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Full Body Workout Plan

BEST FULL BODY WORKOUT

Constructing one best total body workout is a challenge when you consider all of the muscle groups that you need to hit in that workout. 

That said, I’m going to deliver you best total body workout routine to help you with building strength and muscle mass.

But, I’m not going to stop there! I’ll give you not one, but TWO muscle building full body workouts and put them together in a complete one-month full body workout routine.

Not only will I show you the exercises, I’ll explain why I chose each exercise for this full body gym workout.

Instead of thinking about which exact exercises are going to hit which muscle groups, I want you to think more in terms of movement types. If we can train each of the most important movement types in a particular workout, then we’ll be incorporating the muscles that achieve those movement patterns.

Important movement patterns in a full body strength workout:

  • Squat pattern
  • Lunge pattern
  • Hinge – particularly the hip driven movement
  • Push
  • Pull
  • Carry
  • Corrective

In a full body split workout, we want to perform a lunge, hinge and squat for the lower body; a push and pull for the upper body; and a carry and corrective to round out our workouts.

The combination of these 7 components will not only hit all the major functions of human performance, but will lend itself to picking the right exercises for getting the job done.

Let’s take a quick look at the most important benefits of full body training, and then we’ll launch into the workouts themselves.

important full body movement patterns

BENEFITS OF FULL BODY WORKOUTS

Let’s discuss the benefits of total body workouts to see why they’re so beneficial if your fitness goal is building lean muscle mass. 

This type of strength training split allows you to train the major muscle groups of the body utilizing compound movement.

These type of compound exercises help you work toward building strength at a faster pace and also help coordinate multiple muscle groups into one action, making them more athletically based and functional.

Science supports the fact that stimulation and re-stimulation of a muscle every 48 hours produces the most amount of muscle growth with the least amount of wasted time. You will find that a total body workout takes advantage of this.

Science supports the fact that stimulation and re-stimulation of a muscle every 48 hours produces the most amount of muscle growth with the least amount of wasted time.

By allowing you to train your entire body every other day, you are getting more frequent stimuli for protein synthesis, more accrued volume and more training sessions over a given period of time.

I’ve created two full body barbell workout routines, A and B. If you’re new to total body training, then just start with the A workout.

If instead, you want to adopt a more rigorous total body workout plan, then you will want to pair up Workout A with Workout B perform them in alternating fashion on Monday, Wednesday and Friday with a rest day on all the other days.

You can follow the workout calendar below for an entire month of full body training.

30 day full body workout plan calendar

FULL BODY WORKOUT A

We’re going to start this workout with a warmup using an athletic movement pattern a lot of us overlook.

Our warmup will be the Multidirectional Lunge which fits the bill for that lunge movement pattern.

MULTIDIRECTIONAL LUNGE

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multidirectional lunge

The Multidirectional Lunge does a couple things very effectively. First, it gets us to move in multiple directions and it helps us mobilize our hips in all three planes of movement. It also increases our core temperature to make us feel warmer and ready to attack the complete total body workout.

Exercise Notes: Perform 2-3 rounds of 7 in each direction: two forward in the sagittal plane, two in the frontal plane, side to side and then two going back toward the right and the left in the transverse plane, opening up the hips.

BARBELL SQUAT

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barbell squat

Now we move onto our foundational lower body movement pattern for strength using the Barbell Squat.

Exercise Notes: Standing with your feet shoulderwidth apart, bend your knees and come down until your thighs are parallel to the ground and then return to the start. Instead of doing the traditional 5 sets of 5 reps, we’ll drop it to 3 sets of 5 because we want to leave some energy in the training session for the other movement patterns. When you can perform all three sets of 5 repetitions using a particular weight, you’ll want to increase that weight to try to progress the overload.

BARBELL HIP THRUST

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Now we’ll work the posterior chain, focusing on the hinge movement pattern. More importantly, we’ll be working on developing the overlooked aspect of glute participation in a hinge.

Many people suffer from what we call ‘glute amnesia’, never driving the hinge using the appropriate muscles. The Barbell Hip Thrust helps remedy that because it’s driven solely by a hinge.

Exercise Notes: Don’t load up super heavy to try to get in the 5 rep range, because we want to focus on driving this with the glutes. Instead, drop the weight down to the 10 to 12 rep range and perform 3-4 sets to focus on driving this key movement.

BARBELL BENCH PRESS

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barbell bench press

Now we move on to our foundational lift for push, which is the Barbell Bench Press.

Exercise Notes: If you don’t feel adequately loose at this point, do a few warmup sets of the bench press. Attack this with 3 sets of 5 using heavier weights, and try to progressively overload from workout to workout.

WEIGHTED CHINUP

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weighted chinup

Next we’ll hit the pull movement pattern with the weighted chinup. We’ll be going lighter on this one also.

