Some training experts say that we need to train each body part separately once a week. Others suggest that the benefits of full body workouts are far greater, as we are training our body as a whole, integrated unit. In this article, we explain why the latter is a better choice, especially if you lead a busy lifestyle. You simply won’t find the time to train each body part separately as the bodybuilding magazines or Internet articles say, and even if you do it would be really tiresome and boring.
Benefits of full body workouts
What you need is a short, yet effective workout, especially if you live a busy life. Something that will take the least amount of time and yet provide enough training stimulus to build muscle mass and strength, whilst allowing you to get on with your life.
You need the type of workout that offers the best bang for your buck. This is where full-body training can help. So, without further ado, here are the 4 biggest benefits of full-body workouts:
Faster strength gains
If maximizing your strength is your main goal, it is essential that you do exercises that will allow you to use the most weight and the greatest number of muscle at the same time. Big compound movements like the deadlift, squat, bench press and overhead press and their variations are the prime examples of full-body movements which build complete body strength.
There was a study done back in 2000, which compared once-a-week and thrice-a-week of equal volume resistance training. The study was done on 25 experienced subjects which were randomly separated into two training groups.
The first group did one day a week of strength training with 3 sets to complete failure, using a rep range of 3 to 10 reps per set. The second group did their workouts three days a week with one set to failure a day while training in the same rep ranges.
The training volume between the two groups was also the same, however, the second group had bigger increases in lean muscle mass as well as increased 1-rep max strength. With the total training volume being the same, increasing the training frequency to 3 days a week produced greater results in both muscle mass and strength.
Faster muscle gains
For the ones interested in faster muscle gains, it is true that isolation exercises like biceps curls or leg curls are great for hypertrophy for already experienced bodybuilders. But unless you are a experienced bodybuilder, and the majority of people aren’t, it would be better for you to employ some compound movements that involve multiple muscle groups at the same time.
Unless you have already built up a solid strength base, doing isolation exercises is mostly a poor use of your time. Additionally, it simply doesn’t make sense to expect your legs to grow if you train them only once a week. The training frequency is simply too low. With full-body workouts and assuming that you use the appropriate weights and rest, you are training any give muscle group two or three times a week, which will give your muscles increased demand for growth.
Full-body training is more time-efficient
If you’re leading a busy lifestyle with a fast-paced career or have lots of family obligations it’s logical that you won’t have the time to train. The fact is that the majority of people nowadays have this problem and simply cannot dedicate some time to their physical improvement.
So, instead of trying to re-arrange your lifestyle so that it fits your training, why not pick a relatively short full-body workout comprised of the most effective exercises. You will burn a lot more calories in one training session when you do it full-body training style compared to dedicating a whole training session to one muscle group.
Focus on the basics
The majority of people stay in the gym for roughly an hour, including the warm-up. When you take into account that most people also take gym selfies and post them on social media, the actual effective training time is not really that big. No matter how many times we say that you need to train hard and get the work done, it’s a fact that social media isn’t going anywhere soon.
That’s why in order to make your training as effective as possible, despite the lack of focus, you should do full-body training which focuses on basic compound movements, such as bench presses, squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, chin-ups, and sprints. Sometimes, just getting in, doing the basic lifts and stimulating a physiological response is the best option.
The benefits of full body workouts, summarized:
– Full-body workouts improve training efficiency by eliminating unnecessary exercises and using only basic compound movements to make you stronger and more muscular.
– They involve training major movement patterns several times a week in varying intensities and rep ranges in order to engage as many muscle fibers as possible.
– When pressed for time, full-body workouts are the most efficient way to achieve optimal muscle stimulation, thus increasing muscle mass and strength.