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Full Body Split At Home: Every Box Ticked Routine

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I follow a full body training plan. I have done so for years.

There. I’ve said it. 

As a personal trainer and weightlifting coach with a couple of decades in the game behind me, I use full body programs with at least 90% of my clients. 

The reason is simple.

I believe on the balance of evidence, they’re the program that’s the most suitable and effective for the vast majority of people, for the vast majority of the time.

Unless you’ve got a specific goal, it’s full body for the win in my opinion.

In this article, I’m going to share the exact full body split program I’m following at the time of writing. 

I’ll share the exact sets and reps I’m doing across four workouts per week.

I’ll also include suggested weights for a beginner, but you can adjust them depending on your abilities.

Steve working out with a heavily loaded barbell

Full Body Split: What, Why, and How

Every box ticked…

Full body split general infographic

Workout 1 – Range of Motion

ExerciseSetsRepsStart Weight*End Weight*
Stiff Leg Deadlift410110200
Dumbbell Shoulder Press41015**30**
Chin Ups46-8Bodyweight25
Ring Push Ups410BodyweightBodyweight
Hanging Leg Raises410BodyweightBodyweight

*Example starting weight (it could be more or less) of the weight you will lift when you finish the 90 days (in lbs)

**Weight of the dumbbell in each hand (lbs).

Workout time required

45-50 Minutes max

Workout focus

Medium to heavy weights, full ranges of motion with every single rep. Short rest periods (max 60 seconds) to keep intensity up.

Workout 2 – Volume

ExerciseSetsRepsStart Weight*End Weight*
Trap Bar Deadlifts415120220
American KB Swings4253050
Gorilla Rows42030**50**
Farmers Walks450 yds45**65**
Alternating Kettlebell Clean42030**50**
Side Plank Clamshell410 (per side)BodyweightBodyweight

*Example starting weight (it could be more or less) of the weight you will lift when you finish the 90 days (in lbs)

**Weight of the dumbbell in each hand (lbs).

Workout time required

60 Minutes

Workout focus

High repetition work, lots of volume, and high heart rate throughout. If possible, keep track of heart rate.

Keep it above 70% max heart rate throughout (more on this at the bottom of the article).

Workout 3 – Explosive strength

ExerciseSetsRepsStart Weight*End Weight*
Hang Cleans4585130
Jump Squats415BodyweightBodyweight
D’Bell Bench Press4840**60**
Pendlay Rows4885130
Push Press4680120
Barbell Roll Outs48BodyweightBodyweight

*Example starting weight (it could be more or less) of the weight you will lift when you finish the 90 days (in lbs)

**Weight of the dumbbell in each hand (lbs).

Workout time required

60 Minutes

Workout focus

Power and explosive strength. Keep the reps (with the exception of the barbell roll outs) explosive and powerful. Sacrifice weight if needs be, but keep movements fast.

Workout 4 – High Intensity

ExerciseSetsRepsStart Weight*End Weight*
Split Squats410 (per side)20**45**
Barbell Bench Press41090120
DB Seal Row41040**60**
Lat Raises41015**25**
EZ Bar Curls4125090
Hanging Leg Raises410BodyweightBodyweight

*Example starting weight (it could be more or less) of the weight you will lift when you finish the 90 days (in lbs)

**Weight of the dumbbell in each hand (lbs).

Workout time required

50 Minutes

Workout focus

This is a generic full body program. The focus here is on making sure your rest periods are short and the intensity is kept high.

Equipment needed for this Full Body Split routine

Rogue Ohio Cerakote Bar

Rogue Ohio Bar Cerakote
Read our best Olympic barbell guide here

This is the bar that we recommend for ‘most people’.

We have spent over 120 hours of research and tested over 100 barbells.

It is affordable but comes with some high specs. The Rogue Work Hardening and 190k PSI tensile strength mean the bar will last a lifetime in a home gym.

