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Full body workouts for bulking

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Hi guys, I have been training for 2 years now, mostly split workouts. I'm now thinking of changing my routine and try full body workouts.

I'm looking for a program that will fit me best, which is a bit hard. Today I made the following workout :


10minutes warmup


1. 4x squats (1x15 warmup and 4x10 weighted)

Pullovers in between the squats, using only 7,5kg dumbell

2. 5x Bench press (1x15 warmup, 4x8 with 40kg only) last rep was a drop-serie with 5-6 additional reps

3. 3x8 Military press with the bar only (20kg)

4. 3x15 Calf raises (with about 30 kg)

5. 3x6 Dips (I put about 10-15 kg for those, as I was tired) last rep was a drop-serie with 5-6 additional reps

6. 3x8 Peck Deck machine - this I think was unnecessary and a bit of an overkill

7. 1x20 and 2x15 Sit-ups (I used a small 5kg weight for the first 10 and dropped it for the last 5 of each rep)


Completed the whole thing in 1:20h, which was a bit longer than I had planned. I was eating raw food only for the last three days too (had some cooked meal the evening after the exercise)


My next workout should be more of a legs&back excercise, I'm thinking something like this:


1. Wide grip pullups, maybe in super series with some other back/rear delt exercise

2. Deadlifts

3. Leg press

4. Barebell/dumbell rows

5. Barebell shrugs

6. Some abs (leg raise and side bends)


I might actually consult with my PT for this one, but still waiting for your opinions.


The rotation should go like A-B-A-B-A and so on.


I'm not sure I could do this routine 3 times a week, but I might try it.


My goals are about 75 kg and 10-12% fat, which might be hard to do. I'm now 72 kg with 15-18% fat, mostly around the waist.


I'm also thinking dividing my week into 2-3 days of raw food and the rest - cooked food, throwing 1 only water day in a month.

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There are already great programs out there that have become gold standards for novice and intermediate strength athletes. I don't see any reason to reinvent the wheel. But the biggest question is where is your strength level at right now. guy's have told me that they have been working out for 30 years, but they can't even deadlift 400 pounds for one rep. In my book, they are still beginner or novice lifters. If you can deadlift 400 pounds, squat (below parallel w/good form) 300 pounds, and bench press at least 225 then you'll make slower progress and won't be able to progress as fast, so you would be better suited to an intermediate program like madcow 5x5, 531, the cube, shieko, whatever... they all work. If you can't perform the above mentioned lifts, then you should use a program that progresses faster to get you there (starting strength, or stronglifts 5x5 are good). Either way, your program should emphasize progressive over load, or regularly adding weight to the bar.


Also, if you just stick to the program you wrote above, your body should adapt in 2-4 weeks to the added volume and you'll be fine.


By "PT" are you referring to a personal trainer, or a physical therapist?

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I'd have to agree with the guy above. I think you need a better planned program. Pick one that's been tried and tested. What's your goal? By bulking I assume you mean you want to add size? You mentioned losing body fat and bulking in your post so I'm not sure your goals. You can't lose body fat and bulk at the same time.


If you really want a full body workout for muscle building then maybe look over these. http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/forget-steroids-5-fullbody-workouts-for-serious-gains.html


Ok If you look down the list you will find a workout similar to yours.. with this above it. (look down) Now if you fall into the highlighted category then this maybe a good routine for you. Unless you fall into that category it's probably not your best option.


{quote} The Fast Start A/B Full Body Workout


The Fast Start A/B workout is another quality introduction to the world of full body routines for experienced beginners. It focuses on major lifts, but also includes direct trap, calf and ab work. You will be building up core strength by squatting or deadlifting during each workout. The Fast Start A/B is a perfect bulking routine for hardgainers or underweight lifters who are making very little progress using conventional bodybuilding split routines. Sets are performed in the 8 to 10 rep range, making this routine a solid muscle building approach.


