In this post, I want to share my thoughts on fullbody workouts and why I don’t do them.
I’ve been receiving a lot of questions lately so I decided to turn this into a post to discuss the matter…
For beginners, fullbody workouts can be effective because you’re able to train the same movements 3x per week. At this stage, higher frequency is helpful in developing the skill of lifting.
That said, once you’re able to push really hard and intensely, fullbody workouts are way too demanding to push for personal records each session.
What’s more, full body workouts don’t allow for optimal recovery to the muscles and local neurons that fire those muscles.
I’m not saying full body workouts don’t work, I know people that have made great results with them…
That said, I was repeatedly running into issues with fullbody workouts and knew something needed to change if I was going to reach elite levels of strength.
The Issues with Full body Workouts
1) It’s hard to fight for personal records and progress when you have a workout with squats, deads, presses and pulls.
It’s completely overwhelming after initial stages. This is especially harder when you’re also focused on maintaining a low body fat, and calories aren’t astronomically high.
Contrarily, doing a workout of overhead presses, weighted chin ups, triceps and rear delts, is much more enjoyable and it’s easier to apply maximum intensity (make sure you use a high-quality weight belt on weighted chins to prevent discomfort and distraction from your training).
(…Example of a workout I’d do on a 3 day split.)
2) Muscular recover happens faster than neural recovery.
If you hit a really hard chest workout on Monday, your pressing muscles will be short of strength for at-least 3-4 days.
The muscles may very well recover after 48 hours, but the local neuromuscular junctions that are involved in recruiting the muscle fibers in that specific muscle group take longer.
Many people following my Greek God Program, asked if they could do standing press on Workout B so they could hit it fresh on a two day split. I told them, it’s not optimal.
Doing incline on Monday, then standing press on Wednesday and incline again on Friday, won’t allow you to be fully rested for the pushes. I told them to try it and report back, in every case, they plateaued.
Again, I’m not saying fullbody workouts don’t work, but if you want things to be as optimal as possible, I would move to a two or three day split to reap many benefits.
It’s much more enjoyable too!
My training style is about pouring 100% effort into that particular set and constantly hitting new strength gains each workout.
This is how you create incredible results without being in the gym 6 days a week.
Again, if I were working with a beginner, I could have them run a full body workout for 2 or 3 months to get used to the movements while learning how to push themselves.
But after that initial phase, they would make much better progress on a 2 day split.
And at the end of the day, it really comes down to what you enjoy most so you can stick to the plan long enough to see fantastic results.