Most people imagine that to gain muscle and get your body in great shape, you need to spend hours in the gym every day, doing rep after rep and set after set of hard-core exercises.
All you really need is a well-designed progressive program that works all your muscles and gives you the right amount of stress to produce gains. Just like the bodybuilding stars of the golden age used.
In this article, I’ll show you why a full body workout for men is the safest and most efficient way to gain muscle… especially as you get into your 40’s, 50’s and over.
How Can a Full Body Workout for Men Help Me Gain Muscle?
If you hit all your muscles on a Monday, there is a 48-hour window where muscle synthesis is at its highest, before it starts to ebb.
Hitting all of your muscles again on Wednesday jump-starts this process all over again.
Another way to look at it is, if you split your routine into a 4-day bro split instead of with a full body workout for men, which is what’s often recommended in Bodybuilding magazines, you would work maybe Chest and Biceps on Monday and would hammer them for 18 sets each.
That would be the only time you hit those muscle groups until next Monday.
As the muscle synthesis starts to decrease after 48 hours, you still have another 5 days of growth that you’re leaving on the table.
By doing a full body workout instead, you split these 18 sets across the 3 days AND take advantage of spiking the muscle synthesis process each time it starts to drop.
What Makes a Full Body Workout a Safe Option?
As I have just mentioned, by doing a full body workout, you split the 18 sets of exercises for each muscle group across 3 days.
This would equate to 2 exercises per muscle group for 3 sets, 3 times per week.
This is a safer way to train as you are better controlling the amount of damage you’re doing to your muscle.
Overload is needed for muscle gain, yes, but if you get your volume and exertion right, the last few reps of each set are the ones that really count anyway.
Anything more is like pushing an elevator button over and over, hoping it will make the elevator come faster.
Once you’ve caused the micro-tears in your muscles that you need to make them grow, you don’t want to tear them down anymore.
Doing so will mean longer recovery time without the optimal window of muscle synthesis to help.
Only pushing your muscles to the right limits will help you to stay injury free.
Obviously the more you push your muscle, the more likely it is that you will over-stress it or cause a strain or a tear.
Lifting for more sets is also likely to push you to a point where your form will break down.
Poor form will ALWAYS eventually lead to injury.
What Exercises Should be in a Full Body Workout for Men?
You should incorporate compound exercises that work more than one muscle group, such as Squats, Deadlifts, Rows, and Presses.
Isolation exercises can help with symmetry or improve weaker muscles.
Working your body in this way will help build muscle, but will also burn a lot of calories.
Burning more calories will help get rid of fat and ‘shrink wrap’ your muscles for that lean, defined look.
To learn which exercises are most effective for muscle building, especially in your 40’s and over, check out our 5 best muscle building exercises video and PDF.
How Can I do a Full Body Workout in 35 Minutes?
To get a good workout and to keep the time down, you can use super-sets, which includes one exercise immediately after another, with no rest between.
An example of this would be an arm workout being:
- Bicep Curl – 3 sets of 8- 10 reps
- French Press – 3 sets of 8-10 reps
In this example, you would complete 1 set of 8-10 reps of Bicep Curl, then immediately move to French Press for 1 set of 8-10 reps.
You would then take 45 secs rest before repeating.
Doing so would smash out 6 sets of exercises in 6 minutes. Nice work!
A complete, basic full body workout would look like this:
- (Quads) Dumbbell Jump Squats – 3 x 6-8
- (Hamstrings) Dumbbell Deadlifts – 3 x 10-12
- (Chest) Dumbbell Bench Press – 3 x 8-12
- (Back) Dumbbell Bent over Row – 3 x 8-12
- (Chest) Incline Dumbbell Bench Press – 3 x 8-12
- (Back/Shoulders) Rear Delt Flye – 3 x 8-12
- (Shoulders) Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 3 x 8-12
- (Traps/Upper Back) Dumbbell Shrugs – 3 x 15-20
- (Biceps) Dumbbell Curl – 3 x 8-12
- (Triceps) Dumbbell French Press – 3 x 8-12
5 Supersets at 7 minutes each = 35 minutes.
As you can see, a full body workout for men is more than possible in 35 mins. It will push your limits, but it’ll be worth it, I promise.
If you'd like to get our complete “Muscle Building After 40” video course 100% free, click here to download our “5 best exercises for guys 40+” video and we'll also send that free e-course straight to your email.
What are the Benefits of a Full Body Workout?
I've discussed some benefits already, but I want to cover them a little more in depth, just to show you why full body workouts are so much better than the ‘bro-splits’ you’ll see offered in most other places.
Less time costly
As you've seen from my example workout, you can hit every muscle in your body (some twice), within just 35 minutes.
Knowing that you only need to spend this short amount of time working out is enough for most people to squeeze it into the busiest of schedules.
By spreading out the load on each muscle group across 3 sessions each week, instead of 1, you aren’t taking the overload to such an extreme.
This allows your muscles to recover optimally over the 48 hours before your next session.
Overloading your muscles for many sets at once will lead to fatigue and fatigue will lead to a reduction in proper form.
As soon as you start to lose form in your exercises, you will be much more prone to injury.
You are also putting ligaments and tendons under stress each time you exercise, so again, a high number of sets all at once will continually put pressure here and can cause strains or tears that can take a long time to heal.
More fun and adaptable
If you’re completing 18 sets on a given muscle in the same day, you’ll need to complete around 6 exercises for that muscle. There are obviously only so many exercises you can do for each muscle, so you’ll exhaust your options pretty quickly.
This will mean your exercises will be the same for each session, which you’ll find can get very boring, very quickly.
Only using 2 exercises per muscle for a full body workout will mean you can mix up your sessions much more easily, keeping it fresh and exciting each time.
Like This Info? Here's what to do next…
Now you know how beneficial a full body workout for men can be, you can get started by using our free full body muscle building workout for guys over 40. Download the free video & PDF right here for instant access.
Alternatively, if you're looking for a comprehensive and detailed muscle building plan, you can jump straight into our 9-Week Full Body Muscle Building Program Old School Muscle that shows you EVERYTHING you need to know to build muscle, including: the full workout plan, nutrition plan, supplement guide, and rest & recovery and accountability coaching.
Good Luck On Your Journey.
However, you choose to move forward from this point, make sure you execute your exercises with good form and stick to the guidelines I've shared with you in this article.
If you do that, you'll be on your way to improving your physique and to staying injury free, which is very important to maintain progress through your journey.
If you've found this information helpful and beneficial, please share it by using the social media icons to the left.
I wish you every success in your physique and fitness goals.
Your new friend & health coach,
A small note about research cited in this article:
*Always remember: weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual. Just because these studies cite certain data does not mean you will experience these results/outcomes. Always consult with your doctor before making decisions about your health. This is not medical advice – simply well-researched information about a full body workout for men. Thanks for reading!