Can You Do a Full-Body Workout Three Times a Week? | Exercise.com

Can You Do a Full-Body Workout Three Times a Week?

Tyler Spraul is the director of UX and the head trainer for Exercise.com. He has his Bachelor of Science degree in pre-medicine and is an NSCA-certified strength and conditioning specialist. He is a former All-American soccer player and still coaches soccer today. In his free time, he enjoys reading, learning, and living the dad life. He has been featured in Shape, Healthline, HuffPost, Women's...

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UPDATED: Aug 25, 2020

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  • The theory behind the full-body workout is to make better use of that time by exercising all of your muscle groups in a single session.
  • A full-body workout puts tremendous strain on the muscles because the focus is on short bursts of very intense exercise.
  • The theory behind the full-body workout is to make better use of that time by exercising all of your muscle groups in a single session.

The full-body workout is becoming more and more popular among bodybuilders. The question is: can you do a full-body workout three times a week?

The short answer to the question is a simple “yes.”

However, nothing is as simple as it sounds.

Whether or not you should do a full-body workout 3 times a week depends on your overall health, your training goals, and your tendency to also do cardio workouts.

All these things must be considered to determine if you can, or even should, do a full-body workout 3 times a week. To manage your workouts better, sign up for a PRO account today!

What’s the Point of the Full-Body Workout?

Regardless of whether or not you do a full-body workout three times a week, the point of this type of workout is to maximize the amount of time you have to devote to exercise and bodybuilding.

With the traditional method of weight training, you must invest an awful lot of time over months and months to achieve the best results. The theory behind the full-body workout is to make better use of that time by exercising all of your muscle groups in a single session.

Engaging in a full-body workout doesn’t mean you’ll be extending a one-hour session into two or three hours.

Rather, your one-hour time will remain the same while you do more intense and focused exercises at fewer reps.

The key to a successful full-body workout is to use combination exercises whose movements engage all of the body parts. These types of combination exercises get all of your muscles pumping which results in a better overall workout.

Can I Do a Full-Body Workout Three Times a Week and Still Be Safe?

The safety issues involved in a full-body workout are the one area where the experts disagree. This type of workout is difficult to do three times a week or more, especially for those new to weight training or not in shape.

A full-body workout puts tremendous strain on the muscles because the focus is on short bursts of very intense exercise. It also puts a fair amount of stress on ligaments and tendons as well. While doing a full-body workout 3 times a week certainly is possible, many experts recommend you exercise caution in doing so.

Some believe that a better approach is to do the full-body workout only twice a week while engaging in less strenuous workouts the alternating three days. This provides more than adequate exercise and still allows two days of rest.

While there is no scientific evidence to prove this is a better method, proponents argue that this type of workout program greatly reduces the risk of injury and stagnation.

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Can I Combine a Full-Body Workout With a Cardio Workout?

You can combine both cardio and full-body workouts, and in fact, it’s even recommended. But resist the temptation to engage in a full-body workout three times a week along with intense cardio training 5 days a week. Doing so results in overtraining, which impairs the body’s ability to rebuild muscle during rest periods. At the very least, athletes who overtrain will reach a point of stagnation; at worst they may even digress.

What many athletes fail to realize is that rest is just as important to bodybuilding and weight loss as exercise, supplements, and nutrition are. As you work your muscles and cardiovascular system, you “damage” the body’s tissues to a certain extent. Your body needs sufficient rest time to rebuild those damaged tissues and make you stronger.

Without sufficient rest, your body will reach a point where it can no longer effectively rebuild tissue. Knowing this, it would seem that the best combination of cardio and full-body workouts tends to lean toward the 2/3 approach — two days of full-body workout and three days of cardio.

The jury is still out on the long-term effectiveness and safety of a full-body workout three or more times a week. As always, use common sense and consult your doctor and personal trainer before beginning this type of exercise. And even with their blessing, if a full-body workout doesn’t produce results for you, don’t be afraid to abandon it in favor something else.

Ultimately, you must find a workout program that you enjoy and that helps you reach your goals. Our PRO Plan can do just that! With workout logs, workout builders, and workout templates, exercisers are able to manage their workouts on the go so that they can achieve optimal levels of fitness. Sign up for a PRO account today!

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