Roberto, a 53 year old man recently came into my studio asking about training. and he came prepared.
In his stead, he had spreadsheets going back 13 months of workouts. As we sat down, the frustration of workouts past was clear.
He handed me the workout sheets rife with sets and reps with perfectly round numbers ranging from 12 to 6 done with diligence and attention to detail.
Every week was similar, arms and back, followed by legs and abs, every other day to ad nausuem.
He wondered why his full body workout routine was failing him. And, he wanted to lose more than the half inch around the waist he lost.
Simply put, my new trainee was confused.
He put in too few reps for the amount of sets he performed.
He, on other weeks, did the opposite: he put in too many reps coupled with too few sets.
It was a diligent, smarty conceived full body workout routine, but it was largely a dud.
Because Roberto wanted results, and I wanted to help.
His frustration was borne of over reading blogs and boards and Reddits about how to workout, and the perfect full body routine for muscle building. But, lost in his research was the answer to this question:
Which Energy system are you working this week?
Building muscle is about targeting and increasing the output of a certain energy system. In Roberto’s case, it was the aerobic and long distance systems which, correlates to building lean, Type IIa muscle fibers.
Building “Strength” is about, yes, a full body workout routine that hits all muscles, but is also about your set and rep count.
Plain and simple, building strength means building muscle density and less about hypertrophy.
Your set count is 4-6 per muscle group
Your rep count is medium range: from 8-15 reps per set.
A quality full body workout routine will be at least 45 minutes, and include 90ish reps at most per exercise.
That’s the truth. Bring your water, prepare to sweat bullets. Love your results.
Simple Full Body Workout Routine for Strength
4-6 Sets | 8-15 reps
Target Heart Rate Average: 150 bpm (ages 50 and down)
Rest for 2 minutes in between
- Start with compound (multi angle) lifts
- Bar back squat
- Bench press
- Work to single joint lifts Start with legs
- Hamstring curls
- Single-leg deadlifts
- Hindu squats
- Continue to chest
- Chest dumbbell flys
- Crucifix curls
- Cable reverse flys