When it comes to lifting weights and building muscle, the approach is split into two camps – Split Routines or Full Body Workouts. Which one should you do?
With so many different muscle groups in the body, you might think that it makes sense to do Split Routines which concentrate on particular muscle groups per session. However, unless you are a professional body builder or particularly want bulging biceps, ditch “arms day” and adopt a Full Body Workout regime. A Full Body Workout regime is one in which utilises all muscle groups of the body in each session. They are fun and are suitable for anyone, no matter what level of fitness you may be at.
Here are some reasons why Full Body Workouts need to become a part of your regular routine:
- Easy scheduling. Full Body Workouts are easy to fit into your busy routine because it doesn’t matter if you miss a day. Most busy workers and parents find it hard already to squeeze in a trip to the gym before or after work, but you don’t need to go every day of the week with a Full Body Workout regime. Each time you are working each muscle group of your body, so adopting a Full Body Workout won’t give you an imbalance of muscle mass if you need to miss a day. A Full Body Workout are generally higher in intensity as it works each muscle group hard, so you actually need to have a recovery day in between otherwise your muscles will fatigue and you could be at risk of injury. Therefore a good Full Body Workout routine needs to only be completed 3 times a week – great news for busy people! This leaves you time in your week for the rest of your life, or for other exercise you might enjoy.
- Allows you to enjoy other forms of exercise. Whilst still keeping recovery in mind, you are free to schedule in other forms of exercise goals you might be working towards. For example, you may have a charity half marathon coming up, or a cycle with a bunch of mates, or a regular game of tennis with your partner. Full Body Workouts give you space to do these things that are also good for you mentally because you enjoy them and are interacting with other people. Even though a Full Body Workout session might take you longer to complete, you only have to do it a few times a week, instead of every day. Also, if you have been medically advised to work on cardiovascular fitness, you can still work on muscle mass and definition whilst completing health goals.
- Balanced body. It is easy to create an imbalance of muscle when you are stuck on a Split Routine. A Full Body Workout doesn’t allow you to do this. This is good because if you aren’t an elite athlete or body builder, a balanced body is exactly what you need for normal every day function. Many physiologists think of the body as one muscle because all muscles are connected to each other, so a Full Body Workout makes good sense for the regular, average built person.
- It will help you lose weight. If you need to lose some kilos as well as keen to get stronger, Full Body Workouts will keep you on your feet and increase your cardiac work. When you are only working on particular muscles or muscle groups, you have a smaller overall calorie burn. Utilising a Full Body Workout is a smart way to effectively use your exercise time.
- Fastest way to gain muscle. If you are looking at toning up quick or to just to get strong for life, Full Body Workouts need to be a part of your exercise routine. Exercises that use the whole body are the best way to gain muscle because they allow you to train all your major muscle groups more often. This means your muscles are being stimulated more, leading to growth. You will also get the most amount of testosterone response (which is good for muscle growth) because whole body exercises stimulate as many muscle fibres as possible which release the hormone. So if you’re just starting out, or need to get back into it again, begin with a Full Body Workout schedule.
- It is more engaging. Almost everyone who lifts weights can attest to the repetition of Split Routines. “How many did you lift?” If you are just pushing for a high number, pretty soon you’ll be getting bored of bicep curls. With a Full Body Workout, you can mix it up almost every session if you wanted to without ruining your recovery or muscle buildup.
A good Full Body Workout just needs to incorporate a squat, lunge or deadlift variation, together with an upper body push and an upper body pull. You can add in extra arm repetitions if you want to, but as a basis, this is all you’ll really need. If you can do this three times a week, you will be getting the most out of your exercise sessions.
Here’s an example weekly routine that will ensure that each muscle group is worked each session throughout the week:
Incline Bench Press
Parallel Bar Dips
So regardless of what your current level of fitness, you should really give Full Body Workouts a go in your weekly routine. If you are unsure of where to start or even what exercises to do, our Personal Trainers are always ready to help out. We would love to chat to you about your fitness goals and work with you to achieve them.
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