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The Workouts Splits Series : The full Body Split

Workout splits are one of the main variables that will dictate your success or failure in your strength training journey. In this article, we will specifically discuss the full body split.

The Importance Of Choosing The Right Split

Now you might be wondering why is choosing the right training split is so important. OK, let me ask you a question: have you ever started a new workout that you saw on the Internet or write it yourself to soon find yourself tired all the time. Your performance in the gym starts to drop and you start to feel a lack of motivation toward training. But you kept grinding on it anyway because you think that the plan is badass and hardcore and it will give you the results you are after. I mean it makes sense, after all, you are busting your ass day in and day out grinding through the workouts like a Spartan warrior.

The sad news is after a while you get even more tired but you achieved no results and now you are confused. what is wrong ? Why it didn’t work? The answer is simply the lack of proper structure and periodization. In simple English, it means you were following the wrong split that didn’t allow enough recovery for individual muscle groups and caused too much stress on your central nervous system.

When it comes to building muscles, one of the most important things to get right is your workout split. You need a proper program design that will allow recovery and lead to progress. Usually, most training programs on the Internet doesn’t fail to bring that. It is, however, the individual modification that people add by themselves that will cause those issues.

So in this series, we will run over the main muscle building splits. Their pros and their limits so you are able to pick the right split for yourself. Also, we will provide you with simple workout routines from each split so you are able to put them in action.

The Full Body Split

The oldest split ever used by strength athletes.  Not so long ago before the bro split routines,  the full body split was the norm between bodybuilding and fitness competitors. Steve Reeves used it and even Arnold used it in his beginnings. Some bodybuilding legends like Leroy Colbert never trained in another way. And if you wonder if it got him buff and ripped just check the picture below:

Leroy Colbert who was famous for using only full body splits in all his bodybuilding career .
Leroy Colbert who was famous for using only full body splits in all his bodybuilding career.

However, kids these days overlooked full body splits and they labeled them as “beginner’s split”. Heck, even beginners ditched them and start right away with the body parts splits. That is too bad because full body workouts work exceptionally well.

OK,  first for those of you who don’t know what a full body split is, it is a   split where you are going to work your entire body in one session . Usually  3 times per week allowing one day of rest in between. But, the full body split can be periodized in certain ways that you might work up to 6 times a week. And while it is not that attractive when compared to other splits like the bodypart split, full body splits offers huge benefits that make it suitable for both beginners and advanced strength trainees.

so let’s list the pro’s and con’s of this split so maybe you change your mind about it :


-High training frequency:

The new researches litterature is all showing that for maximum muscle growth. Every  muscle need at least to be hitted twice a week with some muscles like calves and abs that require even more frequency.  With full body splits  you hit each muscle 3 times per week which is especially good for bringing weak body parts.

-Time efficiency:

not everyone has the privilege of being able to hit the gym daily. So a great way to still make gains for busy people is to train with full body splits.

Greater fat loss:

 This one actually makes lots of sense and now is backed up by science. New researches from the university of New Zealand found that individuals who did full body splits lost more bodyfat than those who did split routines[1].

The reason behind that is gene alteration as they concluded. Here is what bodybuilding expert M.r Jim Stoppani said about that topic “whole-body training instigates gene activity to keep metabolic processes revved up in every single muscle, an effect that lasts all day long. Your bodies essentially burns more fat and carbs for fuel throughout the day  with the  whole-body training.” and if you don’t know the man, he is some real big shot in the bodybuilding and fitness industry.  so you better believe it before planning 3 weekly arm workouts in your next cut.

Even without the gene geeky side of things, it really make sense. Working your whole body at once will surely burn more calories and will raise the metabolism to a higher extent after the workout  when compared to a bodypart workout.
-Greater strength gains among experienced trainees:

which is literally the opposite of what most people believe. Nowadays, even fitness experts tend to label full body workouts as beginner’s workouts, which is dead wrong. Recently, it turns out that the  higher frequency that comes with full body training is even more suitable for experienced lifters who are trying to get stronger.

Why? because of the constant central nervous system activation and the firing of the neuro motors pathways. That reminds me of the fact that back in the 90s the Russian Olympic lifting team used to train the same lifts multiple times a day for maximum strength developpement.  and we all can agree that they had some of the most  strong  athletes back then.
Better for athletic performance:
yes, that is right if you are an athlete don’t ever use a bodyparts split because it will only decrease your performance. Full body workouts on the other hand work every muscle in the body at the same time. They make the body work as a whole unit instead of one limb at a time which is important if you are an athlete. You need to use every last bit of your strength in every action not just your biceps supination ability because that’s useless in most sorts.  So, if you are an athlete who goes to the gym to do endless amounts of curls, you better revaluate your approach.
Franco Columbo performing pull ups in Venice California


Okay, did I just seemed like I have a thing against body part splits , well I don’t or maybe.  whatever, let’s now talk about the less pleasant facts about full body training and some of its limitations:
Not enough volume for individual muscle groups during each training session:

while you can hit each muscle group during full body workouts, you cant hit them all with enough volume unless you are planning to train for 6 hours. which you shouldn’t do by the way.

Less pump :

seriously , is that even bad! Yes, it is because recent researches are inducating a big correlation between muscle pump and muscle gain. With full body workouts however it is hard to keep the blood flowing to one area which will  not enable you to  achieve a significant pump.

At the end of this article, I would encourage you guys to really consider implementing the full body split into your routine. It has so much potential especially for those who are not used to it and it is a great way to shock the body to build more muscle or lose more fat depending on your goals.

In the next blog , I am going to provide you guys with some full body workouts that will help you reach your goals if it is strength gain , muscle gain or fat loss so stay tuned.
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