T Nation

Working All Your Muscles with Fewest Exercises?


#1

Is it possible to work all of your muscles with little overlap from two or three exercises? I don't care if it's on gymnast rings or with dumb bells, etc as long as you don't have to change out the weight or stance.

So far the best I can think of is bent over row > clean and press > overhead squat and lateral jumping push ups. How much of that is redundant?


#2

Javorek’s complexes might be what you’re looking for. More exercises than that, but you keep the same weight and transition from one exercise straight into the other.

It’d be worth a google, anyway.


#3

Working all of the muscles toward what goal?


#4

Yes it is. Clean and Jerk, done.

I’m sure I could come out with more insightful answers than this, but to what purpose? Why is limiting the number of exercises of benefit to your training?

There was a similar thread a while back by some kid who thought that you could solve all training problems with just an OHP and a deadlift and the overall consensus was: Why?


#5

Just do full body workouts. Start with a full body lift like clean and press or muscle snatch. Then a Squat variation supersetted with a hip hinge such as RDL. Push/pull with bench variation supersetting with row. Maybe do some high rep shoulder pressing to pump blood in the shoulders and you’re done.


#6

I don’t think there’s a single set of exercises that does everything. I think you can find a good core set of exercises, and then adjust over time based on how things meet your goals. Your results and other lifestyle factors can adjust your goals over time, so it would make sense that your exercise selection would change too.

The Dan John (or close) version: Upper body Push, Upper body Pull, Squat, Hinge, Loaded Carry

Pavel’s Power to the People: Upper body Push (vertical or horizonal, unilateral or bilateral), Hinge

Christian Thibaudeau’s 20 Minute Muscle Builder: Overhead Press, Bench Press, Deadlift, Row

Wendler’s 5/3/1: Bench, Press, Squat, Deadlift

Greyskull: Bench, Press, Squat, Deadlift

Generic Military PT: Pushups, Situps, Pullups, Runs, Loaded Marches

Generic Olympic Lifting programs: Snatch, Clean, Jerk, Front Squat, Back Squat

There’s really a lot of overlap between those, even though the goal of each program is different. Dan John’s list basically captures the essence of all of those.

Where they differ most is in how the frequency, intensity and volume are manipulated. This is probably more important in terms of reaching your goals (whatever they are), than the actual exercise selection itself… as long as the base of your exercise selection is along the same patterns as above.

If you’re tight on time, I think it makes sense to have a core set of exercises to fall back on.

Here’s a silly example, but think of a tree. A tree with a really thick strong and stable trunk, but no branches, isn’t a particularly nice tree to look at. A tree with lots of really nice branches, but a really thin and weak trunk, is eventually going to run into some problems. The best is the one that combines the two. You want your core exercises, but you also want the other stuff, adjusted to your goals.


#7

I don’t think this is particularly useful for anything other than a thought experiment, but: deadlift and pushups. Pretty much every muscle is stimulated to some degree with those two movements.


#8

I think anything with a sandbag will win. You can do a sandbag deadlift/squat followed by a push press to get everything.


#9

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
Yes it is. Clean and Jerk, done.

I’m sure I could come out with more insightful answers than this, but to what purpose? Why is limiting the number of exercises of benefit to your training?

There was a similar thread a while back by some kid who thought that you could solve all training problems with just an OHP and a deadlift and the overall consensus was:Why?[/quote]

Because…

<---------------


#10

[quote]pkpara wrote:
Is it possible to work all of your muscles with little overlap from two or three exercises?[/quote]
It’s totally possible, yes.

I don’t understand why this is a thing. If you mean complexes, like Yogi said, then there are a few great articles discussing them here on the site.

It’s not redundant, it’s just poorly planned and doesn’t stick to your own limitations (not changing the weight or stance). If you use the same weight, you’ll be limited by the overhead squat most likely, which means the rows will be super-easy unless you jack up the reps. And where the hell did a “lateral jumping push-up” come from? That’s, like, one of the most random exercises you could’ve listed.

Aside from all that, I’d x2 T3hpwnisher’s post - a goal would be pretty useful to know, and x2 LoRez’s post because the tree analogy was a solid effort. :wink:


#11

I guess I’ll be the first to say no. Even if you stick to the essential four lifts (squat, dead, press, bench) you’re going to be missing something. Powerlifters train assistance lifts for this reason. Olympic lifters do, too.

It’s a bit like asking if you can design a completely balanced nutrition plan comprised of only three or four foods.

No. And I can’t imagine why I’m the world you’d want to.


