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Old 07-26-2011, 05:39 AM   #1
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Default Why donít more people use full body workouts?

I have been trying hard recently to get my friends to switch from their 4 and 5 day splits to a full body workout but they will not even consider it even when they are impressed with the gains I have made over the last 8 weeks on a full body workout. I would say 9/10 guys at my gym are using 4 or 5 day splits and it just doesnít make any sense.

All the reasons people give for not using full body are just crap based on no logic.The way people just dismiss full body workouts and give these stupid reasons is frustrating
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Old 07-26-2011, 08:09 AM   #2
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All the reasons people give for not using full body are just crap based on no logic.The way people just dismiss full body workouts and give these stupid reasons is frustrating
It is very frustrating.

Unless they are on an Internet community, they probably have no idea that Arnold used one, nor that many prominent strength and musclebuilding trainers and teachers recommend workouts that are not bodypart/split training.

If we look outside the realm of straight splits, and at programs that do not focus on training bodyparts, we find Christy, Butt, Rippetoe, Iron Addict, Bill Starr, and even many modern powerlifting programs like Westside and Wendler.

I consider a split to be focused on the organization of bodyparts. I consider non-split training to include fullbody work, upper/lower structures and programs in these families.

They are many guys gaining muscle and strength using programs that don't have arm days, or 30-40 sets for chest, and they are training 2-4 times per week.

Most people don't use fullbody workouts because they have not been in magazines for 30+ years. Weider controlled the information and gave you the workouts of steroid using top pros.

This is not to say splits are useless. Obviously they're not. They have their place. But this notion that fullbody workouts are useless is nonsense. They are only considered archaic because of the evolution forced on the sport by drug use.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:03 AM   #3
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I don't have s short answer to your question, and I agree with Steve.

As Steve mentioned a lot of it is about marketing. The industry as a whole does not do a good job at all of seeking the the typical person who is serious about lifting but is not interested in the extremes.

The attitude is one of us or them. This is not the truth. Lets lool at typical images of what is portrayed, even by the individual branches of lifting.

Bodybuilding, and fitness are represented by in large by this type of body.



Typical non bodybuilding strength lifter is portrayed by this type of physique.





Here is some reality. This person is a lean powerlifter.



Watch this video and or skip to the 1.00 minute mark, where he is seen with his shirt off. He is not a bodybuilder or a powerlifter, but still has a physique that many would love to have.





Know who this is? Know how he trains?





The routines of the pro's are of little use to the common person. It makes as much sense for people to follow those routines as teaching your 16yr old to drive a car using this.

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Old 07-26-2011, 09:22 AM   #4
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I don't do full body because it doesn't give me enough time with my favorite lifts. On the other hand, I do train one of the big movements each time and get good stimulation from squats, bench, press, and deadlift throughout the rest of my body.

Lately I've been wanting to switch it up a bit and run a upper movement and lower movement each day 4-6 days a week. So, squat & bench, dead & ohp, single leg work & chins that sort of thing. However, Wendler has me progressing pretty well right now and I think i'll keep this up at least for a few more months.
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:33 AM   #5
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Good point made by BtB and Glwannabe. Not much to add except it's hard to get people out of the more-is-better way of thinking. We are a society of "only the best will do." No longer is "good enough" good enough. Buy a nice shiny new truck and all your friends ask why you didn't buy the one with the satellite tracking system, leather trim, and espresso maker?
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Old 07-26-2011, 10:46 AM   #6
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Great point Off Road.

It's also very hard to get folks away from training chest, biceps and abzors with 30 sets. These are the obsession areas. If you can find someone willing to lay aside volume on these muscle groups, they will probably listen to a more reasonable approach.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:24 AM   #7
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Whether one uses full body or splits, progression stays the key. One of the reasons why people avoid full body is that once you are into relatively heavier poundages (compared to beginners), it becomes a very hard program to follow - doing 10 sets of curls doesnt take as much toll as 3 sets of heavy benching, 3 sets of heavy rows and 3 sets of heavy squats.

But ... what most people overlook is that when you start moving heavier stuff, the straight up same routine 3x week fullbody isnt the solution. Just as with the splits, the concepts of periodization and varying exercises sensibly come in the picture with relatively advanced full body routines. This isnt something people figure out unless they give it a little bit of a thought.

On the other hand, with pros posting their split routines, you have something that can be followed mindlessly. Plus, oh... those bicep curls, not many want to miss out on them

Casey Butt's posts and articles have been posted on this site extensively. His stance on fullbody and splits is one that I feel is really balanced and sensible. Basically - structuring a proper full-body routine is a good approach for someone who is fairly far from their genetic potential and still have serious size and strength to gain. Splits have their usefulness - especially a few months before a contest etc to bring up lagging bodyparts (that become more pronounced, the lower body fat levels get), or, say if one wants to bring up a certain lift. Not that fullbody cant be used here too, but splits are probably more efficient here. Most gym enthusiasts dont actually get this far though and can safely stick to full body and do well.

I would rather think of this entire full-body vs splits as different tools, and use them when I need them. Of course, a bunch of folks (like myself for instance) are not very serious lifters and lift just for fun and not to compete. For folks like us, enjoying the workout is as important as the result. In such a case who cares whether the enjoyment comes from fullbody, or splits? Majority of gym goers fall in this category, so at some point it becomes point less to argue with them that full-body might give them better results. It is no longer what's better, but a case of what's more fun for them.

In a nutshell - fullbody might be more efficient for most of the average gym goers, but given that they workout rather than train, what they actually do is really immaterial.

Just my $0.02.

Last edited by kitarpyar; 07-26-2011 at 11:35 AM.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:40 AM   #8
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...fullbody might be more efficient for most of the average gym goers, but given that they workout rather than train, what they actually do is really immaterial.
Good post.
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Old 07-26-2011, 11:47 AM   #9
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I would rather think of this entire full-body vs splits as different tools, and use them when I need them. Of course, a bunch of folks (like myself for instance) are not very serious lifters and lift just for fun and not to compete. For folks like us, enjoying the workout is as important as the result.
Great quote... this has to be fun, otherwise whats the point !!! I have had the most fun on a full body and like training in that way, I got results too so it was all good. Splits were just never as much fun.

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Old 07-26-2011, 12:56 PM   #10
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In a nutshell - fullbody might be more efficient for most of the average gym goers, but given that they workout rather than train, what they actually do is really immaterial.
That pretty much sums it up.

My personal philosophy is training evolution. Start with the basics, work on form on the important lifts, focus on progression, and evolve a workout based on individual needs - not perceived needs...real needs.

I don't believe in buffet training. Successful bodybuilders and powerlifters don't randomly pick and choose exercises based on how cool they look on a spreadsheet, and neither should novices.
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