Training Level - Beginner+ who has a good grasp of exercise form on major lifts.

Target Group - Hardgainers of underweight lifters who aren't making progress on conventional bodybuilding split routines.

Days Per Week - 3 (Monday, Wednesday, Friday). You will rotate between 2 workouts. Week 1 is A/B/A, and week 2 is B/A/B.

Routine Duration - Use this program for 6 months, or as long as you are making consistent progress. {quote}


Edited: Because I wanted to explain in a little more detail.... and edited again cause I can"t spell today..

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Just in case I wasn't clear above. I wasn't saying that you need to fit those categories to use any full body routine. Certain routines just seam fit different types. You need a routine that fits your goals, body type and mentality.

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By "PT" are you referring to a personal trainer, or a physical therapist?

It's personal trainer, sorry for that.

I was actually looking at the The Fast Start A/B Full Body Workout, but forgot to write it down so I went by memory. As of strength - I'm definitely a beginner, as my bench press is probably not more than 130-140 lbs (havent tried a one rep bench in a while), and my deadlift, well, havent tried more than 120 lbs, as I'm afraid I could injure myself as I've just starded to perform it.


I think for now I'll just stick to the fast start, but really need to resist the urge to "modify" it. I'm also doing some swimming in between, which makes the bulking part a bit tricky.

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You mentioned losing body fat and bulking in your post so I'm not sure your goals. You can't lose body fat and bulk at the same time.

Well - I need to gain about 4-5 kg, which will not all be muscle I guess. Then it's time cut. Problem is, that I don't really gain muscle very easily, but tend to gain fat. Not sure which type I am.

I'm 72 kg and 177cm high, so I don't want to gain more than 5 kg.

I've been doing splits for most of the time and they work good only when I'm working out with a personal trainer. Supersets work very well for me too.

Not sure exactly what I want to achieve, my first goal being healthy. I seriously need to gain some more strength (I can't do a proper wide grip pullup set without cheating) and maybe, just maybe, gain a bit of muscle mass.

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You mentioned losing body fat and bulking in your post so I'm not sure your goals. You can't lose body fat and bulk at the same time.

Well - I need to gain about 4-5 kg, which will not all be muscle I guess. Then it's time cut. Problem is, that I don't really gain muscle very easily, but tend to gain fat. Not sure which type I am.

I'm 72 kg and 177cm high, so I don't want to gain more than 5 kg.

I've been doing splits for most of the time and they work good only when I'm working out with a personal trainer. Supersets work very well for me too.

Not sure exactly what I want to achieve, my first goal being healthy. I seriously need to gain some more strength (I can't do a proper wide grip pullup set without cheating) and maybe, just maybe, gain a bit of muscle mass.


It actually sounds like you might do really well with a recomp, if you can except that changes will come slowly sometimes. Recomps are really good for people looking long term changes, like getting healthy & fitter, having a need to build muscle and lose weight at the same time. Basically for that you need to find maintenance calorie level at eat at or slightly below that level. Like 200 to 300 under. This will allow you lose some body fat while building muscle. It's draw backs are that it requires a lot of consistency and time. It also pairs well with full body workouts, which it sounds like maybe good for you. I'm not sure I would put you in a hard gainer category because you do gain weight easily, I would guess that you probably just haven't tapped into the ability to push your self in your workouts alone yet. I say that because you do better with a personal trainer and not as well on your own yet.


Because you have access to a personal trainer and based on the little bit of info you have posted I would actually suggest a flexible full body routine. I'll post an example. The reason I would go with this, is one because you have done splits for a while the change may good for muscle stimulation, two if you can work with a trainer some then you can alternate the exercises you do with him.. and there by giving a good opportunity to sure any form work you may need. Three it'll keep your body guessing a bit more.


Now if you had one set goal I would probably recommend something different, but since you multiple goals I think something like this might suit you.


