You’re a serious athlete who is intent upon building up long term muscle mass, adding strength, and growing continually leaner while getting bigger. However, you are also a parent, a student, an employee, and more, and time always seems to be the biggest obstacle to progress in the gym, a bottleneck which has been limiting you to hitting the muscles of the body in a satisfactory manner to making big muscle gains.
Your problem is not unique. Most of us manage to have a few good weeks in the gym, where we are able to hit each much group for 45 to 60 minutes for 3-5 workouts. Then, ‘real life’ kicks in, and suddenly we are missing workouts and skipping some body parts entirely, leading to training imbalances and a loss of symmetry. Let’s check out a full body workout you can use to equally train the muscle groups of the entire body at a high enough level to build new muscle mass and strength, using far less time than you might expect!
Start with a brief warm-up set. Pile on your work load weight and aim for 8 to 12 slow, controlled repetition. Using a Smith Machine will allow you to train to the failure point. You’re only completing one major work set for quads, so you can push them hard on this set. If you have more repetitions in you, then you should keep pushing them!
After completing a warm-up set, you will be completing one set. This will target your back, glutes and hamstrings. Keep your repetitions slow and controlled, and work to really push yourself with some heavy repetitions. Again, you will be aiming for the 8 to 12 repetition range.
Now it is time to target the chest, with shoulders and triceps performing some secondary support. After thoroughly warming up the chest with a light set, you will proceed to completing one all out work set of 10 to 15 repetitions with a fairly heavy weight. Use a spotter to ensure your safety and never leave that last repetition on the gym floor. Push yourself!
The lower back and glutes were targeted with the deadlifts. Now it is time to put in some work for the upper back, shoulders and traps. Complete one warm up set using a moderate weight. Move on up to the work weight and complete 8 to 15 slow and methodical repetitions using intense concentration to ensure good repetitions are occurring. Use your hands as hooks to remove the biceps from the equation and achieve that mind-muscle connection by flexing the back at peak contraction of each repetition.
It is time to target the shoulders and upper back, and no exercise is more effective at achieving this means than the standing barbell press! After completing a short and safe warm up set, you’ll be ready to put that barbell in the air. Use a little less weight than you’d like to ensure safety, and aim for 10 to 16 repetitions with this movement.
No workout is complete without a heavy compound movement being used to trash the triceps. Warm up with a single set, then proceed to conquer your triceps with a safe, slow and controlled set of EZ bar skull crushers. A repetition range of 10 to 14 is ideal.
No workout would be complete without hitting biceps. Warm them up with a light set, then proceed to the biceps curl movement of your choice. Standing barbell curls or standing alternate dumbbells curls are ideal choices. Aim for 10 to 18 repetitions of slow, controlled lifting.
Wrap up your half hour of torturous training by falling to the ground… and then starting your crunches! Aim for 100 repetitions. If you need to stop a few times to hit your target number, that is acceptable. They will become easier to complete as each week passes. You want to keep your core strong and tight to look and feel good, as well as to prevent injury.
Your workout will only consist of these eight work sets. Each work set will also include a short warm-up set of 8 repetitions with half as much weight as you’ll be using for your main workout. Try to schedule this workout for a time when the gym won’t be too crowded, as reserving a station at some of these exercises could be difficult at 5:30 PM on a Monday, for example!
You should aim to take each set to as close to a failure point as you can. You aren’t getting in a lot of repetitions, and you don’t have to train for very long. Therefore you will want to exert maximum effort to ensure every set is productive. You are only training for a total of 20 minutes of this 30 minute workout, so you can push yourself to maximum effort without worry of running out of steam as could be the case in a much longer workout.
Remember that you can always return to your more traditional full body training. When summer vacation arrives or work gets less busy, you can immediately return to training each muscle group with its own day for a nice sixty minutes or more. Higher volume usually works best for saturating muscle groups with blood and really creating some new muscle growth.