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Full Body Workout

muscles

Hey Everyone.

Welcome to the site, or Welcome Back!

During this unprecedented time of staying in, it is important to keep our workouts fresh and change things up once in a while. While it is true that being at home should give us the time to work out every day, hitting each body part several times perschedule week, in reality, we don’t always get to our workouts.

Even I, an avid weight lifter and fitness writer, have found it difficult to get into a routine of regular lifting. Since my wife started working from home, and since we work out together, I though ti t would be easier to get the workout done, but that has not been the case.

Don’t get me wrong, I still work out three or four times a week, but I thought it would be more.

The point I am trying to make is that each muscle group was only getting worked out once a week. I needed a change, so I decided to try full body workouts for each session.

Today we will have a look at full body workouts.

Let’s get started!

The Preamble

As I have said before, there are as many ways to train as there are people in the gym. On any given day, at any given gym, every person will be approaching their training in a different way.
gym

But if you asked them all why they were there, almost all of them would tell you the same thing: they want bigger muscles.

The same goes if you surveyed all the people who work out at home, in the comfort and privacy of their own basements. Lifting weights and making your muscles sore is enjoyable for most people, but the muscle soreness isn’t the reason people lift weights.

The reason is the same for home gym workouts: muscle hypertrophy. We all want bigger muscles!muscles

To that end, people either go to the gym or the basement and lift weights. Everyone thinks they are an expert, and yet the variation in the types of routines that are followed is huge!

So who is right? Is a three-day split the best? Five day split? Push/Pull split? Full body workouts? A different muscle every day? And the list could go on and on.

There are many factors that need to be taken into account when you are deciding which muscle building plan is best for you.

This is not an exhaustive list of considerations, but here are some:

Age

Training Experience

Desired Outcome

Genetics

Time Commitment

Commitment to Nutrition

Equipment Availability

Home Gym or Gym Membership

and the list could go on.

The key to deciding which workout routine you are going to follow is first of all deciding what your ultimate goal is.

If you want to enter body building competitions, regardless of what age you may be, then you need to commit to working out two or three times a day, every day, and changing your eating habits drastically.

If you want to lose some weight and get in better shape, then three or four workouts a week will do it along with a drastic change in your eating habits.

diet

If you desire to have larger muscles and a lean body, then you need to commit to great nutrition and five or six workouts a week.

After you have decided on the outcome, you need to put together a plan that takes in all the other factors: age, experience, genetics, commitment level, home or gym, etc.

When you have considered all the factors, then you can decide on a program that will work for you.

I have discussed the various split routines in another article, so today I will discuss, as the title says, full body workouts.

The idea is to work out every muscle group every time you work out. There are advantages to this method, but let me say it is not for beginners. Beginners should start slow and work each muscle group carefully, concentrating on form and building a solid foundation of exercises done correctly with moderate weight loads.

Beginners need to rest each muscle group for at least 48 hours but ideally longer before working it out again so the muscles have a chance to recover and grow and prepare for the next workout.

If you have progressed beyond being a beginner, that is you have been lifting weights for two or more years, then you may want to try a full body workout for a change of pace.

It is intense but you should experience great gains.

Once again, not for the beginner!

The Concept and The Science

The name of the workout pretty much gives away the concept. You will be training all your muscle groups every time you work out. It is really that simple.

There area few benefits to full body workouts.

The first benefit is accelerated recovery. It is a well-known fact that muscle growth occurs during recovery. We need to give restthe muscle enough time to prepare for the next workout. Recent research has shown that the more frequently we train a muscle, the faster our body can adapt and recovery time for the muscle decreases. If we exercise each muscle group several times a week, without unnecessary volume, our bodies will adapt and recover more quickly to be ready work out on the accelerated schedule.

The added bonus is that we may not experience as much muscle soreness as our body adapts to the change in routine, and, since we are recovering faster and working out each muscle group more frequently, we should see greater muscle gains.

The next benefit of full body workouts is you will perform bigger workloads for each muscle group in a shorter period of time.

Let’s use the chest as an example. On a typical 5-day split, the chest would be worked out once. You would perform three exercises for the chest, with four sets of each exercise.

On the first exercise, your chest is rested and ready to go and you can give a 90-200% effort.

On the second exercise, your chest is starting to get tired, so your effort, especially by the time you get to the third or fourth set, is diminished, probably to around 80%.
effort

By the time you get to the third exercise, your chest is spent, and your effort (and repetitions) drops to 70% or less.

Contrast this to a full body workout that you do three times a week. For each workout, the volume is only 1/3 that of the 5-day split, but the frequency is three times greater. That is, the chest is worked out three times a week instead of once.

There are advantages to this. First, you will be 100% ready for your chest exercises and be able to give the best effort.

Also, remember that muscle grows during the recovery time. We are allowing the muscle to recover three times a week instead of once. Hypertrophy will be the result. You should have greater gains. ANd as an added benefit, you will get stronger and should be able to increase your lifts at a greater pace.

