Why a Full-Body Workout Routine Is the Best Way to Build Muscle
Use A Full Body Workout To Build Muscle
If you want to put on some muscle, there are hundreds of different training programs you could choose from to help you achieve that goal. And although many of them will give you decent results, at least for a while, if you want to build the maximum amount of muscle in the shortest possible time, you still can’t beat a full body workout routine.
Why A Full Body Workout?
If you go to the gym regularly you’ll know that body part splits are very popular. But the only real reason for this is that these are what all the top bodybuilders are using. However what works for top bodybuilders may not work for the rest of us. This is because competitive bodybuilders take a lot of steroids to enhance their muscle growth. They also have really great genetics. And on top of this they are very near their limits in terms of how much muscle they can put on. Because of this they need a very large amount of volume and intensity in order to stimulate further growth. And the only way they can achieve this is to use body part splits.
But if you are genetically average and simply want to put on 20 – 30 pounds of muscle as fast as possible, a full body workout is the best way to accomplish this.
Full body workouts are the best way to gain muscle because they allow you to train all your major muscle groups more often. This of course means you get more frequent growth stimulation, which leads to greater muscle growth over time – provided you can recover from it.
Another reason this type of training works so well is that the focus of your workouts tends to be on compound exercises. This is because compound exercises enable you to train more total muscle in less time, so you can work your whole body quickly and efficiently. Compound exercises also produce a much higher level of hormonal response than isolation exercises. And this again causes more muscle growth.
So a full body workout can pack on muscle quicker than anything else – provided that you know how to structure it in the right way…
Leroy Colbert explains why full body workouts are superior to body part splits
How To Structure A Full Body Workout Routine
It’s not a good idea to do exactly the same workout routine every time you go to the gym, as this will soon lead to recovery issues. Instead you should alternate two (or even three if you are more advanced) different routines over the course of the week. Also your workouts should not be too long. A big mistake many people make is doing too many exercises. You can work your whole body very well with just three or four exercises. And six is the most you should do. Doing more than this will only make it more difficult for you to recover, and this will limit your gains.
So for an effective full body workout all you really need is a squat, lunge or deadlift variation, together with an upper body push and an upper body pull. You can add in some additional arm work at the end if you wish, but that’s about it. A routine of this sort, performed three times per week, will give you all the growth stimulation you need to ensure maximum progress.
As an example, a simple, but highly effective full body workout routine might look something like this…
A Full Body Workout Routine For Rapid Muscle Growth
Parallel Bar Dips
Simply alternate these two workouts over your three weekly visits to the gym. And then at a later date you may wish to do three different workouts, so each movement is worked just once per week, but each major muscle group is still being worked three times per week. This will further help with recovery, enabling better consistent long term progress to be made.
An example of a three day full body workout program might look like this...
Incline Bench Press
Parallel Bar Dips
Leroy gives more information on full body training
Which method of training do you prefer?
What About Sets And Reps?
Another important factor to consider is your training volume. That is the number of sets and reps you perform. Most people will find they’ll get the best results by working in the 5 – 8 rep range most of the time. This builds hard, dense muscle, and is also great for making gains in strength.
Occasionally however you could use higher reps (8 – 12) to create additional growth through sarcoplasmic hypertrophy. That is expansion of the fluid components of the muscle cells. And going down to 2 or 3 reps for a while will help build more strength. This is important as it will mean you will then be able to use more weight for the higher reps, which will result in even more gains in muscle size.
So most of the time your training should consist of around 3 – 4 sets of 5 – 8 reps (after a couple of warm-up sets) per exercise. Then at a later date you could switch to 3 sets of 8 – 12 reps for a month or two. And after that do 4 – 8 sets of doubles or triples for a while.
It may also be a good idea to change some of your exercises occasionally too, as this will prevent your body from getting too accustomed to them. However the principle of muscle confusion, which states you should be changing your exercises on a regular basis, is a myth. Think of power lifters and Olympic lifters. They use the same exercises all the time yet still manage to build enormous strength and massive muscle size.
So, whilst body part splits can have their role to play for more advanced trainees, if you want to pack on as much muscle size to your frame as quickly as possible, do a full body workout routine in the way described here. Combine this with a good muscle building diet, and get sufficient rest and sleep, and you’ll be certain to make the best gains of your life.