Full-Body Workout in Less Than an Hour: Benefits, Exercises, and Routines for Mass

full-body workout

One of the biggest excuses for not working out is not having the time, followed by inadequate equipment and previous injury. If you have a hard time finding time, and an even worse time sticking to a plan, try a full-body workout that you can do in less than an hour.

Before we get started, I want to backup a minute and acknowledge concerns about full-body workouts.

First, they get a bad name because they make big promises. Yes, that’s true, but if you are avoiding full-body workouts because you never see results, you are on the wrong plan.

A tried and true full-body workout is one that progresses with you as your fitness level, demands, and capabilities grow. Never stick to the same plan, and get rid of the DVDs  you have had.

Stop doing the same ol’ thing at the gym or in front of your TV. Change your workout to work every part of your body, to challenge every part of your body, and to save from becoming burned out because of a routine that isn’t up to snuff.

When you want a real full-body workout that challenges your body and keeps you interested, read on to find out what it takes.

Why You Should Do Full-Body Workouts

Full-body Workout vs. Split Training

Which is better, full-body workouts or split-training? Your body knows the answer. Some respond better to full-body workouts while others see better results with split-training. In some cases, you can even combine both into the same workout. To avoid overuse injuries, you can get a full-body workout in, but split up major muscle groups. Alternate big moves on big groups.

It okay to experiment with training techniques to see how your body responds and how much time you have to focus on the plan. For some, it’s not about the type of workout rather the time they have to do it.

When you workout, you want results. If you don’t have time to spend hours at the gym a few times a day, don’t worry. You are like the rest of us. Here are a few reasons why you should be doing a full-body workout in less than an hour instead.

Saves Money

You can get a full-body workout at your home. If gym prices are a concern, with the right equipment at home, you can get similar benefits. You will also save money on gas when you workout at home.

Several forums, including this one, puts a great deal of attention on workouts that can be achieved at the gy. Every move focuses on men and women improving their physique and strength with all the equipment they need – in a gym.

Buy free weights, a bench, a bar, and an adjustable rack to get a full-body workout at home.

Improves Morale

We all know that when you workout, your body releases endorphins that make you happy. Endorphins are chemicals naturally produced in your body. These mood-boosting chemicals help your body feel less pain and improve positive, mental clarity [1].

Endorphins are your body’s natural painkillers and antidepressants. Endorph means “produced in the body,” and phine is the tail-end of a familiar word – morphine. When you combine the two, endorphin translates to morphine produced in the body.

When your body exerts energy, such as it does with strenuous and challenging exercises, the pituitary gland, just below the base of the brain, releases endorphins to help relieve your body naturally relieve pain and generate feelings of happiness and euphoria. It is your reward system for working out.

I’ll point out that endorphins are also released during orgasm.

A full-body workout can get your body producing endorphins, but it can also improve morale in other ways. Full-body workouts curb the workout plateau. This is called the workout burnout. It’s got a nifty name but a terrible reputation. There are four stages of workout burnout:

  1. Expect more too soon (the honeymoon phase)
  2. You are less excited about working out when you don’t see results, so you begin skipping them.
  3. Your excuses run rampant: you are too tired, you work too much, you  don’t have time, you don’t have the proper equipment. In this stage, you begin to go infrequently and skip altogether.
  4. Exercise is bumped off the list. You find ways to replace it with other things until you stop altogether.

A full-body workout at home that works with your schedule and changes frequently will help you avoid the burnout.

Protects from Injury

The gym can can be the right environment for training errors and technique errors if you are left to your own devices or if you take on too much weight too soon.

Full-body workouts reduce and prevent overuse injuries [2]. Exhaustion and injury is the result of overtraining. Even if you spend only an hour at the gym every day, working the same muscles over and over, without rest or direction can cause training imbalance, pain, and muscle dysfunction. To prevent overuse injuries while doing your hour-long full body workouts at home or at the gym, make sure you keep these tips in mind:

  • Pace yourself during the workout. Don’t try to rush it. You are better to increase your weight and slow down than to fly through the workout with less weight.
  • ALWAYS use the proper form for a technique, as well as any necessary gear to protect you from injury.
  • Progress to more weight. Don’t take on too much too soon.
  • Cross-train often, and don’t forget to rest.

Optimizes Time

When you do hour-long full-body workouts, it eliminates the excuse that you don’t have time. Think of all the little things you do throughout the day that add up to an hour. That’s just one show on television. DVR makes working out much easier because you can head to the gym without missing your show. Set aside an hour every day to get more of your time back. If you aren’t a morning person, don’t try cramming in a workout before the sun rises. You are more likely to drop the program if you do that. Whenever you set aside an hour to workout, do it. No excuses. Remodeling your body takes lifestyle changes. You don’t get one without the other.

So, when you do full-body workouts, not only does your time at the gym decrease but the number of days you have to go to the gym goes down as well.

muscle groups
muscle groups

Works Every Muscle

The best part about full-body workouts in less than an hour is that they target every muscle group. Instead of doing only quad workouts, back exercises, or arms, full-body workouts get them all done in less time [3].

