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Boards => Training => Topic started by: Nic on December 14, 2016, 01:47:13 PM



Title: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Nic on December 14, 2016, 01:47:13 PM
After reading Ben H's interview (and journal), and listening to a few podcasts where the guest was talking about full-body sessions, I wondered..

How many people here use a full-body approach? Or have done in the past?

How do you structure it? How many days per week/days off between sessions?

Do you have set exercises, do you "cycle" exercises, or do you just make sure you do (say) 1 x squat, 1 x deadlift, 1 x chest push, 1 x overhead press, 1 x vertical pull, 1 x row?

I have never considered full body before, always doing some kind of body part split or at least "push" and "pull".

But I'm hearing much more about this approach... keen to see what you lot think?


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: SCOTTGALTON on December 14, 2016, 02:08:01 PM
Your not alone in thinking about full body or at leat upper and lower split. I get that if you hit a muscle more often that in theory you have opportunity to have more stimulus. I would think it needs a fair bit of thinking about in terms of exercise selection. I'd not be able to deadlift Monday and then squat Wednesday for example.


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: SuperplexSteve on December 14, 2016, 03:00:21 PM
I remember when my job involved a lot of travelling, I did a full body workout 2-3 times per week, including back squat, deadlifts, dumbbell shoulder press, dumbbell press, dips and pull-ups as the staples.  I made some good strength gains on this programme but my actual all-round muscular development was lacking - I had a very bottom-heavy look, which I've been trying to address for the past couple of years.  I wasn't thinking carefully enough about exercise selection.

I'm also intrigued about this approach and I may give it another go in the future.  One of my goals is to achieve a 3x bodyweight deadlift, and I think the training frequency will help.  At the moment, I have a 3-day legs, push, pull split, which I'm quite enjoying.  I really like annihilating a muscle group, but of course the downside to that is more recovery time.


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Nic on December 14, 2016, 06:58:27 PM
Well, today I did

- front squats
- dumbell SLDL
- plate loaded pull down (underhand)
- t-bar row (overhand)
- incline dumbell chest press
- dumbell shoulder press

Not a clue what I'll do tomorrow?! I guess full body folk always have at least 1 if not 2 days between sessions?



Title: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Rossdog on December 14, 2016, 07:12:19 PM
Sunday hamstrings and calves
Monday chest
Tuesday back
Wednesday shoulders
Thursday quads and calves
Friday arms
Saturday rest

The old faithful split. There or thereabouts. I have to train 6 days per week, couldnt deal with only going to the gym 2-4 times.


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Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Nic on December 14, 2016, 07:18:05 PM
I have to train 6 days per week, couldnt deal with only going to the gym 2-4 times.


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This is my problem Lew, I don't think I could cope with training 2/3 times a week. 4 might be OK at a push! I really like volume and frequency.

 ??? Are full-body sessions and 5-6/week training mutually exclusive? ???


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Rossdog on December 14, 2016, 07:51:36 PM
People get too caught up in listening to all these 'gurus' chatting all day about , 'frequency' and what's 'optimal' the way u will make the most gains is by training the way u enjoy to train, and by keep mixing it up. I know for a fact I could not enter a gym and do 5x5 squat 5 mins rest between and then do a couple of what they call 'accessory' exercises! I'll be in the gym everyday busting my balls for a an hour n half to a couple of hours no doubt about that !!


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Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Glen Danbury on December 14, 2016, 08:24:31 PM
think your question will result in a variety of answers as jist like splits you could do it a variety of ways.

I love full body training and theres plenty of variations in how you could do it.

I always tend to think of movements rather than muscles and focus on the primal movement patterns

*squat
*hip hinge
*single leg/lunge
*push
*pull
*rotation/antirotation

you could have it that you vary movements each session or even vary loading each session

for those who I've given full body programs in the past I have given a slight modified program which combines the two to a degree

session 1 - movement for each primal pattern plus two or three accessory exercises/single joint for squat
session 2 - same as above but accessories for push
session 3 - same as above but accessories for hip hinge
session 4 - same as above but accessories for pull

plenty of variation but still allows that pump chase

personally I dont get how someone can ho in and spend a whole session working on arms - wpuld feel I've wasted an hour

at the end of the day a program is only as good as how much it motivates you and how long you stick with it. as long as you make progress over time with workloads how you achieve it is somewhat irrelevant IMO



Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Badger on December 14, 2016, 08:45:11 PM
You have to do what floats your boat.. there will always be disagreement on what works best but at the end of the day adherence comes from enjoying it.

