hypertrophy

How to Guarantee Results From your Training

The greatest piece of programming advice I have ever heard came from the great man Dan John (unfortunately I didn’t hear it in person, but thanks to the wonders of the internet, I still got to hear it…).

It went something like this: “Everything works. Nothing works forever”.

While it does seem to be an extremely simplistic view on programming, it holds a huge amount of truth, and does encompasses the principal of progressive overload quite well. Ultimately suggesting that programming doesn’t have to be perfect, and as long as someone is training they will see results.

They will eventually adapt to this training stimulus, and it will stop working.

Now obviously, by making slight adjustments to exercise selection, or increasing the weight we are using or the reps we are performing, we can continue to improve, irrespective of the programming quality. While a ‘better’ program may yield slightly higher results, it can be easily accepted that we would likely see increases in strength, size, of performance.

Unless we aren’t putting in the effort required to make change.

 

Effort

While I think that Dan Johns saying is very accurate, it does make one very large assumption.

That we are working hard.

Which, as I spend more and more time in gym settings, I am starting to think is not as common as we would like to think.

Too often I see people performing the exact same exercises, with the same weights, without even breaking a sweat. They are merely going through the motions, performing their favorite exercises and then going home. And while they might feel as if they have done something, they are not seeing any substantial change.

So really, I think it might be better to suggest that: “Everything works, if YOU work hard enough”.

And ultimately, I think this holds a huge amount of truth.

If you went into the gym and did nothing but deadlift 10 sets of 6 reps (at your 6 rep max) 3 times a week, you would undoubtedly get stronger, probably get bigger, and ultimately improve.

Now from a programming standpoint, this would be absurd. It would be brutal, there is absolutely no periodisation (and subsequently no programmed recovery), and you would potentially burn out after only a few weeks.

Furthermore, there is no consideration for muscle imbalances, single leg strength, or core stability (among a number of other things we love to consider).

But you would still improve.

Because you would be working hard.

In comparison, if you had the perfect program (whatever that may be...) but just went through the motions (following it down to the most minute detail, but without putting in any substantial effort), you probably wouldn’t improve at all.

 

Train with Intent

Ultimately, all I am trying to say is while the perfect program may not exist, we can guarantee improvement by putting in the work.

This means training hard, lifting heavy, and building up a sweat.

Train with the intent to improve, and you will.

 

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The Keys to Muscular Development

Something a little different today - I have a new article up on breaking muscle about three key ways we can alter our training to maximise muscle growth.

While we like to thinking we are putting in the work, most of us are not doing nearly enough to make lasting changes to our body composition. If your still doing a body part training split and hitting 3 sets of 10 repetitions for each individual exercise, then you have so much room for improvement that its not even funny.

If actually want to build muscle, you need to be willing to work hard and train smart.

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If you want to find out the best way to promote muscle growth, then you can read the article HERE.

Although seriously, who doesn't want more muscle??? (AKA click the link)

Why changes in both volume and intensity should dictate recovery

I was recently reading through some programming information provided by a textbook that I purchased during my undergrad degree, and was slightly surprised at some of the information in there.

There was a pretty large chapter on the nitty gritty of exercise programming, with specific mention to both sets, reps, and recovery. Within this chapter there was a fairly lengthy explanation on rep ranges and intensity, which ultimately outlined the following:

                High Intensity = 1-5 RM
                Moderate Intensity = 6-12 RM
                Low Intensity = 12+ RM

It was further explained that heavy training periods should utilise high and moderate intensity training loads, while deloads (AKA recovery periods) should utilise low intensity lifting.

While this appears to make sense on a couple of levels, there is a fairly large flaw to their thinking.

Anything that requires maximum repetitions (RM) is not submaximal and therefore should not be considered low or moderate intensity. This holds true whether you are hitting a 3RM, 12RM, or a 20RM.

You see, while a 3RM while will elicit more mechanical stress (due to the heavier load) than a 12RM, that does not make it any less maximal. In fact, I would argue that a 12RM is likely to have a longer recovery period than a 3RM because it would elicit a significantly greater amount of metabolic damage (even despite lower mechanical stress).

So if your training program looks something like this, I have a bit of bad news:

Week 1: Moderate Intensity 8RM
Week 2 and 3: High Intensity 4RM
Week 4 (Deload….): Low Intensity 12RM
Repeat:

At no point are you actually allowing your body time to rest and recover. And in all serious, at no point are you working at anything less than a high intensity.

This is because every week you are still training to failure, irrespective of the rep range used.

