This is something all track and field coaches know, all strength athletes know, but for some reason the vast majority of gym goers and personal trainers have forgotten. The human body is designed to be one cohesive unit, therefore to train it correctly one must train the body as a whole.

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First of all, in any movement even if only one joint is doing the work, every muscle in the body will contract to help. This is called irridation, and it makes you stronger. Next time you do a barbell bicep curl with strict technique, note how tight your grip, abs, legs and back get. Muscle isolation is a myth, so don’t waste time doing it unless you have a very strong reason to do so.

Secondly, in all so called upper body movements, the lower body is important, and vice versa. This effect is exaggerated when you use compound multi joint exercises. The most productive exercises are always the ones that impose the maximum stress on the system as a whole- because they provide the greatest stimulus.

Basically every basic compound exercise imposes some direct stress on certain joints and muscles. These are the prime movers- these are the muscles that will improve from this exercise. Then the exercise requires other muscles to pitch in- these are the stabilizers and they are also fatigued. Finally the recovery system as a whole takes a beating to cope with the stress.

The point is simple- today’s leg press is going to effect tomorrow’s bench press. Because of this, most body part splits are worthless as you never get optimum performance on any exercise. In addition to this, if you train hard on basic exercises day after day, it will become increasingly difficult to recover.

Therefore it is important to formulate an exercise schedule that optimizes recovery and allows you to give a good hard session for each exercise. And the focus of your training must always be basic compound exercises.

Given below are a few “Body is One Piece” splits:

3 Days Per Week

In each exercise perform 5 increasingly heavier sets of 8 repetitions, and try to use more weight in the final set every time you repeat that exercise. If you cannot complete 8 reps in the last set, do the same weight until you do.

Monday:

  • Bench Press
  • Barbell Squat
  • T-Bar Rowing
  • Hyperextensions
  • One Arm Dumbbell Side Bends
  • Weighted Sit Ups
  • Tricep Skull Crushers

Wednesday:

  • Standing Barbell Shoulder Press
  • Conventional Deadlift
  • Chin Ups/Lat Pulldowns
  • Hyperextensions
  • One Arm Dumbbell Rowing
  • Cable Crunches
  • EZ bar Curls

Friday:

  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Leg Press
  • Seated Cable Rowing
  • Preacher Curls
  • Cable Tricep Pressdowns
  • Ab Roller
  • One arm Dumbbell standing overhead press

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4 days per week

For the first exercise of every day, do 5 sets of increasing weight of 5 repetitions each. For the rest of the exercises perform 5 sets of 10 repetitions of increasing weight. If you cannot complete the final set, stay at the same weight until you can.

Monday:

  • Bench Press
  • Dumbbell Incline Bench Press
  • Tricep Pressdowns
  • One Arm Dumbbell Rowing
  • Lat Pull Downs
  • EZ bar curls

Wednesday:

  • Barbell Squat
  • Leg Curls
  • Leg press
  • Ab Rollouts

Friday:

  • Standing Barbell Shoulder Press
  • Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  • Dumbbell lateral Raises
  • Dumbbell Skull Crushers
  • Chin Ups
  • Seated Cable Rowing
  • Rear Delt Machine
  • Dumbbell Hammer Curls

Saturday:

  • Conventional Deadlift
  • Barbell Shrugs
  • Hyperextensions
  • One Arm Dumbbell Side Bends
  • Cable Crunches
  • Leg Raises

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