Chasing success on your fitness journey can make you feel like everything needs to be perfect.
Taking the time to research and decide how you work out can be just as important as the actual moving part.
And deciding on whether a full-body workout is better than targeted splits can get pretty overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems.
All you need to decide is what you aim to achieve from working out.
Both methods have a ton of health benefits, but is one truly better than the other?
Is it a set-in-stone fact that full-body workouts are better than targeted splits?
Well, the short answer isn’t going to be the most helpful here – yes and no.
Full-body workouts CAN be better than targeted splits in some circumstances, but in others, targeted splits are probably more effective.
A targeted split can be a lot more effective when trying to build muscle in specific areas or increase your strength, whereas a full-body workout is awesome if we are trying to be a bit more intense with our fitness regime, and use a lot more calories than we usually would.
In this article, we are going to be discussing whether a full-body workout is the better choice for a home workout, or if we can train our full-body every day!
Home workouts are best for convenience, with no commuting after a long day at work or waiting in a queue just to use the bench press.
I love working out from home.
I love it so much I even wrote a book about it, which you can pick up for free here for in-depth knowledge on training wherever, whenever.
My Ebook ‘Train Wherever The F*ck You Want’ is awesome for beginners or experienced fitness-goers alike!
Anyway, you probably made the jump to home workouts to save a bit of time, and fit some much-needed exercise into your hectic schedule.
A full-body workout is one that, as suggested in the name, regularly trains your whole body, and can give you the opportunity to train your body less often. Sometimes, our lifestyle can only fit a few workouts a week and a full-body workout is perfect in these situations!
If you are using your bodyweight and bodyweight only to train, a full-body workout may be the better option than targeted splits.
As explained in this article here, bodyweight exercises work, no matter your daily fitness goals.
A push-up, pull-up, or squat are well-known exercises that train your whole body.
This means if we put these in a training plan, we can see improvements in the strength, and size, of our whole body!
My only negative with training your full body at home, or in fact anywhere, is fatigue.
This can limit how you train for strength, and if strength is our goal, then we may have to consider targeted splits!
If you’re looking to get yourself some equipment for your home gym then head over and see my friends at Dmoose.
They have everything you need to get yourself set up.
It is not a secret – a full-body workout will expend a hell of a lot more calories.
What does this mean?
Fat loss is a lot easier.
If we are working more of our body in a workout, we are going to effectively be stimulating all our muscles, from the upper body to the lower body, in one session.
This will cause more calories to be burnt in one session.
If we combine this with a diet that puts us in a calorie deficit, the weight will shred right off!
Another reason full-body workouts are more effective at weight loss is due to them usually incorporating compound workouts.
These are extremely efficient at improving not only your weight loss journey, but also improve your cardiovascular health.
Compound workouts require more blood to the muscles to oxygenate them, increasing the amount your heart has to work, as well as increasing the energy required by the body.
Intensity is a big factor in weight loss. If someone is doing a targeted split with more intensity, e.g a High-intensity interval training regime (HIIT), they may burn more calories than a full-body workout, so remember to up the intensity if we require more calories to be burnt.
Check out this full-body resistance band workout you can do at home below.
While full-body workouts have plenty of advantages, you cannot physically do them every day without overtraining.
This is one of the main advantages a targeted split has over full-body workouts, as you can rest each muscle group even on days you workout.
If we are doing legs, we are resting everything else, we can’t do this with a full-body workout regime.
Rest is so important when chasing our fitness goals.
Overtraining without having enough rest or recovery time can lead us to not being able to grow our muscles, unable to improve our strength, and injure ourselves in the process.
To keep our progress on the move, we should limit our full-body workouts to 2, maybe even 3 workouts a week.
This is therefore adequate training and an equal amount of rest to keep ourselves progressing to our end goal.
Full-body workouts can therefore leave us plenty of time to rest our muscles, rather than ending up working them out in compound exercises the next day, which can happen on most target splits.
Now, we have discussed full-body workouts A LOT in this article, but have not spoken a lot about the effectiveness of targeted splits.
What is a targeted split, I hear you ask?
Well, a targeted split is one where each day of our workout has a specified muscle group we want to train and improve.
The most famous and widely used of these is the push, pull, and legs routine (PPL).
This split is preferable to a routine commonly known in the fitness world as ‘the Bro Split’ which is favored by many bodybuilders.
The push, pull and legs routine is describing the motion of exercises we will be performing each day.
On the first day of the routine, the exercises will consist of those that push, for example, the bench press.
A ‘push’ day is one that effectively stimulates muscle groups such as the chest, the shoulders, and the triceps.
If we are looking at a PPL using bodyweight exercise, then push-ups are a perfect inclusion to this.
Next up on our routine is pull.
These exercises are ones that consist of pulling, like a cable row or, for those who love bodyweight exercises, a pull-up.
This part of the targeted split mainly works our biceps and our back, but is commonly known to also train our forearms and even our abs!
The final part of our split is arguably the largest and most important muscle group, the legs.
Obviously, the best exercises for training our legs are leg extensions, or, most importantly, squats.
These can be done at home or loaded with a barbell on your back at the gym.
Your lower body day will tend to be stimulating your quads, hamstrings, and calves.
Everyone loves a leg day!
Finishing this routine off should be with a leg day.
Some people prefer to train for 3 days and then put a rest day in, however, I tend to see more progress with those who put the rest day at the end of the week, as shown below.
It is all personal preference.
This type of targeted split is obviously swinging more towards the hypertrophy type of workout, which is specifically for those who are aiming for muscle growth!
To wrap up this article, a certain type of workout split is perfect for everyone.
Those with a tight schedule may find that a full-body home workout is more suited for them, as they are looking to lose weight.
For those aiming for muscle growth and who want to train the majority of the week, a targeted split like push, pull and legs may be best for them.
Like with everything fitness, it all depends on our goals.
The main aim is actually getting out there and beginning our fitness journey. If we are not training or following the correct type of diet, we will be no closer to our goals anyway.
So get out there and get training!
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Take back control of your fitness routine and achieve the body you want on your own schedule!