T Nation

Full Body Workout Clarifications


Hey guys, new forum member here at T-Nation, been reading the articles for quite some time. Anyway, I recently started incorporating full body workouts instead of split training due to time constraints ever since I moved.

Been browsing through the forums and its been ticking me as to how to approach the whole full body workout. Currently I do my workout in the following order:

Workout 1:

Chest - 3 sets
Back - 3 sets
Legs - 3 sets
Shoulders - 3 sets
Arms - 2 to 3 sets

Now I was wondering whether I was working it in the right order, finishing one muscle group before moving to the next (so in this case i'd finish 3 sets of bench presses before moving on to say 3 sets of barbell rows). Or would this set up be a lot better:

Workout 2:

Chest, Back, Legs, Shoulders, Arms = 1st set
Chest, Back, Legs, Shoulders, Arms = 2nd set
Chest, Back, Legs, Shoulders, Arms = 3rd set

Basically in this set up, I'd do 1 set of chest (say a bench press), after which move up to back and do 1 set (barbell rows), then a set of legs (squats), all the way till arms. And I'd consider that as "one set", after which, i'd go back and repeat chest all the way till arms till i get to do 3 sets of each. (in this case, do 1 set of chest, 1 set of back, 1 set of legs, 1 set of shoulders, 1 set of arms, REST, then go do the 2nd set of chest, back, etc.)

Now I know, i might get bashed for this, but i was wondering which one would actually be more beneficial? Currently I've been doing Workout 1


for christ sake, just pick a TBT program we have hundreds over T-Nation and follow it.


everything 10x3
Hang clean+press/pullups
weighted Dips/DBrows (higher reps_
Squats or Deads

that is more fun.


You pretty much just described circuit training. It's not the worst way to train for general fitness or conditioning, but for size or strength, you're much better off using the "Workout 1"-style, doing all sets of one exercise before moving to the next.

That said, there are much better designed and more effective full body programs out there. Chad Waterbury and Dan John would be two of the coaches who've written about them.


Okay, thanks, I'll look more into the other programs. Thanks guys.


Just an observation here (and run this one through 'beginner' filter--re other threads on beginner forum right now...)

Pairing up exercises is a great way of getting a lot of work done in a short time frame ie do one set of one exercise and one of the next.

This is pretty well how i train all the time due to said time constraints and i am gradually working out what seems to work for me.

Best 'pairs' so far are :
Deadlift and bench
Bench and supported db rows.
Squats and any pull-up/chins.
But gradually experimenting more as experience slowly grows.

Also 'opposites' eg push and pull ie bench and cable row.

As mr colucci says anything more than 2 together becomes circuit training, now i do also do this for one workout but think of this as a weights based conditioning workout for an epoc effect.
Favourite/current circuit is rounds of : goblet squat, pull-ups/chins, dips and press ups done at pace.