Fit and Fine by Kamal Singh CSCS: Full body training—a truly versatile method - Hindustan Times

2022-10-15 11:56:51 By : Mr. Yan LIU

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It truly amazes when I walk in to a gym see almost everybody – from complete newbies to old timers using body part splits to train. The funniest are the ones who have barely signed up at the gym but are training one body part a day. “Today is chest day bro” – so they end up doing all the known exercises for the chest – 4 sets for flat bench press, 4 sets for incline, 4 sets for decline, 4 sets for standing cable flyes and 4 sets for dumbbell flyes. Afterall their favorite bodybuilder trains like that and he has a 50-inch chest! Maybe that bodybuilder does or maybe he does not. But does a newbie or even somebody who is not a competitive bodybuilder need to train like that especially when they are not injecting themselves with copious amounts of steroids?

In the 1940s and early 50s, competitive bodybuilders did not split their body parts over several days. They believed in full body training in every session. This is the era, when steroids were not used and abused by body builders. Go back in history and look at the physiques of people like Steve Reeves, Clancy Ross, Vince Gironda and then tell me If body part split training is needed for building an aesthetic physique. All the greats, in what is now known as the golden era of bodybuilding trained their entire body in every session and were in the gym three times a week. Please read that again – three times a week. You don’t have to become a gym rat and live in the gym every day of the week to build muscle! Their muscular physiques were the result of years of hard work in the gym as well as taking care of their food intake.

Benefits of using full body training

Most trainers pooh pooh full body training as being unnecessary and beneficial only for beginners. But I beg to differ. Full body Training is extremely versatile and can be easily tweaked if you need to focus on certain aspects of your physique. More on that later but first let us talk of the advantages. They are:

Frequency may be more important than just high-volume training. You hit each body part three times week. This leads to optimal stimulation for muscle protein synthesis for the “non-assisted” trainee.

High frequency helps in learning proper technique and improvement in inter-muscular coordination. This would lead to rapid increases in strength and that would help in training at a higher intensity.

Most people forget that every day is a heart day, kidney day and liver day. You might think that you are only training one body part but all the organs are involved in taking the stress of the training. Thus, it would be better to load the body thrice a week and give it rest for the days of the week. This would help in recovery.

Training the whole body in a session has a unique fat burning effect on the body. Fat seems to just come off when you train at a decent pace while training like this.

Conditioning or muscular endurance improves rapidly with full body training.

A sample full body program for the beginner

Train on three non-consecutive days of the week. Do 8-10 exercises which work the body from head to toe. Do at least 15 repetitions per exercise and initially just two sets and then three sets.

Stick with this program for a month. Eat lots of protein (2 grams per kg of body weight) and drink 2 liters of water per day. In the next column, I shall focus on the heavy, light and medium concept as well as body part specialisation while continuing to train the whole body in every session. Now go and do it.

Kamal Singh is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist who has been coaching for 15 years.

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