Daily Archives: January 3, 2015

Benefits of Total Body Workouts

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You’ve heard of different workout schedules and programs. You’ve heard people isolating certain muscle groups, working them out on certain days and working out other muscle groups on other days. If that works for you, then by all means go on. If you can’t go to the gym every day or if you’re a complete beginner, total body workouts are what’s favorable for you.

Less Time for Workout

Many gym rats spend 2 hours in the gym working out different muscle groups when they can actually do compound exercises that hit all major muscle groups in 30-45 minutes. Many people just don’t have time for 12 exercises for different muscles. That takes forever. Working folks don’t have the luxury of time. In that case, doing full body workout two or three times a week is much more manageable.

More Free Time

Life isn’t about work and workouts. Do you leave your office at 5:30 and spend an hour or two in the gym and then get home tired? No more time for your kids? If you spend all your evenings after work in the gym, how much time do you have left for your family or for recreation? Getting fit doesn’t have to wreak havoc to your personal life. A well-balanced time is what you need, and total body workouts can give you that.

Faster CNS Recovery

All right, gym buffs talk about CNS recovery. You see, when you put stress on your muscles, say for instance, while lifting weights, the neural network between your brain and muscles are firing signals for a limited time. It does so at its expense though. After an intense workout, it’s not just the muscles that get tired. Your central nervous system gets tired too and needs to recover. This is how daily isolation exercises jeopardize CNS recovery. By working out every day, you exhaust your CNS even though you’re working out different muscles. To fix this, schedule rest days in between workouts whether you’re doing isolation or total body workouts. That would mean longer waiting times for certain muscle groups if you split upper body and lower body workouts. Hence, some people just prefer full body workouts.

Simpler Routines

One of the frequent complaints of gym goers and fitness enthusiasts, especially beginners, is the intimidating number of exercises they have to remember. So you have to remember you have to do 3 or 4 sets of cable crossovers and decline press for your chest, dumbbell raise and cable raise for your shoulders, and dumbbell rows and lat pull downs for your back. Then you have to do bicep curls and cable extensions. That’s just for your upper body!

Why do all that stuff when you can do compound exercises that hit the major muscle groups. Unless you have specific goals, compound exercises (bench press, dips, rows, pull-ups, deadlifts, and squats) are all you need to get stronger.

Less Risk of Overtraining

Total body workouts wear you out sooner than isolation exercises chiefly because you’re working out more muscle groups. Split workouts and isolation exercises trick you into doing more exercises for similar muscle groups with the risk of overtraining and straining them. That’s one thing you have to watch out for when you’re doing these muscle specific exercises.