I like about 5 days a week, 3 days of heavy barbell work and 2 days more isolation based work. I find this gives me what I want from my training and also gives me room to push intensity hard.

Pretty much everything works, it's just if it works for you that decides whether to go with it. I love training so do it more often and recover ok from it but there are plenty of low frequency guys who are getting what they want from it in terms of performance/growth.



Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: DDG on December 14, 2016, 11:08:14 PM
I've used full-body workouts but didn't feel they brought the best out of my physique. I couldn't employ enough volume anywhere to achieve the 'look' I was after. As a sprinter this is how I used to train always. It was functional and effective. However, sculpting a physique requires more specialised work even if this relies almost exclusively on relatively few, basic movements.

For me, the best compromise was upper/lower body splits and in my prime this is all I used for contest preparation. It was very effective and allowed me to train twice in three days resting a day before repeating the cycle. This meant everything got hit twice weekly. On the run up to a contest I'd sometimes train with higher frequency, upper, lower, upper, lower without a break for as long as I could last before taking a day off. Again, this used to pull me in very quickly.

With age, I've found I can no longer sustain workouts that take me above 35-40 sets and prefer to train often but in shorter bursts, typically no longer than 30 minutes per session and more often only 25 minutes duration. This allows me to recover, preserve tissue and still train everything twice weekly, albeit using different combinations of movements to stimulate all areas twice. Without question there's a big difference between training at, say, 19 years, 29 years, 36 years and 46 years of age. I try to make sensible adjustments to keep everything in order without breaking my body.


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: ben-howard on December 15, 2016, 08:27:39 AM
I find when setting up a full body workout - 3 days per week suits best, focusing on a squat, push and pull each session with a couple of isolation exercises after , I personally can't recover from more than 3 of these sessions weekly and it's a great way to build on the basic lifts and can be geared to more advanced lifters too by undulating the rep ranges, exercises, intensity etc

However I think Rossi is spot on when it comes to enjoying the training, I did full body workouts for a period as they suited me at the time, and I enjoyed the basic exercises , get in, get out done

This can get pretty boring for a lot of people so spicing the programme up is a better option

I was going to dive back into full body workouts after this years season was over but have fell into a great "middle of the road" approach with upper-lower training, getting the benefit of basic lifts and frequency with a little more room for bodybuilding specific exercises I need and flexibility in the routine too (I can train 2 days in a row if needs be) and doesn't impact my recovery - I used this routine before and worked very well! I shall continue

Upper+ HIIT
Off
Lower + mobility& flexibility
Off
Repeat





Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Glen Danbury on December 15, 2016, 06:21:27 PM
Two points on this

success leaves clues and would estimate the majority of those who have achieved high levels probably follow a more traditional split

secondly it always gets me those who follow more of a split tend to get closer to full body training if they include large mulit joint movements

are deadlifts hamstring, quad,lower back or upperback work.

same as cleanand presses - shoulder, upperback, or hip work?


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: egg-custard on December 16, 2016, 11:52:26 AM
if doing full body workouts

should you really include minor muscle group training to

eg wrist curls,calf raises, and other exrcises that compounds don't really hit hard..?


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Monbeef on December 16, 2016, 08:55:58 PM
I have only read this halfway down because my toilet session is coming to an end and I wanted to comment...

I also have to train too frequently to do full body. Just can't help myself. But I don't see a problem with splitting it slightly and training push and pull or upper and lower 2-3 times a week each.

In fact, I rate frequent stimulus over infrequent annihilation. As I always say 1x7=7 but 2x5=10. Slightly less growth from stimulation only but with half the recovery time resulting in greater response overall (opinion, not science that I know of).

