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Why you should do whole body training

One recent Sunday a mate and I decided to hit the gym — nothing like a competitive mate to get you working harder. We worked out for only 45 minutes but managed to get through a good 24 sets of exercise. We sweated, we puffed, we maxed out every set until our muscles burned. We worked damn hard.

We did supersets (check out my recent superset blog entry if you are unsure what these are). We chose two whole-body exercises (barbell squats and dumbbell bench presses) did three sets of 10 reps of each with no rest. We followed with two more whole-body exercises (deadlifts and bodyweight pull-ups), and again did three sets of 10 of each. We then moved to chin-ups and dumbbell lunges, performing the same reps and sets. We then finished with two abs exercises.

No I’m not telling you all this to big-note myself — I have my reasons.

While we were busting a gut for those 45 minutes everyone else in the gym might as well have well been at church. All of them would have been lucky to get through half as many sets. There was definitely no sign of sweat and they puffed more walking up the stairs to the front door than they did during their workout.

So why did they perform so poorly? They were all doing body part training. One guy was training his chest, one guy was training his legs and another, his arms. Top trainers don’t train like this. This is outdated training and really ineffectual.

You need to get intensity and volume into your training. Importantly, you need to be choosing the correct exercises. Stationary arms exercises or training your chest for an hour won’t get results. They simply don’t train the body in a way that encourages good movement.

Whole body exercises give you a three-fold benefit. Firstly, they get your heart rate up due to the amount of muscle tissue being used which gives you a cardiovascular benefit and fitness gain. Secondly, they train real life movements so you they aid you in moving better in all athletic endeavours. And, lastly this style of training will have you looking super strong.

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