The next benefit is that your body will spend more time building muscle. I have mentioned this already, but it bears repeating here. Research has shown that muscle protein synthesis is elevated for 48 hours after we exercise a muscle. If you are following a split routine and exercise your chest once a week, your muscle protein synthesis would look like this:chest day

If you follow the full body workout routine and work out your chest three times a week, your muscle protein synthesis would look like this:chest days

Taken on a greater scale, the split routine would do chest, back, and legs once a week and muscle protein synthesis would look like this:low frequencyAgain, if you are following the full body workout plan and exercising your chest, back, and legs three times a week, your muscle protein synthesis would look like this:high frequency

Remembering that muscle protein synthesis is the equivalent of muscle growth, then it is obvious that a full body workout regime should equate to greater muscle growth over time.

With all of that information, you are probably saying, let’s get on with it!

I agree. Here is my suggestion for a full body workout.

The Workout

Let’s see what the week will look like.

I have included two different workouts that you will alternate on an every other day basis. It will look like this:

Monday – Workout Afit
Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – Workout B

Thursday – Rest

Friday – Workout A

Saturday/Sunday – Rest

Monday – Workout B

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – Workout A

Thursday – Rest

Friday – Workout B

The exact days don’t really matter. It is the pattern that matters. Work out, rest, repeat. It is important to rest a day between workouts and rotate between the two workouts. You will notice that abs and calves are missing from the workouts. These can be added any day or don on the rest days.

The workouts are divided between beginner and Intermediate. Please remember that beginning weight lifters should start on a split routine workout. Beginner here refers to beginning the full body routine lifestyle. You should follow the beginner plan for a few weeks before switching to the intermediate exercises.


Beginner Workout 1

Barbell Bench Press 3 sets 8-10 repetitions 2-3 minutes rest between sets


Barbell Back Squat 3 sets 8-10 repetitions 2-3 minutes rest between sets


Pull-Ups 3 sets 6-10 repetitions 2-3 minutes rest between sets


Lying Hamstring DB Curls 3 sets 10-15 repetitions 2 minutes rest between sets


Standing Overhead Press 3 sets 6-10 repetitions 2-3 minutes rest between sets


Facepulls 2 sets 10-15 repetitions 1.5 minutes rest between sets

Beginner Workout 2


Barbell Deadlift 3 sets 8-10 repetitions 2-3 minutes rest between sets


Incline Dumbbell Press 3 sets 8-12 repetitions 2-3 minutes rest between sets


Bulgarian Split Squat 3 sets 8-10 repetitions(each side) 1 min rest between legs


Chest Supported Row OR Inverted Row 3 sets 8-12 repetitions 2-3 minutes rest between sets


Dumbbell Lateral Raises 3 sets 8-12 repetitions 1.5-2 minutes rest between sets

Intermediate Workout 1


Barbell Bench Press 4 sets 6-8 repetitions 2-3 minutes rest between sets

Barbell Back Squat 4 sets 6-8 repetitions 2-3 minutes rest between sets

Pull-Ups 3 sets 6-10 repetitions 2-3 minutes rest between sets

Lying Hamstring DB Curls 4 sets 8-12 repetitions 2 minutes rest between sets

Standing Overhead Press 3 sets 6-10 repetitions 2-3 minutes rest between sets

Face Pulls 4 sets 10-15 repetitions 1.5-2 minutes rest between sets

Drag Curls 3 sets 8-10 repetitions 1.5-2 rest between sets

Intermediate Workout 2


Barbell Deadlift 4 sets 6-8 repetitions 2-3 minutes rest between sets

Incline Dumbbell Press 4 sets 6-10 repetitions 2-3 minutes rest between sets

Bulgarian Split Squat 4 sets 6-10 repetitions (each side) 1 minute rest between legs

Chest Supported Row OR Inverted Row 4 sets 8-12 repetitions 2-3 minutes rest between sets

Dumbbell Lateral Raises 3 sets 8-12 repetitions 1.5-2 minutes rest between sets

Incline Dumbbell Kickbacks 3 sets 10-15 repetitions 1.5-2 minutes rest between sets

High to Low Chest Cable Flies 3 sets 10-15 repetitions 1.5-2 minutes rest between sets

A detailed description of these exercises is available in other articles I have posted, or from a simple internet search.face pull

My suggestion is four weeks or rounds of the beginner workouts, and then a solid 12-week rotation of the intermediate workouts. At that point, you should assess where you are in comparison to your goals and decide on another round of full body workouts or perhaps some split work, but only a push/pull or a three-day split to ensure the frequency with which your muscles have become accustomed to being worked will remain the same.

Have Fun!

Last Words

So there you have it.

fit

My suggestions are just that – my suggestions. There are many ways to put together a full body workout routine, and you should change it up once in a while to keep your muscles guessing.

Thanks for listening.

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.

Also, if you are a father (or mother) (or anyone for that matter) who would like an easy to follow program that includes a menu and work out information, check out this article from a few months ago.

See you in the next post.

Have a great day!

Tom

Tom Fitzsimmons

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