Many who enrol at their local gym have no clear objective in mind, which means that their achievements are often rather disappointing. In practice, however, the benefits of exercising are manifold but, only when following an appropriately designed programme aimed at achieving specific pre-defined goals, can these benefits be attained. Full-body training involves all of the major muscle groups and its possible benefits include added strength and increased muscle bulk, as well as weight loss. Depending upon which of these may be one’s personal goal, certain of the elements that make up the exercise programme will need to be modified accordingly.
Rather than, as is commonly the case, choosing to exercise each individual muscle group in succession with routines aimed at the arms, the legs, the upper body, and so forth, adopting a routine that exercises all of these groups at once can save a lot of time. Not surprisingly, this is one of the main reasons why a programme of full-body training that can be completed in three sessions of no more than an hour or so per week, usually on alternate days, has become such a popular option for professional weightlifters and other athletes.
While it may be a time saver, this kind of routine can also be far more strenuous than the alternative of exercising each muscle group in isolation. For this reason, beginners need to limit their routines to ensure that they do not exceed their current abilities by too great a margin, keeping their targets just high enough to present a sufficiently effective challenge. Generally, it will be the responsibility of a personal trainer to assess each participant’s individual capabilities and to set targets for the various exercises in his or her full-body training programme that are attainable but also challenging. Naturally, as the signs of progress are seen, these targets will be revised.
Not everyone who may harbour a desire to be stronger, to develop some serious muscle, or just to lose a few kilos in a hurry will necessarily have the time to make the three weekly sessions usually needed for this type of programme. Understandably, perhaps, some may also have concerns about their ability to handle the physical demands they expect to be faced with.
Fortunately, in recent years, a new, faster, and less-demanding approach to full-body training has been gaining popularity in South Africa and worldwide. Suitable for all ages and fitness levels, it employs a programme tailored to the abilities of the individual and his or her personal goals, and requires just a single 20-minute session per week at a Body20 studio near you.