A high volume kettlebell workout does not count as an active recovery - no matter how light the load is.

A high volume kettlebell workout does not count as an active recovery - no matter how light the load is.

 

So what can we do instead?

A good deload should allow the body opportunity to recovery without running the risk of losing strength. This means that training is recommended, but it should be done in a way that doesn’t stress the physiological systems of the body.

Arguably the best way to do this is by manipulating volume and intensity of a given training week.

By dropping volume significantly and intensity slightly one week out of every 4-6, we can provide ourselves with an opportunity to recover from our accumulated training fatigue in way that won’t affect our progress.

So an example of that may look something like this:

Week 1: Moderate Intensity 4 sets of 6 at 80% 1RM
Week 2 and 3: High Intensity 6 sets of 4 at 90% 1RM
Week 4: Deload using 3 sets of 4 at 70% 1RM
Repeat:

By letting volume and intensity dictate our deloads rather than maximal rep ranges, we can give ourselves a genuine opportunity to recover, while still receiving a small training stimulus.

This will ensure that we are fresh and ready to go for our next block of training, while also reducing our risk of overtraining significantly.

 

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Do we need to deload?

When discussing training and the potential of overtraining, there appears to be two very individual and opposite camps within the fitness industry.

The first camp appear certain that any individual, no matter their training status, is at risk of overtraining. As such, they recommend you deload every couple of weeks, and go further to suggest that you should train a single muscle group any more frequently than once every 6.75 days (or something like that).

On the other hand, we have the ‘overtraining is a myth’ camp. These guys train balls to the wall every single session, often with a high training frequency. These are the guys who will frequently run training programs such as smolov (or some other form of brutality) to elicit a training response.

So which group is right?

 

Recovery, Adaptation and Overtraining

All in all, the training process is a relatively simple one.

When we train, we place the body under external mechanical, neurological, and metabolic stress. This external stress causes a short term response (AKA a sweet pump, some hormonal changes, followed by DOMS) and long term adaptations (AKA bigger and stronger muscle tissue).

These small stressors put the body in a state of overreaching, where ultimately we push our body past its current training limits. The body then adapts to this state of overreaching.

It is these longer term adaptions that describe the training response.

The kicker?

That these adaptations only occur if there is adequate time for recovery.

If there is a lack of recovery, and continued training stress, we fail to adapt. It is this failure to adapt (in conjunction with further training load) that turns overreaching into overtraining.

Ultimately, during this stage, we continually break down and further fatigue already damaged and fatigued tissue. This can lead to a host of issues, as explained in the diagram below.

But is overtraining really worth worrying about?

Well, like anything, it depends.

 

The Risk of Overtraining

Now, I will tell you that overtraining exists.

Of that, there is no doubt.

This is a fact.

BUT.

Overtraining may not be as common as what some people make it out to be.

In a population of elite athletes, there is a considerable risk of Overtraining. These individuals train at a high intensity each day, participate in competition regularly, and often have to deal with additional life stress as well.

For these people, balancing training and recovery is like walking a tightrope. If they move one way too far, they may not get a training result, and performance will suffer. BUT, if they move too far the other way, they may train too much without adequate recovery, which can lead to overtraining (and again performance will suffer).

But for most of us, this isn’t as applicable.

We may train often, but rarely is it enough to result in a state of overtraining. Even if our life stress is high, reaching this state is still highly unlikely.

This is because we spend very little time actually training, and a lot of our time at work recovering.

 

So do we need to deload?

In short, yes.

While I have just suggested that most of us have very little reason to worry about overtraining syndrome, there are a number of reasons that we should still incorporate deloads into our training schedule.

Firstly, training creates significant stress on both muscle tissue, and the passive support structures of our joints (ligaments and tendons). Physiologically, tissue remodelling occurs at a much faster rate in muscle tissue than it does in these passive support structures.

As a result, if we do not undertake the occasional deload, we run the risk of causing negative degenerative tissue changes in our tendons and ligaments. This may lead to overuse injuries and joint issues.

As such, by undertaking a deload every now and then we provide opportunity for these passive structures to recover, reducing our likelihood of developing an tendon or ligament related injury.

Furthermore, a light week can often provide some time to refresh mentally, getting us excited for upcoming blocks of training. Consequently, deloads can play an importnat role in keeping us not only healthy, but motivated too.

 

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Paused Squats to Build Strength and Size

Paused squats to build strength and size

Squats are an exercise that get A LOT of attention.

They are considered the ‘king’ of exercises by some, while described as a living hell by others.

