full body vs split routines

Moderators: Ironman, Jungledoc, parth, stuward


full body vs split routines

Post by john » Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:39 am

okay so ive been reading some stuff by DR.darden who was a body builder in the 60's and 70's and so on, he preaches the full body workout 3 days a week, and says that the trend of everyone doing splits is needless that you can get the same results if not better with full body work outs 3 times a week (30 mins per workout) now id like to hear everyones opinoon on this, however there is no way i think i could fit in every muscle id like to work in a 30 min workout.. .he suggests 10 exersizes as a good number and when iwas doing full body workouts when i first started it was taking me 1.5 hours some times 2 to do every single exersize

User avatar
In Memoriam: TimD
In Memoriam: TimD
Posts: 3129
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 8:04 am
Location: Va Beach, Va

Post by TimD » Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:52 am

Hi John. I don't want to get into the HIT (High Intensity Training) vs Volume thing, but some background is in order. Dr. Darden came up with Arthur Jones when he came out with his nautilus line. Their premise was, after a general warmup, you did a full body routine in a circuit, going straight from one exercise to the next , resting long enough to catch your breath, taking each exercise to failure for the rep range you are working in, and one set was all that was performed per exercise. You can see, that done that way, 30 mins would probably be close to the norm.
Now, is it effective? A lot of people think so, especially with beginner's. However, even Arthur Jones came out later and stated that for highly trained people, multiple sets might be better.
Splits, well even some hard core HIT advocates (MentzER and that huge Brit that won Mr. Olympia-forget his name) advocate splits. Personally, I don't care for splits much as I generally don't train bodyparts, but he, If you like them, upper / lower, or even a 3 way seem to work for others, and they seem to like them. My advice, start out with a full body 2-3X week, then as you advance, consider a split. Same thing with single vs ultiple sets.


Post by john » Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:29 pm

yeah when i first started liftingi was doing full body 3 times a week, but was spending some times 2 hours lifting to work every muscle in the routine, and it was kicking my ass as well, i recently switched to a upper/lower split and do that 4 days a week and i changed the reps up to 3 sets of 6 (every 8 weeks or so ive been changing from 3sets of 12 to 3 of 6 just so i can get both types of hypertrophy and also for something new to do)

i find myself still tired at the end of the lifting which only takes an hour now, but im not totally exhausted, and i still go do cardio after im done lifting.

now i dont know if i just packed on too many exersizes for a full body, but it was missing a few body parts that I wanted to work

as for single sets over multiple, i like doing a warm up then 3 sets, i just find i do better after my first set. i still think im doing low volume training and i enjoy it like this. i think if despite my rep range periodization i plateau later on, ill change up the sets and mabye start light/heavy days every week and as a last ditch effort i could change up the exersizes

Matt Z

Post by Matt Z » Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:43 pm

Being able to do more excercises isn't the only advantage of a split routine. Split routines also allow more time for recovery. For example, after training chest and triceps on a Moday I have an entire week to recover before I have to bench press again. This is important not only for muscles, but also for joints and connective tissues, especially as one progresses to heavier weights.

Of course, this only applys to low frequency split routines.

Matt Z

Post by Matt Z » Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:53 pm

Also, I would strongly recomend multiple sets, especially if you want to lift heavy. This is so you can warmup fully before attempting one or more working sets (one working set per excercise works well for me).


Post by john » Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:47 pm

yeah i find my 3 sets works well the first one and some times the second are kinda sloppy and the third is usually my BEST set sometimes my second, i dont know if i should be trying to train for failure every time, usually if i can do all sets and reps i add 5-10% and then next time ill probably fail sometimes not


Post by Guest » Fri Mar 24, 2006 2:35 am

Sounds like you might need an extra warm up set.

George G
Posts: 139
Joined: Mon Dec 19, 2005 4:38 pm
Location: New York

Post by George G » Fri Mar 24, 2006 10:04 am

I believe you are packing way too many exercises in your ful body routines. Choose 3-4 compund moves (squat, deadlift, press, row) and 1-3 auxilary moves, keep it to 1 hour or less and you have a better workout than any 2 hour workout you can imagine.

You can design 2 or 3 different full body WO so you don't burn out the same movement patterns.

I think you were trying to isolate too many individual muscles when you did your 2 hour workouts. In most cases this is not productive.

Matt Z

Post by Matt Z » Fri Mar 24, 2006 3:10 pm

I agree, if your going to do full body workouts it makes sense to do 2 or 3 different ones, rather than doing the same workout 2 or 3 times a week. That way you can include a greater variety of excercises, and your less likely to get bored with your workouts.



Post by DELETED » Tue Nov 02, 2010 6:10 am