Are you looking for a workout that can help you get fit, strong, and healthy without having to spend hours at the gym? Is there a single workout that would provide you with all these benefits?
One of the most effective ways to build and maintain muscle mass, which is crucial for overall health and longevity is resistance training. By targeting all major muscle groups, you can strengthen your body from head to toe, improve your posture, and boost your metabolism. Surprisingly you can get some cardiovascular benefits too!
So, if we were to do one workout what would it look like?
It would most certainly be a full body resistance training session. Here’s a sample workout that will challenge your muscles and get your heart pumping. Then we will discuss progress and results.
• Squats – 3 sets of 6-12 reps. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand at shoulder height. Lower your body into a squat, keeping your chest lifted and your knees behind your toes. Pause at the bottom, then push through your heels to stand up straight.
• Deadlifts – 3 sets of 6-12 reps. Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and the barbell in front of you on the ground. Bend down and grip the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart, palms facing down. Keep your back straight and engage your core muscles, then lift the bar by driving your feet into the ground and straightening your legs. As you lift, keep the bar close to your body and continue engaging your core. Pause briefly at the top of the lift before lowering the bar back down to the ground with control.
• Push-ups – 3 sets of 6-12 reps. Start in a plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart, your back straight, and your core engaged. Lower your body towards the ground, keeping your elbows close to your sides, then push back up to the starting position.
• Body Rows – 3 sets of 6-12 reps. Lie on your back under the bar or trainer, with your hands gripping the bar or handles and your feet flat on the ground. Your body should be straight from your heels to your shoulders. Keep your core engaged and your elbows close to your sides, and pull your chest up towards the bar or handles. Pause briefly at the top of the movement, then lower your body back down with control. Inverted rows can be modified to increase or decrease the difficulty, and can be incorporated into a full-body workout routine.
• Plank – hold for 30-60 seconds Start in a plank position with your elbows on the ground and your forearms flat against the floor. Hold your body in a straight line from head to heels, engaging your core and squeezing your glutes.
By completing all of these exercises in a single session you will have worked all of the major muscle groups and systems in the body. Not only that but these few exercises have countless, regressions and progressions. Enabling you to adjust them to any starting fitness level, but also progress infinitely!
Remember, this is just a sample workout – you can adjust the weights, repetitions, and exercises according to your fitness level and goals. If you’re new to resistance training, start with lighter weights and fewer repetitions, and gradually increase the intensity as you get stronger.
In addition to the physical benefits of resistance training, there are also mental benefits. Working out releases endorphins, which can boost your mood and reduce stress. Plus, setting and achieving fitness goals can give you a sense of accomplishment and confidence.
But could you do this workout over and over and still see results…?
One theory is doing the same workout forever will simply lead to a plateau in progress. Since your muscles get used to the exercises and routines over time, potentially stopping the response to the training stimulus. It’s likely though, especially if you’re a beginner you would continue to see results from this routine for a long time, potentially years.
However, what if we continuously applied progressive overload to this workout? It’s the key to seeing any results in fitness. Progressive overload is simply upping the intensity overtime in a gradual progressive manner. This forces the body to adapt to the increasing stimulus, resulting in increased strength and muscle. An example would be slowly increasing the weight as you get stronger or increasing the difficulty of the exercise, like going kneeling push ups to full push ups.
Now we have to be honest, we aren’t exactly sure if you could do this forever and not hit a plateau, but we are pretty certain you could do this and see results for a very long time.
The physical response isn’t the only issue though. One reason people change routines from time to time is for some mental variety. If you want to continue seeing results overtime your motivation is a consideration when selecting and changing exercise programmes. Another benefit of changing it up, is you might help prevent overuse injuries.
What about individuality?
The science is pretty clear, we all respond to exercise largely in a similar way, so everyone could do this and see results. But practically things like, training days available, injuries, health conditions, work schedule, recovery time and other activity, will impact the results. So in theory it might work, but in the real world there’s lots of considerations.
What do we suggest?
This workout can certainly help you see results in terms of muscle strength and endurance. Doing so in a really efficient way, by hitting all the major muscle groups every single workout with a few exercise.
So, this is definitely a go to routine. But it’s fairly easy to add in some variation to this routine from time to time, or just go until you hit that plateau (mentally or physically) then change it. It doesn’t have to be huge variation either for it to provide a new stimulus. For example, you could do split squats instead of the squats, or Romanian deadlifts instead of deadlifts. Something to note here is changing your routine too frequently, won’t allow you to track progress and apply progressive overload easily.
In conclusion, while a full-body resistance training routine can certainly be effective for building and maintaining muscle strength and endurance, it’s important to periodically vary your routine and consider other factors that can impact your results in the long term. With the right approach, you can continue to see progress and reach your fitness goals over time.
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