Stuck in a Rut? Give Full Body Routines a Try

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Many lifters that commit to regular training break their routines down into individual bodyparts or a couple different muscles per workout. This allows you to devote individual attention to each area in the hopes of developing a complete physique.

By Roger Lockridge

The thing is eventually the time comes where a change is necessary. Change is the spice of life and in this case it can be the spice of our fitness. This means that the time might come for you to change your program. Instead of training each individual group once a week you’ll train everything in one workout several times a week. These full body routines offer different advantages.

-You won’t be placing too much load on a specific area so they have more time to recover.
-The body is meant to work as a complete unit anyway so this type of training can help improve overall physical function.
-Full-body workouts can save time if designed properly.
-It can provide different challenges to your workouts that a split routine.

Obviously, since you’re going to train the entire body over the course of a session, that doesn’t mean you hit each area with 10-12 working sets. That would take too much time. So how do you create your own plan? These tips below can help you do just that.

Decide What Your Goal Is
Are you wanting to add size and strength or lose weight? This is going to determine how you’re going to train. If you want to grow then you need to train heavy. This means all of your exercises are going to be for 3-4 sets of 6-10 reps. Rest for two minutes between sets so you can properly recover and give your all on the next one. If the goal is fat loss then it will be different. The rep range will be from 12-20 so you have more volume. That means you train heavy for that rep range. To keep the pace and maximize calorie burning your rest will be one minute.

Create an Order of Weakest to Strongest
This is when you need to do some critical self-analysis. When you analyze your body and strength levels, what do you think is the area that needs the most improvement? You’re going to take this area and write it at the top of your order. You need to train it first when you have the most energy and focus. Now think about the next area you think needs the most work and place it right below your first muscle group. Repeat those steps until your entire body is in the form of a list with weakest at the top and strongest at the end.

Make Your List of Exercises
There is no way I could create an exact program because I don’t know what your weakest areas are or what’s available in your gym. So you’ll need to determine what exercises you can and should do for the individual groups. Take that list of muscle groups you made and include two exercises for your weakest areas. Your first three muscle groups should have two exercises dedicated to them. Everything else can have one exercise focused on them. A sample plan for someone with weak legs but strong arms and is wanting to lose weight may have a plan that includes 3-4 sets of 12-20 reps for each movement with one minute rest between sets.

Leg Press
Walking Lunge
Lying Leg Curl
Seated Calf Raise
Lying Leg Raise
Incline Barbell Bench Press
Lateral Raise
Preacher Curls
Rope Pressdown

Take It for a Spin

Now that you have a plan, you need to try it out for yourself. Dedicate yourself completely to the plan and don’t question yourself. Once you commit to the plan and execute it, analyze how you feel and your performance. If you like what you see and feel, then stick with it. If not, determine what you need to adjust and make those changes. It might be different exercises, rest time, or time of day to train. Change whatever you need to change to make the plan work for you and stick with it. After a few weeks, analyze your results and decide if you want to do a new full body plan or go back to splits.

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