There are many aspects of a resistance training program to consider when designing a routine. One of the most major issues that needs to be addressed is whether to do a full body routine or a split routine. When deciding which routine to do, consider the following.
Why Do A Full Body Routine
Full body routines consist of doing one or more exercises that target every major muscle group in the body. Split routines target only a few parts of the body for a particular workout. Some do a split routine using the theory that if you split up your body parts you can workout everyday. That may be true, but if you do a full body routine you don’t need to workout everyday and you can target each muscle group three to four times in a week instead of just one. Also on that topic, doing a full body routine gives your body time to recover and refuel for the next workout. This helps to prevent overtraining syndrome and gives you more time to spend doing other things besides working out. If you would like to workout on your off days that is the perfect time for cardio, abs, stretching, functional work, and any other activity. Split routines work great for body builders on steroids that do not need recovery and are working out many hours per day. If you do not fall into that category read on.
Another thing to consider is the fact that in real life and sport your body works as a whole, not in segments. Therefore, shouldn’t you train your body as a whole and not in segments? Train your body to emulate what you want to improve. Whether its everyday strength and functionality or sports performance you typically never strap into machine and isolate a muscle anywhere but the gym. When you do exercises like the squat, dead lift, and lunge you are working your body in the a way that you would use it in real life. Those exercise also more thoroughly work your core in a way that transfers to real life, more so than crunches and sit ups.
Tips On Designing A Full Body Workout
Certain things need to be done in a full body routine to make sure you are maximizing your workouts. Follow these tips to make sure you are getting the best results possible out of your time spent in the gym.
Perform 1-2 Sets For Each Major Muscle Group – There is no need to do 3-5 sets for each muscle group unless you are power lifting or training to be the worlds strongest man. That brings me to the next point.
Substitute Volume For Intensity – Make sure every set you do is the best set possible. Do as much as weight as you can lift for the prescribed amount of reps in good form. If doing just one set you want to make sure you go to complete muscular failure on each set. That means lifting it until you can not lift it anymore. If you do one or two great sets there is no need to do anymore. When the muscle is fatiged it’s fatiged. It is about what path you choose to get it that way.
Order Your Exercises From Largest Muscle Groups To Smallest – Start with the bigger muscles like legs, back, and chest before you do your arms and abs. This will make sure that your smaller muscles are strong enough to do the best job possible on the exercise that get the most results. For example you do not want to do biceps curls before doing lat pulldown because you don’t want your arms to be tired causing your back exercise to suffer. Always do abs last so your core is strong during your workout.
Minimize Rest Between Sets – There is not need to sit around waiting to recover between sets. Unless your goal is only to increase strength it is best to wait only until you are ready to do another set. I recommend resting only up to thirty seconds to a minute between sets. A great way to accomplish no rest between sets is to do alternating sets. That is where you do one exercise immediately followed by another and switching back and forth. This give one muscle group time to recover while you are working another. Doing this will give you a more intense workout and cut down on the time you spend working out.