The example.. http://www.muscletech.com/resources/features/full_body_workout/




Keep in mind you have a limited amount of information about yourself posted so I'm sorta reading between and into lines so to speak.

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Here's some more info about me: viewtopic.php?f=48&t=35764


I'm not quite familiar with terminology, so I might say I gain weight eaasily, but mostly fat. As you can see from my above post, I was pretty fat at 98kg, and lost at least 10-15 of it due to a simple tooth problem and change in eating habbits. I've been vegetarian for at least 7 years (I do eat dairy rarely).

As I haven't been into sports before and as a kid, I might say I'm startnig from scratch. Started going to the gym about 3 years ago, but the first year I didn't do much progress. Last summer I was 78kg and then lost about 10 kg after an intense 2 week fasting. I've been pretty steady between 71-72 kg for some time now (I did a fasting this year and lost about 2-3kg, which I gained back in 2-3 weeks.


I will discuss the transition to full body workouts with my trainer, as he is pretty sceptic about my diet, but then again - he won't stop me.

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Well, today I discussed those programs with my trainer, but he advised me not to do deadlifts and weighted squats just yet, but to focus on higher reps. The workout we made today was :

1x20 frontal leg extension with 5 kg only - 20 reps each leg, then another 15 for each leg, then 3x15 with 9 kg each leg separately again and then 10 reps each leg (the 15-10 reps are without rest)

So it's basically 1x35 and 3x25

Then own body weight sqats - 3x12 (3 reps normal and 3 reps slow)

Leg press - 3x12 (the goal was 15 but I culdn't do that) the weight we used was abut 40-45 kg

Back leg extension (3x15, using about 30kg)

Neutral (hand parralel) grip pullups (3x5)

3x Superset of 10 wide grip pulldowns and 10 wide grip , well can't describe the machine but it's similar to barebell rows.

4x20 back extensions

3x pushups until I hit the floor

3x single handed rope triceps extensions - one hand until failure, then the other and once again each hand without resting, again until failure.

3x10 concentrated biceps curls with a 10kg dumbell.


I'm going to do a similar routine with about 2 days rest inbetween (Monday, Thursday, Sunday) while trying to maintain my swimming sessions at least once a week.


P.S. @Kora, the link you have posted leads to some supplement site, but it seems they have taken down the article.

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I would strongly advise against high rep leg extensions. They are very hard on your knees, with little pay back. It's a high risk exercise with little gains. It isolates one muscles, which is generally not the goal of a full body workout in which you are looking to build muscle mass. Generally full body workouts are designed around compound lifts.


Why does he not want you deadlifting or squatting heavy? Do you have an injury or medical problem that weren't in your profile?


I can tell you that the routine your trainer gave you may lean you out, but it want add much in the way of muscle.


link works good for me.. but this is what I was showing you.. It just is a good break down of how a full body routine should work. BUT I have to reiterate what the other poster said to.. I do believe whatever program you choose it should a professionally planned program. A tried and true program. A cookie cutter. Something standard that you can learn off of. I never recommend people plan their own programming until they have reached more advance level. I'm kind of afraid I may have given you to much advice and confused you. My intent was to show you what to look for in a full body program.


The article ..

Benefits of a Full-Body Workout Program


Saves Time

Probably the biggest positive about training your entire body at once is that your gym frequency decreases to around two to three times every seven days. Plus, you'll only be spending an hour in the gym for each session. Build muscle with only three to four hours of gym time during a week? You betcha. It's all about the quality of your sessions, not the quantity.


Boosts Your Cardiovascular System

Squeezing a solid 2 to 4 sets per body part into a 60-minute workout session gets your cardiovascular system up to speed in a hurry!


Rules for Full-Body Workouts


1) Train Once Every 2 or 3 Days

Easy enough, right? The beauty of only training with weights every few days is that the days in between full-body workouts can be used to add a few cardio sessions instead of relying on ineffective cardio tacked on at the end of a workout.


