Looking to switch up your training routine? Maximize performance, strength, and body composition with this 6-week high-intensity functional bodybuilding program.
Workout Summary

Workout Description

High-intensity functional bodybuilding (HIFB) is a hybrid training protocol, which combines traditional bodybuilding, high-intensity functional movements, and interval training to optimize body composition and maximize performance. Personally, conventional bodybuilding splits and steady-state cardio can become monotonous and boring. Although splits are extremely effective in building more muscle and strength, they’re not always the most sustainable and challenging training protocols.

Training with intent is crucial if you want to maximize your athleticism, body composition, and training performance. Burning body fat while building more muscle mass aka “clean bulking” is one of the most sought after, yet difficult body aesthetics to achieve. If total body recomposition is your goal, HIFB will turn up the intensity and increase the workout volume to get you shredded in no time.

Recommended: Need help building muscle? Take our Free Muscle Building Course

What is High-Intensity Functional Bodybuilding?

The main word in functional training is function. Function means purpose, therefore, functional training is training for a specific purpose. That purpose being to build more strength, balance, and stability recruited to perform common movement patterns while performing everyday activities. Now, combine function with bodybuilding. Bodybuilding is linear and primarily focused on body aesthetics by maximizing hypertrophy. The purpose is focused on strength and definition, by optimizing body composition. In other words, your intent is to look good.

High intensity functional bodybuilding combines three different training modalities: traditional bodybuilding, interval training, and functional fitness into one hybrid training protocol. This is created to maximize performance, functional movement, mobility, strength, and optimize composition.

HIFB is programmed to enhance all aspects of human performance, focused on strength, mobility, and aesthetics, through higher volume isolated, compound, and constantly varied movements, without the traditional Olympic lifts, found in similar training modalities such as high-intensity functional training, aka CrossFit.

HIFB training incorporates compound movements; multi-jointed movements, which require more than one muscle group to be used throughout an exercise. Compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, and push press can improve mobility, strength, and functionality. These types of exercises, mimic specific movement patterns used for everyday activities such as hip rotation, muscle stabilizers, flexor muscles, and ensure your joints are moving through a full range of motion. How often do you pull down weight from above your head, behind your neck, similar to a military press? Probably never. How often do you lift something heavy off the floor? Most likely every day.

With high-intensity functional bodybuilding, you get the best of everything, and more bang for your buck, in one training protocol.

Related: 6 Week High-Intensity Functional Training Workout

Swolverine athlete doign barbell back squats

5 Day High-Intensity Functional Bodybuilding Workout

Bodybuilding is conventionally performed utilizing an intensity between 50-70%, with 3-5 sets, of 6-12 reps, with 1–3-minute rest intervals. Bodybuilding is systematically designed to increase gains through periodization, ensuring progressive overload, performed with traditional split training isolating specific muscle groups, designated to certain days (i.e. back and biceps, chest and triceps, legs and shoulders). HIFB incorporates this same type of training split, but with higher volume, increased intensity, shorter rest intervals, and added supersets with accelerated functional movements.

Related: 7 Ways to Make Your Workouts More Challenging

HIFB is performed at 80-90% intensity, 3-5 sets, 10-16 reps with .30-1-minute rest intervals. Fundamentally bodybuilding and HIFB are very similar, the only difference is the training objective. Instead of just aesthetics, we’re adding an aspect of athleticism and performance.

This high-intensity functional bodybuilding program follows a standard split, 5 days per week, with two rest days, and is to be followed for 6 weeks. This program follows a linear progression, meaning as time goes on, you will need to increase the load in order to build more muscle and stack on gains. The load is not as important as hitting the prescribed rep volume – every rep counts. Despite the weight you choose, make sure you’re hitting the volume.

Workout Schedule

  • Day 1 - Shoulders and Legs
  • Day 2 - Chest and Triceps
  • Day 3 - Back and Biceps
  • Day 4 - Shoulders and Legs
  • Day 5 - Back and Chest
  • Day 6 - Rest
  • Day 7 - Rest

Day 1 -  Shoulders and Legs

Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Kettlebell Z Press 4 10 each side
1b. Burpee to Pull Up 4 8
2a. Barbell Deadlift 4 12
2b. Alternating Kettlebell Box Step Ups 4 30
2c. Kettlebell Swings 4 10
3a. Single Arm Overhead Kettlebell Walking Lunge 4 12 each side
3b. Toes to Bar or Hanging Knee Raise 4 10
3c. Ground to Overhead with Plate 4 12
4a. Squats 4 10
4b. Barbell Shoulder Press 4 10
5a. Dumbbell Lateral Raise 4 12 each side
5b. Band Pull Apart 4 10
5c. Single Leg Split Squat 4 10 each side

Day 2 - Chest and Triceps

Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Tricep Rope Push Down 4 16
1b. Burpee to Overhead Plate Raise 4 10
2a. Tricep Bar Pushdown 4 14
2b. Narrow Push Up 4 15
2c. Air Squats 4 20
3a. Cable Flys 4 12
3b. Bench Step Ups 4 20
3c. Single Arm Pull Down 4 20 each side
4a. Incline Dumbbell Press 4 10
4b. Bench V-Ups 4 20
5a. Dumbbell Bench Press 4 10
5b. Burpees 4 10
5c. Bench Dips 4 12

Day 3 - Back and Biceps

Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Lat Pull Down 4 14
1b. Dumbbell Curls 4 10 each side
2a. Seated Row 4 14
2b. Rope Curls 4 14
3a. Rope Face Pulls 4 12
3b. Narrow Push Up 4 15
3c. Bent Over Dumbbell Curls 4 10 each side
4a. Strict Pull Ups 4 10
4b. Toes to Bar or Hanging Knee Raises 4 10
5a. Bent Over Single Arm Kettlebell Row 4 10 each side
5b. EZ Bar Bicep 21s 4 21s
5c. V-Ups 4 14

