Can full body workouts be condensed into a single day?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 11, 2014 2:47 PM GMT
    I'm quickly finding it's difficult to find the time to workout.

    I work shifts which change every week, so my days off vary. I can't seem to have Monday workout, Wednesday workout etc because I work 8:15 - 6:15 (and don't get home until 7ish).

    My job is quite physical so by the time I'm home, I'm shattered. I still try to do my workouts, but they are half hearted because I'm worn out, and feel a bit pointless.

    Is it possible to get a full body workout done once a week, or is that just too much?
  • AMoonHawk

    Posts: 11406

    May 11, 2014 3:21 PM GMT
    You are better of doing lower body one day and upper body the next day. Your muscles need 24 to 48 hours to recover and grow from workouts. Otherwise all you are doing is constantly breaking them down and not giving them enough time to recover.
  • tuffguyndc

    Posts: 4437

    May 12, 2014 1:49 PM GMT
    yes you can do a full body working a day but it has to be done at least 3 times a week. A full body workout is called a circuit training workout.
    chest
    back
    legs hamstring/glutes or quads
    shoulders
    bicep or tricep
    leg hamstring/glutes or quads
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 12, 2014 7:23 PM GMT
    I'm all for full body workouts! Most of build is from full body workouts. Takes no time that's why I like them. You can get a high quality workout in under 45-50 mins that covers everything. Plus they give you an even, proportioned build. If you combine with split workouts you'll be ripped in no time.

    Someone mentioned circuit training, that's good. Also use compound movement exercises that work a large portion of muscle in one go. Here's an example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t4mI6VDX5g
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 12, 2014 7:29 PM GMT
    tuffguyndc saidyes you can do a full body working a day but it has to be done at least 3 times a week. A full body workout is called a circuit training workout.
    chest
    back
    legs hamstring/glutes or quads
    shoulders
    bicep or tricep
    leg hamstring/glutes or quads


    Not to be a prick or nitpicky but a full body workout and circuit training workouts aren't the same. Circuit training just means a high-paced workout with minimal rest. But you're right about their effectiveness. A full body workout combined with a circuit training style workout works conditioning and strength at the same time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 12, 2014 9:19 PM GMT
    There is one big advantage to fullbody workouts: even when you exercise only once a week you still are hitting all the body parts. And you still have the option to exercise more often if you have the time that week.
    It's much more flexible than split training. Keep in mind that the results of full body workout once a week obviously won't be the same as if you do four day split training.

    Edit: I've just realized how general and nonspecific my post is icon_biggrin.gif Anyway, as someone suggested go for compound movements.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 12, 2014 10:07 PM GMT
    Doing a full body workout is a great way to save time while still hitting all your muscle groups - but if you only do it once a week you're not going to gain muscle.
    It'll keep you toned - but you if you want to get bigger and more muscular you need to do a full body workout every 2-4 days.
  • topathlete

    Posts: 882

    May 13, 2014 2:53 AM GMT
    The author is a strong advocate of total body training and explains why it can be efficient if you have limited time. It presents total body workouts planned for 3 to 4 times per week. Excellent book:

    http://www.amazon.com/Mens-Health-Huge-Hurry-Stronger/dp/1605299340/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1399949423&sr=1-1&keywords=huge+in+a+hurry
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 13, 2014 2:56 AM GMT
    I am doing full body workouts now due to my long schedule. I am at the gym every 4 days.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 13, 2014 5:08 AM GMT
    Yes, if you're smart about it. You need to eat a lot and find time when there's less people at the gym. I do 3x a week Wed Fri Sun
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 13, 2014 6:01 AM GMT
    There are tons of 15-20 minute work outs out there. Take a few extra minutes in the morning, bring up youtube, search and follow along. It'll help with your energy levels during the day as well.
  • doriangrey77

    Posts: 22

    May 13, 2014 8:03 AM GMT
    No.

    It isn't too much--rather, it's 'too little'.

    Although you might derive some benefit from working out only once a week, I just can't see how you would gain either muscle or strength and certainly no endurance.

    Depending on your body type, metabolism, etcetera, you'd need to work each body part at least every third day. I do a full body workout every other day. On the weeks when I take an extra rest day (i.e. two days in between workouts rather than just one), on my next workout I find that I can barely lift the barbell for my usual number of reps. I have always wondered how anyone can get away with only two or three workouts a week, because of this.

    Once a week would be virtually pointless. There would be no carry over benefits from the previous week, because too much time would have passed since. It would therefore be like starting a new exercise routine every single time you did it. So, double/triple the pain and exhaustion with none of the benefits--each time.

    Although I don't know to what degree your current workouts are half hearted, my guess would be that if you do them every other day (full body) or every day (alternating sections of your body) you'd still derive much more benefit than either: a) not working out at all, or b) just slogging through one non-beneficial workout a week.

