Full body weight training or Body Part? Reader Question

Today’s short episode answers the question “Is full body weight training or a split routine better?” Right now as you’re exercising at home to stay in place, and tempted potentially by the thousands of fitness trainers displaced from their gyms who are offering you their workout online, getting this right is even more important than normal.

Full body weight training or Body Part weight training

More muscle fibers equal Better for hormonal response:

  • Testosterone
  • Growth hormone
  • IGF-1 hormones

Also not mentioned in the show, you reduce the negative cortisol response that occurs from just too much exercise overall. The hours of exercise you must spend to be effective with split training is significant.

The number one reason to use full body weight training

Your weight/fat loss potential increases with full body workouts.

This is your full body “to fatigue” routine – it’s intense and it increases your heart rate and your muscle fiber stimulation. That requires more recovery. And yet, you’re not “beat up” and overly sore with a full body workout.

#2 is time

Unless you really have hours to spend in the gym every day, and you want to stand on stage and need to focus on mass building, body part training is not your jam.

If you miss a day it’s a problem and your entire schedule is off. It’s harder to build a balanced body or one that has optimal function with body part training.  

#3 is function

Your body does not work like this. Your body works in integration not in isolation.

This is the difference between sculpting, toning, and truly a functioning body. You can spend 45 minutes doing essentially what we did on the floor in the 80’s in the weight room. But you’re not increasing your fitness level in a way that will lend itself to life.

With split routine training you focus on the aesthetic of the muscle not so much on the integrated way your body works picking up the dog food, the kids, golfing or gardening.

Still in love with a split routine?

An upper and lower body split – would still require that you do 4 days a week of strength training but may allow you more emphasis on each.

A Possible Compromise

You could strength train 3 days a week doing one full body routine, and then have one upper body day and a lower body day. To boost the effectiveness of this for metabolism boosting I would then follow each of those body part days with a specific short intense cardio.

Notice I said after the strength. After you do your upper body for instance I would do a 20-minute boxing workout. After a lower body strength training do an interval spinning session on your bike, interval ladder drills, or bursts of run or walking on a hill or incline.

That way you don’t miss the bigger metabolism boost from a full body strength workout. However, you will still nearly double your time investment.

I often do a short full body workout in 10 minutes if that’s all I have. (20 to be fair with warm up and cool down) I can get a very thorough strength workout in 20 minutes. Doing both strength and cardio – allowing time for a warm up and cool down You can add the interval training or not, looks like this:

  • warm up – 5-10 (longer if you have arthritis or prior injuries)
  • Strength – 10-15
  • Intervals – 10-15
  • Cool down – 5-10

There you have it. The answer to your question. If you want support in a progressive program built for women in menopause (and before and after) for optimal metabolism, check out STRONGER I. Doors are open til start April 1. I’m keeping COVID19 offer open as long as doors are open. 

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