Not everyone has the time or desire to train like a body builder, splitting each workout into separate muscle groups in the endless pursuit of increasing muscle mass. But, I think it is safe to say that everyone would like to have a body that moves freely without pain. And, beyond that, I think most people strive to have a body that looks, feels, and performs athletically, one that enables them to go through life with confidence, taking on any obstacle that presents itself.
- physically strong, fit, and active.
- of or relating to athletes; involving the use of physical skills or capabilities, as strength, agility, or stamina.
Whether you participate in organized sports or not, we are all athletes in the game of life. The same physical skills or capabilities that an athlete needs to be successful in sports are needed to be successful in everyday life, as well. Strength, agility, and stamina, are all characteristics that benefit someone tremendously when taking on life’s various demands. Total-body training is perfect for building an athletic body and suits many different goals, such as fat loss, strength building, and muscular hypertrophy.
Here are 3 reasons why total-body training is the way to go for improving athleticism:
1) Mimics Real Life Movements
It is very rare to only use one isolated muscle group to perform a task in life. In most cases, the body works as a whole to complete the task. For example, carrying an object from point A to point B, picking something up off the ground, pressing an object over head, all require the use of the entire body. “Rather than thinking about body parts, I want you to think about primal, natural and athletic movement patterns that work multiple muscle groups at once,” says B.J. Gaddour, CSCS, author of Your Body Is Your Barbell. If the goal is to train like an athlete, we must ensure that the program matches up to the goal. At the Muscle Hut, we take special consideration with our programming to ensure that we cover all of the bases of fitness; we focus on functional movements that train the body as a whole.
2) Maximize Workout Efficiency
Workouts that rely on complex, multi-joint movements will engage more muscle groups at once, in addition to your core. The 80/20 rule can be applied here by placing your focus on the 20 percent of movements that give you the most bang for you buck. Included in this 20 percent are the foundational movement patterns: push, pull, hip-dominant hinge, knee-dominant squat, and core stability. Every workout at the Muscle Hut works the entire body, incorporating these five distinct categories of movements. This creates efficiency and functional strength for everyday use. In addition, we diversify our workouts through undulating periodization, focusing on different aspects of fitness, such as stability (single leg/arm movements), power (movements that focus on explosiveness and speed, such as overhead throws, box jumps, and kettle bell swings), and hypertrophy (exercises and rep ranges that promote muscle building). This is one way that we can offer specialization and customization to our clients in a group training atmosphere. And since full body workouts can be performed over the course of just two or three days a week, this allows more time for other obligations in your life. Many of our clients have made tremendous progress from only training two times per week!
3) Burn More Calories in Less Time
From a calorie-burning perspective, full-body workouts are outstanding. Major muscle groups working together in compound exercises, like squats and deadlifts, require more energy to coordinate movement, move heavier training loads and provide more oxygen to working muscles than single-joint exercises that only work one or two small muscles. Full body workouts make for the ideal fat loss workout set-up because they will get you working each muscle group at least twice a week, but won’t ask as much from the body in terms of recovery compared to completely exhausting a single muscle group during a workout.
In conclusion, total-body training has tremendous carry over to real life movements, maximizes workout efficiency by utilizing multi-joint movements that engage different muscle groups, and burns more calories in less time while simultaneously reducing the amount of recovery that is required after each workout.
We are all athletes in the game of life. And by training like an athlete, using total-body workouts that focus on functional movement patterns, we can develop the fitness qualities that are needed to take on life’s demands and live like a champion!
“Champions are not the ones who always win races – champions are the ones who get out there and try. And try harder the next time. And even harder the next time. ‘Champion’ is a state of mind. They are devoted. They compete to best themselves as much if not more than they compete to best others.”
– Simon Sinek