I guess I personally fall somewhere in between. I enjoy squatting. There is something very rewarding about hitting a new squat PR. And the quad pump after a set of high rep squats? I’ll let Arnie answer that one….

Thanks Arnie...

Thanks Arnie...

BUT…

I suck at them.

They have never felt natural to me. It took quite a bit of work just to get comfortable squatting to depth. And once I actually started to add load, I was weak.

Like REALLY weak.

Now I’m not one to force a square peg into a round hole (so to speak), and if this was a client who didn’t necessarily need to back squat to see reach their desired goal, I wouldn’t have forced it.

But this was ME. And I wanted to be able to squat lots of plates.

Maybe not a clever goal by any means, but I wanted to get good at something I wasn’t particularly good at (still do in fact… lots of room for improvement).

So I squatted. My lower body sessions typically involved both back and front squats, and while I did see improvements, they came slowly, and I still didn’t feel 100% ‘comfortable’ squatting.

So I started playing around with different squat variations, and happened to strike gold.

Hunter Bennett Performance, lose fat, build muscle, increase strength, personal training

 

Introducing Paused Squats

I started using paused reps after my heavy squat sets as an assistance exercise, and actually started seeing some improvements! My squat got stronger, I felt much more comfortable squatting under load, and my jeans got considerably tighter!

A paused squat is pretty much just a squat where you pause completely (as in STOP DEAD) at the bottom of the squat for 2-3 seconds (or longer, for the masochists out there) for each individual rep.

If you think it about it, it makes sense. Most people are weakest at the bottom of a squat, and as a result this is where they tend to feel least comfortable. By spending a bit more time in the bottom position of the squat, we can get a little more comfortable in that position.

Here’s a quick video of me pumping out a couple.

If we look a little deeper (pun intended...), there are a couple of serious benefits that paused squats provide over regular squats.

 

They build strength out of the hole.

It is pretty common to see people drop into squat really quickly, and then bounce back up. While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with this, it does have a couple of issues.

When we drop quickly into a squat, we rely on two things to get us out of the hole. The first is the muscles ability to use the stretch shortening cycle (SSC) effectively. The SSC describes the storage of elastic energy during the eccentric portion of a movement, followed by the use of that energy for the concentric portion of that same movement.

So using the squat as an example, during the descent the quads and glutes are lengthening under load. During this eccentric loading they are storing ‘elastic’ energy in the muscle and tendon tissue. By descending rapidly (and spending minimal time in the hole) this energy can be used effectively to help produce a concentric action (the up portion of the squat). Now while this can be a good thing, it is not something we want to become too reliant on during the squat. If we rely solely on the SSC to get out of the hole, we are likely to limit our strength development in other areas of the lift (eg. Just after we bounce out of the hole).

Secondly, it places a large amount of stress on the passive structures of the hip. The hip capsule and its surrounding ligaments take majority of the load as we rapidly drop into the bottom position. This means we are relying on these structures for stability in the bottom position of the squat rather than the muscles surrounding the hip and trunk. This can lead to hip issues and potential injury.

By pausing at the bottom of the squat we completely eliminate the SSC from the lift. This forces us to stay completely tight in the bottom position, and we are required to rely on the muscles around the hip to provide stability and maintain a solid position. This allows to build strength in the bottom position of the squat, which can increase our strength out of the hole.

Additionally, by increasing our strength out of the hole we can also limit the stress placed on the passive structures of the hip, and even improve our ability to use the SSC out of the hole on regular squat sets due to the improved muscular strength in that position.

 

Improves Squat technique

Good squat technique is essential to a big squat, and a large component of good technique is the ability to maintain a neutral spine throughout the duration of the lift. Often people will hang out in the bottom position of the squat, losing spinal position and relying on those passive structures to keep them upright.

By pausing in the bottom you can’t rely on these passive structures to maintain a good trunk position, you have to earn it. This teaches you to remain ‘tight’ throughout the duration of the lift, which will allow you to produce more force coming out of the hole.

I know for myself personally, by increasing this sense of stability in the bottom of the squat, I started feeling more comfortable squatting under load.

As a bonus, maintaining a healthy spinal position throughout the entire lift is also going to significantly reduce the risk of injury, or risk of developing low back pain.

 

Greater potential to build muscle

By pausing mid-way through a rep we increase the total amount of time under tension (TUT) the muscles are under. TUT is considered a key mechanical trigger to muscle growth, and by increasing it we can increase muscular hypertrophy as a result.

