T Nation

FullBody/ Isolation Advice


okay so currently im doing a upper/lower split twice a week ( so 4 lifting days a week) my current exersizes are

dumbell flat bench press, straight back seated row incline barbell bench press, lat pull down (front) , dumbell seated shoulder press, barbell upright row (trying to switch to lateral raises), skull crusher triceps extension, dumbell curls and dumbell shrugs this is my upper body day

squat (somewhere between ATG and paralell), conventional dead lift, leg press, lying leg curls, standing calf raises, seated hip adduction, seated hip abduction, incline sit ups (im not bringing my elbows to my knees), 45 degree side bends and leg raises ( full hip flexion) this is my lower body day

now im going to have to start doing full body routines i think because A im starting a job finally after being laid off forever and wont have as much time or energy and B im starting muay thai training so i know for sure i cant handle work weight lifting and training all on the same day.

so heres my idea/dilemma 3 full body work outs , id like to do chin ups and pull ups and dips INSTEAD of all that isolation stuff so it would look like this

squat, dead lift, bench,row,incline bench,pull up, dip,chin up

now is that going to hit everything in my body? should i throw in one isolation exersize per muscle? or like 2 on one day and 2 different ones the next work out? will my calves traps biceps triceps etc etc all still grow and gain strength? and should i be throwing in another row to balance out the incline press or will the pull up do that?

my end goals i want to be lean and strong and big(doesnt have to be crazy like body builder big but still big muscular wise) im 6'3 right now and 294 pounds lean weight is approx 210 at the moment


Going to a fullbody 3x a week, I'd recommend Chad's TBT program:


I started it about 5 weeks ago and have seen very significant gains despite currently eating calorically negative to drop fat.

Basically, yeah, just hit 6 compound exercises each workout that cover all the basics. Read the TBT article for more information; I really dig the periodization scheme that TBT uses.


that TBT sounds good but i dont think i could hit everything i want limited to 4 compound and 2 isolation, id need to do all 8 of those compound movements ive listed to hit everything

would be affect me adversly if i did those 8 compound movements and mabye a couple of isolation movements afterwars? i could switch them out every day to different ones

also as for abs do you think i should bother with any direct work? considering im going to be training for fighting i should probably hit my abs 2 times a week? perhaps on the days between my lifting?


You dont need those eight moves to hit everything....

Squat- Quads, Hams, Glutes (and Calves)
Deadlift- Lower Body/Lower Back
Bench- Chest/tri's/delts
Row- Back/Bi's
Incline Bench- Chest/tri's
Pull up- Back/Lats/Bi's
Dip- Chest/Tris
Chin up- Back/Bi's

See, you are pulling double duty on a lot of excercises. With total body training you dont NEED to hit a muscle from every angle each workout. The point is to hit the muscle more frequently. In Chads program you pick 4 compound movements, and 2 isolation. You could hit every MAJOR muscle group with...

Flat Bench
Pull Up
Front Squat

Then add a couple isolation movements... Curls? Pressdown? Laterals?

Chad states in his article that he picks 6 exercises because thats about what most people can handle without getting too tired in a given workout. You can add to that as you see fit, but there isnt a need to hit three back excercises or two chest exercises when you are doing fullbody routines, unless one of those is a lagging bodypart. Even then, I wouldnt be adding more excercises. Maybe an extra set or two, maybe one set of another excercise.


sure you can do those eight OVER the week not in one day. like the post above stated a few (3 isolations one push, pull, and legs then an isolation or two each day wiull hit the whole body then next workout you will hit it again though in slightly different places with emphasis in different place.

Best of luck,


im going to try doing these 9 exersizes 3 times a week, if i find i cant handle it, i can cut two out and alternate with them bringing it down to 7 and if thats too much still i can cut more:

squat, dead lift, flat becnh press, row, incline bench press, pull up,dip, close grip chin up, push press

i can remove the incline and either pull up or chin ups and swap them out every other workout.


Or....you could completely ignore all of our advice and do three full body workouts a week that will be long enough that you dont give your body enough time to recover!!

Wait...I guess you are doing that anyway...


LOL hey i apprciate the advice really i do, but i want to try it out and see how it goes, if no one tried anything contrary to popular belief nothing would change my friend.

as for the work out lasting too long, my work outs generally last 2-3 hours as it is right now on the splits, abou 1.5-2 hours for lifting and then about 20-30 mins for cardio and a good half hour of takling to people between sets and stuff

been gaining just fine, dont feel burnt out at all, still hungry and loosing fat and inches and have been doing it this way for 4 months

like i said if i try it and i find myself burnt out and unable to focus well enough on the last portiton of the lifts, then ill cut down to 7, then test again, and if its still too much ill go down to 5 movements per workou and just swap them out during the week, i really dont think it will be a problem as ive been doing 4 days of weight lifting a week with 9 lifts per day



No one is going to argue with you. It just gets old when someone asks for help and then decides they arent going to take anyones advice.


no no dont think of it as me just shrugging off your advice and thinking im right, i just want to try it out, im probably going to end up taking your advice anyways so dont worry :wink:

a secondary question do you think a full body workout 2 days a week would be sufficent for strength and muscle gains? i might not have time for three once training starts up heavy


Certainly. check out Waterbury's "10x3 for Fat Loss"