It is a multi-purpose bar with a 28.5mm diameter shaft and composite bushings in the sleeves. This means it’s balanced for heavy slow bench presses but you can also perform snatches and fast overhead lifts.

Example schedule 

This is how I’m splitting my training week, because that is what works for me. I suggest you do the same…


If this pattern doesn’t quite work for you, tweak it accordingly. I would urge you to make sure you don’t train more than 3 consecutive days though. I just think it impacts recovery a little more. 

The longest workouts will only take an hour. Your whole training week should require significantly less than 4 hours.

That will leave you plenty of time to get on with having a family life, a social life, and a work life!

What weight should you lift? 

To figure out what you should be lifting, perform your first set of an exercise with a weight you know will be very easy.

Then build up the weight on subsequent sets until you’re lifting a suitable weight.

In practice, it looks like this…

Example: Your workout needs you to squat 3 sets of 5, but you’ve never done a squat before so don’t know what weight to lift.

  1. Perform a warm-up set with an empty barbell (44lbs is a mens Olympic barbell).
  2. Add a little weight (around 5lbs) to the bar and complete 5 reps.
  3. Repeat this until you reach a point where you can’t manage a set of 5 reps with good form.
  4. Make a note of the last weight you could perform the full reps with good form.

This is your ‘working weight’ and will be the basis of your training going forward. Here’s an example of what a beginner client achieved in their session to work out their starting weight…

ExerciseStarting weightWeight failed setWorking weight for first workout
Goblet squats10lbs30lbs25lbs
Barbell row44lbs60lbs55lbs
Bench press*44lbs60lbs55lbs
Skull crusher*5lbs12.5lbs10lbs
Lateral raises*5lbs10lbs7.5lbs
Chin upsUsing resistance band
Overhead press44lbs50lbs44lbs
Incline bench press*5lbs22.5lbs20lbs
Bicep curls*5lbs12.5lbs10lbs

* Dumbbell weight in each hand

Repeat this process for each of the exercises you do in a workout. That will give you the information you need. 

Always start easy, lift with good form, and don’t over-exert yourself in the beginning.

Warm up

Full body split warm up

I’m warming up the same way for each workout here.

It doesn’t change, regardless of the workout I’m doing. It’s quick, simple and gets me warm and ready for the session ahead…

5 minutes full body cardio. I either use the air bike or rower, depending on which one is either free or I feel like doing on that particular day.

I will always use a full body machine, so I avoid a bike erg or ski erg, because they’re either upper or lower body centric. 

Good options include…

  • Rower
  • Air Bike
  • Cross Trainer
  • Treadmill

Once I have done this, I head into this mini-circuit. I repeat it 10 times…

  • 3 Air Squats
  • 2 Push Ups
  • 1 Burpee to standing

This means I’ve done 5 minutes of cardio and 60 reps of a bodyweight circuit. Then I’m good to go.

My blood flow has increased, my heart rate has increased, and my muscles and connective tissues have started to work. 

It’s now time for me to get to work!

Full Body Split workouts: the full program

Pay attention to the focus of each workout – it’s important to make sure they all complement an area of your fitness.

Workout 1 – medium/heavy weights, strength focused

Barbell Squat481 min
Stiff Leg Deadlift4101 min
Dumbbell Shoulder Press4101 min
Chin Ups46-81 min
Ring Push Ups4101 min
Hanging Leg Raises4101 min
Full body split workout 1

1. Barbell squats

Training your legs without squats is like eating a steak with a spoon. Sure, it’s possible, but it’s not the best way. You want to include big, compound movements in a full body program.

It’s more efficient. More effective. You’ll get better results, faster. Here you want to be really pushing failure by the end of the sets. 

Equipment needed for back squats:

Rogue Fleck Bumper Plates

Rogue Fleck Bumper Plate
Read our best bumper plates guide here

Bumper plates are ideal for a home gym.

They can last a lifetime and allow you to do additional lifts which require you to drop the bar.