If you want massive quads (silly question, everyone wants massive quads) then paused squats are a great variation to implement into your training as an assistance exercise.

 

 

Programming Considerations

I typically program paused squats as an assistance exercise after heavy squats or deadlifts on one of my lower body days, and then as a core lift on one of my other lower body days.

I like to use 3-4 sets of anywhere from 2-8 reps using a 2-3 second pause in the bottom.

Try them out for 4 weeks and I can guarantee your technique and strength will improve. 

 

If you want any more info, contact me via the form below and i will get back to you ASAP!

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Muscle Confusion is a joke - How to Actually see training results

We have heard it all before.

The suggestion that constantly changing our exercise selection is good because it either;

1) ‘confuse the muscle into growing’
or
2) ‘keeps the muscle guessing’

The thought process behind this is that by constantly changing exercises, workloads, sets, reps etc. the body cannot ‘get used’ to a specific training stimulus. And , as a direct result, we see greater muscle growth, greater increases in strength, and a greater rate of fat loss.

Funny fact.

Muscles don’t have the capacity to get ‘confused’ or make ‘guesses’. They are muscles.

They can contract, causing them to get shorter, which creates movement at a joint.

The End.

Ok so maybe not the absolute end.

BUT.

There a couple of big issues that come with trying to 'confuse' our muscles through excessive variations:

1) It doesn’t allow the central nervous system (CNS) to adapt to movements. By allowing the CNS significant time to adapt, we become stronger at those movements, which results in greater improvement in strength and hypertrophy.

2) It doesn’t involve any specificity. We normally train towards a specific goal. Whether that goal is to improve athletic performance, increase lean mass, jump higher or bench press a Mack track, it doesn’t matter. Each goal is specific, and as such needs a specific, individualized exercise plan that leads us towards that goal. By changing exercises every week we lose that specific, goal orientated, aspect of training.

muscle confusion, hunter bennett performance, strength, fat loss, muscle

 

The real way to progress.

Fortunately, there is something that we can do to ensure consistent results from our training.

Unfortunately, it isn't new or sexy, it doesn't have cool catchy name like 'muscle confusion', and it will require ACTUAL effort.

But, on a positive note, it works.

In fact it is arguably the only thing that can cause legitimate, long term change.

 

Progressive Overload.

Progressive overload is the gradual increase of stress placed on the body during exercise over time. This allows the body to gradually adapt to this increasing stress, growing bigger and stronger.

A great example of this:
step 1). Pick 1 big exercise (think deadlift) that you can perform twice per week.
Step 2). Find a weight you can lift 5 times.
Step 3). Do 5 sets of that weight.
Step 4). Once you can lift that weight for 5 sets of 5 reps, increase weight by 2.5kgs.
Step 5). Repeat step 3 and 4 again, and again, and again.

Now I realize this is a very simple example of progressive overload, and in regards to specificity, is probably only going to work towards someone’s goal of deadlifting a shit ton of weight (which is a pretty solid goal). But I can guarantee if you did this for 6 months (with the occasional deload programmed in) you would be bigger and stronger at the end of it than if you had changed exercises every week.

Now how would you apply this to a more complex goal? For example improving someone’s acceleration?

You might start using unloaded box jumps as a way to improve power, and split squats to improve single leg strength. Over time we can increase the external load added to these exercises to stimulate strength and hypertrophy (progressive overload). Once you feel the individual has ‘maxed out’ these exercises, you can then progress them to more complex exercises (for example, squat jumps and a reverse lunges). The external load used during these new exercises can be increased gradually ('progressively', even......) until we start to plateau, and then we repeat the process. Change the exercise SLIGHTLY and continue to add load. 

This way we can progressively overload an exercise that is aimed at achieving a specific goal, and we only vary an exercise when progress stalls on that specific exercise. Additionally, the exercise variation should be small (for example a split squat to a reverse lunge). This allows continual and gradual progress, as the new exercise builds on the components of the exercise that came before it.

See, it shouldn’t be confusing. It should be simple and logical (and actually produce RESULTS).

If you want to get in contact me, or are interested in training with me, please fill out the form below. 

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The Most Effective Way To Split Squat - Maximise Your Results!

Split squats. You might be doing them wrong.

It’s fair to say I have a bit of a love hate relationship with split squats and their variations. I love them because they are a fantastic way to develop single leg stability, strength and power (which can even carry over into squat and deadlift strength!). They place significant load on the lower limb, making the great for hypertrophy, and as they are a single leg exercise, they can eliminate and correct unilateral strength and stability differences. As a result, split squats can have direct influence on improving athletic performance, and as they also place a massive metabolic demand on the entire body, as such they are a fantastic exercises to use for fat loss.

