There are roughly two approaches you can take to working out: Having a split and having a full body workout routine. Let’s take a quick look at what a full body workout is and some examples
What is a Full Body Workout?
Your body has several major muscle groups:
And a full body workout is when you hit all of these muscle groups in the same work out.
This is different to what is known as a “split” routine, which is a routine that focusses on one or two muscle groups at a time.
As an example, traditional body builders tend to use a split routine, and crossfitters will do full body workouts.
Is one better than the other? They’re different. I like full body workouts for the variety and the challenge.
Here is an example that you can try:
Full Body Workout Routine Example
This routine can be done in your garden (or gym). You will need:
- A weight vest (or diving belt, or a backpack with a bag of sand in it)
- You will use this for pull ups and chin ups
- If you’re in the gym, you can use heavy chains, or hold a dumb bell with your feet
- A bench (you can build one using some bricks and a piece of wood)
- Something to bench (steel pipe or scaffolding pole, for example)
- Something to squat (bucket of sand or a bag of cement)
- A wall / Shed
- For doing handstand pushups against
- Loose weights / bricks
- For weighted leg raises
Here is what your full body workout will look like:
Bench press x25 (chest and triceps)
Squats x10 short break x10 again (legs)
Weighted box jumps x10 (legs and abs)
Weighted pull ups x10 (Shoulders, back and arms)
Weighted chin ups x10 (biceps)
Handstand pushups x10 (triceps)
Pushups x10 (chest and arms)
Weighted leg raises x15 (abs)
Do 3 sets. Increase weight and reps as strength increases.
This routine hits every muscle group in your body pretty hard. The only drawback is getting something heavy enough to squat. You ideally want a rack to hold the squat bar loaded up nice and heavy.
How To Do Weighted Leg Raises
I couldn’t find anything useful on Google about this, so here is a quick guide to doing weighted leg raises:
- Lie on your back, on a bench.
- Your butt should be right at the edge of the bench, with your legs out over the edge
- Place a weight on top of your ankles / shins
- Place your hands over your head, bent at the elbow and hold on to the bench
- Tighten your core and extend your legs straight
- Slowly move your legs up and down, keeping them straight
- You will feel your core working hard
Full Body Workout at the Gym
You can do a more intense and effective version of the full body workout at the gym.
A workout that combines squats, deadlifts and barbell curls will be highly effective at building not only muscle, but also strength.
One workout routine I used for a couple of years was Body of a Spartan. You can read my review of it here. It was great for building strength, muscle.. and also discipline.