Our team has compared over 100 types and the Rogue Fleck plates came out on top.

They are great value, use color allowing you to quickly see how much you’re lifting and the pattern will give your home gym a unique look.

2. Stiff leg deadlift

My go-to hamstring exercise. I like the combination of the eccentric movement and the ability to lift more weight than you could with other hamstring exercises.

You also train the grip, the glutes and the lower back. A win all round. Finally, it’s home gym friendly.

You don’t need any special kit for it. Make sure you feel a full stretch here, and keep the legs straight throughout. 

Equipment needed for stiff leg deadlift:

3. Dumbbell shoulder press

Normally I’d program this exercise standing, but in this case we’re seated. This is to really take the legs out of the equation and force the shoulders to do all of the work.

I want you to really focus on pushing through a full range of movement here, making the most of the time under tension.

You might need to lift lighter dumbbells than you would when standing because there’s no leg help. 

Equipment needed for dumbbell shoulder press:

SMRFT Nüobell 80LB Adjustable Dumbbells

SMRFT Nüobell 80LB Classic
Read our best adjustable dumbbell guide here

These are the dumbbells we recommend for ‘most people’.

We have spent over 50 hours of research and compared over 100 dumbbells. Adjustable dumbbells make sense for most home gyms as they save space.

The Nüobell dumbbells go all the way to 80lbs per hand. This means they are much more versatile than most 50lbs adjustable dumbbells. You can use these for heavy shrugs, squats and bench press etc.

The main reason they are the top pick is because of their shape. They actually feel like real dumbbells and are not awkward to lift like some others.

4. Chin ups

I’ve started biasing chin ups over pull ups in both my own workouts. I’ve done this for a couple of reasons – the first one is they’re more accessible for most people.

The second one is you hit the biceps harder, whilst lifting the same amount of weight. If you are capable of more than 6-8 reps, attach a weight to yourself to make it harder. 

Equipment needed for chin ups:

5. Ring push ups

I really like ring push ups for hitting the chest and core hard.

The lack of stability forces your core to really engage, and the greater range of motion opens up the chest and stretches the shoulders too.

It’s a great way of upgrading a ‘normal’ exercise, and you don’t even need that much in the way of additional equipment.

If you don’t have rings, use a suspension trainer. It does exactly the same job.

Equipment needed for ring push ups:

TRX Pro4

Read our best suspension trainers guide here

This is the suspension trainer that we recommend for ‘most people’.

We have spent compared over 50 of them and ran them against our criteria.

It’s robust, very high quality, easy to adjust and pack away.

The main reason it gets our top spot is because of its versatility. The adjustable feet straps and rubber handles allow you to do more movements than other trainers that don’t have these features.

6. Hanging leg raises

I love this ab exercise. It doesn’t just hit the abs hard – it trains your grip and allows your shoulders to stretch too.

These kinds of moves are classic ‘more bang for your buck’ exercises. Just be careful to control your movement – no swinging back and forth.

Focus on the control and deliberate movement. This isolates the abs properly. 

Equipment needed for hanging leg raises:

Workout 2 – High volume work, designed to maintain high heart rate

Low Handle Trap Bar Deadlifts4151 min
American KB Swings4251 min
Gorilla Rows4201 min
Farmers Walks450 yds1 min
Alternating Kettlebell Clean4201 min
Side Plank Clamshell410 (per side)1 min
Full body split workout 2

1. Low handle trap bar deadlifts

The low handle trap bar deadlift is a great way to train the legs and back in one movement. We’re not after heavy weight here – this is a volume play.

Don’t get complacent – keep your form good, even though the weight should be well within your capabilities. That’s when injuries happen. Really dive each rep with the legs here. 

Equipment needed for low handle trap bar deadlifts:

2. American kettlebell swings

There’s a lot of purists who hate this movement. Call me a heathen, but I love it. I see real value in the American kettlebell swing.