The reason I hate them?

They are sheer brutality.

Seriously.

Try and punch out a couple of sets of 12 per side and feel good about life afterwards. It’s impossible (trust me).

Despite their brutality, I honestly think I would have put at least one split squat variation in 90% of the programs I have written. This is because not only are they great for athletic populations, they also have direct carryover activities of daily living (walking upstairs, standing up from a sitting on the floor etc.)

And recently, I have been seeing more and more people performing them in the gym. This in itself is fantastic – as I said, they are an awesome exercise that can be implemented effectively to meet almost any goal. The only issue with this, is that I have seen many (MANY) people performing them wrong.

Now, what do I mean by doing them wrong?

Well when people typically coach a split squat one of the most common cues that I hear is ‘chest up’. This cue is said with the intent to keep a nice neutral spine, saving load through the lower back, which is all well and good. The issue though is the resulting movement often looks a little bit like this (thanks google images).

Not the best looking split squat i have ever seen....

Not the best looking split squat i have ever seen....

Now while this doesn’t look horrible by any means, there is a couple of things that draws my eyes. While he is maintaining a nice upright posture (chest up, right?), it is actually causing two issues. Firstly, it is causing him to hyper-extend his lumbar spine, resulting increased extension forces on the spine. This is also most likely impacting his ability use his anterior abdominals to stabilise the spine (similar to anterior pelvic tilt position). Secondly, this hip and trunk position results in a huge amount of load placed on the anterior part of the hip capsule, causing unnecessary strain on the passive support structures (ligaments, cartilage) of the anterior hip.

To eliminate these issues I teach split squat variations with a slight forward lean of the torso coming from the hips, similar to that seen in the image of strength coach Jordan Syatt below (again, thanks google)

Good split squat, slight forward lean at the hips.

Good split squat, slight forward lean at the hips.

Now I realise that this is a different variation to the first image, but the same principals apply, and the differences are pretty apparent. There is no hyper-extension of the spine, ensuring a neutral spinal position, and as a massive bonus, by increasing hip flexion slightly, the glutes are put in a more advantageous position meaning they will work harder during the movement!

The focus should be on ‘sliding’ the hips back as you descend into the squat, whilst keeping the distance between the top of your pelvis and the bottom of your sternum constant throughout the duration of the movement. This ensures that you load through the hips correctly, and also makes sure you maintain a nice neutral spine throughout the duration of the exercise.

 Have a go at this next workout and notice the difference!

 

If you want any more info, fill out the contact form below!

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It’s Ok to take it Slow – The Benefits of Eccentric Training

The man lies on the bench. He is comfortable, prepared. Slowly, almost cautiously, he unracks the barbell. With elbows completely locked he stares at the bar with intent, a gaze full of resolve and determination, like a lion slowly preparing to launch from the tall grass and attack its prey. He takes a deep breath in, filling his lungs with an ocean of oxygen, and suddenly, BANG! The bar drops to his chest at unimaginable speed, his sternum compresses a full inch, where it proceeds to rebound rapidly, and then, time stops. A second feels like an eternity. The bar quivers with anticipation. His elbows sit at right angles. Slowly, oh so slowly, the bar continues its ascent. The bar continues making its shaky rise to the top. Legs flailing and man grunting the barbell reaches the apex of its journey, elbows once again locked out completely, the bar is racked. The man sits up, grinning manically, he laughs, proud and triumphant.

pressing-charges-7-bench-press-crimes-solved_10.jpg

What does this story have to do with anything?

In all honesty, not a heap. It just seemed like a good introduction to a blog post about the importance of using the eccentric portion of a lift to your advantage (which the man failed to do).

The eccentric portion (negative or yielding portion in some circles) of a lift refers to the part where the muscle is lengthening under load. For example as the bar comes towards the chest during a bench press, the pecs and triceps are getting longer while under load. Similarly, as you descend during a squat, the quads are lengthening under load.

To train safely you need to be able to control this portion of the lift. In the example above, the man doesn’t do this all that well, and runs the risk of injury in that bottom position (AKA cracking a sternum? Injured shoulder joint? etc, etc.).

While avoiding injury should be motivation enough to use the eccentric portion of lift effectively, there are a heap of other benefits that come with emphasising eccentric training.

