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My Issue with Full Body Routines

I’ve been trying to get into the ‘groove’ of some full body routines for a bit while I was working some crazy hours, figuring any workout was better than none. However, what turns me off on full body routines is warming up for them. Let me explain. Normally, if I’m going to be working legs (for example) I like to make sure that my legs and knees are really warmed up before I start hitting the squats.

So far so good, right? Well, when working back, chest, and shoulders, I like to make sure each of those areas are fully warmed up as well before hitting them hard since I’ve had a few shoulder injuries over the years. On full body workouts, it takes a fair amount of time to warm up each body part before hitting it.

Now I know that some folks say not to overdo your warm up, but I believe that it’s better to make sure you’re good and warmed up (physically and mentally) before diving into squats, deadlifts, bench presses, rows, etc. Like I said, I don’t want to re-injure my knees or shoulders at this point. I definitely don’t bounce back at 45 like I did when I was 25.

Therefore, I’ve gone back to my standard split which usually consists of chest/back, legs, shoulders/arms. This split allows me to make sure I’m fully warmed up before hitting the core movements for that workout.

Anyone else agree or have experiences similar? I hope I did an adequate job of explaining what I mean here.

Thanks folks!

Everyone is different, I like the agile 8 as a warmup and I start every big lift except deads with just the bar. Take a look for the mobility thread in this forum (need to get that stickied again) there is an olympic lifter klokov that put up his warmup. Its short and effective, ive added a couple of his stretches to my warmup, good luck!

I agree, full bodys are very hard after 30, and harder after 40. I do a big split, and feel very good for it.


Thanks guys. I appreciate the input. Now that I have more time to devote to getting my body back in shape, as well as having someone to get it back in shape for, I’ll be much, much more active around here.

Thanks again,

I don’t have anywhere near enough energy to do an effective full body workout but as far as the warm goes I highly recommend relatively heavy t-handle swings. Do a couple of sets of these and follow up with your leg work, when you switch to upper body work a few light warm up sets and you will be good to go and shouldn’t have any shoulder issues.

Great tip DBasler. I’ll give that a try. Thanks for the info.

Best way to warmup is some quick mobility work mixed in with some Plyometrics. I do this while wearing sweatpants and a sweatshirt year round while lifting.

High frequency training does not go to failure.

In-frequent training goes to failure.

The best full body routines are based on lifts not muscles.(squat,pull and press)

Workout A
Front squat 6x3
Bent over rows 5x5
OHP 5x5

Workout B
Back squat 5x5
Clean high pulls 6x3
Bench press 6x3

Workout C
Jump squats 7x2
Deadlifts 6x2
Push press 7x2

Workout D
Split squats 5x3
power shrugs 5x5
BTN press 5x5

When feeling good add in some assistance exercises like Dips,Pullups,Pushdowns,Barbell curls, Flyes, Rear delt flyes, etc…

Hope this helps

Full body training (defined as pushing, pulling, pressing each session) is my bread and butter.

If you do bodyweight work between sets you’ll be very ready for the next exercise/ movement. For example…

1)Warm up for squats
2) between squat sets do light sets of chins till you get to your "working sets"
3) Start your Pendlay rows
4) do sets of band pull aparts, light dips, or push ups till you get to your working sets on rows
5) Start your Close grip presses
6) between close grip sets do leg lifts or roll outs till you get to work sets
7) Start your planks/ vary angles and length of holds super setted with GHR

Go home and feel awesome.

Vary what movement leads and supports the day…have 3-4 options you stick to (ex. Squats, Lounges, front squats, Safety bar squats). This will keep you from getting bored or burned out. Simple.

Apply some type of programming for the main lift (5/3/1,5x5,3x3, bloc peruiodization…whatever) and your good to go.

oops…just saw you go a solid answer…anyway, this s how I do it

Missed my morning session, so I had to do legs tonight. I’m completely wiped out. Gonna be a tough one tomorrow, I have a feeling walking around will be “interesting”, haha.

Thanks for the tips guys.

I love my full body work out-3 times per week-at this time in my life.
I warm up by doing some light rowing and then I do 2 sets of light exercises I plan to start with. This works well for me. Once I start my regular set of exercises, my body is already warmed up. Mike Mentzer had a saying, do not turn your warm up into a work out routine. You only have so much fuel for the work out, if you drain some of it for any long warm up periods, you will be limiting your progress in your work-out portion.

Only warm up until you feel confident you can proceed to the main part of the work out with out injuring your self! Excessive warming up may lead to over training, and will effect your recovery ability. You exercise and push yourself in the gym, but more importantly you grow when you recover out side of the gym. Remember more is not necessarily better.

This has served me well over the years and will do the same for any one on full body work outs.