5 Reasons to Train Full-Body Every Day
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Training full body daily comes with many benefits. Discover the 5 reasons why you should consider training your whole body 5 times a week to build more muscle, strength, size, and recover faster in this post.
Why Full-Body Training is Best
If your routine looks something like chest and back one day, legs the next day, and arms and abs the following day, you’re following a split routine.
Split training is one of the most common ways to set up a weight training routine. Even though it can be set up in several different ways, the point is always to separate training sessions. Each session targets a particular body part or a group of similar body parts.
While split training can be set up to produce some really great results, full-body training is often forgotten about or just left out because most people think that you can’t get great results from a full-body routine.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. So today, I want to explain how training your entire body every day can get you even faster results.
Reason 1: It increases training volume
The first advantage of daily full-body training is that you can get much more training volume.
To put it simply, training volume refers to the total amount of work you do. You can define training volume in a couple different ways. Still, the most useful method is to base it on the number of sets you perform per muscle group.
Why more sets are better
What’s the advantage of doing more sets, you ask?
Well, beginner lifters generally make optimal gains by doing 9-10 sets per muscle group per week. They can get away with a low training frequency in which they train each muscle just once or twice per week.
But if you’re more advanced, you’ll need a higher training volume to continue making optimal gains.
This is due to many reasons, including that more advanced people are more resistant to muscle damage and neuromuscular fatigue and recover faster from their workouts than beginners.
What the research says…
Interestingly enough, research shows a very close link between training volume and muscle growth in advanced trainees.
A meta-analysis found a dose-response relationship between training volume and hypertrophy. This means the more sets the participants did, the more muscle they gained.(1)
Similar results were found in an 8 week study in which participants did either 1, 3, or 5 sets per exercise. And the results once again showed that there was a dose-response relationship.
Higher training volumes consistently led to more muscle growth. The researchers even concluded that “muscle hypertrophy follows a dose-response relationship, with increasingly greater gains achieved with higher training volumes.”(2)
So, by using a higher training frequency, you’ll be able to do more volume per muscle, which should promote muscle growth.
Now, of course, training a lot does not always lead to better results. In fact, there’s a point where performing too many sets can lead to overtraining. And this is where your results start diminishing.
Reason 2: You won’t exceed the maximum effective volume in each workout
But that’s the second incredible benefit of full-body training; you won’t exceed the maximum effective volume per workout.
And according to the academic literature as a whole, the maximum effective training volume is around 9 sets per muscle group per workout.(3) Once you exceed that number, you’ll begin to see inferior muscle growth.
For example, a study on German Volume Training found that better strength and size gains were achieved by performing 9 sets per muscle per workout compared to 14 sets per muscle per workout.(4)
Another study found that the optimal training volume is only 5 to 10 sets per muscle per workout. Groups doing 15 to 20 sets per muscle experienced inferior muscle and strength gains.(5)
The bottom line is that you don’t want to do too many sets per muscle per workout.
Reason 3: You can improve performance during workouts
However, the incredible thing about high-frequency, full-body training is that you can divide your regular training volume over more workouts, preventing you from exceeding the maximum effective volume per workout threshold.
To put this into perspective, let’s say that you want to do 30 sets per muscle per week. This is a very decent training volume, but let’s use this number for illustrational purposes.
Since the maximum effective volume is around 9 sets per muscle group per workout, you would have to do at least 4 workouts per muscle to ensure you don’t exceed the limit.
If you’re aiming for an even higher training volume – let’s say 40 sets per week – you’ll have to train each muscle at least 5 times per week to ensure you don’t exceed the maximum effective volume. In such a case, 5 full-body workouts per week would be a fantastic option.
Now, it’s important to note that not everyone has to do such high training volumes. Sure, if you want to make maximum gains, higher volumes tend to produce better results. But most advanced trainees can still make good progress by just doing 20 sets per week.
The quality of your training volume will improve
But even if you’re performing less than 20 sets per week, another benefit of training the entire body is that you’ll get a higher quality training volume.
What I mean is if you follow a typical bro split, the muscle that you want to train are usually trashed once you’re about halfway through the workout.
For example, let’s say that you’re training your chest. You do the bench press, incline dumbbell press, dips, and flyes. But even though you will perform the first exercise at peak performance, fatigue causes your performance to drop the more sets and exercises you do.
On the other hand, if you spread your volume out across more sessions per week, your performance for each exercise shouldn’t decline as much.
That’s because when you train full-body – and especially if you do it 5 days per week – you generally only end up performing 1, or at most, 2 exercises per muscle per workout.
In turn, your body is prevented from building up excessive fatigue in the middle of your workout, leading to better overall performance on each exercise.
That increase in performance is significant. After all, it benefits long-term muscle growth because it’ll help you progressively overload by lifting heavier weights over time.
Reason 4: You’ll recover faster
Another reason why the full-body training can be superior is that you’ll recover faster.
I know this may sound counterintuitive, but the fact remains that training more often can improve recovery capacity instead of impairing it.
To prove this, researchers divided male student weight lifters into two groups: a control group and a “heavy training group.”
The groups followed the same 4 week resistance training routine, involving 2 leg workouts and 2 upper body workouts per week.
After 4 weeks, the control group continued to follow the regular workout routine for two more weeks.
But the heavy training group started to train their legs daily for 2 weeks. And by the end of those 2 weeks, the heavy training group gained more than twice as much strength in exercises like the leg press and squats.(6)
So, daily workouts were more than twice as effective as the split routine. This shouldn’t come as a surprise now that you know the power of increased training volume.
Still, it was much more surprising when researchers looked at the recovery capacity of the participants.
