We all exercise and work out for different reasons, as we all have different goals and objectives in mind. Some people lift weights to get big and strong, whilst others lift weights to be more functional and athletic. Some people don’t actually lift weights at all, and instead prefer to base their workouts around aerobic movements. Whatever your goals and objectives may be, the important thing to remember is that you must find the right program which will yield you with the most impressive results. There are numerous training programs currently in circulation, and no doubt each one will have its own advocates, as well as its own detractors. One thing that virtually all health and fitness experts do tend to agree on however, is the fact that full body workouts can, if used correctly, be incredibly effective. If your current training routine is a little stale, and if you simply cannot seem to put any more muscle on, no matter how hard you try, a full body workout program could be exactly what you need. Here are a few reasons to consider following a full body training routine.
More spare time
If you’re training to build muscle, chances are that at some point, you will have followed a 5 day split. A 5 day split is exactly as it sounds – a training program requiring you to train 5 days each week. For some, finding the time to train for 6, 5, even 4 days per week can be tough, what with personal commitments such as friends, family, and work, which is why a full body routine is perfect. When following a full body training split, studies have found that ideally you should train 3 days per week, 4 days per week as an absolute maximum, meaning you can still make gains, and enjoy more spare time in the process. Whether you cannot physically make it to the gym 5 days per week, or if you want an extra night or two off, a full body training routine is absolutely ideal.
Over training is a big problem in today’s society, and it is arguably the main culprit for people’s lack of muscle growth when training consistently. When we lift weights, we are destroying muscle fibres and muscle tissues and breaking them down. We do 90% of our growing whilst we rest, and obviously if you are constantly working your muscles, you are not allowing them enough time to rest properly. Getting enough sleep is vital, but so is ensuring that you give your muscles a real break between workouts, which again, is perfect for full body enthusiasts. With a full body routine, the idea is that you have at least one full day off between workouts, which means that your body has at least one entire day to recover before you punish it again in the gym the next day. For example, a typical full-body weekly training split would require a person to train on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Improved hormonal production
Studies have found that certain exercises and movements trigger the release of larger dosages of anabolic hormones than others, with heavy compound exercises targeting large muscle groups being prime examples. Barbell squats and bench presses for example, have both been found to lead to increased rates of testosterone production and secretion, as well as human growth hormone. Both of which are anabolic and have been found to increase muscle growth and recovery, so the more hormones we can produce naturally, the better. This makes full body workouts so beneficial because they require heavy compound exercises per body part, so the more you do, the more hormones you will produce. Compound exercises recruit more muscle fibres and place the body under increased amounts of stress, so to compensate, hormones to assist with recovery and performance are produced and secreted in higher quantities.
Easy to switch things up
If you only train one body part per day, say, for example, chest on international chest day, also known as Monday, then each Monday you would find that there would be only so many different exercises and variations of exercises you could do before things grew stale. A typical chest workout would require you to perform around 5 – 7 chest exercises on average, and even by changing exercises, after a while you would find that you have already done certain exercises not too long ago. With a full body routine however, you perform one exercise per muscle group, so for example, for chest, you could go with flat bench barbell presses on Mondays, on Wednesdays you could do incline dumbbell presses, and on Fridays you could do push ups, before doing completely different exercises the next week. For this reason, it is very easy to switch things up and to keep things fun, fresh, and interesting, which is very important if you want to see impressive results.
Great for getting shredded
Full body workouts are perfect for people who happen to be cutting and trying to get shredded, as most of the exercises you perform are compound exercises. Compound exercises recruit multiple muscle groups at once, which obviously makes them much tougher than isolation exercises. This means that as you are working several muscle groups at once, more energy is required and so the body burns off more calories to compensate. This is why compound exercises are considered to be such fantastic metabolism boosters. Put simply, performing bent over barbell rows is going to be much more taxing and physically demanding than seated lat pull-downs, because more muscle groups are worked, so more energy is required. You burn more calories and will therefore burn through your body fat reserves much quicker than if you were performing a workout incorporating plenty of isolation exercises.