Cover Photo: Brooke Ence
There is no one way to get a great workout. Following a full-body regime is a great way to organize your workout. If you are looking to get strong and not particularly worried about mass, a full-body workout will give you more bang for your buck. Cut the time you are spending at the gym without sacrificing a muscle group. Incorporating lower and upper body parts in one workout allow you to get the anabolic response that you need from your muscles. In addition, they work more muscle fibers which lead to more muscle and less fat.
Squats, deadlifts and bench presses are central to building a strong body. Each has its own variants that you can experiment with to keep your gym time entertaining. Wielding the big three in the right way will give you extraordinary results.
- Squat – Squats are a powerful way to boost your overall fitness. It requires no equipment but can incorporate weights for amazing results. Although regarded as a leg workout, squats benefit your entire body. There are many variations of the squat: basic, single-leg, pulses, pistol, sumo and cross-leg to name a few. They are a great versatile exercise that can be performed anywhere. They do a great job engaging your quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles. If you want to make them more intense, slow your movements down.
- Deadlift – The deadlift works more muscles than any other exercise. It strengthens all the major muscle groups while also contributing to mass. It builds the upper and lower body like no other movement. It increases fat burning, leads to better posture and increases cardio. There are many great variations of this killer lift. The sumo deadlift is a great way to improve mobility. The romanian deadlift shifts the focus from your lower back to your hamstrings and glutes. The deficit deadlift moves you through a greater range of motion.
- Bench – The bench press is the king of upper body lifts. A strong bench means a strong upper body. You will undeniably see results in your pec strength when you focus on your bench press. In addition to bigger pecs, you will build your delts. This gives you a nice capped shoulder look. It also helps build your long, lateral and medial triceps’ heads.
Developing a full-body routine that works for you goes beyond the gym. It is important to maintain a healthy diet that supports your lifestyle. Limiting your alcohol intake and staying away from smoking help. Nutrition is important for fitness. Along with healthy lifestyle habits comes eating a well-balanced diet. You want to eat foods that fuel your exercise performance. You want the right types of food at the right time of day.
- Breakfast – Your first meal of the day is important and often under-appreciated. Breakfast is linked to a lower risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. A healthy meal at the beginner of your day helps replenish blood sugar required to power your muscles and brain. Try switching to whole-grain breakfast foods over sugar-laden cereals. A hearty bowl of oatmeal is a great way to start the day.
- Snacks – When you are lifting a lot of weight in the gym it is hard to pack in the protein you need throughout the day to support your goals. Protein helps your body grow, maintain and repair muscles. It is also a great source of energy. Try to pack a little extra protein in snacks by adding meat, eggs or dairy.
- Fruits and Vegetables – Natural fiber, vitamins and minerals are all found in fruits and vegetables. Fill your plate with a variety of colorful fruits and veggies to reap the benefits of all these healthy foods have to offer. Color variety ensures you enjoy the full range of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants available.
A full-body workout is a great way to get the most out of your gym visits. The big three, squats, deadlifts and bench presses, should be at the heart of every weightlifting session. Squats are traditionally a leg exercise but actually benefit your whole body. Deadlifts are a great way to strengthen both upper and lower body muscle groups. Round out your training with bench presses. They will shape and develop your upper body like no other exercise. It is also important to maintain a healthy lifestyle outside the gym. Stay away from smoking and alcohol. Start each day with a healthy breakfast. Eat lots of fruits and vegetable and incorporate protein into snacks and other meals. Being healthy makes you feel great and ready to tackle whatever the day has to offer.