You combine the benefits with the kettlebell swing with a longer range of movement, overhead shoulder stability and higher calorie burn.

I like to do this exercise with a medium-heavy weight. Too light and you lose the benefits. 

Equipment needed for American kettlebell swings:

  • Kettlebell

3. Gorilla rows

The gorilla row is a unilateral exercise, forcing both sides to work. I like to exaggerate the pull, adding a little rotation in there as well.

I find this rotation helps to keep my spinal supple, and the additional range of movement is an extra muscle-building benefit.

Go as heavy as you can for the reps here, because there’s mini breaks. As one side works, the other takes a short break!

Equipment needed for gorilla rows:

4. Farmer’s walks

I love the Farmers Walk. On first inspection it looks so simple. Pick up heavy things. Walk. Got it. That’s the beauty of it – it’s a VERY simple exercise, but it’s so tough!

You absolutely have to lift heavy in order to make this worth its while. Heavy weights challenge the grip, the back and the legs. Go heavy, go hard and enjoy the benefits!

Equipment needed for dumbbell farmer’s walks:

5. Alternating kettlebell clean

This isn’t an exercise I see a lot of, which is a shame because I think it’s an excellent one. It’s another unilateral exercise and it builds power on both sides.

I like to use a medium/heavy set of kettlebells here, and I’m trying to raise my heart rate and build a lot of fatigue. As well as the back and traps, this hits the biceps hard!

Equipment needed for alternating kettlebell cleans:

  • Kettlebells

6. Side plank clamshell

The side plank clamshell is an exercise that I include in my programs for a couple of reasons. The first one is I think it’s an excellent abdominal exercise.

It hits the obliques and general core effectively. That’s the first reason. The other reason is because I like the injury prevention element of it.

The side plank clamshell trains the glutes too, helping to make the lower back and knees healthier. 

Equipment needed for side plank clamshell:

  • Nothing!

Workout 3 – Powerful and explosive workout. Medium weight, fast movements

Hang Cleans451-3 min
Jump Squats4151-3 min
D’Bell Bench Press481 min
Pendlay Rows481 min
Push Press461 min
Barbell Roll Outs481 min
Full body split workout 3

1. Hang cleans

The hang clean is a perfect power exercise in my opinion. It’s a technical movement, but easy enough for a beginner to learn.

It uses a lot of the body, and when you develop technical proficiency your strength will increase quickly. There’s a lot of sporting crossover, and it covers a large amount of muscle in the body. 

Equipment needed for hang cleans:

2. Jump squats

Jump squats are a way to build explosive power in the legs, without needing to add extra weight to the exercise. You rely on body weight and fast movement to build a training effect.

The heavier you are, the more challenging this will be for obvious reasons. You can also make this tougher by holding onto dumbbells as you jump. 

Equipment needed for jump squats:

  • Dumbbells (if you’re light enough for bodyweight to not be a challenge)

3. Dumbbell bench press

My favorite chest exercise. Better range of movement, unilateral, no chance for ego lifting. There’s a lot of things I could say about the dumbbell bench press.

All you need to know is that it’s a great exercise. I want you to focus on the explosive element here.

Slow negative (lowering) phase, fast, explosive positive (lifting) phase. Aim to hit failure by the end. 

Equipment needed for dumbbell bench press:

4. Pendlay rows

On first glance, the Pendlay row just looks like a bent over row. The movement pattern is similar, but the key differences are the range of movement and the power.

The bar hits the floor each time. This takes momentum out of the exercise. Next up is the power – you want to perform this move explosively.

The bent over row focuses on time under tension, whereas the Pendlay row is just pure pulling power. 

Equipment needed for Pendlay rows:

5. Push press

The push press is a way to build explosive overhead power. It’s not a strict pressing movement like the overhead press.

The aim is to use your legs to initiate an overhead drive, then complete the movement with your arms.

