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3 Day/Week Full Body Workout

Hello all,

Here’s the background:

I’m not a beginner; I’ve been lifting weights for nearly 6 years now. However, I am only “beginning” to train properly again now after coming back from a rotator cuff injury that kept me away from heavy weights for over 3 months. After spending those past 3 months doing light resistance work targeting solely my shoulders and back, I’m now keen to getting back a well-rounded, athletic physique. For this reason I’ve decided to return to a kind of workout I haven’t done in years: the full body workout.

I’m planning on doing the full body workout 3 times a week: Mon, Wed, Fri. On each day, the workout will be the same - incorporating big compound movements such as DLs, clean & presses, BP, barbell rows, etc. - except I’ll probably rotate exercises so that I’m not always starting and ending with the same exercises.

Now on to the questions:

  1. What kind of cardio would you guys recommend I do on off days, i.e. Tue, Thur? I want to do cardio on off days because I think it’ll stand to benefit me on “on days”. Why? One, doing cardio on off days should boost my cardiovascular fitness and make it easier for me to keep the intensity high on “on days” and allow me to concentrate on lifting maximum weight rather than on getting my breath back. Two, I’ve read that an “active” recovery day of light cardio can actually speed up muscle recovery faster than a “sedentary” recovery day, i.e. one where you do nothing at all.

I’m thinking some light resistance, steady state stuff is my best bet if I want to put strain on my heart without straining my muscles too much. However, I wouldn’t know how long is long enough, or what percentage of my max heart rate I should be aiming for. Say I chose to use the bike, for instance: what’s the optimum time and heart rate I should be looking to keep to (bearing in mind I’m 23)?

  1. Is it wise to do a small amount of ab work on off days rather than none at all? The way I see it, the core muscles you use while performing the likes of DLs and bent-over barbell rows (which I do at a 90 degree angle, by the way) are distinct from the ab muscles you recruit when doing stuff like bicycles and reverse crunches. Following this line of thought, doing 5-10 minutes of ab work on off days shouldn’t harm my performance on lifting days, nor should it lead to my core or abs being overworked. I may be mistaken though. Anyone out there think they no better?

[quote]dubdevil89 wrote:

  1. What kind of cardio would you guys recommend I do on off days, i.e. Tue, Thur? I want to do cardio on off days because I think it’ll stand to benefit me on “on days”. Why? One, doing cardio on off days should boost my cardiovascular fitness and make it easier for me to keep the intensity high on “on days” and allow me to concentrate on lifting maximum weight rather than on getting my breath back. Two, I’ve read that an “active” recovery day of light cardio can actually speed up muscle recovery faster than a “sedentary” recovery day, i.e. one where you do nothing at all.

I’m thinking some light resistance, steady state stuff is my best bet if I want to put strain on my heart without straining my muscles too much. However, I wouldn’t know how long is long enough, or what percentage of my max heart rate I should be aiming for. Say I chose to use the bike, for instance: what’s the optimum time and heart rate I should be looking to keep to (bearing in mind I’m 23)?[/quote]

Not sure about your current state of conditioning, but from objective measures of cardiovascular benefits, high intensity intermittent cardio seems to have the best results. Not to say there isn’t benefit to steady state work… and from a muscle recovery standpoint, there might be… but from a blood oxygenation standpoint and aerobic efficiency standpoint, HIIT is where it’s at. The best benefits come from higher intensity and shorter intervals. 20 seconds as hard as possible, 10 seconds rest, repeated for 4 minutes total… is the extreme end of the spectrum. My heart and lungs start going crazy and telling me to quite around 2-1/2 minutes in.

No, it shouldn’t lead to overwork. If you’re doing some sort of upright movement that requires keeping a tight core (like squats and standing presses), you’ll get great well-rounded core development.

Do you need to get leaner?
Chad Waterbury has focused on 3 days full body WO for many years. He suggest fast walk 10 to 20 min. on off days if my memory is good. Serge Nubret suggest abs daily 1 hour or less if you are short on time. Now i do abs on on off. The off day is the tough 1. I use it to make sure i can top myself the next day, it works for me. After 6 weeks i can do abs 13 minutes non stop. The next day i double that split in 3 sets.
All the best !
PS. I work out 6 days upper lower split.

