Some men are unable to make it to the gym more than 3 times a week but still want to get some good workouts in. The answer to that is a full body workout. The myth out there is that it takes hours and hours of hard work in the gym to get the Greek god physique most men are after. The reality to that is well, maybe not.
Yes, hard work is definitely needed to build muscle. Just like anything, you get what you put in. A full body workout can help your progress while limiting time in the gym.
When I say full body routine, I guarantee most people think hopping from machine to machine with no structure. The reality of a full body workout is to have goals in mind to maximize muscle growth and reduce over training.
Some basic rules to live by for these full body workouts:
- Train once every 2-3 days- this is appealing to most as it means less time in the gym.
- LIFT HEAVY- Don’t get fooled into thinking circuit training is all about “getting the pump” Progressive overload (increasing either weights or reps) is important to increasing muscle mass and strength
- Focus on the big movements- by big movements I mean compound movements. Movements that utilize multiple muscles at once. These types of exercises include squats, deadlifts, bench press, power cleans, snatches, pull-ups
- Limit the workout to an hour or less- Remember full body is taxing and can lead to overtraining. Doing these big movements stated before will increase testosterone levels; but, long workouts can boost cortisol levels, which lead to a catabolic (muscle break down- not good!) state.
- Eat- Make sure to get some sort of large meal or post-workout shake into your body immediately after training. Your body is using your glycogen as fuel for these tough workouts. Getting some food into your body immediately will help replenish those glycogen stores and have you recovering faster.
- Mix it up- be conscious to change the order of your workouts. It sounds silly but changing it up can change the symmetry of your physique. If you start with a bench press, your energy will be slightly depleted for the rest of the workout. So next time, start with squats when you are fresh.