 

Eccentric loading can increase muscle mass

Controlled eccentric loading increases muscle damage which in turn can result in greater increases in hypertrophy. Additionally, by increasing the eccentric portion of a lift you also increase total time under tension (TUT), which is a key factor in muscle growth. 

By making sure you control the eccentric portion of every single rep you will maximise the opportunity for muscle growth. Using 3 second eccentric lowers on your assistance exercises is a great way to promote greater muscle growth.

Get Stronger

Most people are weakest where the exercise turns from eccentric loading to concentric loading (bottom of the squat). By slowing the rep down you get to spend more time in these weak points, and as a result, will increase strength at these weak points.

More Flexible

Eccentric training has shown to actually improve flexibility, in some cases even more than stretching! Particularly when using heavy load and really focusing on the negative portion of the lift. Think 3-5 seconds heavy eccentrics.

Improved technique

By Slowing down a rep you are forced to control the load throughout the duration of the movement, while maintaining the best (safest) positions (straight back, chest up etc.). By getting stronger in these ideal positions you improve your technical proficiency, making you better at specific lifts.

 

Now by no means do I condone using really slow eccentric loading all the time, but it definitely has its place. It’s important to remember that the concentric portion of the lift should still be as explosive as possible to maximise your strength gains.

If your not sure how to incorporate eccentric training into your programming, or just are not sure where to start, contact me below.

 

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Full Body Training – Why the bad rap?

Full body workouts are hands down the most time efficient way of working out, without question. If you’re limited to 2-3 three sessions per week, then full body sessions are definitely your answer. But then, even if you’re not limited by time, they can be a seriously efficient and effective way of training.

But for some reason they are genuinely underutilized, often considered only for beginner or novice routines, with most people tending to opt for a body part split instead.

Whilst body part splits can still lead to some serious gainzz if implemented correctly (and with right population), they do not have the same set of advantages that full body workouts do.

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Advantage 1: More energy spent

Full body workouts revolve around one or two compound movements per movement pattern, ditching the use of any isolation movements. These exercises often require the integration of the entire body, and as such means that they use multiple muscle groups per exercise. This in turn, results in wayyyy more energy being used per session than we are likely to see during other programming ’styles’. This in turn can contribute to fat loss and body composition goals.

Advantage 2: Greater training frequency

Full body workouts provide the opportunity to train particular muscle groups and specific lifts more than once per week, which therefore provides greater opportunity to build strength in those movements, and increase the size of those muscle groups.

An increase in training frequency can often be enough to stimulate some serious strength gains in people who tend to train a particular lift or muscle group only once per week.

Advantage 3: Greater opportunity for recovery

It could be argued that we don’t get bigger or stronger from the training we undertake, but rather the way in which we recover from it.

By training 3 times per week we give ourselves more time to recover, which could theoretically further increase our improvements in strength and further contribute to muscle hypertrophy.

Advantage 4: More Free time

Training 3 times per week is probably going to take less time out of your week than training each individual muscle group once per week, which leaves you with a bit more time for other things, whether it be an additional cardio session, going to dinner with your significant, spending time with your family, or watching season 1-5 of Game of Thrones (again....).

Programming Considerations.

Rather than body parts or muscle groups, full body workouts are better built around movement patterns.

For example:

Knee Dominant: Squat variations, Split Squat variations
Hip Dominant: Deadlift Variations, Single leg deadlift Variations, Hip Thrust Variations
Horizontal Push: Bench Press, Push ups etc.
Horizontal Pull: Bent over rows, Dumbbell Rows, face pulls etc.
Vertical Push: Overhead Press, handstand push ups, etc.
Vertical Pull: Pull Ups, Lat pull down, etc.

Using one or two movements from each of these categories would be a fantastic way to produce a balanced full body training program, which might look a bit like this.

1A: Front Squat
1B: Pull Ups

2A: Deadlift
2B: Weighted Push Ups

3A: Bulgarian Split Squat
3B: Face Pulls

4A: Barbell Overhead Press
4B: Bent Over Row

Add in some core work at the end there and BOOM! You have a time efficient full body program that you can use.

Now obviously this program isn’t perfect for everyone. For those aiming to increase their Big 3, they are much more likely to prioritize the Squat, Bench and Deadlift. For those who prefer bodyweight training, they can prioritize gymnastics based movements.

What I wanted to demonstrate is that full body workouts are an efficient and effective way of training that can be tailored to your individual goal, and shouldn't be discounted just because your favourite bodybuilder has a chest day on youtube.

 

If your not sure where to start, fill out the contact form below and i will be in touch soon!

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