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Full Body Workouts

By Denver Steyn on December 18, 2013

For most of the nine years that I have been consistent with weight training, I have used body part training splits each week. From memory I followed something like the example below for quite some time:

 

Monday – Chest/Triceps

Tuesday – Back/Biceps

Wednesday – Abs

Thursdays – Legs

Friday – Shoulders

Weekends – Rest

 There are many different approaches and combinations but the general idea was to hit each muscle group once per week.

 Looking at the above example, you notice that each muscle group is getting quite a lot of rest between the next time it gets hit, and many people would say that is necessary for the body to recover from each session. I used to simply believe that idea to be true until I started to research and make changes to my training that showed great benefits.

 I’ve found that training each muscle group twice per week is optimal for hypertrophy (increased muscle size) and training certain exercises more than twice per week can increase strength.

 I have called this article Full Body Workouts, because I would like you to consider the benefits of moving away from a common body part split routine to something with more frequency. What better way to do this, than to change to full body workouts, or even an upper/lower day routine.

 What I realized when changing to a more frequent approach of hitting each muscle two to three times per week, is that whilst it was initially quite a struggle, my body quickly adapted and recovery improved. Along with improved recovery came increased strength, hypertrophy, general fitness, and desire to exercise.

 If you want to be good at something, why would you only do it once per week? Consider changing your training approach. Below are some examples of what I have used to implement higher frequency training.

 Full Body Workout:

 Monday / Wednesday / Friday

 Upper/Lower Split:

 Monday: Upper Body
Tuesday: Lower Body

Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Upper Body
Friday: Lower Body
Weekend: Rest

 Advanced Upper/Lower Split:

 Monday: Upper Body
Tuesday: Lower Body
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: Chest/Shoulders/Triceps
Friday: Lower Body
Saturday: Back/Biceps/Traps
Sunday: Rest