Should You Do a Full-Body Workout Every Day?


Finding a workout regimen that resonates and compels you to stay committed can be as difficult as the workout itself. In today’s wide fitness landscape, the endless options from strength training to Pilates can be overwhelming. So, when you find a routine that excites you and aligns with your goals, it’s only natural to want to do it every day.

The human body is home to over 650 muscles. Even when looking past that large number and just focusing on your major muscle groups—chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, core, and legs—there’s still a lot of ground to cover. An easy solution: a full-body workout.

Full-body workouts target many muscle groups and involve compound exercises (moves that work multiple muscles at once). They’re time-efficient, build strength, and improve cardiovascular health and endurance.

And while this all sounds well and good, the fundamental question remains: Is a daily full-body workout actually beneficial or is it a recipe for burnout and injury? We chatted with experts to find out.

What is a full-body workout?

It doesn’t matter whether it’s Pilates or strength session at the gym—if you’re working and targeting multiple muscle groups and movement patterns (i.e. lower body, upper body, and core), you’re probably doing a full-body workout.

“These workouts aim to engage the entire body rather than focusing solely on specific muscle groups or regions,” explains Shabnam Islam, MS, clinical exercise physiologist and professor of kinesiology at California State University, Northridge.

Should you do a full-body workout every day?

There’s no one-size-fits-all recommendations when it comes to considering doing full-body workouts each day.

“It really depends on two things: your level of conditioning (i.e. are you fit or more sedentary) and your individual goals (i.e. do you visibly want more muscles or do you want to lose body fat?),” Islam says.

There are many benefits to daily full-body workouts, including improved cardiovascular health, endurance, consistency in training, time efficiency, and increased calorie burn. However, doing this type of workout every day won’t necessarily speed up desired results and rather can increase the risk of injury.

“Muscle growth occurs during rest,” Islam says. “Compounded with proper nutrition, nutrient timing, sleep, and adequate hydration, resting allows for muscles to repair, grow, and prepare for the next workout.”

What’s more, an everyday full-body session can be seen as overtraining, according to Brittany Watts, CPT, certified personal trainer and Tone House head coach.

“Doing full-body workouts every day without adequate rest can increase the risk of overtraining and injury,” she says.

Another drawback of daily full-body workouts is the lack of specialization. While we’re aware that spot training (the idea that we can define a singular muscle or have weight loss in one specific area of the body) is a complete myth and not possible, overall areas and groups do need individual attention.

“You cannot have specific muscle group strength or skill development [when training the full body every day],” says Jacqueline Kasen, CPT, certified personal trainer and creator of the Kasen Method. “Additionally, you can also have a plateau with your progress. Over time, the body adapts to the stress of exercise and progressions become more challenging.”

How often should you do a full-body workout?

As a general rule, healthy adults ages 18 to 65 should participate in a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, with two or more days featuring muscle-strengthening activities that work your whole body, according to guidelines from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Kasen recommends the following breakdown for beginner, intermediate, and advanced exercisers looking to include full-body workouts into their routines.

  • Beginner: 2 to 3 days per week
  • Intermediate: 3 to 4 times per week
  • Advanced: 2 to 3 times per week alongside other workouts focusing on specific muscle groups, skills, or performance

Being prepared and coming in with a plan is another huge factor if you want to get the most out of your full-body workouts.

“If you just ‘wing it,’ the results will be the same and you end up overtraining specific muscles,” Kasen says. “Continue to change exercises, vary intensity, and focus on compound exercises that build overall strength and mass.”

It’s also important to ensure you’re incorporating exercises that promote balance, stability, and conditioning into your workout, Kasen adds.

How should you structure your full-body workout?

When looking to maximize the effectiveness of your full-body workout, “ensure to include a proper warmup, focuse on form, vary your workouts, allow adequate rest, and listen to your body to prevent overtraining,” Watts says.

She put together the following full-body workout you can try the next time you hit the gym.

Warmup: 3 Sets

Circuit 1: 3 Sets

Circuit 2: 3 Sets



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