2) Lift Heavy

Many athletes who try full-body workouts get trapped into training lighter than they usually would in order to conserve energy for body parts that come later in their routine. The truth is, if you're not training heavy, you're not going to make optimal progress, no matter what program you're on. Keep your weights as heavy as you can. The conserving of energy for the body parts you train at the end of your workout is addressed in point number six.


3) Perform one exercise per muscle group

This one is pretty easy to follow, but is still very important. Using basic, heavy exercises that enable you to lift the most weight means that you don't have to do more than one exercise per body part. For chest, do the bench press or incline bench press. For back, choose bent-over rows or chin-ups. For legs, nothing beats the squat. All of these movements allow you to move heavy weights and overload the muscles without performing endless exercises. Once you've chosen your exercises, plan your routines so that you're doing 2 to 4 sets of each exercise for 10 to 12 repetitions.


4) Keep your workout to an hour or less

When you're planning your workouts, remember that resistance training affects your natural musclebuilding hormones and adjust accordingly. Lots of big compound exercises will help boost your natural testosterone levels; however, long workouts also boost levels of the catabolic hormone cortisol. Keeping your workouts fairly brief but still intense is ideal for getting the best of both worlds. Sticking to 60 minutes or less is a good rule of thumb.


5) Consume a post-workout shake immediately after training

During full-body workouts, large amounts of glycogen are used to fuel your exertions, so it's important that you replenish your glycogen stores as soon as possible after training. Replenishing your glycogen right after training jump-starts the recovery process. Conversely, not taking advantage of this crucial time can slow your results significantly. Think of it as filling up the gas tank on your car after a long drive.


6) Change the order of your workouts

Training chest first for every full-body workout is doing a disservice to the rest of your physique's symmetry. What seems to work better for ensuring your three major body parts get equal attention is alternating between doing chest, back, and legs first in your three workouts a week. Don't always leave abs or calves for last, though!


Below is a list of exercises to help get you started. They're split into two sections: one for large body parts, the other for small ones. The exercises are listed in order of effectiveness for each body part.


Sample One-Week Full-Body Workout Schedule

Day 1: Full body (Chest, shoulders, back, biceps, triceps, abs, legs, calves)

Day 2: Rest

Day 3: Full body (Legs, calves, back, abs, shoulders, chest, biceps, triceps)

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Full body (Back, chest, legs, triceps, biceps, calves, shoulders, abs)

Day 6: Rest

Day 7: Rest


This is intended as an example ...


Large Body Part Exercises




Bent-Over Barbell Rows


Seated Cable Rows




Bench Presses

Incline Barbell Presses

Dumbell Presses





Dumbell Presses

Behind-the-Neck Presses

Upright Rows




Standing Calf Raises

Seated Calf Raises

Donkey Calf Raises





Leg Presses

Hack Squats



Small Body Part Exercises




Standing Barbell Curls

Alternate Dumbell Curls

Preacher Curls




Parallel-Bar Dips

Lying Dumbell Triceps Extensions





Hanging Leg Raises

Decline-Bench Crunches

Rope Crunches

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I actually have a knee injury - I pulled some ligaments and bruised my meniscus while running so It kinda makes sense why not weigted squats (I do love that exercise and the feeling I get after doing it). I don't feel any stress to my knees with the leg extensions - it was actually one of the first exercises I did when I was recovering from my injury. I don't have back injury that I know of, but still I have some lower back pain from the endless hours on the computer (my job requires that) and some exercises, like the ab wheel don't feel that great to my back too. As for the deadlifts - well, he is concerned that with the little practice I have, I'm still not quite ready for it, as I might start adding more weight and end up injuring myself. He thinks that back extensions work well enough as a replacement to deadlifts to some extent.

Sometimes I wonder - I was almost 100kg and I was able to squat, bend and pickup things then. What's the difference between that and squatting/deadlifting 30 kg, when I'm 70kg now?

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