T Nation

Total Body Training Books?

Are there any books that focus on 3x week total-body training? Thanks.


I believe that T-Nation contributor Ian King’s book, “The Men’s Health Book of Muscle” contains programs that are 3x/week.

This is a very good primer on physiology, diet and specific exercise. The second half of the book is dedicated to three regimens (beginner, intermediate, advanced) that I believe are six-months in duration.

I would highly recommend that you take a look at this book.

Thanks for your reply T-bone2. I’ve actually checked that book out before but the only problem was that King sets up all the workouts to be done in a circuit that is repeated 2-3 times. That would be impossible for me to do in my gym. Are there any others?



I can’t think of any other books; however, there is plenty of information on this site to construct a 3x total body program. Any reason that you are looking specifically for this in book format?

[quote]T-Bone2 wrote:

I can’t think of any other books; however, there is plenty of information on this site to construct a 3x total body program. Any reason that you are looking specifically for this in book format?[/quote]


The reason I’m looking for a book is that I’m basically a beginner. Like most people I “used to lift” a few years ago, but didn’t use a strict program or anything. So…I’d really like a program laid out for me to begin with instead of me putting exercises together myself (per CW’s TBT). I think somebody mentioned that “The Strongest Shall Survive” by Bill Starr was an old-school total body program. Maybe I’ll check that out. I guess I just need some classic, time-proven programs to get me growin’.


Hit the archives button. Chad Waterbury’s last program was on on this very topic. Also see the interview with HIT guy Ellington Darden. That’s 2-3 days per week I think. The Waterbury program is free though.

Books in my collection that focus on full-body, 3 times a week workouts:

Brawn or Beyond Brawn - full body workouts that the author tells you to use every five days, but most people I know have adapted it for Mon - Wed - Fri. All you need to change is the frequency the author suggest; everything else is above reproach. Basic exercises are explained within each book: they are complete resources.

Power to the People - I think his strength program and his mass programs are great. He advocates using two exercises per workout, performed as frequently as your body can handle, but you can easily add more exercises. If you are going to add exercises and am unfamiliar with most exercises, this is not the most complete book.

Periodization Breakthrough - full body workouts done three times a week. I do not recommend this for a beginner (since the focus is periodization), but if you see it sitting around somewhere it’s a pretty good purchase. I think most people would tweak the suggested rep schemes considerably. (Exercises not explained.)

Serious Strength Training Explained - the Anatomical Adaptation and Muscle Definition workouts are full body, three times a week training and can easily be adapted for whatever purposes you want utilizing the information inside the book. I highly recommend this book. All exercises explained.

And most definitely check out HST at their website. They don’t have a book, and I hated learning from the Internet when I began (compared to a book with all the knowledge right in front of you), but it’s a must read for full-body, three times a week workouts.

I just reread my post and decided I really need to stress Brawn and Beyond Brawn for your purposes.

Also, last time I was at the HST website they had a chart where you could plug in the exercises, the maximum amounts of weight you can lift for various reps for each of the exercises, and a list of suggested exercises. Hit the calculate button and it tells you what to do for the next six weeks (or more – I don’t remember).

They can’t make working out any easier.

F**k yes! This is exactly what I’m looking for. I’m gonna check these titles out next week. Thanks!


[quote]Riminator wrote:
Are there any books that focus on 3x week total-body training? Thanks.[/quote]

You didn’t specify your training goals, but probably the best book I know of to fit your criteria is Coach Joe Kenn’s book, “The Coach’s Strenth Training Playbook”[1].

This book is oriented more towards the athlete than the bodybuilder, but the programs are very adaptable, and they work really well.

You can find many mentions of this book among the T-Mag Forums.

Alternately, there have been two or three workout programs posted here by T-Mag authors in the past month or two that were based around 3 full body workouts per week. Try digging through the archivese of the past couple of months, or if you can’t find them, let me know and I’ll dig them up for you.

[1] http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/1585188697/qid=1099738304/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/104-7924047-9720765?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

The NEW Heavy Intensity Training

by Ellington Darden, PhD


The Strongest Shall Survive by Bill Starr published in 1976. The nutrition stuff is semi-outdated, but his routines are kick-ass. They revolve around the big three squats, power cleans and the bench.