Whole-Body Workouts Beat Split Routines

When it comes to designing a workout routine, the choice between whole-body workouts and split routines can be a perplexing one. Both have their proponents, but in recent years, whole-body workouts have gained popularity for their effectiveness and efficiency. In this article, we will explore the benefits of whole-body workouts, delve into the science behind them, and discuss how you can design your own personalised whole-body workout routine. So let’s get started!

Understanding Whole-Body Workouts

Whole-body workouts, as the name suggests, involve targeting multiple muscle groups in a single session. Unlike split routines that focus on specific muscle groups on different days, whole-body workouts aim to engage the entire body during each workout. This approach ensures that every muscle gets trained regularly, leading to overall strength and conditioning.

The Science

Whole-body workouts capitalise on the principle of muscle protein synthesis, which is the process that helps muscles repair and grow stronger after exercise. By stimulating all muscle groups in each session, you create a continuous cycle of muscle recovery and growth.

Furthermore, these workouts trigger a hormonal response, releasing growth hormone and testosterone, which are essential for muscle development. The increased hormonal response leads to overall strength gains and improved body composition.

How to Design an Effective Whole-Body Workout

Designing an effective whole-body workout requires careful planning and consideration. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Set Clear Goals: Define your fitness goals, whether building strength, increasing muscle mass, or improving overall fitness. This will help you tailor your workout routine accordingly.
  2. Choose Compound Exercises: Incorporate compound exercises that engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Examples include squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and pull-ups.
  3. Establish a Frequency: Determine how many times a week you can commit to working out. Aim for at least two to three sessions to ensure regular training of all muscle groups.
  4. Balance Your Routine: Distribute exercises evenly throughout the week, ensuring each muscle group is adequately targeted. I.e. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Avoid overtraining or neglecting specific areas.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Neglecting Rest and Recovery: Whole-body workouts can be intense, so it’s crucial to allow your body enough time to recover between sessions. Adequate rest is essential for preventing injuries and optimising results.
  2. Ignoring Proper Form: Performing exercises with incorrect form can lead to injuries and reduce the effectiveness of your workout. Focus on maintaining proper technique throughout your routine.
  3. Lack of Progression: To see continuous improvements, gradually increase the intensity or volume of your workouts over time. This progression stimulates muscle growth and prevents plateaus.

Comparing Whole-Body Workouts with Split Routines

While split routines have their advantages, whole-body workouts offer unique benefits. Let’s compare the two:

  1. Muscle Frequency: Whole-body workouts provide higher muscle frequency since you train each muscle group multiple times a week. Split routines, on the other hand, may have longer gaps between working the same muscle group.
  2. Efficiency: Whole-body workouts save time by targeting all muscle groups in a single session, making them suitable for individuals with busy schedules. Split routines require more time to cover all muscle groups throughout the week.
  3. Adaptability: Whole-body workouts are versatile and adaptable to different fitness levels and goals. Split routines may be more suitable for advanced lifters who require a specific focus on certain muscle groups.

Personalising Your Workout

To personalise your whole-body workout, consider the following factors:

  1. Fitness Level: Modify exercises and weights according to your current fitness level. Beginners may start with lighter weights and simpler variations, gradually increasing the challenge.
  2. Individual Goals: Tailor your workout routine based on your specific goals, whether it’s improving strength, building muscle, or increasing endurance. Focus on exercises that align with your objectives.
  3. Equipment Availability: Adapt your routine to the equipment you have access to. Whether you prefer using free weights, machines, or bodyweight exercises, choose exercises that suit your available resources.

Nutrition and Recovery

To optimise the results of your whole-body workouts, pay attention to nutrition and recovery:

  1. Balanced Diet: Consume a balanced diet that includes sufficient protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Adequate nutrition fuels your workouts and supports muscle repair and growth.
  2. Hydration: Stay hydrated before, during, and after your workouts. Water is crucial for maintaining optimal performance and promoting recovery.
  3. Rest and Sleep: Allow your body enough time to rest and recover between workouts. Aim for seven to nine hours of quality sleep each night to support muscle recovery and overall well-being.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can whole-body workouts help with weight loss?

Yes, they actually increase caloric expenditure and boost metabolism, making them effective for weight loss.

How often should I do whole-body workouts?

Aim for two to three sessions per week to ensure regular training of all muscle groups.

Can beginners do whole-body workouts?

Yes, whole-body workouts can be modified to suit different fitness levels, including beginners.

What if I don’t have access to a gym?

Whole-body workouts can be performed with minimal equipment or even with just bodyweight exercises, making them suitable for home workouts.

Can I combine whole-body workouts with other forms of exercise?

Absolutely! Whole-body workouts can be complemented with cardio exercises, yoga, or any other form of physical activity that aligns with your goals.

Are total-body workouts suitable for bodybuilders?

Yes, check out this video by Jeff Nippard, who explains how they could even be superior for building muscle mass.



Whole-body workouts offer numerous advantages over split routines, including time efficiency, increased caloric expenditure, and enhanced muscle recovery. By targeting multiple muscle groups in each session, you stimulate muscle growth and overall strength gains. Remember to personalise your whole body workout routine based on your goals, fitness level, and equipment availability. Pay attention to nutrition, hydration, and rest to optimise your results. So, give whole-body workouts a try and experience the benefits for yourself!

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