Full Body Workout or Targeted Workout?

  • torontoguy222...

    Posts: 410

    Dec 13, 2008 5:16 AM GMT
    I've always wondered about this...

    I'm a small guy (5'5, 135lbs), and my goal right now is to put on a big of muscle. What would the pros suggest: Doing a full-body workout 3 or 4 times a week, hitting as many muscles as possible, OR doing specific body parts each day, say Back on one day, Shoulders the next, Chest the next, Legs the next? Which method is optimal for muscle growth? What's the difference?

    Lately I've been doing a 2-day split, so Upper Body one day, Lower Body the next. In the past I've tried doing 3 full body workouts, as well as the more specific approach (ie. Back/Shoulders, then Chest/Arms, then Abs/Legs).

    My worry about the targeted workouts though is that I'll end up hitting the muscles only once a week, which seems insufficient.

    What do ya think?
    Tony
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    Dec 13, 2008 6:38 AM GMT
    You will probably be more successful on a 4-5 day targeted schedule but it is not for everyone. I just recently switched from isolated muscle group workouts to a full body strictly because I am moving back to the US and could not count on having a consistent schedule - yet another consideration. If you routinely miss workouts you won't be doing yourself any favors by targeting specific body parts.

    Also, even though isolated workouts focus on a muscle group, that in no way implies they don't see secondary training from your other day's training routines.
  • emailaddress

    Posts: 313

    Dec 13, 2008 7:14 AM GMT
    at your BW, i dont think it matter so much, just make sure you do 1 basix compound exercise each workout, and eat heaps.
  • TmanAveen

    Posts: 44

    Dec 13, 2008 7:41 AM GMT
    I am all about targeted workouts too, it works better...
    muscle building is a process of tearing up muscle and let it re-build itself, in this process (as a consequence of) the muscle grow. After you train a muscle you have to give it the time to re-grow, that takes up to 4 days. If you target train every muscle group on an interval of 4-5 days you will probably get the best results. You just have to be concious about the balance between your back and your chest, people tend to forget the back, as they don't see it...
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    Dec 13, 2008 10:29 AM GMT
    yeah the back is a pain in the ass. don't forget the back.
    torontoguy you just have to find what works for you. just because one regimime works for one guy doesn't mean it'll work for you. as long as you're consistant and patient and build naturally you'll get the results you're aiming for. good luck.
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    Dec 13, 2008 12:25 PM GMT
    torontoguy2222 saidI've always wondered about this...

    I'm a small guy (5'5, 135lbs), and my goal right now is to put on a big of muscle. What would the pros suggest: Doing a full-body workout 3 or 4 times a week, hitting as many muscles as possible, OR doing specific body parts each day, say Back on one day, Shoulders the next, Chest the next, Legs the next? Which method is optimal for muscle growth? What's the difference?

    Lately I've been doing a 2-day split, so Upper Body one day, Lower Body the next. In the past I've tried doing 3 full body workouts, as well as the more specific approach (ie. Back/Shoulders, then Chest/Arms, then Abs/Legs).

    My worry about the targeted workouts though is that I'll end up hitting the muscles only once a week, which seems insufficient.

    What do ya think?
    Tony
    icon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gificon_biggrin.gif
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    Dec 13, 2008 2:00 PM GMT
    you gotta give your muscles time to rest and recuperate. If your tearing down your muscles every other day they arent havent the opportunity to rebuild themselves. If your main goal is to pack on the muscle I would only hit them 1 or maybe twice a week, but when you do hit em hard with high intensity to get the maximum growth.

    You need to eat eat eat, oh did I say eat? Lots of protein to rebuild. If your goal is to pack on mass, you have to hitem hard, eat and rest.
  • Cadoimond

    Posts: 36

    Dec 13, 2008 3:41 PM GMT
    With my hectic schedule, I sometimes only have a chance to work out once or twice a week. So I do full body at times like that. Then when I can go more often, I do targeted workouts. So both are good, but for me, it all revolves around my schedule.
  • torontoguy222...

    Posts: 410

    Dec 13, 2008 4:25 PM GMT
    Hmmm, interesting!! The general consensus seems to advocate for the isolated workouts. I spoke to a friend of mine who's a trainer, and he suggested the same thing. So I've created a new workout program in the form of a 3-day split.

    It's funny though. The reason why I went from isolated workouts to the full body workout in the first place was because the guys on the Menshealth forum are adamant supporters of the full-body, compound exercise approach.

    I'll change things up a bit (since I think I've hit a plateau, and I need something new). I'm gonna try a Chest/Arms, Legs/Abs, Shoulders/Back 3-day split, but will also periodize my training. So this week is Heavy (low reps), next cycle is Light (high reps) and the 3rd week will be Regular. I'll keep my fingers crossed for some results!!

