There are few better ways to get jacked than full-body training.
It’s a style of training which has stood the test of time, dating way back to the 1940s and 1950s when it was popularized by the late, great Joe Weider with his Weider Full-Body Builder, and it remains just as useful today as it was all those years ago!
In fact, not only is full-body training an exceptional way for beginner trainees to find their start in the gym, if you structure your program correctly it can also be a fantastic tool for even the most advanced trainees to continue making solid gains.
Full-Body Blitz is a program close to my heart, because it takes the lessons I learned from those old programs when I was growing up, and updates them with the knowledge I’ve picked up in the gym training clients for the last two decades, creating something which is both old and new, beginner and advanced, tried and tested.
This 6-week program will have you training your full-body three times per week, working in different rep ranges to target different mechanisms in the body to enable you to come out of this program bigger, stronger, and more conditioned!
Program length: 6 weeks.
Frequency: 3-5 workouts per week.
Session breakdown: Full-body training.
Rep ranges used: Low, moderate, and high reps.
Muscle buster techniques: Supersets.
Table of Contents
- Your Training Calendar
- Full-Body Training Rocks
- Daily Undulating Periodization Rocks Even Harder
- What Are Active Recovery Days?
- Recommended Nutrition Plan
Your Training Calendar
You’ll be hitting the weights three times per week for the duration of Blitz.
Each workout will train your whole body, but there’s a twist…
One session takes place in the power range (6-8 reps), one session in the hypertrophy range (12-15 reps), and one session in the muscular endurance range (20-25 reps). I will shuffle the order of these workouts from week-to week.
You’ll also notice there are two active recovery days scheduled between your weights workouts, and you get each weekend off.
I’ll explain these active recovery days in detail below, but for now I just want you to know that they give you some options regarding cardiovascular training. Beginner tainees who would like to focus entirely on lifting wieghts can use these as rest days, intermediate trainees can try the incline treadmill workout I’ve prepared for you, and advanced trainees can go even harder by attempting the outdoor sprint session I’ve designed.
Full-Body Training Rocks
Full-body training is great for both muscle growth and fat loss.
But that doesn’t stop most people from completing misunderstanding it!
Honestly, whenever I speak to people in the gym about full-body training, I hear these two questions:
- Can my muscles recover if I train them in every workout?
- Can I work each muscle hard enough to make it grow?
These are common concerns which prevent people from ever trying a full-body program, but in truth, it’s a sign that they’ve never had a well-designed program before.
You see, neither of the two things above should be of any concern!
Your muscles will recover perfectly fine, and you will definitely work them hard enough to make them grow.
So how is this possible?
Well, that’s because full-body training allows you to take advantage of not one, but TWO key training variables.
The first is training volume. This refers to how many sets you perform for each muscle group per week, and research indicates we need somewhere between 12-20 for the best results. A full-body routine lets you hit this marker quite easily for every single muscle group, because you’re spreading the load over multiple sessions as opposed to squeezing it all into one. (1)
The second (and often overlooked by the gym-going masses) is training frequency. This refers to how often you train each muscle.
A 2019 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research discovered that Norwegian powerlifters were able to record impressive lean muscle gains by switching around their training routine to ensure they hit each muscle more frequently – and despite the fact they were performing the exact same number of total sets per week for each muscle, they improved muscle mass by 10%! (2)
The researchers put this down to just two things.
First, they believed it enabled the trainees to work HARDER. This makes a lot of sense. I mean, instead of being 40 minutes into a big chest workout and feeling gassed, spreading the workload across multiple muscle groups ensured that every muscle they worked was 100% fresh!
They also noticed a big difference in the recovery process. After a tough session, the body enters a state of repair where it begins to rebuild the muscle tissues which were damaged in the previous workout. This is known as muscle protein synthesis, and over time, repeatedly stimulating this process is what causes you to gain lean muscle mass.
Now here’s the interesting part…
The researchers found that having trainees trigger this process more frequently was one of the key reasons for the spike in results!