I personally like to split sessions by lifts rather than bodyparts in scenarios like that.

I wouldn't ever bother with wrist curls, eggie. Forearms tend to lag due to the brachiradialis at the elbow joint so reverse curls are needed, and as grip improves with the rising weight of normal compound lifts, so will forearms.

Calves need work if the optimum physique is to be achieved but they will be worked in deep squats anyway.


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Damon Eaton on December 17, 2016, 01:50:27 PM
I have tried every variation full body, upper/lower, push/pull/legs and body part splits.

The thing I notice about full body is obviously you have to take the next day off which sucks I like to train as much as possible. Also it is hard to fit everything in and by the last exercise you dont have the same intensity as the first. If I was an athlete in another sport or strapped for time I would do full body but as Im only interested in physique and a bit of strength I don't like it.

I'm a lot like Rossdog. I like loads of volume to train as often as possible and to get a pump not think too much but just go in hard and smash it until I feel done. Body part splits are great for this and I have had the most success this way perhaps its because I enjoy it perhaps its because its optimal for my body type or perhaps its just optimal because I enjoy it.


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Monbeef on December 17, 2016, 02:56:24 PM
Enjoyment leads to consistency which leads as close to optimal as can be in my opinion, mate, so I agree.

I was the same for years and loved the freestyle kill it and love it approach. It was only at one point when Glen made me realise I'd never really reach my potential in strength without appropriate structure that I then took that element seriously. The result was strength, which then carried over to my bodybuilding work, and resulted in more size all over. So I've gone back and forth in phases always hitting preplanned strength lifts first before then freestyling and finishing the bodypart off with fun stuff at the end.

When I don't I miss the pump and when I only freestyle I lose strength and that pop-like edge in size and thickness. 


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Damon Eaton on December 17, 2016, 04:37:02 PM
Enjoyment leads to consistency which leads as close to optimal as can be in my opinion, mate, so I agree.

I was the same for years and loved the freestyle kill it and love it approach. It was only at one point when Glen made me realise I'd never really reach my potential in strength without appropriate structure that I then took that element seriously. The result was strength, which then carried over to my bodybuilding work, and resulted in more size all over. So I've gone back and forth in phases always hitting preplanned strength lifts first before then freestyling and finishing the bodypart off with fun stuff at the end.

When I don't I miss the pump and when I only freestyle I lose strength and that pop-like edge in size and thickness. 

It might be optimal to cycle between strength and hypertrophy phases for a bodybuilder or it may be optimal to keep the focus on hypertrophy without neglecting strength I'm not really sure certainly preference will be key.

I do similar to you I start off with the compounds and work in the strength rep ranges but once I hit one solid set I start dropping weight and increasing volume I'm not into the long rest periods so whilst strength isn't neglect its not a focus there for my true strength potential may never be recognised but I'm okay with that as I'm not going to compete in a strength contest.

For me I think it will always be bodypart splits with a bit of strength work at the start whilst strong then low rest and just smash it. Its fun and if I feel like chopping or changing an exercises I just do it if I feel like doing more sets I will. I love this way and I think I will be sticking to it for good.


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Glen Danbury on December 19, 2016, 11:51:37 PM
very scant research on this despite hypothesis of raised protein symthesis gor 72 hours etc.

only one I've seen is this one https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Brad_Schoenfeld/publication/275663348_Influence_of_Resistance_Training_Frequency_on_Muscular_Adaptations_in_Well-Trained_Men/links/554608430cf234bdb21d88f1.pdf&ved=0ahUKEwjtlJjyqoHRAhXNNFAKHd7qBwsQFgg2MAI&usg=AFQjCNEHOTb4tPUip2_D35h4qvW1sfXysw&sig2=0pOikks01grQJ64yZI8mXQ that was any good - some issues to take this as definitive proofbut still interesting
 


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: fhwill on December 22, 2016, 10:37:37 AM
My "coach" has given me full body in the past -he swears by it, although I don't actually know why?  ???
It's not my cup of tea personally, as I hate training the same bodypart if it's DOMS-ridden...  :-\


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Maveric Matt on December 22, 2016, 01:33:33 PM
I feel like I'd never fit in enough of the things / movements I want to do doing full body, so feel splits can 'cover more bases' in terms of muscle angles.


