Collage of full body workouts and body part specific workouts.

Full Body Workout or Body Part Specific Workout

Which is the right workout for you?

The best way to answer that question is with another question… What are your goals?  Each type of workout has its place depending on what you are looking to do.  All of the classes that are held at Coach Mel’s are full body workouts, their intention is to help you maintain functional movement and to tone your body.  Those who are looking to build mass in their muscles would benefit most from doing workouts that focus on one or two specific body parts throughout the workout.  

The difference between full body and body part workouts

When you work your full body throughout a workout you tend to use lighter weights and you move at a quicker pace.  You may also work both an upper and lower body part at the same time.  Working in this manner also tends to increase the cardiovascular component of the workout, even though you may not be doing cardio-specific movements.  When working the full body in one workout you will move from body part to body part in mixed sets.  If your overall goal is function and toning this is the workout for you.  This is the common form that is used in group fitness classes.

When you train specific body parts you tend to work to muscle failure because your focus is on growing your muscles, also known as hypertrophyYou will do back to back sets working the same muscles with rests in between sets.  During these workouts, you typically only train one or two muscle groups per day because it is very focused.  Stereotypically this is what you see men doing at the gym.  Women who want to build bulk in their muscles will use this method as well but it is less desired by women.  This type of training is typically done on your own or with a personal trainer.

Time considerations for workouts

The amount of time you have for your workout and how many times you work out per week will also be a factor in choosing the type of workout you do.  All of our classes at Coach Mel’s are 45-minute classes which include a warm-up and a stretch segment at the end.  You will work through at least one move per body part with some workouts focusing on one or two areas a bit more such as a core finisher (I call it hardcore).  Working full body at least 3 times per week is recommended but because you are not stressing your muscles to the max.  You may be able to do up to 5 workouts per week, taking two days of rest.

When it comes to working towards hypertrophy you will most likely spend an hour or more at the gym working just one or two specific body parts to muscle failure.  This requires more rest both during the workout and after for your muscles to rebuild.  This is when the growth happens and that is also why you focus on different muscle groups each day.  Depending on how you split up your workouts you will typically be at the gym 3 – 4 days per week, again depending on your goals and the rest days you build into your week.

set your Workout goals first

Set your goals first then decide what type of workout will help you reach those goals.  Knowing what to do during your workouts will require you to either work with a personal trainer or find classes that will guide you.  Two important things to keep in mind, you have to do something you enjoy doing to keep doing it, make it a lifestyle.  And second, whatever you choose, keep to a schedule!

Keeping your body moving is the best way to be healthy BEFORE you NEED to be healthy!  

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