Full-Body Training Made Simple – T Nation Content – COMMUNITY

Fast Workouts, Big Results

Full-body training sessions don’t have to take hours. Here’s how to use exercise pairings, giant sets, and circuits to build muscle and get lean.

Who’s pressed for time? You are. And even if you’re not, you likely don’t want to spend every day in the gym. The truth is, if you can’t train five or more days per week, you probably shouldn’t be using a body-part split. Full-body strength training is a great option since you can cover all of your bases in just three strength sessions per week.

And don’t think of this as just a beginner thing. Experienced lifters with decades of training often get better with a “less is more approach,” too.

Smart Full Body Training

Full body training may not sound hardcore, but if you do it right, you can improve your body composition, mobility, posture, have fewer aches and pains, and do it all while spending less time moving weight around.

For a complete full-body session, you’ll need three things:

  1. An upper body pushing pattern
  2. An upper body pulling pattern
  3. A lower-body exercise

To take this a step further, break down your sessions by:

Choose one variation from each category and perform in pairings, giant sets, or circuits. Here’s an example for each:


Exercise Sets Reps Rest
A1. Squat 4 6 1 min.
A2. Row 4 12 1 min.
B1. Press 3 10-12 1 min.
B2. Hinge 3 10-12 1 min.
C1. Carry 3 100 ft. 45 sec.
C2. Direct Arm Exercise 3 12-15 45 sec.

Giant Sets

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
A1. Single-Leg Exercise 3 8-10/side 1 min.
A2. Pull-Up 3 sub-max reps * 1 min.
A3. Dip 3 sub-max reps * 1 min.
B1. Hinge 4 6-8 45 sec.
B2. Carry 4 100 ft. 45 sec.
B3. Triceps Exercise 4 10-12 45 sec.

* One shy of failure.


Exercise Sets Reps Rest
A1. Deadlift 5 5 45 sec.
A2. Bench Press 5 5 45 sec.
A3. Face Pull 5 12-15 45 sec.
A4. Lateral Lunge 5 8-10/side 45 sec.
B. Loaded Carry 4 150 ft. 90 sec.

Here’s an example of a favorite circuit I do when pressed for time:

Exercise Sets Reps Rest
A1. Dip 4 sub-max reps * 1 min.
A2. Neutral-Grip Pull-Up 4 sub-max reps * 1 min.
A3. Single-Leg Skater Squat 4 6-8/side 1 min.

* One shy of failure.

How Many Times Per Week?

Do this for three weekly workouts, with 48 hours between sessions. A Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule works. Or you could do Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday. Use the info above to design three full-body sessions using different exercise variations in each workout. Choose the lifts that match your skill level, equipment, and time constraints.



Pretty easy and straightforward all could revert to at times beginning or intermediate lifter.

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