Full-Body Training Made Simple

I do not believe that each pattern needs to be trained at each of the workouts, provided that you hit them at least once during the week.

If you do a pull (for example) all the exercise will hit all the pulling muscles to some extent. Granted, vertical will hit the lats more and horizontal the upper back more, but the whole back still receives some stimulation.

Of course, you donโ€™t get to โ€œpracticeโ€ each movement as often. But if you develop the muscles involved via a somewhat similar action, youโ€™ll still get a transfer to related exercises.

As it was mentioned in another reply, if you insist on training each pattern in each workout it will quickly become too voluminous to do with any kind of effort/intensity.

Youโ€™d have to use 3 pulling exercises (horizontal, vertical pulling down, vertical pulling up);

3 pressing exercises (horizontal/bench, vertical pushing up/overhead, vertical pushing down/dips);

3-4 leg exercises (bilateral squat, hinge, unilateral squat, hip extension)

1 loaded carry

So weโ€™re up to 10-11 multi-joint exercises per session. This is not doable, especially if you use even moderate volume (e.g. 3 work sets per exercise) and a respectable level of effort (1-2 reps in reserve) and load (75%+ of max).

When I work with athletes, we use normally use 4 exercises per workout (up to 5 with some more conditioned individuals or as low as 2-3 with those with poor work capacity). I do try to rotate some exercises so that we cover more movement pattern variations, but honestly, this is not super high on my list of priorities. Contrary to what some โ€œexpertsโ€ claim (and built their brand around that concept), you will not suddenly become non-functional if you donโ€™t train a specific pattern, provided that you are doing work in that family of pattern.

When I write full-body programs each session has:

  1. Squat variation (bilateral of unilateral)
  2. Press variation
  3. Pull variation
  4. Hinge variation (either a hinge or a pure hip extension like hip thrusts)

A loaded carry is often added once or twice a week.

Things donโ€™t need to be overly complicated to work.

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