Bodybuilding has experienced a boom in recent years, bringing athletes, bodybuilder champions, and fans of muscle mass building, bench pressing, weightlifting and bodybuilding competitions together. Bodybuilders are also no longer exclusively men, female bodybuilders and male bodybuilders train side by side at the gym to perfect their six-pack. Both are dedicated to bodybuilding fitness, bodybuilder nutrition, and building muscle mass.
Gyms have undoubtedly become more popular as people are dedicated to their fitness goals of gaining muscles and losing fat like never before. But as we grow more concerned about our appearance, we also find ourselves becoming busier in everyday life. When you can not dedicate an hour a day to your workout routine, the best thing to do is to ensure that the time that you have in the gym counts.
One of the best ways to do this is by focusing your workout program on full body routines. You can do this by dedicating a different day to a part of your body or you can do high-intensity full body workouts.
Get personal fitness advice from an online personal trainer.
What Is A Full Body Workout?
The full body workout serves to train all the major muscles in the body; your chest, your back, your arms, hamstrings and abdominals. The full body training program can engage many of these muscles groups in one movement. This kind of exercise is called a compound movement. Compound movements demand a lot of energy and burn lots of calories which is a great benefit for you to lose body fat and build muscle. But the downside is that this kind of exercise can really exhaust your muscles and requires a more extended rest period between gym visits.
What Are The Benefits Of A Full Body Workout?
If you have become accustomed to spending hours in the gym to be able to maintain your physique but are finding it harder to find the time, then read on as full body workouts could be perfect for you.
- Full body workouts are flexible and very easy to create and recreate from month to month. This gives you greater variety and also ensures your muscles remain active, which avoids training plateaus.
- A full body workout has a lower time commitment when compared to your standard bodybuilding exercises. This is a massive bonus as it can be hard to find time for working out for hours every day when you have so many other things going on as well. Full body workouts can be practiced for around 3 days a week and for a shorter session length if structured well.
- If you tend to need a while to recover from your workouts, then you will love this one as full body workouts lessen recovery time. If you are dedicated to being a bodybuilder, then this is a significant plus as one of the main reasons muscles tend not to improve is because they have not had time to recover. If you work out every day, this can be an issue even if you are not focused on the same muscle
- If you enjoy other exercises outside of weight lifting or need to improve your flexibility by adding in some cardio, full body workouts will allow you the time to do other things. This could be sports or activities that you enjoy, although you should be aware that the body does need some downtime between the workouts so if adding another exercise into your schedule make sure you are giving yourself the appropriate time to recover. The full recovery of your muscle is key to the success of your muscle building.
- Your central nervous system gets time to take a break in between workouts. I know this one sounds weird but did you know that each time that you do something, even as basic as a squat, your central nervous system is activated. After continued workouts, it gets tired and starts to feel fatigued all the time, which has a knock on effect for your weight training.
- Fed up of those early mornings at the gym? Fed up of leaving home in the cold or rain to get to the gym? Well, this one is for you. Full body workouts can be done at home because they require less equipment. In fact, you could just use dumbbells.
- Does your schedule keep changing and mess with your body workout? With full body workouts, it doesn’t matter if you miss a day, as each session benefits the entire body. When working out different parts of your body on different days, you are under pressure to find time to fit in your missing workout to make sure your whole body gets the benefit. Thank goodness for full body workouts, as that is now a thing of the past.
- Trying to get rid of some extra fat to reveal your muscles underneath? Well, the full body workout is created for fat loss. This goes well with any fat burning diet where you are may be taking in fewer calories than the standard amount as the workout doesn’t ask too much from the body. Regarding the bodybuilding diet, you may need to restructure what you eat to meet the change in demand from the reduced workouts and reaction from your muscles.
Can I Gain Muscle With A Full Body Workout?
The short answer is yes you can and will if your program is created with this in mind. Even if you practice just twice a week, the full body workout is designed to challenge your muscles enough to build muscle mass and develop strength. With a full body workout, you don’t have to give up gains or power if you find that you can't train as often as before.
However, the strength retention is longer lasting when compared to typical weight lifting and bench pressing. Because the whole nervous system is switched on when you use the full body workout since you are ‘of course’ using all of the body. The central nervous system being activated like this ensures that the body is evenly trained. Which avoids neglect to unworked on areas of the body and disruption to the training schedule.
What Is The Best Full Body Work Out To Build Muscle?
Full body exercise uses compound movements to maximise your potential as they require a more considerable input of energy than isolation exercises. They also work many muscle groups at once which is why you can spend less time working in the gym when practising full body workouts.
The best full body workouts depend a lot on your body type, your commitment, your availability, and the fitness goals that you have for your workout. So it is more efficient to look for the best full body work out for you rather than trying to find a generic full body workout which may not give you the results that you are looking for.
Working with a personal trainer will support you in finding the best full body workout. After a fitness test and a chat to determine your goals, trainers will be able to create for you a personalised program that will take you from skinny novice to bulking bodybuilder in no time.
Characteristics of a Full Body Workout To Gain Muscle
There are some characteristics that many of the successful workouts share. You can use these similarities as your baseline and tweak from there, to develop the best full body workout for you.
