It seems like every time you go to the gym these days, you’ll find a couple of dudes talking about whether it’s “arm day” or “leg day.” And it’s not just men — these days, everyone seems to be buying into the fitness philosophy that the only real way to build strength is to alternate between upper and lower body work (or perhaps a three-way split which adds in a chest/back session).
But is alternating muscle groups necessary for getting the result you want? What if you prefer the old-school method of doing a full-body routine two or three times a week?
Why Full-Body Workouts Might be Right for You
Ultimately, what matters is that you’re incorporating strength training into your fitness regimen, period. But the advantages of full-body training over a split routine schedule might make it more attractive for you.
Fitness experts say that people who are most likely to benefit from a full-body workout instead of a split routine are beginners, older adults, and people with busy schedules. In addition, working all of your muscles at once triggers a full-body metabolism effect, so that anyone seeking to lose the most weight, fast, will see better results when they alternate cardio with a whole-body strength routine, rather than with a split routine.
Finally, you may be one of those people who just likes to get the situps and pushups over with a few times a week, rather than have to do some form of strength training every day.
What Does a Full-Body Routine Entail?
Your all-over strength training routine could be made up entirely of free weights and weight machines, or you might prefer the traditional situps, pushups, and squats. Others get creative with versatile resistance bands.
A trainer at your spa or gym might help you mix it up a little, to keep things interesting. Once you feel accomplished with your full-body resistance training, you can even combine it with cardio as part of a circuit routine.
Remember: There’s no law that says you’ll only get results if you’re a “leg day/arm day” fanatic!
Header photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash