all phases).
While it is true that I feel this program may under-deliver significant amounts of muscle growth and strength development for more advanced lifters (mainly due to lower than optimal strength training intensities and low weekly training volumes), I do feel it will at least help maintain or slightly increase strength while allowing for muscle growth and size to occur while staying within recoverable training volumes during times when more serious lifters may not be able to train at their hardest.
Final Program Review Score…
7.6 out of 10
For those reasons, I really think this is a decent starter program for beginners, however, the lower body training needs to be increased some. The simplicity of the training structure, low time investment, and repetitive nature of the workout makes this a very easy to learn and progress week to week training program which can increase training adherence and motivation (seeing progress week to week).
It is important to note that for most other individuals (non-beginners) though, who may want more of a robust training program or one that can rally push their abilities, 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.
Additionally, for individuals who are looking for a more strength-centric training program that also supports muscle growth (rather than the other way around), I recommend you check out the Fitbod App, as it allows you to browse various training programs specific to maximal strength development and customizes your workouts based on your previous performance and results, every week.
Check Out Our Other Program Reviews
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- Jeff Nippard’s UPPER LOWER Size and Strength Program REVIEW
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About The Author
Mike holds a Master’s in Exercise Physiology and a Bachelor’s in Exercise Science. He’s a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), USA Weightlifting Advanced Coach, and has over 10+ years of experience working with collegiate athletes, national level lifters, and beginners alike. Mike is Founder of J2FIT Strength and Conditioning, a growing global training company with gyms in New York City, Cincinnati, and online offering personal training, online custom coaching programs.
Mike has published over 500+ articles on premiere online media outlets like BarBend, BreakingMuscle, Men’s Health, and FitBob, covering his expertise of strength and conditioning, Olympic weightlifting, strength development, fitness, and sports nutrition. In Mike’s spare time, he enjoys the outdoors, traveling the world, coaching, whiskey and craft beer, and spending time with his family and friends.