    Thanks,
    Tony
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    Posts: 313

    Dec 15, 2008 7:23 AM GMT
    torontoguy2222 said

    It's funny though. The reason why I went from isolated workouts to the full body workout in the first place was because the guys on the Menshealth forum are adamant supporters of the full-body, compound exercise approach.





    full-body and isolation (splits) workouts are training concepts, they are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Just because you are hitting your muscle groups in isolation, does not mean you can not use compound exercises. You can still throw in isolation exercises to have a full-body workout.

    Compound exercises are by far the most effective way to build muscle overall. because these exercises involves the movement of multiple joints, the muscle gain occurs all over the body, this includes your back, leg, shoulders, chest, arms.

    But not all muscle groups are aesthetically appealing. for example, most gay men dont care if they have visible quadriceps, but they do want visible serratus, which is a lot smaller muscle with little importance in terms of the overall functional strength. many gay men and metrosexual men focus on their "anterior chain" or the frontal muscles (chest arms shoulders abs), which only constitute 1/4 of your entire body surface. Compound exercises can help develop these areas, but is by no means as effective if you isolate these areas.

    Theis is a basic explanation, there is a lot more to the story in terms of compound exercises being plateau buster, and its hormonal and neural benefits, which you can read more on Tnation and BBing.com

    Since you are starting out, as long as your diet is good and there is an energy excess, you are going to gain muscle. isolation body parts will be just as good as full body.
  • dionysus

    Posts: 420

    Dec 16, 2008 12:53 AM GMT
    torontoguy2222 saidHmmm, interesting!! The general consensus seems to advocate for the isolated workouts. I spoke to a friend of mine who's a trainer, and he suggested the same thing. So I've created a new workout program in the form of a 3-day split.

    It's funny though. The reason why I went from isolated workouts to the full body workout in the first place was because the guys on the Menshealth forum are adamant supporters of the full-body, compound exercise approach.

    I'll change things up a bit (since I think I've hit a plateau, and I need something new). I'm gonna try a Chest/Arms, Legs/Abs, Shoulders/Back 3-day split, but will also periodize my training. So this week is Heavy (low reps), next cycle is Light (high reps) and the 3rd week will be Regular. I'll keep my fingers crossed for some results!!

    Thanks,
    Tony



    dont knock out the full-body workouts cuz ive found i gain my greatest size and strength on full body. not sure where the 4-day muscle building time frame came into play since everything ive read states 72 hours. and that is also the consideration that you are completely DESTROYING the muscle and ripping it apart. but i find that a 3x a day full-body 12 exercise workout in under 45 minutes really does the trick. www.bodybuilding.com recommended it and ive tried it 3 weeks on, 1 week of yoga, back to workout regime with usually a 10 lb increase across the board.
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    Dec 16, 2008 4:14 AM GMT
    I personally think full body work outs have their place. I lift for my running so I'm mostly concentrating on light weight high rep, but it gets boring. So I'll throw in full body circuit training sessions, or I'll do 2 exercises per muscle group with 4 sets of 20 using light weights giving myself a 15 second rest. By the time I'm done with the 2nd exercise my entire body is fatigued, but it hurts so good! It feels like I actually accomplished something with my work out. Then when I go back to isolation I find that I can lift heavier weight.
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    Dec 16, 2008 4:28 AM GMT
    I've done isolation workouts for years and hit a plateau. A trainer told me I should shake up the routine with full-body workouts 2 times a week and take the other days off. The question is how to find the stamina to get through full-body workouts after being accustomed to doing just 2 body parts per day.

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    Dec 24, 2008 9:25 PM GMT
    I go for 3 whole body a week with a mix up of lifiting free weight as heavy as I can and doing body weight. For me the main constraint is that my main physical activity is pilates which is meant to be a studio/apparatus work out 3 times a week, or 3 studio sessions and a mat if you are very keen. I´m training to be a teacher, which leaves MAX 3 days a week for lifting, or only 2 if I do the mat work on the 4th day. I guess I could do a two way split, but I am enjoying the mix of free weights/ body weight at the moment (body weight is much harder). I don´t want a BIG physique, just athletic/lean muscle. Also I´m not bothered about isolating beach muscles, and pilates at a more advanced level works everything from the knees to the upper abs at the front, and the whole of the back of the body from the glutes to the neck. icon_wink.gif
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    May 20, 2009 5:45 AM GMT
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    Elenora
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    May 20, 2009 6:03 AM GMT
    If you are considering putting on major muscle there is no way you'll be able to optimally pull full body workouts 3 to 4 times a week because the intensity will be too much. Your goal is to build up but you run the risk of tearing yourself down. I suggest incorporating one compound strength exercise into each session: 1 day with deadlift, another with the squat etc,.. so as to tie together the targeted workouts and get your body's muscles to function as a whole unit.