#12

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
Yes it is. Clean and Jerk, done.

I’m sure I could come out with more insightful answers than this, but to what purpose? Why is limiting the number of exercises of benefit to your training?

There was a similar thread a while back by some kid who thought that you could solve all training problems with just an OHP and a deadlift and the overall consensus was:Why?[/quote]

Because…

<---------------
[/quote]

I’m sorry, I don’t listen to sheep.


#13

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
Yes it is. Clean and Jerk, done.

I’m sure I could come out with more insightful answers than this, but to what purpose? Why is limiting the number of exercises of benefit to your training?

There was a similar thread a while back by some kid who thought that you could solve all training problems with just an OHP and a deadlift and the overall consensus was:Why?[/quote]

Because…

<---------------
[/quote]

I’m sorry, I don’t listen to sheep.[/quote]

But I’ve read hundreds of articles. I’m not here to argue with boys.


#14

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
Yes it is. Clean and Jerk, done.

I’m sure I could come out with more insightful answers than this, but to what purpose? Why is limiting the number of exercises of benefit to your training?

There was a similar thread a while back by some kid who thought that you could solve all training problems with just an OHP and a deadlift and the overall consensus was:Why?[/quote]

Because…

<---------------
[/quote]

I’m sorry, I don’t listen to sheep.[/quote]

But I’ve read hundreds of articles. I’m not here to argue with boys.[/quote]

you guys need to fertilise yourselves


#15

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
Yes it is. Clean and Jerk, done.

I’m sure I could come out with more insightful answers than this, but to what purpose? Why is limiting the number of exercises of benefit to your training?

There was a similar thread a while back by some kid who thought that you could solve all training problems with just an OHP and a deadlift and the overall consensus was:Why?[/quote]

Because…

<---------------
[/quote]

I’m sorry, I don’t listen to sheep.[/quote]

But I’ve read hundreds of articles. I’m not here to argue with boys.[/quote]

you guys need to fertilise yourselves [/quote]

Seriously though, I just want this forum to understand who I am as a man. I have enough women who bitch at me in my life, I don’t need this.


#16

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
Yes it is. Clean and Jerk, done.

I’m sure I could come out with more insightful answers than this, but to what purpose? Why is limiting the number of exercises of benefit to your training?

There was a similar thread a while back by some kid who thought that you could solve all training problems with just an OHP and a deadlift and the overall consensus was:Why?[/quote]

Because…

<---------------
[/quote]

I’m sorry, I don’t listen to sheep.[/quote]

But I’ve read hundreds of articles. I’m not here to argue with boys.[/quote]

you guys need to fertilise yourselves [/quote]

Seriously though, I just want this forum to understand who I am as a man. I have enough women who bitch at me in my life, I don’t need this.[/quote]

I’m so glad I decided to skim the beginners’ forum again this morning. Just when I was losing all faith in humanity, you guys have restored it. Much gratitude to all for this charming display.

How is our friend? Has he made any more appearances?


#17

[quote]ActivitiesGuy wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:

[quote]dagill2 wrote:
Yes it is. Clean and Jerk, done.

I’m sure I could come out with more insightful answers than this, but to what purpose? Why is limiting the number of exercises of benefit to your training?

There was a similar thread a while back by some kid who thought that you could solve all training problems with just an OHP and a deadlift and the overall consensus was:Why?[/quote]

Because…

<---------------
[/quote]

I’m sorry, I don’t listen to sheep.[/quote]

But I’ve read hundreds of articles. I’m not here to argue with boys.[/quote]

you guys need to fertilise yourselves [/quote]

Seriously though, I just want this forum to understand who I am as a man. I have enough women who bitch at me in my life, I don’t need this.[/quote]

I’m so glad I decided to skim the beginners’ forum again this morning. Just when I was losing all faith in humanity, you guys have restored it. Much gratitude to all for this charming display.

How is our friend? Has he made any more appearances?[/quote]

Welcome back.

But you’re still a sheep. Hahaha


#18

Yeah, you could just do squats, pull-ups & dips…that would cover most bases.


#19

[quote]GorillaMon wrote:
Yeah, you could just do squats, pull-ups & dips…that would cover most bases.[/quote]

You’re a ****in buzzkill for posting something related to the OP but you’re right. AnytimeJake used to recommend a two-a-week routine:

A
squats - 5x5
dips (bodyweight) - 3x max reps
chins (bodyweight) - 3x max reps

B
dips (weighted) - 5x5
chins (weighted) - 5x5
squats - 1x20