The Best Muscle-Building Programs

(Review of the Top-Rated, Best-Selling Pre-Made Bulking Programs for Beginners to Maximize Results in 2018)

My Top 2 Hand-Picked Programs; One of Them Changed My Life

Last Updated: Feb 1, 2018

When starting a new program to either bulk up (ie build lean muscle) or cut (ie burn fat whilst maintaining muscle mass) you basically have two choices:

  1. Design Your Own Strength Training & Nutrition Program
  2. Follow An Existing Pre-Made Program Created by a True Pro

If you're new to lifting and nutrition, and you want to get the absolute best and fastest results, the latter is obviously ideal because it can take a LOT of proper research, body analysis, and trial and error to effectively design a good program from the ground up.

There is a science to lifting and building new muscle mass, and many variables to take into account to compile an efficient program based on your specific goals and where you are now.

So bottom line is - you need a well thought-out, proven program that also targets the EXACT goal you're after. 

Not everyone can afford a personal trainer to create a custom program for them, so the next best option is to find a credible muscle-building program online (if building muscle mass is your goal; otherwise see the fat burning program reviews instead).

Since there are so many programs out there, and many average/so-so/overpriced programs out there, I've narrowed down what I believe are the best, most effective, and most comprehensive, based on my personal experience using multiple programs and strategies from multiple trainers and coaches during my decade-plus experience in fitness.

Of course you don't NEED a full-fleged, in-depth and comprehensive program like the top-rated ones below to build muscle and get the body of your dreams. But if you're serious about results, and don't want to waste a week (or heck, a day) in the gym and you want to get your training, nutrition and supplement plan absolutely on-point like the pro lifters out there, following a properly structured pre-made program from credible authors (who walk their talk) can be a wise move to propel you to greater, faster results.

PS - Feel free to reach out personally to me here if you have any questions about whether or not these programs may or may not be suitable for your specific situation and/or goals and I'll try help steer you in the right direction as best I can.

#1 Muscle-Building / Bulking Program for Beginners:

The Body Transformation Blueprint

Recommended For: Skinny guys wanting to bulk up & pack on lean muscle mass as effectively as possible and without getting fat.

Author: Sean Nal

Format: In-Depth Workout & Meal Plans (print-friendly) + Bonuses

Rating: 5/5

Program Summary: (read the full review here)

The Body Transformation Blueprint by Sean Nal is the full digital training + nutrition program I personally used myself shortly after first starting out in the gym.

Before randomly stumbling on this program online one fateful day I was trying a few different workouts in the gym and simply eating based on friends advice and advice in random forums online, but my results were super slow and average.

I was totally confused how the heck a super scrawny noob like me would ever pack on enough muscle mass to properly overhaul my physique and my life for the better.

After only a few weeks of saying "f*** it" and committing to giving 100% to this program, I started seeing way more noticeable results, and that initial success sparked more motivation to keep going.

After a few months, some peers were a little shocked at how drastically I had changed my physique in a relatively short period of time.

I had made some serious progress and credit goes to this super in-depth and invaluable science-backed program. As well as detailed workout and exercise guides and nutrition meal plans for different caloric intakes, it covers crucial details that make all the difference; details that the far majority of muscle gain programs I've seen are lacking.

I owe a lot of thanks to Sean Nal for kick-starting my career in health and fitness in a BIG way. Here are Sean's own results by implementing his perfected workout program:

You could say placing this program in the top spot is bias because it's the one I've used myself, but I've used, tested and studied many different programs over the years and this one genuinely stands out for the beginner looking to cut through all the noise and get to the real principles, routines and nutrition plans that have been proven to work time and time again for many guys around the world.

As for choosing between this program and Vince's program mentioned below - they're tough to split as both programs are similar and both based on effective, science-based principles and philosophies.

Both programs also include various specific workout and eating routines that have been proven to work for others time and time again over the years. Choosing between the two comes down to personal preference such as which teacher you relate to more or which program you feel you could stick to more easily.

Read my full review of this program here, or check out the program at Sean's official site here.


  • The most comprehensive and detailed of all the programs recommended with thorough, specific guides on training, dieting and supplementing
  • Many solid bonus modules, videos and various meal plans
  • Included email coaching


  • Not for the impatient - If totally new it may take a week to digest and understand the many (important) bodybuilding principles taught in this meaty program

About the Author

The author of the Body Transformation Blueprint, Sean Nal, is a best-selling fitness author, sought after coach and natural bodybuilder responsible for helping hundreds of thousands of average, everyday people from all over the world to build more muscle, faster, easier and without gaining excess body fat.

#2 Muscle-Building / Bulking Program for Beginners:

No-Nonsense Muscle Building

Author: Vince Delmonte

Recommended For: Skinny guys wanting to bulk up & pack on lean muscle mass as effectively as possible and without getting fat.

Format: In-Depth Workout & Meal Plans (print-friendly) + Bonuses

Rating: 4/5

Program Summary:

Vince Delmonte's best-selling digital training program No Nonsense Muscle Building is another complete and thorough step by step guide to the body of your dreams which contains all the information and action plans that you need to immediately get started and efficiently get the best results of your life.

This is the program that Vince personally used to transform himself from a very weak, paper-thin long distance runner into a fitness model champion, and the program has gone on to help tens of thousands worldwide to create their ultimate physique. The before and after shots of guys who have read and applied his program speak for themselves.

About The Author:

Vince knows what it takes to build muscle and overcome muscle unfriendly genes in the shortest time possible. He was so skinny growing up, he earned the nickname Skinny Vinny. He competed in endurance sports like cross country running and middle-distance track and even represented Canada at the World Triathlon Championships.

Ten years of competitive endurance training did not improve his chances of overcoming his muscle unfriendly genetics. Fortunately, when Vince finished his running career he pursued the world of bodybuilding and with some help from his "skinny guy savior" -- a natural pro bodybuilder from his his church who guided him -- Vince packed on an incredible 41-pounds of lean muscle mass in exactly 24-weeks. Without drugs, bogus supplements and only three to four workouts a week:

Vince's own transformation from practicing what he preaches

Vince climbed the scale from a scrawny 149 pound runner to a 190 pound Pro Fitness Model. His skinny-to-muscular transformation story is the most publicized story in the world. Ever since his dramatic transformation, Vince has dedicated his life to helping 1,000,000 skinny guys and gals experience the same dramatic transformation he did by the year 2020. 

Vince has an Honors Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario, PICP Certified, and has been a trainer for more than ten years. Vince's work has been featured in Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Reps,, Inside Fitness, FitnessX, Ironman, Fit&Firm, World Physique, PowerHouse and dozens other publications.

Learn more about Vince's program at VinceDelmonteFitness.


  • Another solid, credible program that teaches the basics of gaining muscular weight without getting fat
  • Specific routines and meal plans
  • Backed by tons of testimonials and transformation before and after pics
  • Simple to follow and quick to read


  • Not as deep as the Body Transformation Blueprint which is better suited for the curious wanting to know every detail of every topic