Day 4 -  Shoulders and Legs

Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Standing Kettlebell Press 3 12
1b. Barbell Front Squat 3 6 (heavy)
2a. Barbell Deadlifts 3 6 (heavy)
2b. Burpees 3 1 minute
3. Ball Slams 1 100 for time
4a. Front Rack Kettlebell Walking Lunge 3 20
4b. Toes to Bar or Hanging Knee Raise 3 8
4c. Dumbbell Lateral Raise to Front Raise 3 12 each side
5. Wall Balls* 4 25
6. Handstand Push Up Against Wall** 4 10


Day 5 - Back and Chest

Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Lat Pull Down 4 12
1b. Push Ups 4 20
2a. Dumbbell Single Arm Row 4 10 each side
2b. Dumbbell Bench Press 3 8 (heavy)
3a. Close Grip Lat Pull Down 4 12
3b. Dumbbell Incline Press 3 8 (heavy)
4a. Rear Delt Cable Crossover 4 10
4b. Dumbbell Flys 4 10
5a. Bent Over Barbell Row 3 12
5b. Bench Press 3 12
5c. Box Jump 3 10

Swolverine athlete doing toes to bar.

Supplement Recommendations

Nutrition and supplementation play fundamental roles in optimizing your body composition. Training and nutrition are two co-dependent variables, and if you’re missing one, then you’ll never reach your goals. A diet consisting of high-quality lean proteins, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats, and the right supplements to optimize your training and fill the gaps, will help and build more muscle and optimize your performance.

Pre-Workout Meal



Post-Workout Meal

Swolverine products banner.

Posted on: Tue, 04/09/2024 - 22:08

Do the numbers indicate that the exercised are to be performed in a superset?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 04/10/2024 - 18:17

That is correct, Shilah. 1a and 1b are a superset. Same for 2a and 2b, and so on. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Sun, 03/03/2024 - 16:10

Can I incorporate some sprints as cardio into this program 2-3 times a week?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 03/12/2024 - 19:13

I wouldn't do them right after workouts, and I would make sure you get one complete day off a week. However, I don't see a problem with it, Nick. Do one on a rest day and the other later in the day after one of the upper body workouts.

david rowan
Posted on: Mon, 05/22/2023 - 05:15

This workouts makes no sense at all. Theres no flow to it, theres close grip press ups on back and bicep day, there random leg exercises in odd dyas? With no explanation, and its not very functional, for a program designed for functional fitness?

Paul C.
Posted on: Mon, 04/17/2023 - 16:51

I am 73 and still love to workout. I am trying to be sensible and make the right decision if there is one. I have been bouncing around trying different bodybuilding routines but I believe I am losing my motivation with my results and just how I feel. Currently I have been doing Jonathon M. Sullivan's strength training after 40 to work on strength improvement and maintenance but I came across this 5 day HIFB workout that seems attractive and challenging to me.I got knocked off my motorcycle last year by a deer and I lost strength and mobility. There are some movements like burpees to plate raise overhead that will take me some time to master but challenging. I am back to 100 one arm kb swings with a 44lb. so anything is possible. Your opinion on which direction I should lean towards would be very much appreciated. I have always been more interested in function,
strength, mobility etc. then a beach body look.
Thank you,

Julius F.
Posted on: Sun, 06/12/2022 - 21:19

can I do this program Beyond 6 weeks?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 06/14/2022 - 12:54

You sure can, Julius.

Posted on: Wed, 06/01/2022 - 09:17

I did not understand why on the day of chest and triceps there are leg exercises and on the day of back and biceps there are chest / triceps exercises ?!

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sun, 06/05/2022 - 07:30

Can't speak for the author on this one, but my guess is that the focus was to simply stimulate those areas as well. The main focus of the workouts are targeted thoroughly.

Posted on: Sun, 11/07/2021 - 12:49

Anyone out there run this program?

Santiago Guila
Posted on: Wed, 09/29/2021 - 14:54

Do you recommend following this plan while cutting? Or is it intended for bulking/maintenance?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 10/13/2021 - 16:02

Hi, Santiago. You can follow this program while cutting.

Posted on: Mon, 08/16/2021 - 10:01

What’s the recommended rest time between each set in a superset?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Mon, 08/16/2021 - 10:03

Karim -

Rest should be around 30-60s

Posted on: Tue, 08/03/2021 - 16:25

Do you pick an A,B or C
or do them all?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 15:34

Brett - see original response below.

Posted on: Thu, 07/22/2021 - 03:36

What do the letters next to the numbers represent? Is it an option of doing either 1a, 1b, 1c?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Thu, 07/22/2021 - 09:13

Hey Edgar - those indicate supersets

Posted on: Tue, 08/03/2021 - 16:22

Do you pick an A, B, or C
or do them all?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 15:33

Brett -

You'll want to complete all the exercises in alphabetical order. For example, complete 1a, 1b, and then 1c, as a superset.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Sat, 08/13/2022 - 08:10

Do 1a and 1b back-to-back, then rest briefly (30-45 seconds). After you finish the sets for those two exercises, move on to 2a and 2b. Do those back-to-back with no rest as well. If there is an a,b, and c, then do all three without rest until you finish c. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Fri, 08/05/2022 - 08:05

But the mentioned time for the whole excersice is 60 minutes. How are we supposed to do all the excersices from 1 to 5 and also doing at the same time a,b,c ?