Full-body workouts consist of compound movements that don’t just activate one muscle in isolation. Instead, multiple muscles work simultaneously in a single exercise.
When performed correctly, these exercises activate the arms, back, quads, and abs at the same time. This can’t be achieved with traditional weight lifting which tends to target one muscle at a time.
What is the difference between full-body and isolation workouts?
Isolated workouts are specific exercises that tend to target a specific body part. If you’ve ever been at the gym, you’d have noticed someone doing so many reps of dumbbell curls. Their goal is to stimulate their bicep muscles.
On the other hand, a full-body workout is a type of exercise that will recruit several muscles and parts of the body. Take squats for example. No other workout engages more muscle, requires more balance and results in a complete full-body workout than squats.
Not only does it works on your legs and thighs, but also a good squat workout also works your hamstrings, lower and upper body.
In doing so, your exercise will be more efficient in burning a lot of calories. These workouts help you to exercise many body parts physically.
Can you build muscle with full-body workouts?
Over the years, weight lifting and other isolation exercises have helped bodybuilders to realize massive muscle size. However, they are not the most efficient workouts when it comes to building muscle mass faster.
Some of the benefits of full-body workouts include:
- Increase in lean muscle and mass
- Improved cardiovascular health
- Improved bone strength
- Burning calories faster
- Enhanced body tone
This is a huge benefit that can’t be achieved with isolation workouts. Full-body workouts ensure that you activate multiple muscles at the same time.
This means you can spend less time to achieve the results you desire. Besides, you can switch between different workout activities to lessen the recovery time required for the next set of exercises.
What are the health risks of full-body workouts?
The simple answer is: No. Not all workouts are created equal. Even with the dozens of benefits that are associated with full-body exercise, there are some health risks that you need to be aware of.
It’s so important that you understand what the health risks of full-body workouts are. Let go over a few of them.
1. Risk of fatigue
Full-body workouts are tiring because they involve multiple muscles, hence the risks of fatigue. The American Council of Exercise pinpoints that the development of fatigue is largely reliant on the intensity and duration of workouts.
So when you exercise hard for long, it is likely that most of your muscles will get very tired and eventually fatigued.
A study in the Journal of Advanced Research shows that fatigue can cause impaired decision making, reduced alertness, sleepiness, and more. Besides, fatigue can lead to depression, digestive problems, and loss of appetite.
2. Risk of overtraining
Mounting evidence from research shows that overtraining is a significant syndrome that can affect performance.
When that happens, you tend to overreach. Overreaching leads to fatigue and poor training performance. This is one of the many risks of full-body workouts. Let me explain.
Completing a set of full-body workouts involves hitting and stimulating multiple muscle groups. If each of these muscle groups is hit too hard, you will be at risk of overtraining. This becomes particularly evident as you advance in your workouts.
Overtraining has been associated with a sudden or dramatic increase in exercise time. Overtraining presents multiple health risks, including joint pain, muscle soreness, fatigue, elevated blood pressure, and insomnia.
Injuries, poor performance, and failure to achieve results are also associated with overtraining.
3. Muscle injury
Full-body workouts are known for quickening muscle growth. However, when they are not done correctly and with time limits, there are high chances of causing injury.
This usually happens when you want to realize your fitness goals of building muscles within a short duration.
Sadly, the idea of ‘no pain, no gain,’ can be misleading. You don’t have to push your limits with every workout. Perform high-intensity gym sessions 3 times a week. Or 4 at the maximum.
This leaves you with 3-4 days for rest. When you don’t work out for a day, or when you do light exercises, your body recovers.
In the long run, consistency will get you better results than intensity. And in addition, your muscles get worn out and injured. When this happens, it will be difficult to continue with your training.
4. Mental disturbance
Mental disturbance comes about when you are unable to switch between several exercises.
While full-body exercises offer the easiness of switching from one physical activity to another, this can, at times, be very hard for some people. This is especially for beginners or people learning the art of swapping different workouts.
If one is unable to swap from one activity to another, it means they will not realize projected outcomes. This may disturb the mind to a level of developing some mental conditions such as depression.
5. Poor muscle recovery
Poor recovery is one of the many risks of full-body workouts. Sometimes you feel so good after a workout that you want to start another one. This would be a mistake.
Your muscles grow during your days of rest and recovery. Your body is more vulnerable to injuries when you don’t give it time to heal in between strenuous workouts.
One thing that adds to your recovery time is foam rolling, which helps to soothe your sore muscles and smooth out knots. Foam rolling is simply rolling about on a roll of foam.
If you want to heal a particular muscle after a previous injury or accident, full-body workouts may take you a long time. This is because these exercises focus on multiple muscles and not a specific one.
This means it might take very long for your muscles to recover. In such cases, you may not be able to maximize your productivity where the affected muscle is most needed.