A full body workout is an excellent workout routine to build muscle. There are several benefits to this type of workout. Whether you're a beginner or advanced in your training this might be the right routine for you!
This workout routine will allow you to work all the muscles in your body in one training session making your workouts faster and more efficient. Hate cardio? Since these workout sessions are generally done fast in 60 minutes or less they will really get your cardiovascular system going!
One of the best things about a full body routine is that you only have to hit the gym 2-3 times a week! This will work out great if you're strapped for time like most people are. You'll only spend 45-60 minutes each gym session.
That's right! You can really build muscle with only three to four hours of the gym a week. Think quality over quantity. You only need to train once every two or three days.
Remember to keep your workouts brief but intense. You still want to lift heavy to get the best results. You'll be performing compound exercises which will boost your natural testosterone levels.
Only Perform One Exercise Per Muscle Group
Since the goal of this workout is to hit every muscle group in one workout session but at the same time you don't want to be in the gym all day or overwork your muscles you'll be performing one exercise per muscle group.
You will want to do heavy, compound exercises that will really break down your muscle and force them to grow. A good chest exercise would be either the barbell bench press or incline bench press. A good legs exercise would be the barbell squat. Note that you could use dumbbells as well these are just examples.
Once you've picked your exercises plan your routine to perform 2-3 sets per exercise with 10-12 repetitions. I generally like to do only 2 sets because it makes the workout so much quicker.
Make Cardio Fun
Are you like me, and you don't look forward to long, dull cardio sessions? A full body workout not only gives your muscle a great workout it also gives your cardiovascular system an excellent workout!
You will be "killing two birds with one stone" if you're performing a full body routine. You can still throw in a traditional cardio session on a few of your off days if you like. For example, if your weight training sessions are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday you could do cardio on Tuesday and Thursday.
I generally don't do dedicated cardio sessions unless I'm trying to lose fat. The weight training sessions will give you plenty of cardio if you're main goal is to build muscle.
Sample Exercises and Routine
Below are some sample exercises you can use:
Large Body Parts:
- Back - Barbell Row, Seated Cable Row
- Chest - Barbell Bench Press, Barbell Incline Bench Press, Dumbbell Bench Press
- Shoulders - Dumbbell Shoulder Press, Upright Barbell Row
- Legs - Barbell Squat, Leg Press, Hack Squat
Small Body Parts:
- Biceps - Standing Barbell Curl, Alternate Dumbbell Curl, Preacher Curl
- Triceps - Tricep Dips, Lying Dumbbell Extension, Tricep Pushdown
- Calves - Standing Calf Raise, Seated Calf Raise
- Abs - Lying Leg Raise, Decline Bench Crunches, Cable Seated Crunch
- Day 1: Full Body (Chest, Shoulders, Back, Biceps, Triceps, Abs, Legs, Calves)
- Day 2: Rest
- Day 3: Full Body (Legs, Calves, Back, Abs, Shoulders, Chest, Biceps, Triceps)
- Day 4: Rest
- Day 5: Full Body (Back, Chest, Legs, Triceps, Biceps, Calves, Shoulders, Abs)
- Day 6: Rest
- Day 7: Rest
Day 1 Sample:
- Barbell Bench Press
- Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- Barbell Row
- Standing Barbell Curl
- Tricep Dips
- Lying Leg Raise
- Barbell Squat
- Standing Calf Raise
Day 3, 5:
Do the same exercises but switch up the order. For example, instead of starting with Chest start with Legs.
Variety Keeps Your Muscles Growing
Be sure to plan your workouts where you don't do the same exercises in the same order every time. Variety is what will keep your muscle growing! Training your chest first every workout is not good for the rest of your muscle's growth.
You want each of your three major muscle groups (Chest, Back, and Legs) to be getting equal attention. For best results alternate between Chest, Back, and Legs first in your three workouts per week. Don't always leave Calves and Abs last though. Alternate them in the middle of your workouts as well.