They found that the daily training group significantly improved fatigue resistance to the point where leg extension strength fully recovered within 22 hours of a heavy, high-volume workout.
So, contrary to popular belief, higher-frequency training isn’t bad for recovery. Instead, it improves your recovery capacity. This may be because performing more strength training throughout the week significantly improves sleep quality. Sleep quality has a massive impact on recovery.(7)
On top of that, higher-frequency training also increases testosterone production. It improves the ratio between testosterone and cortisol,(8)which also supports recovery.
Reason 5: Your workouts will be shorter
Finally, the last benefit of full-body training every day is that your workouts will actually be shorter, not longer; that’s because instead of dividing all your training volume between workouts, you spread it out over more sessions, meaning every workout that you do will take less time.
Of course, it does also mean that you have to go to the gym more often. And that is somewhat a matter of personal preference since some people prefer more frequent but shorter workouts. In contrast, others prefer fewer trips to the gym even if it requires longer training sessions.
But there’s a trick that allows you to save even more time with full-body workouts, and it revolves around using staggered sets.
How performing staggered sets saves you time
Staggered sets are essentially back-to-back sets. You switch between 2 or more exercises that train muscles with opposing functions. For example, your biceps flex your elbows while your triceps extend them. Those are two opposing functions.
A staggered set for the biceps and triceps could be set up by performing your bicep curls, then resting for only 1 minute, then immediately performing your tricep extensions, then rest for a minute, and move back to bicep curls. Then you would go back and forth like this until all your sets for those two exercises are finished.
Staggered sets allow you to do more training volume within a given amount of time without interfering with performance. This will enable you to spend even less time working out, and staggered sets can even boost your gains.
For example, research shows that performing a full-body workout with staggered sets increases work capacity compared to straight sets.(9) It also shows that doing rows before bench press increases power output.(10) Doing rows immediately after bench pressing improves performance on both exercises.(11)
So if you choose to train full-body, consider doing staggered sets. There are no real downsides, but there are plenty of benefits.
Also, you could even do your workout in a circuit-like fashion to save even more time.
For example, you could alternate between an upper body press, an upper-body pull, and a lower body exercise. If you pair your exercises correctly, they won’t negatively impact each other, but you will save a lot of time.
Those are the 5 key factors that make daily full-body training very effective.
What I’ve done is I’ve included a link to a free full-body workout PDF that you can access here. It includes 5 full-body workouts that you can literally use starting today, or you can use this PDF as a template to help create your own full-body workouts.
I should mention before you try this routine because high-frequency full-body workouts are not for everyone, even with all the benefits.
Some exceptions include things like if you’re a beginner. In that case, you don’t need such a high training volume to make optimal progress. It may even be detrimental.
Another exception is if you’re short on time. If you are, it’s better to do a more moderate training volume, like the 20 sets per muscle per week. Doing that in a full-body routine or an upper-lower split will still help you achieve some good results. However, the progress will be slightly slower than if you were going for a higher training volume.
Another issue is if you’re highly stressed or you sleep poorly. Since both can significantly impair your ability to recover, it could make 5 full-body workouts per week overkill.
One study even found that having high stress levels cut the speed of recovery in half.(12)
Finally, the last exception is if you’re in a calorie deficit. When you consume fewer calories than you burn, recovery capacity is lower.
So, you may want to save the 5 full-body workouts per week only for when you eat at calorie maintenance or at a surplus. However, if you still want to train full-body 5 days per week during a cut, you can do it by sticking to a lower number of sets per muscle per workout.
That about wraps it up guys. I hope you found this helpful.
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1. A meta-analysis found a dose-response relationship between training volume and hypertrophy. The more sets the subjects did, the more muscle they gained.
2. 8 week study in which subjects did either one, three, or five sets per exercise. That led them to do the following number of sets per muscle per week:
– 6-9 sets for the 1-set group
– 18-27 sets for the 3-set group
– 30-45 sets for the 5-set group.
“Muscle hypertrophy follows a dose-response relationship, with increasingly greater gains achieved with higher training volumes”
3. According to the academic literature as a whole, the maximum effective training volume is around 9 sets per muscle per workout:
4. A study on German Volume Training found better strength and size gains with 5 instead of 10 sets for the primary exercise per workout:
5. Groups doing 15 and 20 sets per muscle achieved worse muscle and strength gains:
6. The heavy training group gained significantly more strength in the leg press (11% vs 6%) and the squat (19% vs 4%). In other words, daily workouts were over twice as effective as a upper-lower split.
Also, researchers concluded this:
“2 weeks of heavy training reduced acute neuromuscular fatigue after a test workout. As a result, recovery was complete 22 h after the workout performed after the heavy training period but not after the workout performed before the heavy training period. This faster recovery may explain why daily bouts of leg extensor strength exercise were well tolerated by most subjects.”
7. One reason high-frequency training may lead to better recovery is that strength training significantly improves sleep quality:
8. Higher-frequency training also increases testosterone production, and it improves the ratio between testosterone and cortisol (the testosterone-to-cortisol ratio):
9. Performing a whole-body workout with staggered sets increases work capacity compared to doing straight sets:
10. Doing rows before bench throws increases power output:
11. Doing rows immediately after bench presses improves performance in both exercises:
12. This study found that having high stress made a twofold difference in the rate of recovery compared to low stress:
My passion for fitness began when I was 14 years old. I naturally fell in love with training and haven’t stopped since. At 18 years I acquired my first personal training certification from ACE after which I opened my first of 3 transformation studios in 2011. I love to share my knowledge through personal training, my online courses, and youtube channel now with over 3,000,000 subscribers! I can happily say that we've helped over 15,000 people get in great shape over the years. I'm always here for my customers so if you need help don't hesitate to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org