A full body workout, or FBW, is a type of training that involves all muscle parts in one training session. Full body workout is mostly done in a gym, but you can also do it at home with very basic equipment. FBW training is easy to adapt to your body shape goals. You can use it for both mass, strength and weight loss. How to plan FBW? How should I train to get the desired results from a full body workout?
FBW - basic training rules
FBW is an abbreviation which is commonly used among athletes and stands for 'full body workout'. Its basic principle is to perform exercises for all muscle parts during one training session. What is significant, many of them are multi-joint exercises, i.e. involving several muscle parts at the same time. It means that an exercise aimed mainly at the legs also engages the back or arm muscles, for example.
What does an FBW plan look like?
During FBW, you perform exercises for the whole body in a specific order, starting with the large muscle groups and finishing with the smaller ones. Don't forget to warm up before the workout and stretch afterwards. Typically, an FBW training plan includes one exercise for each muscle group to be performed sequentially on:
The most commonly recommended FBW training plan advises exercises three times a week followed by a rest day. Rest after FBW is essential for recovery and muscle growth. When exercising three times a week, it is best to include different variations of the FBW training plan each day - doing slightly different exercises for each muscle part. It is much more effective than repeating the same plan. Muscles develop faster when they are stimulated by varied impulses. Let's focus on legs, for example, in practice this might look like the following: on the first day you do squats with a barbell at the neck, on the second one lunges with a barbell at the neck, and on the third one wide-legged sumo squats with a dumbbell in front of you.
General development exercises - who are they for?
Workout involving general development exercises is relatively short and engages the muscles of the entire body. It is most often used by people who have just started training at the gym or who do not have time for more extensive plans for specific body parts. However, it does not mean that general development exercises are not suitable for advanced people. Advanced people also benefit from FBW. Its effectiveness for people at different levels of training experience is a matter of selecting the loads and frequency of exercises, which everyone can adjust individually.
When are general development exercises most effective? For mass, weight loss or fat loss? This type of training will work for any of your goals. The key here is to choose the number of repetitions in a series, the loads and the rest intervals between sets.
General development exercises are easier to do at the gym because of the available equipment. However, it is also possible to do such training at home. For beginners, working with your body weight is sufficient but to see progress, it is necessary to increase the load.. Therefore, if you decide to do general development exercises at home, it is worth buying basic accessories - a straight bar with plates, dumbbells and bands. With their help, you can easily perform a full body workout at home.
Full body workout - how many reps for mass, strength and weight loss?
Full body workout can be easily adapted to the physique goals we want to achieve. During the workout, we can manipulate the number of repetitions in a series and select the load according to our needs so that the exercises lead us to the desired results.
Full body workout for mass
If the main goal of a full body workout is to gain muscle mass, trainers recommend performing 4-5 series of 6-8 repetitions of each exercise. They should be done with the maximum weight with which you can complete the workout. In a system involving 3 workouts per week, 2 workouts may be performed with 70-80% of your maximum load and the 3rd with 110%. During the last workout, the number of repetitions drops to 1-2 and it is necessary to work with a partner. Breaks between exercises in full body workout training for mass should be 60-90 seconds, and up to 150 seconds at 110% load.
Full-body workout training for mass should be done at least twice a week (for beginners) and preferably 3-4 times a week, increasing the number of workouts together with experience and results.
Full body workout for strength
Increased strength is the most intuitive goal of full-body workout training. To work on your strength, you should follow the 5x5 plan, i.e. 5 series of 5 repetitions per exercise. This training plan is based on weight progression. Gradually with each training session, the load with which you exercise should be raised. Choose the weight so that the last 1-2 repetitions in a series are performed with some effort, but you are still able to do them. Breaks between series range from 60-120 seconds. To make a full body workout for strength effective, it is best to perform it three times a week with at least a one-day break between training days.
FBW training for sculpting muscles and reducing fat
If your training goal is to make your muscles more visible and/or reduce body fat, a full body workout is performed with smaller loads and more repetitions. The training session consists of 5 series of exercises, 8-20 repetitions each. The number of repetitions depends on your fitness level, type of exercise and training day. Breaks between exercises should be reduced to 45 seconds to increase the oxygen consumption of the muscles, i.e. the number of calories they use during activity. According to the trainers' recommendations, a full body workout for sculpting is best performed four times a week with a system of "2 training days, and 1 break day".
FBW - sample training plan
FBW training exercises are primarily multi-joint, i.e. involving several muscle groups at the same time, as opposed to isolated exercises where one muscle group is used. The FBW training plan assigns exercises to specific muscle groups, but it means that in a given exercise that muscle group works the most intensively. Other muscles are also involved but to a slightly lesser degree. In addition, modifications to the exercises mean that, depending on the variation, it will engage other muscle groups the most.
A good full-body workout plan requires knowledge of body physiology, muscle group structure and technique. Therefore, without experience, it is best to ask a professional trainer to design a plan.
What type of exercises can you expect in an FBW training plan? Here's an example.
- Legs - lunges with a barbell held at the back
- Back - barbell rowing
- Chest - push-ups
- Shoulders - shoulder raises with dumbbells to the sides
- Triceps - barbell press with a narrow grip
- Biceps - arm curls with barbells
- Stomach - leg raises while hanging on a bar