When you’re just starting out, it can seem daunting to go to the gym five days a week using a popular split routine. In actuality, there’s no need for a split routine at all.
Full-body workouts can be just as effective, if not more effective, than some of the most popular split routines out there! Let’s take a look at how full-body workouts actually work and the benefits associated with them.
Table of Contents
- Does It Work?
- Why Are Full-body Workouts So Effective?
- Who Benefits From Full-body Workouts?
- Are full-body Workouts Better Than Splits?
- Can I do a full-body workout every other day?
Does It Work?
In short: Yes.
Full-body workouts target all major muscle groups in the body during a single workout. Now, if you’re used to a split routine, you’re probably thinking that’s a long time spent at the gym!
Because you’re hitting all muscles during a full-body workout, there’s no need to put in as many reps or sets in every workout. After a day or two of rest, you can get back into the gym and do another full-body workout in no time.
Yet, not everybody enjoys full-body workouts for a variety of reasons. Their lack of popularity is not connected to their ability to improve your health and fitness!
Why Are Full-body Workouts So Effective?
You might be under the assumption that more reps and sets equal greater gains. That’s true to an extent, but there are limitations.
Here’s what makes full-body workouts so effective.
All Muscles Are Worked
The best part about full-body workouts is that you can guarantee that all major muscle groups within the body are exercised. When it comes to split routines, missing one day can throw your entire routine off base.
By targeting all major movements and muscles within the body, there’s no doubt that you’ll be building strength, endurance, and power all across your body. You can even adapt the routine to better fit your fitness goals.
Doesn’t Overwork Your Muscles
One of the major concerns that come along with split routines is putting too much focus on minor muscles. When you’re pumping out 60 reps in just your biceps during a single workout, you’re more likely to injure your biceps and require a longer period of time to recover.
With a full-body workout, you’re only hitting what you need to and taking advantage of the strengths of each muscle. By focusing on multi-joint movements like bench presses and squats, you can work on several muscles at once without overdoing it in the smaller muscles.
With fewer sets and reps for each muscle group, you’ll be able to recover much quicker and get back into the gym even sooner. Rather than having to wait three or four days between working out a particular muscle group, you might be able to get back into the gym in a day or two. This can even lead to overtraining.
The faster your muscles recover, the more likely you are to experience increases in muscle mass and strength. That means your full-body workout might actually be boosting your gains even more than your usual split routine does.
Who Benefits From Full-body Workouts?
Anyone can benefit from a full-body workout, but there are a few populations that are more likely to reap greater benefits. Let’s take a look at these groups.
When you’re just beginning your fitness journey, your body is considered pretty weak. That means it’ll take a little while for your body to get used to resistance training and building strength at the same time.
You’ll definitely overwhelm yourself physically and mentally by jumping right into an intense split routine on day one. Full-body workouts are great for an eventual transition to a two or three day split in the near future.
Anyone With Limited Time
Simply put, not everyone has the time to get to the gym five days a week. But, that doesn’t mean that you have to skip working out and lifting altogether.
With a full-body routine, you can work all the muscles of the body without having to spend hours a week at the gym. You then have full freedom when it comes to the number of times you’re doing your full-body routine each week depending on how much time you have leftover.
People With Physical Limitations
If you’re recovering from an injury or have a disability that limits your ability to exercise, full-body workouts are great. They don’t cause too much stress on your muscles but keep your muscles active enough to improve their performance.
You also have to think about the exercises common in full-body workouts. With more multi-joint movements and less focus on specific minor muscles, there’s a lesser chance of developing an injury during a workout.
Are full-body Workouts Better Than Splits?
Honestly, both have their own benefits.
Full-body workouts every other day do have their benefits. You’ll be able to focus on all muscle groups adequately and improve your strength in all areas.
These full-body workouts also allow you to recover from workouts much more quickly, get back into the gym, and maybe even make greater gains. But at a certain point, full-body workouts begin to run their course and you might plateau.
That’s where a split routine comes in!
What makes splits great is that they work on the minor muscle groups a little bit more. Rather than just doing bench presses and cable rows, you can add in some triceps extensions and biceps curls.
With the addition of these extra exercises, you’ll be seeing greater strength and muscle growth in the smaller muscles as well as the larger muscles. Overall, anyone looking to boost muscle growth throughout the body should eventually transition to a split routine.
Can I do a full-body workout every other day?
Full-body workouts can absolutely be effective in improving your health and fitness in the long-term. They’re extremely easy to implement into your weekly schedule and provide great benefits along the way.
It’s obviously your choice when it comes to which type of exercise routine you’re going to take advantage of. Just keep in mind that, despite their reputation for being only effective in beginners, full-body workouts can truly benefit any person of any level of fitness.