Unlike what you've been told in bodybuilding magazines; body-part split workouts are not the best way for the average person to train. Here are 6 key benefits of full body workouts and why you should switch to them today.
6 Benefits of Full Body Workouts
Benefit #1: Burn More Calories and Fat
If you can only make it to the gym for 30 to 40 minutes a few days a week like most people, doing full body workouts will maximize the fat burning potential and calories burned during your workouts.
Full body exercises like squats, presses, and other compound movements require a larger amount of energy than a curl or other isolation exercises.
Full body workouts also allow for shorter rest periods, since you can alternate between upper body and lower body movements. This constant movement keeps the heart up and calories burning.
When you train an isolated muscle group, you have to wait longer between sets for the muscle to recover between exercises, allowing too much time for your heart to slow down.
Benefit #2: Stimulate More Muscle
On shoulder day you only stimulate a small section of the nervous system: the shoulders.
One of the biggest benefits of full body workouts is that your entire nervous system is stimulated, which is ideal for someone who can only make it to the gym two or three times a week.
When you perform body part spit routines, large amounts of the body can go days and sometimes weeks without any engagement if there is a disruption in the training schedule. This can lead to a loss of strength and imbalances in the fitness of the various parts of the body.
Doing full body workouts trains the body evenly so this is less likely to occur. Plus, it is much more functional, as most daily activities require the use of the entire body, not just an isolated muscle.
Benefit #3: Increases Full Body Strength
Full body exercises and full body workouts train the body to work and move weight as a single unit. Some refer to this type of training as, "functional training" because full body workouts tend to have more carry-over to real life.
Exercises like standing overhead presses, farmers carries, squats, and deadlifts all mimic/replicate everyday movements and tend to be the core of full body workouts.
When you do isolation workouts you are essentially shutting down the rest of the body while you perform the exercise (e.g., preacher curls), which rarely happens.
Benefit #4: Improve Workout Efficiency
One of the primary benefits of full body workouts is that they are incredibly time efficient. Because full body workouts tend to include more compound movements, you can stimulate the entire body in a very short amount of time.
Sample full body workout: Squats, Deadlifts, Pull-Ups, Bench Press, Overhead Shoulder Press
Benefit #5: Requires Less Time Commitment
The worst thing about body part split routines is that they are super time consuming, requiring you to commit to at least 4 days of gym time a week. For the average person with a full time job and two kids with their own commitments, that is just too much.
Additionally, if something comes up and you miss a day, there is no way to make that day up and a body part or two may not get trained for a week or more.
The benefit of full body workouts is that you can sufficiently train the entire body in as few as 2 or 3 intense sessions a week. Then, if you miss a day one week, it is not a big deal because every body part is being stimulated each and every workout.
Benefit #6: Improved Exercise Recovery
Improved recovery is a side benefit of full body workouts. By spending less time in the gym, your program will naturally include more rest days.
This is great because it allows you to incorporate more "working-in" as Paul Chek calls it. That is; yoga, stretching, mobility days, meditation, leisure, sleep, breath work, etc.
Conclusion: Body part split routines are great workouts for those with a lot of time available for training; e.g., college students, professional bodybuilders, etc. However, they are not the best way for most busy people to workout.
Full body workouts are much easier to follow for most people and tend to be more functional in nature. They also tend to be better for burning calories and torching fat.