Full body stimulus is the biggest driver of growth, metabolic function, and hormones for the human body. It allows the greatest stress to be placed on the body and in return a bigger dose of change.
So why miss out on the benefits of full body training everyday?
Yet day after day in gyms all over the world there are people doing body part splits, working only the upper body, skipping out on legs, only doing legs one day a week, not taking advantage of the most optimal way to train.
Now I know most people are already thinking about all those programs from muscle magazines and bodybuilders, they are jacked and ripped, they do only body part splits. Well here’s a little insight most of them are on performance enhancing supplements that allows them to increase muscle mass rapidly. Most people that are looking to have optimal fitness and longevity are not in that boat, hence they are not on the drugs so therefore why are you working out like a bodybuilder?
Yes, the body part split is easy and it is not complicated to think about, how to program and what exercises to do on each day. Well we are going to square you away with the tools to change that.
Hormones and Their Importance
If we increase the hormones we drive more cell adaptations and at a faster rate, at various times throughout the day our body releases a multitude of hormones to keep building up cells and replacing old ones. Exercise gives the hormones a boost, and strength training especially puts a big dose on the body.
Study after study has shown that big movements exercises like the deadlift, squat and hang clean drive the most adaptations in the body. The best bang for your buck. They should be incorporated more into programs on a daily basis.
When a heavy or repeated stress is put on the body it sends a signal of help, asking for the blueprints to build the cell to be stronger and more resilient. In return the brain sends signals to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to help out. In return it releases testosterone and growth hormone to help build the cells back up and be able to handle the stress again.
Acute bouts of intense exercise drive hormone response for a short period of time,, hormonal response declines about 30 minutes post workout back to a baseline level. What this means is that in the 45-60 minutes you are working out you want to give the biggest increase of hormonal response to the body to create change. After about 60 minutes anabolic hormones start to decline and more catabolic (breakdown) hormones kick in as the body knows it has to provide energy longer due to the stress, meaning ideally you should be getting all your work in in that 60 minute window workout.
Hormones increase as exercise intensity increases, if there are rigorous work bouts with little recovery or heavy weights being moved that drives the alarm for change even more thus more hormones released to fulfill that order. The blueprint for increasing the benefits of hormones is to lift heavy things or lift lighter loads to failure or exhaustion, aka stress the system a whole hell of a lot.
What Should I Do?
Enter the big movement patterns that should be done everyday. The squat and deadlifts and their variations, split squats, lunges, rdl’s, etc. Now if you are someone who knows how to Olympic lift then those are on the list of full body demand. But most people stick with the squat and deadlift.
These exercises provide the most stimulus to the body, the most load can be placed, the most volume and they can drive the most peripheral fatigue throughout the system. Putting these exercises in on a daily basis will make your workouts more beneficial and demanding for the body and you will see better results.
A great way to program is using a simple template
Lower Body (Squat or Deadlift)
Upper Body Movement
Lower Body (Squat or deadlift variation)
Upper Body Movement
Upper Body- Shoulder/Arms
Lower Body- Hamstrings
Keeping it simple each day, pick the squat or deadlift as one of the main lifts, pair it with an upper body movement, and then the other lower body movement of that day will be a variation of the movement that was not the main one.
An Example of this Program would look like
A2. DB Bench Press
B1. Single Leg Deadlift
B2. Chin Up
C1. Cable Rows
C2. Hamstring Curls
That can be one day on the next day you keep the same template but just switch the main exercise to the other one, in this case, day 2 would start with a deadlift. This allows the most stress and demand on the body and in return more changes. Take full advantage of your workout time each and every day make your strength training a full-body routine to utilize the benefits.
- Barnes, Matthew J.1; Miller, Adam1; Reeve, Daniel1; Stewart, Robin J.C.2 Acute Neuromuscular and Endocrine Responses to Two Different Compound Exercises: Squat vs. Deadlift, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: September 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 9 - p 2381-2387 doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002140
- Migiano, Matthew J et al. “Endocrine Response Patterns to Acute Unilateral and Bilateral Resistance Exercise in Men.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 24.1 (2010): 128–134. Web.
- Cadore, Eduardo Lusa et al. “Hormonal Responses to Concurrent Strength and Endurance Training with Different Exercise Orders.” Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 26.12 (2012): 3281–3288. Web.
- Kraemer WJ, Ratamess NA. Hormonal responses and adaptations to resistance exercise and training. Sports Med. 2005;35(4):339-61. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200535040-00004. PMID: 15831061.
- Wideman L, Weltman JY, Hartman ML, Veldhuis JD, Weltman A. Growth hormone release during acute and chronic aerobic and resistance exercise: recent findings. Sports Med. 2002;32(15):987-1004. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200232150-00003. PMID: 12457419.
- Vingren, J.L., Kraemer, W.J., Ratamess, N.A. et al. Testosterone Physiology in Resistance Exercise and Training. Sports Med 40, 1037–1053 (2010). https://doi.org/10.2165/11536910-000000000-00000