Total Body Workout Routines-Beginning to Advanced


There is no doubt that traditional weight lifting is a powerful way to transform the body. There is also no doubt that so-called ‘functional’ training is equally effective, and both carry over well to specific activities. 
Functional simply means “training the body the way it was designed to function.” In practice this definition entails developing programs to enhance performance in a given activity or sport.
The common bodybuilding programs published in muscle-building magazines and the like are often referred to as traditional training. This may include barbells, dumbbells, machines and so on. Semantics aside, either training type can enhance an individual’s performance goals.
It is often the tools used that differentiates the type of training:
Traditional: Barbells, dumbbells, machines.

Functional: Barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags, medicine balls, a variety of resistance bands, Swiss balls and more.
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The best exercise program is developed with the individual’s goals in mind, utilizing both traditional and functional equipment as needed. 
Here are some routines that use elements of both. These routines designed to build muscle and strength, but also to increase endurance (cardiovascular and muscular) and power.
Any given week’s workouts should target every major muscle group, tax one or more energy systems (such as anaerobic/aerobic) and in general, require sufficient recovery time before proceeding. 
*Always start every workout with a thorough warm-up, and do not attempt to start an exercise program if you are sick, injured or experiencing health problems.
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BEGINNERS

MONDAY
SETS 
REPS
Pullups/Suspended Rows
2
12-15/6-8
UH Pullups/Pulldowns
2
10-12 each
UH Bent Over Rows or:
UH Suspended Rows
2
10-12 each
Kettlebell/Dumbbell Snatch
5 rounds*
~60 seconds.
-A note on pulling exercises. This is an important functional upper body exercise. However, if you can’t do a full pullup yet, try:
  • Jumping Pullups
  • Assisted Pullups (You can stand on a ladder or chair; lower the bar, rings or straps.)
  • Lat Pulldowns.
  • Pullup Negatives. (To do these, jump or step up and get in the ‘chin over bar’ position. Lower the body slowly over 3-4 seconds until the arms are extended. Repeat.
*For jumping pullups, try adding active isometric hanging on each set (5-10 seconds per set is a good start.)  
**UH=underhand; palms facing you and inside the shoulder width.
*During snatches, switch hands after 30 seconds. It may be easier to count to 20 or 30 reps, switch and repeat. This last five minutes will bring the heart rate up and provide some aerobic conditioning, IF the rest periods are kept short.
Snatch demonstration:



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Tuesday: Intervals or Steady cardio. Choose a favorite aerobic activity such as swimming, running or cycling and do it at a steady pace for at least 20 minutes. 
For intervals, choose the activity or sport, and perform 20 minutes or more of continuous work/rest sets. 
Example:
Sprints: 1 minute (~400 meters) on, 20-30 seconds rest. The same principle can be applied to biking or any other activity. Or just go play your favorite sport for an hour!
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WEDNESDAY
SETS
REPS
Deadlifts
3 (1st is warm-up)
12-15/8/8
Bodyweight Squats + Iron Cross Jump Squats
(*superset) 3
10-12 + and 1 round (see below)
Barbell/Dumbbell Bench/Floor Press
2-3
8-12 
Decline Pushups
2-3
8-12 
**(For the Iron Cross, mentally trace or mark off a cross shape. Each length should be possible to cover in one jump. 1 round= forward/back; right & back; left & back; backwards & back for 8 continuous jumps.)
*Do this exercise as a superset, meaning no pause between bodyweight squats and Iron Cross Jumps. 
  • Rest resting 60-90 sec seconds maximum between any given sets.

Decline Pushups:



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Thursday: Rest
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Friday: Anaerobic Bodyweight intervals followed by steady cardio. 
3 rounds of the following, resting 1 minute between:

Burpees
10-15 repetitions
Straight Leg Butterfly Kicks (from back)
maximum in 20 seconds
Tripod Switches
10 to each side.
Finish with favorite cardio activity or sport for minimum of 20 minutes.

How to do the Tripod Switch:




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SATURDAY
SETS
REPS
Standing Dumbbell/Barbell Press
2-3
12,10,8 + isometric hold at lock position for 10 seconds.
Dead Hangs from Pullup Bar
3
*10-30 seconds each
Farmer’s Walks
3-5 rounds/laps**
**See description below
*For ‘dead hangs’ they are not a strict hang. Engage the wrists, lock the biceps, engage the shoulder blades. This is not a stretch. Imagine your arms are two tight cables all the way down to the shoulder blades.
**Farmer’s Walks using dumbbells, kettlebells, cinder blocks, water bottles, etc.  
Mark off a set distance and walk with weights at sides for about 30 seconds (or ‘there and back’ of set distance.)
Do 3-5 rounds or laps, resting up to 30 seconds between. 
(In my backyard I like to do these along the side of my house, about 65 feet long. To one end and back is my ‘lap.’)
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Sunday; Rest
**Program can be started on any day of the week. Just keep the general format.
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INTERMEDIATE