It is generally believed that most muscle groups require 72-96 hours between workouts, so if you hit your chest with 15-20 sets on Monday, you can expect to be fully recovered and able to train again the following week. However, what most people fail to take into consideration is that a properly structured full-body program doesn’t not work this way.
Instead, dividing the workload into smaller chunks means you’ll recover significantly faster, enabling you to train that muscle again in just a couple of days – so even though you’re performing the same total volume as a guy who is hitting his chest with one huge workout every week, you’re actually triggering muscle protein sytnthesis three times versus his one!
Daily Undulating Periodization Rocks Even Harder
What if we could take all of the awesome things about full-body training and make it even more effective?
That’s exactly what we’re going to do!
Blitz uses Daily Undulating Periodization to structure your workouts, which means you’ll be cycling between the hypertrophy range, power range, and endurance range from session-to-session, like this:
- Monday: Hypertrophy (12-15 reps)
- Wednesday: Power (6-8 reps)
- Friday: Endurance (20-25 reps)
I’ll shuffle the order of these workouts every week.
DUP (for short) is fantastic for trainees who need plenty of variety in their workouts, and it also provides you with the structure which is necessary to pursue great long-term results. Studies show that this form of periodization is excellent for muscle growth, too. (3, 4, 5, 6)
What Are Active Recovery Days?
These are days where you can let your body recover from weight training.
If you are a beginner and you just want to focus on the lifting aspect of this program, I recommend using your active recovery days as rest days. They’ll help you fuel up before you hit the gym again the following day.
If you are an intermediate lifter you might want to try to challenging incline treadmill workout I’ve scheduled for you. With this workout you’ll ramp the machine up to a 13% inline and walk uphill (3mp/h) for 30 minutes. This is a LOT harder than it sounds. It is a superb workout for building conditioning, and it burns a f**k-load of calories, too!
Just try to avoid holding the handrails, as this changes the angle of your body, which allows you to temporarily disengage the muscles of your abs and lower back, and we don’t want that.
Finally, advanced trainees can shoot for the outdoor workout I’ve created for you. If there’s one thing which has been requested more than any other on this website, it’s people wanting to do the sprint workouts that I post on my social media pages. I love this type of training, and I’ve done it for over a decade because I enjoy being outdoors and it’s a real challenge.
The sprint workout which I have penciled in will have you completing a thorough warm-up and then a series of 60 meter dashes, which will shred body fat and have you feeling like Superman!
Recommended Nutrition Plan
If you want to get in truly great shape, then a solid diet is a great place to start.
I recommend combining Blitz with my 8-week photoshoot diet plan. This will ensure that you are eating enough protein to support your hard training and getting enough calories to perform at your best in the gym.
For those of you who would like to focus more on gaining muscle I recommend staying within phase one of the diet plan for the duration of this training program, but if you want to make fat loss your main goal just follow the diet plan as it’s written. As the weeks go by, it will gradually begin to transfer you into a calorie deficit, helping you shred some body fat both inside and outside of the gym.
- Schoenfeld B. J., et al. Dose-response relationship between weekly resistance training volume and increases in muscle mass: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Sports Sci (2017).
- Raastad T., et al. Powerlifters improved strength and muscular adaptations to a greater extent when equal total training volume was divided into 6 compared to 3 training sessions per week. Book of abstracts, 17th annual conference of the ECSS (2012).
- Kraemer W., et al. Physiological changes with periodized resistance training in women tennis players. Med Sci Sports Exerc (2003).
- Marx J. O., et al. Low-volume circuit versus high-volume periodized resistance training in women. Med Sci Sports Exerc (2001).
- Rhea M. R., et al. A meta-analysis of periodized versus nonperiodized strength and power training programs. Res Q Exerc Sport (2004).
- Willoughby D. S. The Effects of Mesocycle-Length Weight Training Programs Involving Periodization and Partially Equated Volumes on Upper and Lower Body Strength. J Strength Cond Res (1993).