Quick Full Body Workout

By Alan Frost, updated January, 2014

man and woman weightliftingIn this article, I will show you two quick and effective and quick full body workouts. The goal here is to hit all the major muscle groups in as little time as possible. The workout can be used by people who simply do not have more time to devote to training (in the long-term) or by more seasoned gym goers who need something to throw in when their schedules get too hectic.

Since people reading this article could have very different goals and fitness levels, I have decided to present two workouts. The first, which I call the “simple workout”, is a straightforward training routine using compound movements. The second, which I call the “intensive routine”, uses supersets to cut down on the duration.

Each workout consists of two full body workouts, called Day 1 and Day 2. Simply alternate between them each time you train. Remember to always leave at least a day between two training sessions when using full body workouts. So you can do it 2 or 3 times a week, e.g. Mon-Wed-Fri or just Mon-Fri, depending on your schedule and ability to recover.

First, the Warm-Up

General warm-up: 3-5 minutes cardio, just until you break a light sweat.

Dynamic warm-up: Perform a few minutes of dynamic movements, which rehearse the movements you are about to train and loosen you up. E.g. you might do bodyweight squats, lunges, pushups, leg swings, arm swings, trunk twists, etc.

Warm-up sets: For your first exercise, perform two warm-up sets. Set 1 use 50% of the weight you are planning to use in your first set and do 6 reps. In set 2 use 80% of the weight you are planning to do in your first set and do 4 reps. For subsequent exercises, do 1 warm-up set of 4 reps at 80% of the weight you are about to train with.

Simple Workout

Day 1

  • Squat 3x8
  • Romanian deadlift 3x8
  • Incline DB press 3x8
  • Rows 3x8
  • Air bike crunches 2 x 20-30

Day 2

  • Deadlift 3x8
  • Bench press 3x8
  • Military press 3x8
  • Narrow grip lateral pull-down 3x8
  • Lying or hanging leg raise 2 x 20-30

Intensive Workout

Day 1

  • Squat (normal or wide stance) 3x8
  • Bench press 3x8 superset with narrow grip lat pull-down 3x8
  • Military press 3x8 superset with cable pullover 3x8
  • Romanian deadlift 3x8 superset with lying/hanging leg raise 3x15

Day 2

  • Deadlift 3x8
  • Incline dumbbell press 3-8 superset with hamstring curls 3x8
  • Dumbbell rows superset with bent over dumbbell/cable lateral raise 3 x 8
  • Air bike crunches 3 x 20-30
woman in gym

The rep ranges on all the ab exercises are suggestions, since they will depend largely on your fitness level.

If you are fit enough, you can also try using pull-ups instead of pull-downs and work in dips instead of the bench press or dumbbell press.

As always, finish off with adequate stretching.

Supersets and Breaks

For regular exercises aim for about a minute break between sets and a couple of minutes between exercises. For supersets, run both exercises one after the other (e.g. a set of incline DB press followed immediately by a set of hamstring curls) and then take a one minute break.

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