MONDAY
SETS
REPS
Barbell/Dumbbell Cleans*
3 (after warm-up set)
6-10 (last rep should be difficult to do.)
Skateboard/Medicine Ball Squats
4
15/12/10/6-8
Pullups/Pulldowns/Rows**
5
12>>>5
Underhand Dead Hangs***
3-4
10-30 seconds (or until failure.)
*Barbell/Dumbbell or KB Cleans: Pull from floor on each rep and catch in deep squat (or as close as possible.) 
**If pullups cannot be completed for full reps, immediately superset with cable pulldowns or suspension trainer rows.)
***For ‘dead hangs’ they are not a strict hang. Engage the wrists, lock the biceps, engage the shoulder blades. This is not a stretch. Imagine your arms are two tight cables all the way down to the shoulder blades.
Finish with light cardio for 20 minutes and slow stretching.
  • With the exception of supersets or giant sets, rest 1 minute between sets and ~2 minutes between exercises if needed.
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Tuesday:  (recovery/cardio:)
-Joint Rotations. See a starting series here: 


Then:

-Sun Salutations: See this concise video for the exact sun salutation:




-Prone Straight Leg Stretch (Lay flat on your back, keep one leg extended, hold the other by the toe and pull straight towards your head. Hold for ten seconds each side.)
-Prone Double Knee Side Stretch: (Lay flat on your back, bring both knees up to chest, arms straight out to sides. Stretch knees slowly to one side, trying to touch the kneecaps to the elbows. Then repeat in opposite direction. 10 seconds each side.)
-Finish with your preferred cardio activity (continuous such as biking, walking, running, etc.) for 20 minutes.
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WEDNESDAY
SETS
REPS
Dumbbell/Barbell Bench Press
3
8-12
Dumbbell/Suspension Trainer Flyes
3
6-10
Decline Pushups
3
8-12 + 5 second isometric hold at bottom of each rep.
Turkish Get-Ups (Kettlebell or Dumbbell)
2
10 each side*
Dips
3
6-12**
*Turkish Get-Ups: Start with a slightly lighter weight in order to complete the exercises in good form. See the video below for good form:



**Dips (use dip stand, two chairs, or sawhorses.) If you can do more than 12, add a dumbbell between your legs or use a weighted dip belt, vest or similar method.
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Thursday: Cardio  + Bodyweight Intervals (medium intensity.)
Start with interval complex (no rest between exercises) of:

Mountain Climbers
20
Side Plank (right elbow)
10-20 sec.
Rolling Deck Squats
10
Side Plank (left elbow)
10-20 sec.
Finish with cardio activity for minimum of 20 minutes.
Deck squats:







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FRIDAY
SETS
REPS
Dumbbell/Kettlebell Standing Presses
4
8-12
Rear Laterals/Suspended ‘T’ Exercise
3
8-12
Underhand Dead Hangs*
3
10 seconds (+)
Jumping Pullups w/Negative**
3
8-12
Farmer’s Walks
3-5 ‘rounds’
~30 seconds each***
*Underhand Dead Hangs: Active arms (engage the grip, don't let the body hang like a sack of potatoes, despite the name.)

**Jumping Pullups with negative are designed to break you out of the pullup routine. Jump to the arms closed, chin over bar position, and lower down over 3-4 seconds.
***Farmer’s Walks using dumbbells, kettlebells, cinder blocks, water bottles, etc. 
Mark off a set distance and walk with weights for about 30 seconds.
Do 3-5 rounds or laps, resting up to 30 seconds between. 
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Saturday: Rest/Light cardio/stretching.
Sunday: Rest/ Light cardio/stretching.
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ADVANCED
*Pushing to failure on each and every set for the suggested repetitions up to this point is the key to this simple routine. 

