Is It Better To Exercise one Muscle Group Or Do A Full Body Workout?

There’s a debate taking place in gyms all over the world. Which is better – a full body workout or a focused area workout? In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of both types of workouts in an effort to help you determine which is best for you.

Full Body Workout Benefits

Burns More Calories

When you complete a full body workout, you’ll burn more calories overall in a shorter amount of time.

If you’re trying to lose excess weight while toning at the same time, this could be a great way to kill two birds with one stone.

Builds More Muscle

Because you’ll be working the majority of your muscles at every workout, you can expect to see more tone and definition in a shorter amount of time.

If you’re in a time crunch for a competition or trying to get ready for swimsuit season before summer arrives, full body workouts can be a quicker way to see the results you’re after.

Faster Recovery

This might not seem possible with full body workouts, but because you aren’t going overboard on any single muscle group, you can expect healing and recovery to happen faster.

If you do need to give a part of your body more rest than usual, you won’t fall behind with full body workouts, either. Once you can work out the area again, you should be caught up after a single session.

Full Body Workout Cons

Needs More Equipment

You’ll almost certainly need to spend plenty of time at the gym when performing full body workouts simply because of the equipment you’ll need.

Unless you have an oversized home gym or an all-in-one machine (, it can be difficult to complete these types of workouts at home.

That means you’ll need to make time in your schedule to head to the gym and lay out your workout in an efficient manner so you’re not spending all your free time working out.

Mentally Draining

For some, exercise can invigorate and inspire. But full body workouts are taxing, even for veteran body builders.

At the end of a long day, a full body workout could be anything but soothing.

To avoid mental drain, you might have to schedule your full body workouts around your work and personal commitments so that you can be physically and mentally committed to each repetition.

Focused Area (Split) Benefits

Maximum Intensity

When completing a focused area workout, you’re putting your all into one area of your body.

Just like any other group of tasks, focusing on one thing at a time will almost always provide better results.

You’ll be able to concentrate more fully on every repetition, flex, and release when you’re only working out one part of your body.

Full Recovery

After a focused area workout, the specific muscles that you trained will have plenty of time to rest and heal before their next targeted session.

This lessens the risk for injury and allows you to perform to your full potential at each workout instead of having to take it easy to accommodate sore muscles.

Less Draining

Full body workouts take everything you have and then some. A focused area workout can be more relaxing, allowing you to clear your mind, zone in on your body, and tone and strengthen at the same time.

You can still give it your all (and you should), but you shouldn’t feel as if all your energy has been zapped after a focused area workout.

Focused Area (Split) Cons

Tests your patience

When you only focus on a portion of your body during a workout, it will be much longer before you focus on that area again compared to full body workouts.

If you’re really hoping to tone your arms or bulk up your legs, you’ll need to be patient when performing focused area workouts.

While the results will come with time and be worth your efforts, you won’t see a transformation overnight.

Requires deeper commitment

When you’re doing full body workouts on a regular basis, missing a day or two won’t completely set you back.

But if you miss more than one session during focused area workout schedules, it can be difficult to get back on track.

Missing one session means you have to put off sessions focused on other parts of your body.

You’ll need to be 100% committed to your focused area workouts to ensure that all areas of your body are progressing at the same speed.

Both full body and focus area workouts will make you stronger, healthier, and more confident. But one can be more off-putting for some than the other.

If you’re still not sure which is best for you and your schedule, give them both a try. Stick with one for a few weeks before switching to the other. Make your own list of pros and cons, make a decision, and then stick with it.

About Ethan Wells

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