At one point or another I’m sure you have heard something along the lines of “I train chest on Monday, legs on Tuesday, back and bi’s on Wednesday…” from an avid gym goer. This is commonly known as the bodybuilding or bro split routine and has been around since before Arnold won his first Olympia, but does it really serve its purpose or are full body workouts the way to go?
Now don’t get me wrong the “bro split” definitely is effective and I attribute it to being a huge contributor towards building my shape and laying down a solid strength-training foundation. The problem is it only allows a muscle group to be directly hit once a week, which really isn’t enough if you want to see consistent results over a long period of term. Instead full body workouts more would be a smarter choice as they allow you to exercise your entire body, which will stimulate all muscles in one workout. As a result this will see you build a better-balanced body, which is more natural and more closely mimics real life.
3 Benefits of Full Body Training
1.Time Efficient. Not everyone wants to or has the time to spend 1 hour at the gym everyday. If you can only lift 3 times per week and can only spend 30-45 minutes training, a basic full body workout routine will give you the best bang for buck.
2.Greater Energy Expenditure. Full body workouts will have greater energy expenditure per workout in comparison to split routines because of the large amount of muscle mass being recruited. Also by incorporating big compound movements, such as squats, deadlifts, pressing movements, chin-ups, into your routine it will help to create even greater metabolic stress, leading to more fat being burned while you sleep.
3. Greater Mental and Hormone Stimulation. If you are someone who enjoys variety and a pushing yourself to the max every workout, full body workouts will definitely keep things interesting. The constant change of exercise during the workout will stimulate your mind and have you always thinking what is next. In regards to hormone stimulation, full body workouts leave your body asking “WTF?” as a large amount of muscle mass has been taxed which results in a greater acute increase in plasma anabolic hormone concentrations.
What Does An Effective Full Body Workout Look Like?
Here at FPC we program our training for progression and long-term results. We offer both pure strength and metabolic conditioning sessions. Even though we have a focus theme to each session eg. Lower or upper body, every session does have some full body effect to it, ensuring the above benefits are reaped. A typical upper body FITStrength session at FITA-U Performance Centre would look like this:
Pec Minor and Traps release using dowel, Subscapular release using ball
6 x Crab Reaches
6 x Scap Pushups
6x Behind Neck Presses using dowl
5 x 5 Shoulder Press
Level 1 – Use barbell
Level 2 – Use dumbbells
New set starts every 2 minutes
8 x Dumbbell One Arm Rows per side (full body)
10 x Scap Pushup Combo (1 scap pushup+1 normal pushup)
20 meter Single Arm Overhead Carry (10 meter per arm) (full body)
New round starts every 2:30 minutes
Repeat 4 times
As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible (AMRAP) in 7 minutes of:
5 x Chin ups or Inverted Rows
10 x Deadball Slams (full body)
15 x Squats holding Deadball in rack position (full body)
Stretch and Foam Roll
Although the majority of the session is focused on upper bodywork, the Accessory and Finisher component has full body exercises. See the above referencing next to each one.
Full Body = Not For Everyone, But Ideal More Most!
The title pretty much summarizes this article and my overall feelings on full body workouts in general.
At the end of the day, like fitness related questions, a full body workout vs. split routine really does come down to what your goals are and what you enjoy. We’re all different in many ways. You can effectively build muscle, or lose fat with both types of splits when you train hard, are consistent, and adopt the mindset that you can’t outrun your fork. In conclusion, I do think full body workouts is the way to go for most people to help you develop the most lean, strong, and well balanced body possible.
If you are looking to shake things up and would like to try us out, siimply click the button to get your 7 Day Pass to Unlimited Classes at FPC!