MONDAY
SETS
REPS
*Warm-up
-
-
Triple Extension Lift**
5
3-5
Barbell/Dumbbell Lunges***
4-5
15,12, 8>>
Toes Raises
3
15-20 (20-30 sec. rest only.)
Pullups/Suspended Horizontal Rows
5-6
12>6>12****
One Arm Rows (DB or KB)
4
10-12
Kettlebell Swings
3-5 rounds
30/30*****
*Warm-up: Bodyweight squats, joint rotations.
**Triple Ext. Lift with heavy sandbag or stone. If you do not have either of these, do deadlifts.
Rest 45-60 seconds between sets.
Triple Extension:



***Barbell or Dumbbell Lunges: Walking or standing lunges, whichever you prefer. Barbell goes on shoulders like a back squat. Dumbbells can be held at sides or ‘resting’ on shoulders.
-Toe Raises on slight elevation using barbell, dumbbells, weighted vest, sandbags on shoulders,etc. Best option is to do these on flat 2x4 board or similar.
****Pullups/Horizontal Suspended Rows: Pyramid, 12, ?, 6 & 6,? 12. For either exercise, add weight as necessary. Suggestions are a weighted vest or backpack. Do not invert the body as it takes emphasis away from the lats.) 
Note: If the entire six sets can be completed in full as pullups, do so. Otherwise, superset pullups and horizontal suspended rows to complete the suggested repetitions.)


*****KB Swings: This is 30 seconds of work (kb swings) and 30 seconds of rest. Rest position is standing with KB's in chambered position on chest. If using one KB, alternate hands each round.
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TUESDAY
SETS
REPS
WARM-UP*
-
-
DB or Barbell Bench/Floor Press
5
12>5>12 (pyramid)
Incline Dumbbell or Suspension Trainer Flyes**
4
6-10
Turkish Get-Ups
3
6 each side (heavy)
Dips
4
6-10
Standing Barbell Extensions***
4
6-8
*Warm-up with joint rotations, sun salutations (~10.)
Rest 45-60 seconds between sets.
-Incline Dumbbell Flyes: 4 x 6-10 repetitions.
Rest 45-60 seconds between sets.
**No incline bench at home? Try standng 45 degree suspended flyes, flat flyes using a horizontal grip or bracing a sturdy board at an angle against a wall.
***Standing BB Extensions: These can also be done using an EZ curl bar, sandbags, single kettlebell or dumbbell.
  • Rest 45-60 seconds between sets. Rest longer after TGU’s and before dips. 
Finish with:

Bodyweight Intervals
*no rest between exercises
Divebomber Pushups
5-10
Explosive (plyo) Pushups
5-10
Elbow Planks (Center, right, left.)
10 seconds each.

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Wednesday:  Light cardio 20 minutes /Stretching 10 minutes or more. *Not the day for an intense anything.
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THURSDAY
SETS
REPS
REST
Standing Alternate KB/DB Press w/ISO lockout
4-5 (each set has iso lockout on last rep.)
12-16 (6-8 ea. side) Last rep hold at lockout 30 sec.
60-90 seconds
Front Raise (+) Lateral Raise
4 (supersets)
12-15 each
60-90 seconds
UH Pullups (Weighted if poss*)
5
8-12
60-90 seconds
Farmer’s Walks**
5 rounds
30/30/30
2 minutes.
*UH Pullups: Use a weighted vest, a weight harness, or chains around the neck for added resistance.
**Farmer's Walks: Use Dumbbells or similar implement (KB's:) 5 rounds of 30/30/30, so in this case:
Walk for 30 seconds, then stop and hold onto the weight. Drop the weights, rest 30 seconds and repeat.
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Friday: Light cardio, 20 minutes; stretching 10 minutes +
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Saturday /Sunday (or whichever two days you choose.) Rest.
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***Take care to use excellent form and a steady cadence (at least 2 seconds up and 2 seconds down.) Proper execution of this workout will have a positive effect on many aspects of sports performance and daily activity.
**Never begin a workout without warming up. Don't try to work through an injury, no matter how mild.
*If in doubt, sit it out. An extra day off won't hurt you.
*Finally, no matter what you may hear, do not skip your cardio or stretching, but do not overdo either.
Another note:  You might have noticed there is little in the way of direct abdominal exercises. Other than a day of planks, and a day of Turkish Get-ups there are no leg lifts, sit-ups, crunches, etc. This is not because I don't believe in doing these. Quite the contrary. In fact, despite all the detractors, I still think sit-ups (not crunches) are an excellent and superior exercise for the abdominal wall. Don't believe it? Try doing 50 strict sit-ups with your feet hooked under the couch or a bar.
No jerking. No jutting your head forward or bucking your hips to give you momentum. Go ahead and try it. Now, how did you do? I'm guessing that if you don't do these on a regular basis, that was a humbling exercise. It was certainly my experience. I would suggest doing 3-5 strict sets of 10 sit-ups on your rest days to start. Or, you might prefer to add these in at the end of two or three of the workout days. Do not do abdominal exercises everyday. Like other muscles, they need time to rest and recover.
On the other hand, be sure to tighten the abs, starting from below your belly button, whenever you perform deadlifts, stone lifts, lunges, or any heavy lifting. You will find that engaging the abs throughout a variety of exercises strengthens and builds the entire core.


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