T Nation

Full Body Strength Training


I've never tried full body training so I thought I'd try it out and see how I respond to it. I'm training to compete in powerlifting and am currently trying to raise weight classes so I'm training my lifts up but keeping volume in mind to throw some mass on.

Here is what I pieced together, this full body approach is really foreign so me to I wanted some advice on how I may improve it , thanks. (I don't use speed work as of now, just basics work great for me)

Day 1: Squat Day
Squat Variation 10, 8, 6, 4, to 3-5rm
Military Press 5 x 3-5
Leg Curl 4 x 5-7
Cable Row 3 x 7-9
DB Bench Press 2 x 11-13
Pull-Up 2 x 11-13

Day 2: Rest Day

Day 3: Bench Press Day
Bench Press Variation 10, 8, 6, 4, to 3-5rm
Stiff-Legged Deadlift 5 x 3-5
Bent-Over BB Row 4 x 5-7
Machine Hack Squat 3 x 7-9
Leg Raise/Decline Sit-Up 3 x 7-13

Day 4: Rest Day

Day 5: Deadlift Day
Deadlift Variation 10, 8, 6, 4, to 3-5rm
Chin-Up 5 x 3-5
Leg Press 3 x 11-13
Incline DB Bench Press 4 x 5-7
Rear Deltoid Cable Flye 2 x 11-13
One-Arm DB Overhead Press 2 x 11-13

Day 6: Rest Day or Fun Day
Fun Day = arms and neck training so...
bb curl 5 x 3-5
parallel dip 5 x 3-5
db curl 3 x 7-9
bench dip 3 x 7-9
neck flex and ext machine 2-4 x 11-13

Day 7: Rest Day

By the way I take every fourth week off or just do one set of 15-20reps on everything.

Thanks everyone.


Why do you want to do this. It appears to be more work than it's worth. See how it goes and let us know.


I want to try this out because A) I have never given full body training a fair chance, B) Training my body as a whole in a single session is starting to make sense to me in terms of the body works as a whole and not as halves or muscle groups, C) It's really fucking simplistic.

I know split training works, it works really damn good and has worked for me. I am not saying one is better than the other, what I am trying to figure out is which one I like the most.

I did the squat day today and noticed some major differences. First of all I was dogass tired after I got done, more than usual anyway. Secondly, an odd feeling was no specific muscle group, or upper or lower body was just destroyed and tingling with fatigue...so I almost felt like I didn't do a whole lot even though I was exhausted. That is definately a strange psychological thing.

I am used to blasting overhead presses, squats, or something like that with two to three different movements with high set/rep volume all at once. I don't specifically train for a pump but if I did I would be displeased because I didn't get hardly any blood into my my muscles at all...just some key differences I noticed.

Jury is still out on this one, I'll have to give it a couple weeks.


I don't know how long you've been training but this volume would crush me after the first week. I would strip it down and keep it alot simpler.


I've completed my first week of full body strength training and after talking with Zeb, getting feedback from this thread and many others through search engine, and most importantly actually doing the damn routine all out I've learned some things.

1.) I love full body strength training.
2.) It's pretty fucking hard which I like.
3.) The thing I said about not getting a pump is starting to go away, im getting blood into muscles now and I'm really fucking sore all the time which is awesome.

4.) Today I broke a deadlift and db bench record...it's only the first week but it's a good sign.
5.) I'm burning way the hell more calories and I'm actually in the gym less days...crazy. I have to eat A LOT now, I'm losing around my waist and I don't have much there to lose (5'10" 172lbs 30" waist 10%bf = way too fucking small), I need to get on the ball with eating and bump up to 4000kcal as suggested by Zeb and I feel eating is the on and off switch to gaining muscle.

After actually doing a weeks worth of the routine I made some serious changes and listened to my body, here is what my body suggested...

Day 1: Squat Day

Squat Variation work up to rep max
Military Press 5 x 4-6
Cable Row 4 x 6-8
Parallel Bar Dip 3 x 6-8
Incline DB Curl 3 x 6-8

Day 2: Rest Day

Day 3: Bench Press Day

Bench Press Variation work up to rep max
Stiff-Legged Deadlift 5 x 4-6
Bent-Over BB Row 4 x 6-8
Leg Press 3 x 8-10
Leg Raise/Decline Sit-Up 3 x 8-10

Day 4: Rest Day

Day 5: Deadlift Day

Deadlift Variation work up to rep max
Chin-Up 5 x 4-6
DB Bench Press 4 x 6-8
BB Curl 3 x 10-12
Bench Dip 3 x 10-12

Day 6: Rest Day

Day 7: Rest Day

Week 1 - Intro Week = ME work up to 5rm
Week 2 - Build Up Week = ME work up to 3rm
Week 3 - Peak Week = ME work up to 1rm
Week 4 - Deload Week = every lift 1 x 15-20 or week taken off

Kind of funny...if I had 5x5 next to everything and different periodization it would really look like something along the lines of bill starr.

So I'm enjoying full body structure already after only the first week. It was definately worth the try, I'll be training this way for a long time I feel and as long as I keep seeing good gains.

thanks guys I learned a lot with everyone's help and am very happy with things,


I like the overall setup. Keep up the good work.


I noticed that you do 5x5 on the stiff legged deadlifts on day 3 and then you have a max effort deadlift workout on day 5. How is your lower back feeling? I only ask because I would be interested in doing something similar but tend to get lower back pain if I deadlift too often.


Whenever I perform stiff-legs I never get a lot of fatigue in my low back but my hamstrings become absolutely devastated as I also try to place all the load onto them when performing sldl's. I lower the bar and keep it against my body and push my hips back back back.

Whenever I deadlift max effort, it's almost always Sumo Deadlifts in which I start hips down and keep my back in at upright position throughout the lift (my torso never shifts forward) and I feel most of the load go onto my hips, glutes, quads and hamstrings all sharing the work. There is definately some stabalizing ab and low back work going on though. My low back is more roasted after pulling sumo from just keeping my body upright and not folding me over as it is with sldl's.

If I pulled conventional more I am sure it would be more difficult to manage the low back fatigue.

Hope that explains more.


Sounds like something I might try out. Never really done sumo style but I`m sure it would be less taxing when done following SLDL.



could someone please explain how to work up to a 5, 3 and 1 rep max please?


There was a writer on this site a few years ago CS Sloan. He had a couple of real good full body workout programs. Check them out in the Authors search. One of my all-time favorite workout routines is his "longer not harder" program.


Read the articles on elitefts.com that are part of the Methods of Max Effort series...they'll provide you with some options on how to work up.