Full Body vs. Split Days Workout

Posted byLori Posted onMarch 29, 2011 Comments27

Spring has actually decided to show up. At least for now. It’s sunny and I am sooooooooo happy. I welcome the sun.

Anyway, good morning, my Wonderfuls! Hope you made it through Monday and are ready and geared up for Tuesday. I know I am. A nice, hard workout always gets me ready.

Speaking of workout, I haven’t posted anything exercise related in quite some time. But that doesn’t mean, of course, that I’m not lifting… I am. 😉

Before I get into the wonderful world of weights I’d like to share some photos of the thicket of forest that is my backyard. Last week we had a LOT of rain and lost a few trees in the wake of the storm… guess what we’ll be doing with all the fallen trees once it gets nice outside? Any guesses?

I live in the mountains. Straight up mountains.

Ok, enough forest talk. Let’s move on to workouts! Ooooh! My favorite part of the day. *ahem* besides feeding times…

I have been playing around with different ways of lifting (read: split body days vs full body days), trying to find what I like best, what gives me the best workout, and what will be the most effective.

You may remember my time spent with Rachel Cosgrove and the Female Body Breakthrough workouts. Love them. The basis of Cosgrove’s workouts are full body, three days of lifting per week. There are four phases of different exercises in which you do each phase for about 4-6 weeks at a time.

I did the last two phases in her book first (more advanced part) which took me about 10 weeks. Results? Again, LOVED the workouts. I added weight to most of my lifts each week and really felt like I got a great workout. My heart rate would spike during most of the workouts and I left the gym feeling beaten (in a good way).

Not me... but that is a LOT of weight.


After those 10 weeks, I decided to try something new so I moved on to “more advanced” lifting. From what I’ve read, to really gain strength and size, one should split lifting days into a breakdown of specific body parts- targeting back and biceps one day, legs and calves the next, etc, for example. Why not try that? I want size. I want strength.

I did a 4-5 day split (days: upper, lower, rest, upper, lower, upper, rest, repeat) for about 3 weeks. Although this really isn’t enough time to see much in terms of results, I didn’t enjoy this type of program.

After my workouts I would either feel completely depleted (my poor overworked biceps), which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, or I would leave feeling like I just spent the last hour sitting around doing nothing. Some days I had a great workout, some days I had way more left to give.

Verdict: I prefer full-body workouts. I can still lift heavy (just not quite as heavy) and my heart rate is higher, giving me (at least the sense) of a more rounded and harder workout.

I would greatly appreciate my body looking like hers, thankyouverymuch.

There are definitely pros and cons to both types of programs.

With full body workouts, you really can get your heart rate up for most of the workout, you don’t rest as much between each workout, there seems to be a little more variety, you’re constantly moving and usually doing complex lifts– which give you a more “real life” workout. But on the flip-side, you cannot workout as many days per week (good and bad depending on your lifestyle) and you usually cannot lift as heavy since you’re muscles will be fatigued from the complexity of the movements.

For split days, you can lift heavy, really heavy, which helps to add strength relatively quickly. You work each body part extensively and can really target whatever muscle (groups) you want. This is especially important if you are training for any type of figure or body building competition. Again, the could-be-negative part of split days is that you are really taxing your Central Nervous System. Personally, I was so much more tired when I did the split days and I was looking forward to my rest days more than I should have or wanted to. I found I couldn’t get my heart rate high enough even though I was lifting pretty heavy. Also, I was bored. Too much rest time for me, but I needed to rest between lifts to replenish my muscles.

So, again, there are great things about each. I guess it all comes down to personal preference. Life most things in life.. ya know, chocolate versus vanilla. 😉

Um, not quite...

So, since I’m back to full body days, here was my latest workout (grouped together with exercises I did for alternating sets):

  • TRX pike abs
  • TRX side plank
  • One legged pistols holding a 8 lbs weight overhead  3 x 5 each leg
  • DB Row  35#  3 x 10
  • Deadlift  115# 2 x 8, 145# 3 x 5
  • TRX one legged push-ups 3 x 10
  • Bent over reverse fly  10# 3 x 8 (those buuuuuurn)
  • TRX fly  2 x 10

I do a variation of these every other workout. So. Much. Fun. I love lifting.


Yesterday I mentioned some Thank You’s which were more than needed… today I’ll mention those Thank You’s in cookie form.

You didn’t think I’d leave you hanging without some fuel for all the workout talk, did you? Nooooo…. I wouldn’t do that.

Well, yes I would, because you’ll have to wait until tomorrow for the recipe. They call me Evil.

For those of you who have tried split days and/or full-body days, which do you prefer?

What is your favorite type of exercise?

What keeps you motivated to be active and move?

Giveaway… gotta enter…!

Follow and like:
Pin Share

27 People reacted on this

  1. Heya i’m for the first time here. I came across this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out
    much. I hope to give something back and help others like you aided me.

  2. I like tough workouts, I like when my muscles work hard. In order to come to the next level with my trainings I have added dietary supplements to my everyday meals. The result was highly above my expectations! The supplement I’ve been taking is called Multipurpose High-Potency Super Nutritional Complex (manufactured by MGNutritionals). Now I feel energized even after gym, and I will definitely add this workout to my regime.

Comments are closed.