    I agree with the above poster. Even if you can only squeeze in 15 or 20 minutes of strength training every day before work (or after), you would do much more for your body than leaving too big a gap between longer workouts.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 14, 2014 3:13 PM GMT
    I love an occasional full body workout.. however it's more for the immediate pump as opposed to long term gains. I find that muscle isolation is they key. You don't want to get redundant so pick your exercises wisely.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 15, 2014 6:16 AM GMT
    yes buy it will have a negative affect if you are also looking for growth and repair .
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    May 15, 2014 7:03 AM GMT
    The_Perfect_Ashlar saidI'm all for full body workouts! Most of build is from full body workouts. Takes no time that's why I like them. You can get a high quality workout in under 45-50 mins that covers everything. Plus they give you an even, proportioned build. If you combine with split workouts you'll be ripped in no time.

    Someone mentioned circuit training, that's good. Also use compound movement exercises that work a large portion of muscle in one go. Here's an example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t4mI6VDX5g


    Everything this guy is saying is good.

    FUll body used to be the standard 100 years ago and produced this kind of physique sandow-side-arm-pose.jpg

    Splits are not necessary for most of the people who use them who would actually get just as good results on less time with whole body work outs.... but hey ho, supplement companies have to make their money somehow...

    Also

    1393125722578.jpg
  • topathlete

    Posts: 882

    May 15, 2014 4:04 PM GMT
    GonzoTheGreat said
    The_Perfect_Ashlar saidI'm all for full body workouts! Most of build is from full body workouts. Takes no time that's why I like them. You can get a high quality workout in under 45-50 mins that covers everything. Plus they give you an even, proportioned build. If you combine with split workouts you'll be ripped in no time.

    Someone mentioned circuit training, that's good. Also use compound movement exercises that work a large portion of muscle in one go. Here's an example https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t4mI6VDX5g

    Everything this guy is saying is good.

    FUll body used to be the standard 100 years ago and produced this kind of physique

    Splits are not necessary for most of the people who use them who would actually get just as good results on less time with whole body work outs.... but hey ho, supplement companies have to make their money somehow...

    Absolutely 100% correct.

    Full body with compound movements used to be the norm until equipment manufacturers started making machines that isolated specific muscle groups. Clubs bought into that and used their machine lines as a selling point. It influenced their training of specific groups that led to split workouts because you could not do all the various isolation exercises in a single session.

    There is nothing wrong with split workouts but full body workouts are the most time-efficient programs. Isolation exercises are most beneficial for elite bodybuilders who need to fine tune or balance some muscle groups or for people with specific imbalances or lagging muscle groups.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 16, 2014 6:01 AM GMT
    Great info and thanks guys! I'm in a similar boat as Tom8521 - my schedule varies wildly from one day to next. Attempting split routines, but have been doing full body for some time due to efficiency... So far, not too bad... icon_exclaim.gificon_wink.gif
  • mybud

    Posts: 11837

    May 16, 2014 1:35 PM GMT
    Yes you can, granted you'll be sore.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 16, 2014 8:44 PM GMT
    AMoonHawk saidYou are better of doing lower body one day and upper body the next day. Your muscles need 24 to 48 hours to recover and grow from workouts. Otherwise all you are doing is constantly breaking them down and not giving them enough time to recover.


    Well, he stated in his OP that he would do the full body work once a week, not every day.
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    May 16, 2014 8:50 PM GMT
    Tom8521 saidI'm quickly finding it's difficult to find the time to workout.

    I work shifts which change every week, so my days off vary. I can't seem to have Monday workout, Wednesday workout etc because I work 8:15 - 6:15 (and don't get home until 7ish).

    My job is quite physical so by the time I'm home, I'm shattered. I still try to do my workouts, but they are half hearted because I'm worn out, and feel a bit pointless.

    Is it possible to get a full body workout done once a week, or is that just too much?


    A full-body workout certainly can be done, but you need to be realistic in your expectations. You likely won't be getting the same results as you would a different workout program that focuses on one or two muscle groups a day. It can yield good results, but maybe not the great ones that you'd want. Then again, your body might respond very favorably.

    Just curious what type of physical activity you current do on your job. I'm wondering if there's a way to benefit from that, but without knowing the nature of the job, it's hard to say. For example, if you're a UPS/Fedex driver, as you're carrying packages to the door, maybe you can try curling the heavier packages, or doing shoulder presses. If you're lifting heavy items from floor-level, focusing on form and making it almost into a squat movement, and flexing the right muscle groups. That type of thing. Anyway, just a thought.

  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    May 17, 2014 5:55 PM GMT
    Sure, try downhill skiing.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 18, 2014 5:59 PM GMT
    You can, but it can be a challenge. I still do it at times and it takes me 2 hours at the gym and I'm not a slacker with some of the things I do. Sometimes I'm worn out after and it isn't helpful for the next day when I want the elliptical. When I'm on that rotation, it is usually a 3x a week kind of thing and I check my diet and make sure I have quality carbs in my diet.