Starting Out: Full
Body vs. Split Routines
We want to start off by making it very clear that we are not
against either style of training. Both styles have their pros and cons, and
both can have incredible effects on your appearance, strength and endurance.
That being said we wanted to look at this from the perspective of someone who
is just beginning his or her fitness journey and like many of us is wanting to
lose some weight.
So which is best? Which type of routine will be the safest
and most effective for someone with limited experience with weights and the gym
in general? In this instance we have to give the nod to Full Body Training
(FBT). Here’s why:
1. Maximum Calorie Burn: Working your
entire body versus maybe only training arms will undoubtedly burn more calories
because you incorporate the large and small muscle groups at the same time. But
more than that this type of training allows you to train in circuits (moving to
one exercise to the next without stopping) by selecting exercises for different
body parts. For example a chest exercise, a leg exercise, and a bicep exercise
performed with no rest in between. Circuit style training elevates the heart
rate and allows for the best use of time and most calorie burn.
2. Quicker Recovery Time: Because FBT will typically not fully exhaust
any one muscle group your muscles will recover faster allowing them to perform
at full capacity the next workout. This
gives the added benefit of limiting plateaus because you are fully recovered in
1 or 2 days versus 4 or 5. Additionally
this means that you are fresher for other activities, such as playing sports or
running, which would be difficult if certain body parts were overly sore.
3. Missed Workouts Don’t Hurt (AS MUCH):
Life happens right? There will be times, especially as you are trying to get
into the groove of working out on a regular basis, that you may miss a day or
even two in a given week. With split training this could mean missing legs for
two or three weeks in a row depending on the circumstances (some of you reading
this are probably ok with missing legs right?!). The benefit of FBT is that by
hitting each body part in every workout you limit the blow to your routine if
you have to miss a day.
4 Keeps it Interesting: Even the most
season fitness fanatics can become bored with the same routine. After 37
International Chest Days (Mondays) it’s easy to lose motivation to get to the
gym for chest day. But with FBT your workouts can be unique and exciting each
and every time. You can switch everything from the exercises to the order to
the size of your circuit.
Now to be fair FBT does have a few disadvantages to Split
Routine training. First, if your goal includes, or changes to, growing and
developing any given area of your body, FBT typically is not a good choice for
that as the muscle is not taxed in the same way as a Split Routine would allow
for. In the same regard FBT will
typically require the use of lighter weights than Split Routine training
because of the overall energy expenditure required for FBT. But trust us when
we say lifting heavy isn’t necessary for a great workout!
The bottom line is, if you are not that experienced with
weight training, a busy professional, or someone just trying to drop a few
pounds then Full Body Training may be right for you. It’s a style that is time
friendly and easy to set up. If you’ve been spinning your wheels with Split
Routines and haven’t seen the results you want, give FBT a try. It may be just
the kick you need!