Total Body Workouts vs Total Body Exercises | Don’t Make this Mistake!

Episode #476 Do you really know what total body workouts are?

Someone asked, how do I choose my weight when I’m doing a total body exercise and I have an ectomorph upper body and an endomorph lower body?  

There’s a lot to break down in this question, and I will. First though, you don’t.

It’s not the question you want to be asking.

I want to know a midlife woman:

  • Is doing strength training moves to take major muscles to muscular fatigue

            boost metabolism

            supports weight loss

            improves muscle strength and fiber number

            improves bone density

  • Has the time and the energy to do more exercise and expand to functional workouts or to do functional movements within a strength training workout
  • is focused on the goal of every movement and always have to choose with the weakest link in mind.

Functional-type exercises:

  • A burpee
  • A squat to a shoulder press
  • A Renegade row
  • A power clean and press

Full body activities:

  • Waterskiing
  • Swimming
  • Rowing (machines or crew)

Strength exercises:

  • Squats or leg press
  • Chest press
  • Bent over row
  • Bent arm pullover

Triathlon for Example

Bear with me while I use triathlon to illustrate several points.

A triathlete is often called a multisport athlete, does:

  • Swimming
  • Biking
  • Running

Individually, they are upper body, and lower body and lower body predominant exercises, respectively. Together they create a total body experience.

To go on…  in-season a triathlete does strength training that is more functional – meaning more exercises that are total body – and injury prevention-oriented, improving muscle patterning, alignment, muscular balance and not putting too much emphasis on strength, or power, that might take away from the #1 goal the athlete has in-season, which is performance.

Off-season a triathlete may lift heavy and add power in full body workouts with exercises that focus on body parts or muscle groups. The goal being to build strength and power that will translate into speed and efficiency swimming, biking, and running and or improved body composition for competition months later.

Menopause the Sport

Consider menopause a sport. Coach said, “you there… shaking life a leaf on the end of the bench, you’re in!”

This season the highest priority of your training is maintaining or gaining lean muscle (which is controllable while focus on fat loss alone is not). Lifting heavy weights safely with good form and technique is exactly what your strength & conditioning coach (aka, me) recommends.

Functional workouts have gotten out of control. Trainers and fitness instructors don’t even know all too often what the purpose of an exercise is. They only think, it’s a cool exercise or it’s a great prop or toy. (Fitness instructors and trainers love toys)!

The Bottom line…

If your goal is metabolism, muscle strength, and longevity support, if its bone density, then you want total body workouts that include major muscle group-focused exercises where one body part gets all the attention.

If your goal is functional movement, specific to a sport, to pattern your body for more efficient power, speed, and agility, then total body exercise is your goal.

More Than One Goal

Most women have both as a goals. However, the highest priority should determine the biggest percentage use of your time.

Need help creating a plan? Want to move more regularly? Want more energy instead of exercise that makes you more tired, sore or injured? I created a 10 Day Hot Not Bothered challenge to teach you the connection between hormone balance and exercise choices.

10-Day Hot, Not Bothered Challenge

It’s offered infrequently. This is the last chance in 2021. It starts Sept 1 and concludes the 10th. One workout a day. On track…this isn’t a course, you don’t have a loosy goosey option of doing whatever whenever… for that? Go to YouTube … but really don’t. Random exercise … especially that made for mice, men or young women won’t help you most.

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