Bodybuilding Specialist

Master the tools and techniques to shape and define your client’s bodies like never before. Be known as the certified authority in preparing athletes for everything from high-level bodybuilding to physique competitions.

You’ll get everything you need to know to build better bodies:

  •  Administer performance and body composition tests
  •  Assess and monitor bodybuilders fitness level and stage readiness
  •  Create and customize training programs for size and symmetry
  •  Deliver strategies for improved recovery from training sessions
  •  Objectively evaluate the efficacy of popular training myths
  •  Apply optimum nutrition and supplement strategies

Bodybuilding Specialist

Save $200 + Free Shipping
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List Price


1 Payment


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  • Study at your own pace
  • Up to 12 months to complete
  • Online exam at home
  • Unlimited educational support
  • Amazing customer support
  • Nationally accredited
*$200 off does not apply to CPR certification. Free Shipping credit worth $25.

Bodybuilding Specialist

This distance education course covers training, recovery, motivation, and nutritional strategies to prepare the personal trainer to work with bodybuilders. Upon completion of the ISSA’s bodybuilding course, you will have all the knowledge necessary to prepare an athlete for a high-level bodybuilding or physique competition. But many who take this course will never go down that path; for these trainers, the course will provide essential information that can help them train the “everyday” clients who want to look and feel their best. All trainers can benefit from the information in this bodybuilding course, not only individuals looking to enter the sport of bodybuilding!

  • Study at your own pace with flexible, online learning to fit your busy schedule.
  • Pass your certification exam online wherever you're most comfortable.
  • Enjoy unlimited educational support from your team who loves fitness too!
  • Rest easy with great customer support before, during and after your certification.
  • Take pride in knowing ISSA is nationally accredited by the DEAC.
Need lower monthly payments? Call our enrollment advisors for help!

Here's what you'll learn

Our course material is continually updated so you can be sure you're receiving the most accurate and up-to-date information available.

Course Objective
  • Understand how the principles of muscle anatomy, kinesiology, and biomechanics apply to program design
  • Identify resistance training strategies and modalities that can be used to optimize muscle hypertrophy and strength
  • Analyze the pros and cons of various aerobic strategies as they relate to an individual bodybuilder's goals
  • Identify the factors that contribute to muscle hypertrophy
  • Describe exercises intended to increase strength and hypertrophy
  • Identify the causes of overtraining and injury
  • Apply the principles of basic nutrition and supplementation as they pertain to athletes' health and fitness goals
  • Understand how ergogenic aids can be used to improve performance and the health risks that they present
  • Identify the sports psychology strategies and techniques that assist athletes in achieving the mental preparedness necessary for optimal performance in bodybuilding
Course Outcomes
  • Administer performance tests and body composition tests to properly assess and monitor bodybuilders' fitness level and stage readiness
  • Customize the components of a training program according to the foundational training phase, hypertrophy training phase, and cutting training phase needs
  • Articulate strategies that can be used to ensure that athletes have optimal recovery from training sessions
  • Objectively evaluate the efficacy of popular training strategies
  • Apply nutrition and supplement strategies according to the needs of an athlete during the foundational training phase, hypertrophy training phase, and cutting training phase

What's included in this program

Chapter Download Icon
Hardcopy and Online Main Course Text

The main course text includes everything you need to earn an ISSA Bodybuilding Specialist. The course material is continually updated with new information so you can be sure you're receiving the most up-to-date information available.

Final Exam Icon
Online and Home Study Exam

ISSA's certification exam solidifies your proficiency as a fitness professional. Choose a paper-and-pencil exam or utilize our secure online testing portal. One No-cost Retest (if necessary)

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Study Guide and Workbook

This handy reference guide walks you through the course unit-by-unit, allowing you to gain a better understanding of personal trainer concepts.

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Online Student Forum

Our online forum is where you can post client or business challenges and receive guidance from our on-staff Master Trainers and members of the ISSA family worldwide.

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Online Exercise Lab (250 animated exercises!)

ISSA and Hyperstrike provide you with an exclusive online exercise lab. 3D animation and three different angles ensure that proper form and technique are a breeze!

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Practice Examination and Section Quizzes

The practice exam and quizzes test your understanding of the materials; so while you're reading you're preparing for the exam at the same time.

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Free Professional Website

All ISSA members get a free website to support their personal trainer careers online. Five pages of professionally designed, easily editable, fully hosted content is included. Choose from nine designs and put your best face forward online!

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Unlimited Educational Support

All ISSA students have access to unlimited educational support. If you have questions about the course materials, our on-staff professors can guide you through. This support continues even after you earn your personal trainer certification.

How the Bodybuilding Specialist works

1. Get Instant Access and Start Studying Right Away

Enroll and you will instantly gain access to your online course materials. We will also ship you the hard copies of the textbooks so you can study on-the-go. You have 4 months to complete the course but if you need more time, you can apply for a free 2 month extension. Most students finish the course in 8 to 10 weeks, with an hour or two of studying a day.

Take Quiz
2. Complete Quizzes and Test Your Comprehension

We offer online practice quizzes throughout the course to test your comprehension. Once you complete the quizzes, you'll gain access to the online final exam.

Take Exam
3. Take the Open-Book, Untimed Final Exam from Anywhere

The final exam is online, open-book and untimed. It can be taken from the comfort of your home and completed during multiple sessions. You can also change and answer, at any time, before you submit your exam. After you pass your final exam we help you plan your next move. We also provide you with a business guide and a free professional website to jump-start your fitness career.


The ISSA is the first and only fitness organization in the U.S. accredited by a federally recognized agency.