[quote]LoRez wrote:
Not sure about your current state of conditioning, but from objective measures of cardiovascular benefits, high intensity intermittent cardio seems to have the best results. Not to say there isn’t benefit to steady state work… and from a muscle recovery standpoint, there might be… but from a blood oxygenation standpoint and aerobic efficiency standpoint, HIIT is where it’s at. The best benefits come from higher intensity and shorter intervals. 20 seconds as hard as possible, 10 seconds rest, repeated for 4 minutes total… is the extreme end of the spectrum. My heart and lungs start going crazy and telling me to quite around 2-1/2 minutes in.[/quote]

Yeah I’ve read that too, and I actually used to incorporate that kind of training into my regimen when I was rowing crew, but I’m concerned that that kind of HIT training will leave my legs fried and not in the best condition for another full body workout the following day.

Yup first select goal(s), then select how to, kind of KISS approach, Keep It Simple Stupid
PS. That is why i referred to Chad Waterbury he has over 10 years experience focussed on 3 days full body workouts weekly. I ran 2 marathons but my experience does not qualify me to help you reach your goals.

[quote]dubdevil89 wrote:
Hello all[/quote]
Hello again.

While I’ve got your ear for a second, your two previous threads asked for some peculiar advice. You got that advice, against some of our better judgment, and never bothered to drop back into either to address relevant follow-up questions. That’s bothersome.


[quote]1) What kind of cardio would you guys recommend I do on off days, i.e. Tue, Thur?

However, I wouldn’t know how long is long enough, or what percentage of my max heart rate I should be aiming for.

2) Is it wise to do a small amount of ab work on off days rather than none at all?[/quote]

All of these questions have been answered in articles on the site. A few minutes of searching should bring them up with little difficulty. That’s about all the time I’m investing here.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]dubdevil89 wrote:
Hello all[/quote]
Hello again.

While I’ve got your ear for a second, your two previous threads asked for some peculiar advice. You got that advice, against some of our better judgment, and never bothered to drop back into either to address relevant follow-up questions. That’s bothersome.


[quote]1) What kind of cardio would you guys recommend I do on off days, i.e. Tue, Thur?

However, I wouldn’t know how long is long enough, or what percentage of my max heart rate I should be aiming for.

2) Is it wise to do a small amount of ab work on off days rather than none at all?[/quote]

All of these questions have been answered in articles on the site. A few minutes of searching should bring them up with little difficulty. That’s about all the time I’m investing here.[/quote]

I just looked at those links. I’m surprised you even gave him that much time.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]dubdevil89 wrote:
Hello all[/quote]
Hello again.

While I’ve got your ear for a second, your two previous threads asked for some peculiar advice. You got that advice, against some of our better judgment, and never bothered to drop back into either to address relevant follow-up questions. That’s bothersome.


[quote]1) What kind of cardio would you guys recommend I do on off days, i.e. Tue, Thur?

However, I wouldn’t know how long is long enough, or what percentage of my max heart rate I should be aiming for.

2) Is it wise to do a small amount of ab work on off days rather than none at all?[/quote]

All of these questions have been answered in articles on the site. A few minutes of searching should bring them up with little difficulty. That’s about all the time I’m investing here.[/quote]

Hey Chris, you’ll be glad to see that I’ve now updated those two previous threads.

Re this thread, I honestly wasn’t able to find the answers to my question on here, that’s why I decided to post my questions, explaining my particular situation. If you have a link to a thread asking much the same questions, though, I’d love it if you could link me to it.

[quote]dubdevil89 wrote:
Hey Chris, you’ll be glad to see that I’ve now updated those two previous threads.[/quote]
Please see relevant pic above.

… … …

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“About 39,900 results (0.22 seconds)”

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“About 4,920 results (0.28 seconds)”

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“About 29,500 results (0.46 seconds)”