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Full Body or Splits for Weight Loss?

When you design and exercise program there is a lot of different variables.  All of these variables will depend on what your goal is.

For weight loss 90% of the time I give people full body workouts.  This is especially more true for women than men.  I see a lot of people do body part splits for weight loss and they are not nearly as effective.  A body part split is when you train a specific set of muscles on a certain day.   Here are some popular body part splits:

  1. Upper body/lower body
  2. Push/pull
  3. Chest and back/legs/arms and shoulder
  4. Chest and triceps/legs/back and biceps
  5. 1 body part each day

There are many different variations of splits out there.  Full body workouts are superior to bodypart splits for weight loss for many reasons:

  • Use more muscle mass
  • Greater hormonal response
  • Greater number of calories burned
  • Greater after burn

There is a couple of factors within the full body workout that are mainly responsible for this:

  1. Mostly compound exercises are used
  2. Legs are trained each day

So let’s look at this in simple terms.  Which workout do you think is going to be better weight loss- one where you train arms for the whole session with a lot of isolation exercises or a workout that is full of compound exercises with a lot of legs.  The second one without a doubt.  A compound exercise is a exercise that uses 2 joints.

Examples of compound exercises:

  • Squat
  • Deadlift
  • Step up
  • Split squat
  • Lunges
  • Bench press
  • Dumbbell presses
  • Chin-ups/pulldowns
  • Rows

These exercises or variations of them should comprise most of your weight loss workouts.

So if your goal is weight loss then I would definitely do full body workouts with compound exercises.  Of course other variables will have to be adjusted accordingly to get maximum weight loss. Things like reps, sets, tempo, rest break all have to be manipulated as well for the best results.

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