3 Reasons You Should Always Choose Full-Body Workouts
For most guys that hit the gym, Monday is chest day (or leg day, or cardio), and the rest of the week, you round out your weight rotation with area-focused pushes and pulls. Want to burn more calories and build more overall strength? Hit multiple muscle groups in a single workout. Here are three reasons why you should start making every workout a full-body workout.
1. You’ll burn more calories
When you want to lose weight, it’s important to keep moving. Since overall calorie burn is the goal, full body workouts work very well.
Singling out a single muscle group for an entire workout isn’t always as effective as you might think, Mike T. Nelson, an exercise physiologist, told Details. “After performing only two isolation exercises in a row, guys’ performance drops off pretty fast. The muscles are already fatigued, so you are able to lift less and get less out of your last four, five, or six exercises than you would if you spread them out through the week,” he said.
Peppering one workout with cardio, plyometrics, and various strength-training exercises will keep your muscles working the entire time. Because your body is using different muscles throughout, it’ll be constantly adjusting, and as a result, burning more calories.
2. You’ll avoid injury
By prioritizing full-body workouts, you’ll be building a more balanced body by hitting all muscle groups in one workout. Because all of your muscles are connected to each other, splitting up the body for each and every workout doesn’t make sense.
Since the muscles can get so worn out, overuse injuries with body-part split workouts are pretty common. Even more common is for form to get progressively worse when working through day-to-day body-split routines. That’s where injuries can occur.
“The pitfall of isolated training is that it can lead to imbalances in muscle groups, which can result in injury. Very few of us are competing at an elite level and so functional training is what is going to keep the average person fit and injury free through their lifetime,” Blake Gould, fitness director at the Vail Vitality Center in Vail, Colorado, told The Wall Street Journal.
3. You’ll gain more strength overall
A full body workout can create a more powerful hormonal response to help build muscle. If getting stronger is your goal, it’s important to perform movements that allow you to use your whole body. Compound exercises, such as squats, deadlifts, and bench press variations, are full-body movements that require the most total-body effort to execute — incorporate these into your workout on a regular basis.
These types of full-body, or functional, workouts prepare your body for everyday activities. You’ll have incorporated cardio and stretching, meaning a stronger heart, more endurance, and better flexibility. Combined, this full-body focus means that you’re better prepared for what life throws at you, and you’re in better overall shape, so you can hit it hard every workout.
Another bonus: If you normally exercise four times per week and you happen to miss one, it’s not as big a deal; you have already been working all your muscle groups throughout the week.