- Working out 2 -3 times per week with rest days in between workouts.
- You can mix repetitions and change the rest time between exercises.
- You should set yourself an achievable target when starting to plan your reps. Increase weights and reps each week slowly to challenge yourself and allow your body the time it needs to adjust.
- The abs, calves, triceps and biceps get worked out during the workout so don’t really need to be targeted directly.
- Each workout contains one compound exercise per major muscle group. You should ensure that you work the lower body muscles, upper body pushing muscles and the upper body pulling muscles, plus always add a shoulder exercise.
- An example of lower body exercises include squats, deadlifts and lunges.
- An example of upper body push exercises includes pushups, dips and bench presses.
- An example of upper body pulling exercises include pull-ups, chin-ups and Lat Pulldowns.
- An example of shoulder exercises includes the military press, lateral raises and upright rows.
- If you would like to, you can also add an isolation exercise for 2 muscles such as your abs, calves, triceps and biceps.
The core exercises of many full body workouts are the squat, deadlifts, overhead presses and farmers carries.
The Best Full Body Workouts
YouTube is a fantastic resource for full body workouts. Here are some of the best:
ATHLEAN-X - The PERFECT Home Workout (Sets and Reps Included)
ATHLEAN-X offers the latest free workouts, nutrition and training advice to get you on your way to a healthy, leaner, more muscular, athletic body by training like an athlete. Learn from the physical therapist and strength coach Jeff Cavaliere, exactly what he does with his professional athlete and celebrity clients. Put the science back in strength to build muscle, keep your muscles and joints healthy, and improve your overall athleticism. Jeff gives you the complete home workout routine with all sets and reps included to help you to build muscle regardless of whether or not you ever step foot in a gym.
Bodybuilding.com - 30 Minute Full-Body Workout | Chris Thompson
Bodybuilding.com is a fitness community that helps you burn fat, build muscle, and transform into your best self. Their Twinlab Muscle Militia workout may only last 30 minutes, but it's a full-body session that will challenge each of your major muscle groups to grow.
Bodybuilding.com - 15 Minute Full Body at Home Workout | Pro Natural Bodybuilder Jackson "Bajheera" Bliton
If you don't have time the time in your schedule to drive to the gym or you prefer to workout at home, this one is for you. And you don't need much equipment to get a great workout - all you need is one pair of dumbbells! This is a great workout for beginners using only light weights.
POPSUGAR Fitness - 30-Minute Full Body Calorie Burner | Class FitSugar
POPSUGAR Fitness offers fresh fitness tutorials, workouts, and exercises that will help you on your road to healthy living, weight loss, and stress relief. Take 30 minutes out of your day with this at-home workout that will leave you dripping with sweat and toned all over. Plus, you keep moving throughout the 30 minutes to burn serious calories while building metabolism-boosting muscles. All you need is a set of medium weights!
Jeremy Ethier - The Best Science-Based Full Body Workout for Growth (WORKOUT “A”)
Jeremy Ethier - How To Build Muscle At Home: The BEST Full Body Home Workout For Growth
In this video, Jeremy goes through a science-based full body home workout routine. When we think of a home workout, we might think that they’re inferior for muscle growth. But you can make comparable gains in muscle mass by using either lighter loads (like bodyweight exercises), or heavier weights in the gym. He recommends performing this full body home workout 3-4 times a week.
Jeff Nippard - The Most Effective FULL BODY Workout For Growth [Science Applied 1]
Jeff Nippard is a Canadian natural pro bodybuilder and internationally-qualified powerlifter with a BSc in biochemistry/chemistry and a passion for science. His channel is dedicated to providing science-based training and nutrition information and journaling his own fitness journey. His Science Applied series is 5 full body workouts that will give you an idea of how he sets up his workouts on his new high frequency full body split.
ScottHermanFitness - Intense 10 Min At Home "Full Body" Workout!
Caroline Girvan 30 Min FULL BODY Dumbbell Workout at Home | Muscle Building
Mike Thurston Full Body Workout To Build Muscle ft. Elliot Burton
Mike Thurston's goal is to educate, to motivate, and to help viewers optimise their body composition, whilst making the process as enjoyable and sustainable as possible. This video helps you build muscle with a full body workout approach.
Alex Crockford - Bodyweight Hiit! Full Body Home Workout! Calorie Burn and Muscle Building!
Alex Crockford is a fitness trainer, model and the creator of the CrockFit App. It is his mission to motivate, inspire & educate you to be fitter, healthier & happier. This video is a circuit hit workout where you will burn fat and work on strength across your entire body.
There are a few disadvantages to using the full body workout as your primary workout, such as not being able to use powerful techniques due to not having enough time to recover fully between workouts.
However, the full body workout is an adaptable, high-frequency workout that gives you fast long lasting results, flexibility in your time investment, and the exercises that you use to develop your program are adaptable to many environments. So if you have never used the full body workout, would you consider adding it to your routine?
Get ripped quickly with a personal trainer.
Check out the isometrics for muscles here.
Want to know what the Lafay workout is?
The platform that connects tutors and students