Why I prefer full-body workouts...

Gaining strength is a common reason why people join a gym.  Writing a good strength workout is not as simple as it might first seem. There are many different ways to split up a strength workout.  Each has its benefits and its drawbacks.  Each can work well for specific goals, but you need to know these costs/benefits before choosing a split. 


Before we get into the main part of this blog post, let me say this, If you find a split that works for you and you are getting results then go nuts, you can't argue with results!  But for myself and my clients, I prefer to write full-body workouts where they are appropriate.




You can split a program into body parts (often called the bodybuilder split) such as chest and shoulders on one day, legs on another day (never skip leg day!), and back and biceps on another day.  You can have a push day and a pull day (e.g. squats and bench press on a push day, deadlifts and cable rows on a pull day).  You can have an upper body and a lower body split also.  

So why do I prefer to program full-body workouts?

There are two major reasons.  The first is efficiency.  I often like to include supersets in these sessions.  This is where you pair two or more exercises and perform them back to back with little rest in between.  

You can do this with most of the other formats I mentioned above, but with full body workouts, you can pair exercises that allow rest while working.  For example, one of my favourite pairs is deadlifts paired with push-ups/bench press.  A deadlift works your legs, back, and grip strength, whereas a push-up works your chest and arms.  So you are taxing different muscles and movement patterns with both exercises but allowing some form of rest at the same time.  

This makes the training sessions efficient, as you can cut down on the rest time between sets.  So rather than spending 90 minutes or more in the gym and just training your lower body, you can get a full-body workout done in 60 minutes or less depending on the number of exercises involved in the training session.  This makes people more likely to fit workouts into their busy lives.

The second big reason that I like to program full-body workouts is that life can get in the way with clients attending training sessions, and a full body workout factors this in.  If you, for example, do a bodybuilder split (legs on one day, back and biceps another day, chest and shoulders another day) then it is a big deal if you miss a session.  Let's take leg day for example.  Say you train 5 days a week, which for most people is an admirable effort.  Let's use C(hest), L(egs), B(ack), and R(est) to map out a week.  

It might look like this: C, L, B, R, C, L, R.

This means that all going well you train each body part twice a week.  But life often gets in the way of this which can mean that you end up training each body part once a week, this isn't the greatest training stimulus.  It works if you are very committed to the training and never miss a session, but it can be tough for people first starting out to get into this rhythm.

But say you do full-body workouts and train 4 days per week with 3 rest days.  If you miss a session for whatever reason, then you still train each part of the body and each movement 3 times per week.  There is redundancy built into the program to allow for this issue.  

Essentially I like this way of working (both for myself and my clients) because it sets people up for success.  It allows for mistakes to be made without sabotaging strength gains or fat loss too much.  It makes life a little easier for people and it gets results at the same time.

If you would like to talk to me about a training program or personal training then please contact me through my website or book an initial consultation through my online portal.  I would love to hear from you.
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What split do you prefer when organising your training sessions?  Let me know through my website.

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