It’s a pure power exercise, but the sporting and athletic benefits are huge. It also helps to build overhead strength for other exercises.

Equipment needed for push presses:

6. Barbell roll outs

The barbell roll out is an anti-extension exercise for the abdominals. It’s a step change from the exercises that constantly flex the spine.

It’s a very tough exercise to perform well, so if you’re new to it maybe film your technique first. This is a real challenge for your abs, but it’ll make you so strong through the midsection. 

Equipment needed for barbell roll outs:

Workout 4 – Generic full body workout, aiming for failure to help build muscle

Split Squats410 (per side)30 sec- 1 min
Barbell Bench Press41030 sec- 1 min
DB Seal Row41030 sec- 1 min
Lat Raises41030 sec- 1 min
EZ Bar Curls41230 sec- 1 min
Hanging Leg Raises41030 sec- 1 min
Full body split workout 4

1. Split squats

Split squats are one of the most effective exercises I know. In terms of bang for your buck, they exceed a lot of other leg work. They’re unilateral.

They create stabilization in the knee, they engage the glutes and they stretch the hip flexors.

Finally, and most importantly, they work the quads through a full range of motion. They’re fantastic.

Equipment needed for split squats:

REP AB-3000 Bench

REP AB-3000 Weight Bench
Read our best weight bench guide here

This is the weight bench we recommend for ‘most people’.

We compared over 70 benches against 12 criteria. This is our highest-ranked flat, incline & decline (FID) bench.

Some adjustable benches can be a bit wobbly when on the incline. But the AB-3000 is very sturdy.

With a height 18mm it’s comparable to benches that cost twice as much.

2. Barbell bench press

What can I tell you about the barbell bench press that you don’t already know?! They’re a strength movement fundamentally, but they can be adapted to suit different training goals.

In this case we’re after volume, but I want you to select a weight that will cause you to fail at around the 10 rep mark.

Equipment needed for barbell bench press:

3. Dumbbell seal row

The dumbbell seal row is a great way to train the back, rear delts and arms. What’s even better is that it does all of these without putting any stress on the lower back.

It’s an exercise that allows you to pull very heavy dumbbells safely, through a full range of movement and without any complex technique.

If you don’t have blocks, raise your bench on plates. 

Equipment needed for dumbbell seal row:

4. Lat raises

Lat raises are an isolation exercise for the shoulders. I tend not to use isolation exercises very often, but there’s a time and a place for them. This is one.

Lat raises target the medial deltoid well, they’re easy to do and they have a slight impact on the upper back as well.

Overall, they’re a good exercise that contributes a lot to the upper body musculature. I always go for higher volume – never high weight, low rep sets. 

Equipment needed for lat raises:

5. EZ bar curls

EZ bar curls are another isolation exercise (only the second one across the four workouts – it’s not becoming a habit!), but this time they’re for the biceps.

There’s a vanity element at play here, and to be honest they’re a good way of stimulating the biceps. They allow a full range of movement and allow you to work directly on the upper arm. 

Equipment needed for EZ bar curls:

6. Hanging leg raises

This is the second time in the program that I’ve used hanging leg raises as the go-to abdominal exercise. The reason is simple – it’s effective.

I’ve also mentioned the shoulder stretch and the grip strength benefits. It’s a must as far as I’m concerned, and it doesn’t stress the back. An all-round winner. 

Equipment needed for hanging leg raises:

Note: Also check out our upper lower split workout routine if you’re into more full body workouts.

Full Body Split – bonus workout tips

Full body split bonus tips

Tip 1: Keep a workout focus

It’s easy with a full body workout program to throw an exercise for each body part into a program and think you’ve nailed it. The problem with that approach is that it becomes haphazard and confused.

In this program I’m shooting for general fitness, so I want to tick several boxes. Each workout has a different focus. There is:

  • A heavy weight workout
  • A high volume workout
  • An explosive and power based workout
  • A generic muscle builder with inensity. 

