T Nation

Full Body High Frequency Routines

Coach could you weigh in on full body, high(ish) frequency training? Something like built for bad, but could be used long term (vs. blitz).

Goal being massive physique changes. I just like hitting major movements every day.

What is your view on this these days? How would you balance the major lifts with assistance ( to failure?) style training and still be able to recover (and prime training the next day)?

Once upon a time you were all about daily training, so long as it was explosive (non grinding) -> more insulin senstiivty, CNS/performance, constant anabolic stimulus.

I know your views change but if there’s still a fullbody/high freq template that could jive with your current philosophy pls share thank you

It’s not that I disagree with high frequency full-body training. I’ve done it quite a bit. I think that for becoming strong it can be a very effective way to train if you plan the sessions properly. But I do not believe that daily full-workout workouts based on only the big lifts is the best way to get super muscular.

Don’t get me wrong, any program that is based on progressively overloading the muscles and that does not put you in an “overreaching/improper recovery” state will work to some extent.

Right now I am doing a phase of training the whole body at every session. But I don’t train every day. 4 or 5 days a week. And I don’t use all big lifts. I might use one or two big lifts per workout and the rest is assistance/isolation.

I think you can train the whole body 4 - 5 times a week if you plan everything perfectly and vary volume and intensity. But 5 is pushing it… most top guys train 4. Olympic lifters (who basically do whole body training) normally do 4 or 5 when they are natural/normal human beings. They can go up to 6 if they have elite genetics and pharma support. But even then a few of the sessions are very low intensity/volume and they do not train 7 days a week.

If I were to train the whole body every day with size as the main focus I would do something like this:

Each workout…

  • One upper body lift and one lower body lift, alternate sets (e.g. 1 set of military press, 75 sec rest, 1 set of squats,75-90 sec of rest, 1 set of military press, 75 sec of rest, 1 set of squats, etc.)

  • Three antagonist pairings (superset if they are low demand exercises like pulley, isolation or machine exercises… alternate if they are more challenging assistance exercises)… focus on less CNS demanding movements … these should not be done as heavy as the first two lifts.

  • twice a week abs work, twice a week 15 min of loaded carries

Some points to avoid CNS overload:

  1. I would use different main exercises on every day. For example:
    Day 1 - Military press/Squat
    Day 2 - Chin-up (if you are strong enough :wink: ) or barbell row/High pull
    Day 3 - Bench press / Front squat
    Day 4 - Deadlift/Push press
    Day 5 - Pull-ups/Leg press (less neurologically demanding day)

  2. I would change the main exercises every 4-5 weeks… doesn’t have to be a huge change but use dfferent variations

  3. Change the loading schemes eveyr day and rotate every week of a cycle. For example:

Day 1 (heavy) 4 cluster sets of 4-6 reps OR ramp to 2-3RM
Day 2 (easy) 4 sets of 5-7 reps with about 2 reps in the tank
Day 3 (volume) 5 sets of 8-10 reps close to max effort
Day 4 (moderate) 3 reps EMOM for 16 minutes with 70% (since you are pairng exercises minute 1 = exercise 1, minute 2 = exercise 2, minute 3 = exercise 1, minute 4 - exercise 2, etc.) OR don’t alternate and do the EMOM for 10 minutes on each lift with 75%
Day 5 (rep rest): use 70% of your max and done 1 set of as many reps as you can (in good form)

Day 1: Easy
Day 2: Volume
Day 3: Moderate
Day 4: Rep test
Day 5: heavy

Day 1: Volume
Day 2: Moderate
Day 3: Rep test
Day 4: Heavy
Day 5: Easy

Day 1: Moderate
Day 2: Rep test
Day 3: Heavy
Day 4: Easy
Day 5: Volume

Day 1: Volume
Day 2: Moderate
Day 3: Rep test
Day 4: Heavy
Day 5: Easy


  1. Keep assistance work as low demand on the CNS as possible and do about 3 sets of 6-12 reps (you can use bodybuilding methods) getting as many reps as you possibly can AND doing the eccentric of THE LAST REP as slowly as possible (i.e. when you know you wont be getting another full rep, finish with a superslow eccentric)

I was a stimulus addict. And since I have a lot of knowledge I was able to justify my desire to always be in the gym, even though it was counter productive in retrospect.

This is pretty much like a pothead who learns all the complex science about the effect of marijuana and uses it to justify smoking every day.

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Lol great analogy

Thank you! Appreciate the quick response. I will dig in here later (night time here) and try out.

As I posted this thread I realized indigo strength fit this bill perfectly and produced tremendous gains. However it was VERY difficult to finish through all the volume…basically 5x5 in foundation was the extent of my productive work, and the cluster/giant sets afterwards felt really fluffy.

And for some reason I could never stick with it for more than 2 weeks, it was just too draining.