Exercise Notes:  Don’t go all the way down to the 3-5 rep range because people tend to cheat those reps and don’t initiate the movement with the proper muscles. Instead, we’ll be looking to fail in the 6-10 rep range. In this case, ‘fail’ means with good form and without kipping.

DB FARMER’S CARRY

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farmers carry

With our carry movement we’re going to be accruing additional volume. Our goals are to get an additional conditioning effect from the carry, and to build grip sustainability which will benefit us in our bigger lifts.

Exercise Notes: Take a dumbbell in each hand that is half your body weight and walk around whatever space you have for 50 steps.

FACE PULL

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banded face pull

Our corrective exercise is going to be my favorite, the Face Pull. I add correctives to every total body workout because they’re helpful for injury prevention or even healing previous injuries.

Exercise Notes: Perform 2 sets of 12 Face Pulls, but think of it more like 12 sets of 1.  Try to do 24 high quality, perfect repetitions, making sure you’re recruiting the right muscles that are not only going to help you posturally, but in those bigger lifts as well.

FULL BODY WORKOUT B

Workout B will have the same structure as Workout A but will utilize different exercises for some of the movement patterns.

We’ll start off with the same warmup to challenge that very beneficial 3D lunge pattern.

MULTIDIRECTIONAL LUNGE

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multidirectional lunge

Exercise Notes: Perform 2-3 rounds of 7 in each direction: two forward in the sagittal plane, two in the frontal plane, side to side and then two going back toward the right and the left in the transverse plane, opening up the hips.

BARBELL DEADLIFT

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barbell deadlift

For our first big exercise, the hinge becomes the focus for overload. We’ll accomplish this with the Barbell Deadlift.

Exercise Notes:  Perform 3 sets of 5 reps with the goal of progressive overload each time you encounter Workout B.

REVERSE BARBELL LUNGE

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reverse barbell lunge

For our next lower body move you have two choices: you can either squat again in this workout or you can do a Reverse Barbell Lunge.

Exercise Notes: If you choose to squat, lighten the load a bit instead of the same 3 sets of 5 framework. If you want to try the Reverse Barbell Lunge, stick with a 10 rep range. Whichever you chose, try to put most of your effort into the hinge.

OVERHEAD PRESS

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barbell overhead press

Back to the upper body for our push exercise, the Overhead Press. This time the press is vertical instead of horizontal, but the goal is the same: to progressively overload and build up your strength in this movement over time.

Exercise Notes: Perform 3 sets of 5 on these overhead presses, looking to add weight from workout to workout as you build strength.

BARBELL ROW

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barbell row

For our pull movement pattern we’re going to be focusing on the Barbell Row. I’d like you to keep the rep range for these barbell rows on the higher side, around 10 – 12 reps to avoid heaving the weight with bad form.

Exercise Notes: Perform 10 – 12 reps of this barbell bent over row focusing on back and lat engagement and a good solid contraction on each rep.

DUMBBELL OVERHEAD FARMER’S CARRY

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dumbbell overhead farmers carry

For our carry movement, instead of carrying down at our sides we’re going to do an Overhead Farmer’s Carry. You should feel a lot of postural engagement and you’ll find it’s a challenge to keep your arms as upright and straight as possible. You should also feel the mid and lower trap area working overtime to keep you in this position.

Exercise Notes: Use ¼ of your bodyweight in each hand and perform 50 steps. Rather than arms straight overhead, slightly bend the elbows.

For your corrective exercise, if you want to do a Face Pull again, you’d be making me happy.  But there are a few other good options below.

HIP BAND MINI LADDER

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hip band mini ladder

BAND PULL APARTS

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band pull aparts

BASIC EXTERNAL ROTATION

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banded external rotation

If you’re just starting out, the best total body workout to begin with would be Workout A. If you’re looking for a complete full body workout plan, alternate between Workout A and B according to the calendar I’ve provided you. Whether you just want to experiment with one, or you want to incorporate both workouts into a plan, you’re going to see huge benefits from this full body training.

If you’re looking for a complete fullbody workout program I’ve got you covered!

Total BEAXST ==> Complete 90 day total body split training
Monster Maker ==> Full body training with the ability to add additional targeted split muscle group training
Program Selector ==> See which program best fits your goals, abilities and available equipment

athleanx
THE HIGHLIGHT REEL:
FULL BODY WORKOUT

  1. Full body workouts have several benefits including building strength faster and using multiple muscle groups in a single action, which is more athletic and functional.
  2. Science shows that stimulating the muscles every 48 hours produces the most amount of muscle growth with the least amount of wasted time.
  3. Every full body workout routine should include seven movement patterns: squat, lunge, hinge, push, pull, carry and corrective exercises.
  4. I’ve created 2 complete total body workouts that utilize each of these movement patterns. If you’re a beginner, give Workout A a try. If you’d like a more complete plan, follow the 30 day calendar I’ve provided to use Workouts A and B together.

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