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: fstsven on December 22, 2016, 01:58:01 PM
^^

Same here, I have tried it for a year, and it worked (progress didn't seem any better or worse), but I switched back to a split because I felt I couldn't really exhaust every muscle and I like that feeling when you've given a certain muscle absolute hell  ;D
So I think both approaches work and it's a matter of personal preference.


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Glen Danbury on December 22, 2016, 03:50:21 PM
I feel like I'd never fit in enough of the things / movements I want to do doing full body, so feel splits can 'cover more bases' in terms of muscle angles.

think ultimately this is the quandry we all face, that uncertainty of whats enough.

whilst the quote of 80%of our results comes from 20% of our efforts probably isn't fully true in hypertrophy, the issue of how much is needed to get that final 20% does hold true - more often than not it's a lot less than 80% of our efforts. at least for the beginnet to intermediate lifter. its probably only the advanced who need more than one or two movements with progressive overload


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Monbeef on December 22, 2016, 09:04:45 PM
You can rotate 3 different full body workouts though, Matt?


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: DDG on December 22, 2016, 09:52:14 PM
Lots of ways to do this.

The thing is, if you train virtually every day then you can still employ splits and train each body part twice a week. The issue here is recovery and sound, consistent nutrition. This is where a lot of people struggle, I feel, since their commitment to a balanced, wholesome diet is often patchy. However, if all this is in place then you can pretty much train as often as you like AND recover adequately. Training wise the crucial point is to avoid annihilating a muscle group so that you're left sore for days on end. Soreness is at best only a crude measure of the appropriate stimulation required for optimum hypertrophy. Enabling your body to recover is key to enhancing volume and frequency. These, in my view, can be as effective a means of overload as intensity (load) itself.

Just my view ...

 


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Humble Progress on December 23, 2016, 09:57:16 AM
I think like most on this board I have tried every variation of split at one time or another.

For me, time is a key component.....When I have been in periods of my life where training was only possible 2-3 times a week then full body sessions was must. I tended to stick to the big movements and I would say overall I benefited in terms of strength more than creating a muscular development.

I have, probably for the first time in 10 years found myself recently in a position where I can train every day, and have been hitting the gym 6-7 days a week. Interestingly almost the opposite is true, my strength is pretty stagnant, but physique wise I feel like I have put on ore muscle than I have ever done before.

My current split is
Session 1
Calves
Hams
Chest

Session 2
Calves
Quads
Back

Session 3
Shoulders
Biceps
Triceps

As I'm hitting 5-7 sessions a week, I tend to be training each muscle twice a week, with the exception of calves which get trained 4 times a week.

I tend to do 2-3 exercises per muscle group (2 for smaller muscles, 3 for bigger muscles).

The increased frequency of training has allowed me to split me legs into quads and hams days, which has made a tremendous difference.
Equally I split my back sessions, one to focus primarily on rowing movements to build thickness, and one to focus on pull ups/downs/overs etc...to focus on width.

I limit my volume to no more than 60 reps per exercise. I do 20 reps on a light weight (1 set), 20 reps on a moderate weight (2-3 sets), 20 reps on a heavy weight (4-5 sets).
60 reps means I hit the tut required to stimulate hypertrophy, and the variation in weight means cover all muscle fibers.
By limiting the rpes to 60 it also gives me an incentive to make sure every rep counts, perfect form.

My problem is food. As I am never panning on competing I am not strict on my diet at all, I eat a lot of protein but I eat junk...I burn it off, so its not like I am fat, but I always sit around 13-14% body fat, were as to really be able to appreciate the muscle I have built over the years it would be good for me to get to 10-11%.


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: 6517 on December 24, 2016, 11:06:53 PM
I do push pull quads with push hamstrings with pull train eod


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: K_Dogs on December 30, 2016, 05:33:52 PM
When I first read “Full body” I thought that I had to hit every muscle group directly. This didn’t do me any favours and I quickly became bored.

