Train The Whole Body

It takes more than hip thrusts and squats to build a booty.

It takes more than just sit-ups and crunches to get abs.

And it takes more than just overhead pressing to get shapely shoulders!

If you want to build a body you love and are proud of, you will need to train your WHOLE BODY! What many people don’t realise is that our bodies require a delicate balance of movement in order to function optimally. If you were to just train the muscle group or body part you want to improve or emphasise, chances are you will end up injured and disappointed with your lack of results.

Even though the body is made up of so many independent muscles, they don’t actually work in isolation. They are connected in a spider web that surrounds and weaves into our skeleton and connective tissue. This means that what happens with one muscle will influence those around it, and can even have an impact on areas of the body that may appear completely isolated from that muscle. A chronic or long-term training imbalance can lead to a disproportionate physique, short-term injury, long-term pain, the need for surgery, pain, restriction with training.

Train the whole body

Aside from risking injury, there are other issues with overtraining one muscle or muscle group and neglecting other areas. Simply put, won’t get you quite the same results for your efforts than if you were to follow a well-balanced training plan. This is for a few reasons:

  1. A well-balanced training plan will not only tone the muscles you want to grow or emphasise but also the connecting and surrounding muscles. Training those surrounding muscles will create more contour and shape in the area and throughout the body in general. For women, this means a more feminine, curvy body, with curves in all the places you want them!

  2. Training the muscles in a balanced manner will create symmetry throughout the body. From side to side, up and down as well as the front and back of the body, this will not only give you a balanced look, it will also improve posture and help you to achieve more in your training sessions. Developing all of your muscle groups allows you to lift heavier, run faster, jump higher. Basically you will be a well-oiled machine if you aim for a balance between muscle groups and body parts, rather than feeling clunky and uncoordinated.  

  3. Training the whole body, includes balancing all the muscle groups as well as balancing the types of training you are doing. Depending on what your goals are, you need to tailor the training strategies you use to suit both your goals and your body’s needs. This means you might incorporate resistance training, steady state cardio, high-intensity interval training, and yoga into your weekly breakdown if that’s what suits you. You may want to focus on muscle growth, but your body type could better be suited to aerobic, or long distance running. So your training plan should be different to someone with more of a genetic predisposition to building muscle. So a balanced training plan can refer to more than just your muscle group splits, it also encompasses the training techniques and strategies you use to help you get results.


Making sure your training program balances your muscle groups as well as your needs

Smart programming is key - make sure that the person writing your program is qualified to do so! This will mean they have enough understanding of anatomy and how the bodies muscles work together to ensure your program is SYNERGISTIC. This will look different for different people with individual goals, but it should include exercises that work all the muscle groups of the body.

Major Muscle Groups

As a very simple guide, each training session should include exercises for 2-3 different muscle groups, with the goal of training all the muscle groups in the above image each week. Most methods advise a day’s rest between training the same muscle groups, especially if you are in your first 12 months of training. This is a very simple guide, but also a great place to start building muscle, knowledge, and experience from. The more you train, the more you will learn, and the more you learn, the more you will be able to fine tune your training to suit your needs and goals.

Another core component of a well-balanced training plan is consistency, followed by review and change. Our bodies are always trying to stay the same, this is known as homeostasis. Basically, this is a survival mechanism humans developed as they evolved, and we owe a lot to this survival mechanism as without it humans likely wouldn’t have lasted this long. It means that the body is always trying to make its own life easier, this might be in the form of being more efficient with the calories we consume over time, or by adapting to exercise the more we train.

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When we push our bodies physically, they normally rise to the occasion, however, at the same time, it is a physical (and mental) challenge that is hard to overcome. After some time completing the same challenges our bodies are better equipped to handle them. We become stronger, we develop muscle memory and movement patterns and we become fitter too. This is one of the the goals of exercise, however, for most of us, the other goal is to change our physique or the way we look. And if our bodies continue to adapt, the changes we see will get smaller and smaller as time goes by.

So the trick with programming is to allow the body long enough to master the challenges, or in this case workouts, it is facing, and then to change them up once we have mastered them. So as a general guide, you should follow a set training plan for around 3-4 weeks, making improvements as you progress. The simplest way to do this is to increase the resistance (aka add more weight) to your exercises, increase the sets, or increase the reps. Once that 4 week period is over, it’s time to review your progress and change up your plan. This will allow you to continue to challenge your body and tweak your program to ensure you are on the correct path towards your goals.

So instead of trying to change your body by just focussing on the muscle group you want to change the most, take a look at the bigger picture. Follow this checklist to help you troubleshoot why your program isn’t getting you where you want to be:

Check List

My programs take these basic concepts and expand on them by tailoring your training plan to suit your goals. This combined with the 24/7 support my clients receive from myself and my team of health and fitness experts, allows me to cater to my client's individual needs, generating amazing results. If you are looking for a better approach to achieving your goals, feel free to get in touch with my team support@laurensimpsonfitness.com or check out which of my programs are right for you here.


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