This means my general fitness is covered.

If I had a specific goal, I’d be sticking to a single focus each time. If you want to build strength, make every workout a strength one for example. Just keep the focus.

Tip 2: Bias the compound movements

If you want to maximize the success of your full body split, focus on the compound exercises.

As you can see from this program, isolation exercises have their place, but they shouldn’t be instead of compound exercises.

With a compound exercise you’ll train several muscles in one exercise. That means that you’re hitting a lot of muscle in one go, so you benefit more. 

If you stick a bunch of isolation exercises into your program, you don’t train as much muscle, you don’t stimulate the same amount of growth hormone release, and you limit the effectiveness of the workout.

I aim for a minimum of 80% of the exercises across the workouts to be compound movements.

Steve doing back squats with a barbell

Tip 3: Increase workout frequency

For a full body split workout program to be very effective, you need to train frequently. Personally, I go with 4-6 workouts per week. This program is 4, but the intensity and volume days justify the rest.

If you are training your whole body, you are distributing the workload across the entire body, not limiting it to a small area.

This is a fundamental difference between a split routine and a full body split. What this means is that you’re unlikely to really fatigue a single area, therefore it’ll recover faster.

If you recover faster, you can train again more quickly without risking injury or overuse issues. 

Tip 4: Seek progress every workout

You’ll only get stronger by increasing the weights you lift. You’ll only improve your endurance by maintaining your work output over a longer period of time.

In this case, there are different focuses in each workout, but those two rules remain the same.

Depending on where you are in your fitness journey, try to increase your weights by 2-5% each week (as a guideline).

For the stamina element, try to keep rest periods down, and maintain a heart rate at around 60-75% of your max. The longer you can do this, the better.

You can find your maximum heart rate (as a guideline) by subtracting your age from 220. So, if you’re 30 years old, your theoretical maximum heart rate is 220-30 = 190.

Tip 5: Don’t confuse a full body workout split with an easy session!

There’s an assumption that in a split routine you have to DESTROY the body part you’re training. 

For some reason, the same attitude doesn’t apply to full body workouts. They’re perceived as less intense, or easier.

That’s not true. You might not repeat 6 exercises on the same body part in a full body split, but you should be hitting each exercise hard. 

I like the light switch analogy…

Once you’ve turned the light on, pressing the switch more doesn’t make a difference. The light is still on.

It’s the same with a full body workout.

When you’ve trained a body part (legs, for example), as long as you’ve worked them hard enough with the 3-4 sets of the exercise, you don’t need to do another 5 exercises on the same area.

You’ve stimulated the physiological changes needed. Now move on to the next exercise.

You’ll still be training your legs again, but it’ll be tomorrow, not in 2 minutes! You’re not training with less volume, you’re just spreading the volume around. 

Brad Schoenfeld et al found there was very little difference between muscle strength and hypertrophy of a split or full body workouts.

Full Body Split: The bottom line

This workout will be perfect for anyone who wants to train for general fitness. It’ll offer a different challenge each workout, and it’ll keep you stimulated and making progress. 

It’s not a standard workout plan, where you follow the same exercises, sets and reps each time.

You’ll learn new exercises, you’ll ask your body to do new things and you’ll grow stronger and build more endurance. 

Re-read the workouts, print the article out, watch the form videos and get yourself into your home gym!

Your new challenge (and body) awaits you…

Want to improve your home gym?

Use the hours of research, testing and experience inside the ultimate guide to build a home gym. Find out…

  • The 4 items of kit every gym needs
  • What you should avoid
  • Where to find bargains and discounts

Click here to learn more about how to build a home gym.

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Steve Hoyles is a certified personal trainer and gym owner. Since graduating with his Sports Science degree in 2004 he's worked in the fitness industry, helping thousands of people reach their health and fitness goals. His writing has been read by millions of people in over 200 countries as he inspires to help as many people as possible live a healthy lifestyle.

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