I now have a different take, I see a full body as simply hitting the upper and lower body in same session. With this method you have flexibility to chop and change days and even train twice in a row if required.

Here’s an example

Day1
Squat - Moderate
Bench – Heavy
Chin - Moderate

Day2
Squat – Heavy
Military – Heavy
Dip – Moderate

Day3
Deadlift - Heavy
Row - Moderate


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: ben-howard on December 31, 2016, 08:49:39 AM
i had to do the same when hitting full body sessions, had to change the exercises, volume and intensity each workout for the same muscle group - I found I couldn't deadlift more than twice per week, but squatting X3 was fine aslong as they weren't all out sessions


glad its going well for you mate, frequent squatting/deadlifting is a game changer for sure!


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Mr Crabtree on January 03, 2017, 08:26:06 AM
I have just started a 12 week cutting phase but when that's finished I will be swapping over to 3 full body workouts.
As above, volume and intensity are important factors that need considering when programming full body workouts.

I intend to run my 3 days as Heavy / Light / Medium.
Exercise selection will also change from session to session.
I'm not fully decided on rep schemes yet but something like -

Heavy 3x4 (flat BB bench)
Light 3x15 (Inc DB bench)
Medium 3x8 (Weighted Dips)

Casey Butt is quite a respected dude and has long advocated HLM style training.


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Glen Danbury on January 03, 2017, 06:17:02 PM
I have just started a 12 week cutting phase but when that's finished I will be swapping over to 3 full body workouts.
As above, volume and intensity are important factors that need considering when programming full body workouts.

I intend to run my 3 days as Heavy / Light / Medium.
Exercise selection will also change from session to session.
I'm not fully decided on rep schemes yet but something like -

Heavy 3x4 (flat BB bench)
Light 3x15 (Inc DB bench)
Medium 3x8 (Weighted Dips)

Casey Butt is quite a respected dude and has long advocated HLM style training.

one of my favourite programs (texas method/madcow) runs off H/L/M. it's what got me to 220 x 5 on squats and once body and equipment allows will be going back to it.

in fact might implement same system on cleans once reintroduced in a few months


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Dan94 on January 03, 2017, 08:49:21 PM
Splits for me.

Chest/Tri
Back/Bi
Legs/Shoulders


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Monbeef on January 03, 2017, 09:00:49 PM
How does Texas work glen? Or do you have a specific link to a calculator etc?


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Glen Danbury on January 03, 2017, 11:48:04 PM
How does Texas work glen? Or do you have a specific link to a calculator etc?

http://www.allthingsgym.com/texas-method-excel-spreadsheet/

this was more or less the variant I ran. few different ways but the premise is volume day, light day and heavy day each week for squats, bench and presses follow similar format but alternated so have one of those sessions every two weeks.

workload on volume allows you to up your 5RM each week which should then allow increases on volume day. Madcow is pretty much the same but simplified to fit in one week for all lifts. deadlifts low volume and squats should push it up


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Monbeef on January 04, 2017, 06:20:57 AM
Cool, cheers mate. I'll have a look.


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Groovemaster on May 02, 2017, 10:17:09 AM
I've always opted for upper/lower twice weekly as it seems the majority of science based tests on naturals say higher frequency/volume broken down over the week is optimal, well 2 to 3x.. above thats there seems to be no benefit.

Although I do miss the added 'pump' from a push day! And I too feel I don't get enough in per muscle group but volume wise it still adds up at the end of the week..



Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Dan94 on May 02, 2017, 12:48:39 PM
Push Pull 2 a week or PPLPP if I get the time for 5 sessions


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Groovemaster on May 02, 2017, 02:04:32 PM
That would be the ideal split for me.. 2 x a week but split muscle groups. I only manage 3 days max a week at gym so i just hit Upper/lower


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Dan94 on May 02, 2017, 02:23:44 PM
If I could only do 3 times a week I'd just do 3 full body workouts personally


Title: Re: Full body sessions vs Splits?
Post by: Groovemaster on May 02, 2017, 02:40:44 PM
I can't seem to manage a full body.. Takes too long and Im fatiqued by the last muscle group