Full body training is one of the most underappreciated forms of training that exist. Which is a damn shame, because when implemented properly it works incredibly well.
Most bros who take their lifting seriously are understandably big on body part splits that require anywhere from 4-6 days worth of lifting, and breaking the body down into individual segments.
And while this style of training absolutely works, there are certain periods where you should absolutely change things up and get back to the basics with full body training.
Why use full body training?
For most beginners a full body split is one of the best recommendations someone can get. It’s exactly what Arnold did when he was first getting into his bodybuilding career, and for good reason. It’s an easy way to get in plenty of frequency, and ensure that you’re using big bang for your buck movements.
But it’s not just for beginners.
Advanced trainee’s can do wonders for their physique by moving to a full body split for a few weeks out of every year. The reasoning behind this has to do with what has been deemed a broscience term, muscle confusion.
While muscle confusion may be a sleazy sounding term, the point behind it is pretty straightforward. You’re throwing something different at the body that it’s unaccustomed to, and forcing it to respond to this new stimulus by growing.
That’s the entire point of training to begin with, really. You want to force the body to adapt, and from time to time full body routines are the perfect way to do that.
You’re complicating things.
A big reason why a lot of advanced trainees neglect using full body routines is because they’ve spent years doing advanced routines that involve complicated splits with novel techniques like rest pause sets, drop sets, and burnouts.
And those types of training are awesome, don’t get me wrong. But just because you do them doesn’t mean that you’re too advanced to use full body routines every once in awhile to stimulate new growth.
The compounds are king.
One of the biggest reasons full body training works so well is because it places a heavy emphasis on compound movements, and a high training frequency with those compound movements.
Whereas in a typical bodybuilding style split you may be lucky if a muscle group gets hit 2x a week, in a good full body routine that muscle group is being hit 3x a week with a weight that is not only heavy, but with a compound movement that is guaranteed to stimulate growth.
Ready for your own full body routine? Good. I’ve a great sample routine below.
- Overhead press 3×8
- Squat 3×10
- Front squat 3×6
- Barbell row 3×10
- Barbell curl 3×8
- Close grip bench press 3×8
- Barbell lunge 3×8 each leg
This routine is incredibly basic, and that’s the point. It’s a no frills approach to training that’s guaranteed to help fill out your frame and add more size. You follow this routine 3x per week, and on a 4th and 5th day try to get in some activity. It can be easy pump work, some form of cardio, or mobility circuits.
If you find that the program isn’t challenging, one novel way to increase the difficulty is by cutting down rest periods. Going from 90 seconds rest between sets to 60 is enough to make you think your lungs are on fire by the end of it.
Give this routine a try bros, and let me know how it goes.