T Nation

Full Body Training Questions


Alright, here's a quick intro to let you guys know my current fitness level:

I currently weight train 5days a week, along with swimming 2 days a week( both endurance and breath control... I'm up to a 50m underwater swim which is what will be required of me during SEAL training), and I also run 3days a week. I do abs about 3-4 times a week. My program for the past year or so has been split training, and I'd like to start a full body program.

Some numbers on myself and my lifts:

Personal stats: 5'10" ranging from 165lbs-170lbs. About 7% body fat.

Max bench - 315 lb x1 rep
Max Squat - 335 lb x4reps
Max 1 leg squat - 225 lb x4reps
Max Deadlift - 295 lb x4reps
1 arm dumbell overhead press - 70lbsx4
Weighted Chins - w/ 45lbs 8reps
Weighted Dips - w/ 60lbs 8reps
Bent over Rows - Not sure about my max, generally do about 115lbs for 8-10reps.
Tricep presdown - vbar 225lbs x5reps
Narrow Grip Snatch - 135lbs x2reps

So I guess that gives you a basic overview of the strengths of my muscle groups.

Split body training has given me some great improvements, especially in the last 6months (15lbs gained of pure muscle). However, I would like to start total body training. I'm taking a one week break starting monday, and I'd like to start a full-body training program that I will do for at least 4 weeks once I return to lifting.

I'd like to train full body 4 times a week (unless 3 times a week is more effective... if that's the case then let me know why). Note - I am still going to be running 3x a week and swimming 2x a week.

Here's a quick list of exercises that I think I should include, but I'd definitely like some feedback as to what to add and what to take out.

Weighted Pullups/Chins (varying grips)
Weighted Dips
Bench press (incline/decline/flat/db/widegrip/closegrip)
Overhead presses
Skull Crushers
Decline dumbell Extension
Barbell Curl
Squats (back, front, 1-leg, bulgarian)
Deadlifts (straight-leg, romanian)
Glute-Ham Raise
Reverse Hyper
Calf Raise (seated, calf-rockers, donkey)
Rows (Seated, bent over, reverse, varying grips)
Gymnist bodyweight workouts (planches, levers)
Abs: Dragon Flags, straight leg situps, janda situps, weighted crunches w/ rope attachment, 3 oblique movements which I honestly forgot the name of haha, weighted situp twists on decline bench

Alright, those are the workouts that I I think should be involved in my total body program. NOTE: I have the time to train 2-3hrs per session 4 days a week.

I would really appreciate some feedback on what workouts I should subtract or add, and how I should organize this on a four-day a week program.

As far as supplements/recovery goes I take GNC's PM Protein every night, 1 serving of flax 3 days a week, and I eat a lot. I also do yoga 1-2 days a week and take contrast showers.

Once again, I've never done a full body training program before so I would really appreciate any feedback from those that have done them and have achieved good resuls.

Thank you.



If you are talking about a seven day week and trying to fit in four full body workouts that will take some time to build up to coming from a split routine. If you want to make it an eight day week and just alternate lifting and resting days that should be fine.

Check out Chad Waterbury's Total Body Training, he pretty much lets you set it up yourself with the template he provides, or if you search in the posts he eventually gives out specific exercises. It boils down to doing four compound movements and two accessory type movements that cover the whole body. Here is the link in case you are lazy



Chad Waterbury's TBT or TTT are good places to start!


Good luck in BUDs. But to be honest it has less to do with physical ability and more with mental. the cold is a back breaker and sand is definitly not your friend, especially a shovel full into your compression shorts, too tough for me, I am not ashamed.

But your 50m swim is not what you think, you have to jump in do a front flip (can not kick off wall) swim one length, kick off and come back. Not just hop in go under and kick off. Learn to hyperventilate and it is a piece of cake.

Also, your lucky if your about to go in the navy, because now anyone going into SWIC, BUD's, EOD goes to a special division during bootcamp, not like when I went, we had to go PT with SEAL instructors (that are not very happy most the time, can you blame them, they are on the teams but stuck in Chicago) at 4AM and then go back to our barracks and PT with our own division, really sucked. Anyways, they really nailed us with lots of running not so much swimming.

Also I find Cross Fit's workouts very similar, however the amount (usually about 2hours straight) and conditions very different, to the abuse we were subjected. Like I said I didn't cut it and I regret not sticking it out, but remember this, you will only fail at BUD's if you say one thing "I quit." Or my line was "F-this cold water BS." man minutes seem like hours when your freezing! have fun!


Absolutely. Don Alessi's old stuff (meltdown) is also tremendous.

To give you another idea, here's my "standard" total-body program:

*3 or 4 full-body sessions a week,
*start with 4 "money" exercises like power cleans, front squats, deads, etc. at either 10x3, 8x3, 6x4, 5x5, 4x6, or 3x8-12. No "direct" work for arms, abs or calves.
*finish with one set each of direct work for bis, tris, abs, calves. 1x4, 1x8, or 1x12.

Looks like you have your shit in gear, full-body training sessions will make a nice addition.


Good job on the bench man. But your deadlift and squat strength should be a lot higher than they are if you have managed to bench that much.


Thanks for the feedback and suggestions everyone.

Christian - I really appreciate the insight on BUD/S training. I've read up on a lot of that "mind over matter" business, but it means a lot more coming from someone who's been there. As far as the underwater swim goes, I actually did already know about the flip and no initial kick and such. I'll be honest, I haven't made 50m that way yet... I've only made 43m :confused: . Also thanks for the hyperventillation tip, for the past few months I've been doing freediving dynamic apnea workouts and O2/CO2 tables which have improved my underwater distance dramatically, as well as my hypoxic tolerance and breathhold (up to 3:03 now from 1:27). I'll see how far I get after hyperventillation next time I go.

Jeff - I appreciate the suggestion, do you agree with Waterbury that more than 6 exercises per session = overtraining? It seems that you do by your suggestion, but I'm still curious.

Paul - Yeah, I know what ya mean haha. I think I have a mental block for squatting/deadlifting heavier weights at the moment because if I get injured then I'd really lose a lot of progress and necessary training time. I have done 225on the 1leg squat which means I guess I should be able to put up 400+ on the real thing, but I just haven't been able to yet. I also didn't train my legs heavily till about 4 months ago, so that probably explains part of it heh.

Again, thanks for the advice everyone. Any more insight is appreciated.



Could think about joint/tendon supp, you are doing the work and could help you in the medium term, great focuss and prep, would wish you luck but luck has nothing to do with it after your prep.