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Are Full-Body Or Split-Body Workouts Right For You?

Woman writing on clipboard in weights room

There are a lot of factors that come into creating an effective workout program.

As a trainer, one of the biggest factors for me is determining whether a person will benefit from a Full Body or Body Part Split program.

Full-Body Workouts: You are exercising your whole body, with all muscle groups being used and stimulated in one workout.

For example, you combine upper body exercises like push-ups with lower body exercises such as squats, as well as core exercises in one training session.

Body Part Split Workouts: You separate your muscle groups or movement patterns into workouts on different days.

For example, you might train all your upper body muscles one day and your lower body muscles another day;

Your pushing exercises such as squats, push-ups and shoulder presses on one day, and your pulling movements such as deadlifts, rows and rear delt raises on another;

Or you may even train your chest and back one day, legs and core the next day, shoulders and arms the following day.


3 Pros Of Choosing Full-Body

✔️ Use The Body In A Functional Manner – Hitting all muscle groups in one workout is more natural and closer to how we use our body on a daily basis.

✔️ Missing A Workout Is Less Impactful – By hitting every muscle group each workout, those who exercise 2x per week can miss a workout and not have to stress about missing out on training a specific muscle group.

✔️ Maximize Calorie Burn and Fat Loss – If weight loss is your primary goal, full body workouts 2-3x per week will give you the most bang for your time in the gym, as you have to recruit every muscle in the body.

3 Cons Of Choosing Full-Body

❌ Can Be Difficult To Focus On Specific Muscle Group – If you have imbalances in your body, it can be hard to focus on and put enough time into strengthen those specific muscle groups when performing full body workouts.

Can Lead To Overtraining – If you enjoy lifting weights more than 3 times per week, need to lift on consecutive days, or thrive on really pushing your muscular limits every session, doing full body workouts each workout can lead to overtraining. To avoid this, proper programming (using the appropriate splits) and adequate recovery is critical.

Intensity Can Be Hard To Handle – The intensity of full body workouts multiple times per week, especially if you lift heavy weights or do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), can be tough to sustain, and may lead to overtraining if programming and recovery is not adequate.

Who Can Benefit The Most From Full-Body Workouts?

🔹 Cardio Fanatics – If you love doing cardio, HIIT, or would like to begin to incorporate resistance training into your more cardio centred workout a couple times per week, full body workouts, especially circuit style training, can be a great fit.

🔹Beginners – If you are a beginner, stick to full body workouts. They are more efficient and allow you to work every major muscle group.

🔹Seniors – Older adults have a lot to gain from moving their body in functional ways and exercising their body a couple times per week.

🔹Less Frequent Intermittent Lifters – If you have been actively strength training for several months, and would like to continue performing strength training 1-3 times per week, full body workouts can give intermediates the best results for their efforts.

Whether you’re a beginner, an intermediate or someone who is more advanced, how you split your workouts up is going to play a big role in the results you see.

Hopefully this little summary helps you choose the type of workout split best suited to you.

However, as there are a lot of factors which need to be considered when putting together a training program, it is best you seek advice from a fitness professional who can access your specific circumstance, and design an appropriate training program to help your get the greatest results for your efforts, and do so effectively and safely.

If you would like to save yourself the time and hassle of researching, creating, and starting a training routine that doesn’t give you the results or enjoyment you want, contact Eva on eva@konquerfitness.com.au or fill out our registration form.

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