This template looks great, especailly the different exercise selection and intensity rotation.Thank you much , i got the basic gist of it

Btw since you’re near a gym most days (I assume), how do you fight the temptation of working out. Even doing some light technique work on olympic lifing on your “off” days.

Maybe mma or boxing sparring? lol

It’s hard… well it WAS hard at first. But when I saw that it led to positive changes rapidly, it became a no brainer

Curious, with your recent progress update thread (amazing physique btw, paleo & intraworkout really shreds fat), what your goals are nowadays?

If it’s just physique, why still do fullbody (if not optimal) and since you’re tempted to train for performance (not to mention most of your clients are strength athlethes) do you ever just hop on something new every few months?

Like, if CT were to just take up MMA (maybe 3x a week weight training) or god forbid advanced calisthenics, what would happen to your physique? At your level of development would anything even deteriorate?

I’m A LOT leaner now. I would say about 7lbs from being stage shape… lost about 12lbs of fat since the pic I posted and strength is up slightly. My goal is to get in contest condition (with no intention on competing) by the first week of August.

I’m not “tempted” by anything. The only time I’m “tempted” to do something is when I’m not focused and do not have a specific goal, which was the case for the past 3 years., But now I have a goal of building the best physique I am capable off so performance isn’t really on my mind.

Don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t mean that I’m changing the way I think. But that’s how my brain works: when I have a solid focus on something I only think about that. A good example is gymnastic rings… when my goal was to learn about them and get good at them it was all I wanted to talk about. Now it has ZERO interest to me and bores me to death to talk and even think about them.

Right now my goal is to do everything possible to look my best by the first week of August and with that in mind, every thing do is aimed toward that. While I still lift fairly heavy (I believe that maintaining or even gaining strength is the key to not losing, or even gaining strength when dieting), I do not lift for maximal strength. And while I still try to accelerate the weight on the big lifts (because I believe that it gets the best CNS activation and fiber recruitment) not all my work is done like that.

As I mentioned I have no interest to answer that question because these are two things I would NEVER do. I do not have any interest in doing them and I don’t deal in hypothetical questions when it comes to myself.

But knowing my body, it would deteriorate as far as muscle mass is concerned, no question.

Eagerly anticipate the contest ready CT

Pls document diet/training…i’ve seen a few of your videos but you could really kill it with one of those daily Vlogs. Showing the CT training style/diet and whatever insights you care to share

:wink: just sayin

I will not do that. I simply don’t have the time. I understand that people would like to know what I do in the gym and eat and my feelings etc, but with all my upcoming seminars to prepare, forum to take care of, articles to write and people to train I don’t have the time nor desire. I started 7 weeks ago, if doing a blog or vlog about it was something I wanted to do, it would have been started long ago.

BTW I’m not saying this to be an a**hole. I’m just someone who doesn’t like to live his life in front of others. I actually hate those who do that. I understand that some people might learn a few things if I posted a detailed report of all that I do; but it would simply make my life miserable. I like to do my own things, I’m all about working hard and never looking for glory or recognition and I would like people to respect that. I do not like when people ask me on a public forum what I’m doing, that’s just the way I am.

That having been said my goal is to help out as much as I can. So I do want to share knowledge and know-how… just not in the form of the CT reality show


Understood and respect.

DId Day 1 today, loved it. Incline tilt from pins (ramp to 1rm, then 2-3 clusters), alternated with bulgarian split squat (ramp to 3-5RM).
2 sets (near failure) alternating:
Ring Dip/fly (lean forward, feel contraction) and smith machine front squat (constant tension)
DB incline flye/ring pullaparts
Incline diamond pushups (incredible pump) / band pull apart

THank you!

Tomorrow will be:
Compound: Snatch grip high pull (maybe off pins, or hang we’ll see), 5 reps EMOM alternated with
Weighted ring chins, 5 reps EMOM

Assistance (alternatiing):
DB laterals/Tucked front lever raises (constant tension)
Lean away single arm laterals/bicep curl variations x 3-5 sets

Assitance close to failure, last set to failure/negative eccentric. Am I getting the idea right with these two workouts?

Hi Coach,

This was very informative. Everyday Full body routines is something that I wanted to try but it looked like against conventional knowledge. With your guidelines I would actually give it a go.

However you have given too many options :slight_smile: I am kind of confused with what to put in. I have tried to come up with a routine for myself. Please correct it if you think otherwise.

Day 1 : 4x8 : Bench Press / Barbell Rows / Squats / Shrugs
Day 2 : 4*10 : Lateral Raise / Pullups / Lunges / Bicep Curls
Day 3 : 4x6 : Inclide Dumbell Press / Seated Rows / Leg Press / Upright Rows
Day 4 : 3x3 : Deadlift / OHP /
Day 5 : 5x5 : Bench Press / Barbell Rows / Squats / Shrugs
Day 6 : Off
Day 7 : Off