Designed to Build Muscle and Stamina

The best full-body workout i sone that uses mostly compound exercises. Compound exercises are ones that gives you more with one workound. Compound exercises work more than one muscle group at a time. They do so by engaging two or more joints to use more muscle and different muscle groups. A good full-body workout will also use more weight with fewer reps. As a result, you begin to see more bulk and increases in muscle stamina.

Some of the BEST compound exercises for mass are:

  • Bench press variations [4]
  • Vertical pushes
  • Heavy squats
  • Deadlifts, lunges, and step-ups

Make sure your total body workout has these moves in the program. Never forget, always work opposing muscles for muscle balance, improved proprioception, and to prevent painful injuries.

Tips for the BEST Full-Body Workout

Hundreds of sites and “trainers” can try to sell you their best full-body workout, but the best ones are workouts that cater to your individual needs. That is why you should design your own full-body workout.

Here are a few tips and guidelines for designing a productive total-body workout that will show you some real gains.

Fulcrum - Pineapple MangoSupport Muscle Health with Shakes and Stacks

Before you get started on your workout, make sure you prepare your muscles and body for the strenuous hour. Your body will use a lot of glycogen and it will require more protein for fuel. Your full-body workout will use everything your body needs to not only perform the exercises but to recover as well. You must prepare and replenish your stores with shakes and stacks to support muscle strength, repair and recovery [5].

Pre-workout supplements like Fulcrum from Vaxxen is a 4.5-star dietary supplement that preps you for the demands of your workout. Fulcrum has a few important ingredients such as Vitamin B6 and B12, L-Citrulline Malate, among others.

L-Citrulline is related to amino acids. L-Citrulline is what your kidneys convert to the amino acid L-arginine. L-arginine is an amino acid with a wide variety of uses. L-arginine comes from a high protein diet made up of red meat, dairy, fish, and poultry, but it can also be produced in a lab. T It is used to improve kidney function, erectile dysfunction concerns, high blood pressure, blood pressure, and to improve athletic performance [6].

Don’t be Predictable

If you start the week with chest, back and abs, don’t start the next day with it or end the week with the same routine. Always alternate. Don’t be boring and predictable because you will be doing a disservice to your body.

When you do the same exercise every week, you won’t ever improve, but you will invite injury and failure. When you work the same muscles repeatedly without resting them, the muscle fiber tears that heal, making them thicker and stronger, don’t have time to heal. If they don’t heal, they don’t grow. The healing is what allows you to grow in strength and in size.

Split major muscle groups throughout the week.

Stick to the Plan – Under an Hour

When you are creating your workout plan for the week, don’t overdo it in an hour, and don’t push past the hour. Stick to effective resistance training exercises that work the body harder and help your body naturally improve mass.  

Compound exercises for your chest, back, legs, and arms are great exercises for improving mass and strength, as well as boosting your T-levels and endorphins.

Do One Exercise per Muscle Group, but Make it Count

Several compound exercises are the best for your full-body workout done in less than 60 minutes. You can do fewer exercises that require you to do only one movement that affects several muscle areas at the same time.

The goal is to overload the muscles with heavy weights and performing the exercise until right before exhaustion. For example, if you do bench presses or the incline bench for your chest, or squat for the legs, do no more than 4 sets of these exercises. When you do the exercises, do between 10 and 13 reps.

Designing your Full-Body Workout

If you are struggling to find the right full-body workout that you can do in less than an hour, don’t rely on a fix someone else already put together. Design your own. Here are some exercises to put in your hour-long, total body workout for mass.


When you work the legs, choose exercises that individually target the calves, quads and hamstrings. Exercises for the calves are:

  • Donkey calf raises
  • Seated calf raises
  • Standing calf raises
  • Pool run
  • Calf presses

To target the quads, try these:

  • Barbell lunge
  • Barbell full squat
  • Barbell back squat
  • Barbell step-ups
  • Barbell squat to box
  • Romanian deadlifts

Exercises that work the hamstrings:

  • Leg curl
  • Squat
  • Clean-grip deadlift

It’s quite a list, so you have plenty of choices from which you can choose. The best compound exercises I recommend for your lower body are:

  • Squats (ALWAYS squats!)
  • Front and hack squats
  • Deadlift, Straight-leg deadlift, and Romanian deadlift
  • Lunges
  • Step-ups

Upper body and back

When you exercise the upper body and back, focus on the abs, shoulders, chest, upper chest, and back.

To work the back:

  • Deadlift with barbell
  • Sumo deadlift
  • Romanian deadlift
  • Bent-over barbell row
  • Alternate-grip pull-up
  • Chest-supported dumbbell row
  • Lying lateral raise
  • Pull-ups
  • Seated cable row

Chest and upper chest workouts:

When I talk about the chest and the upper chest, I am talking about two different muscle groups in the same area. The upper chest is a single muscle, and weightlifters and bodybuilders often overlook it because they do “chest exercises” and assume all the work is done. The only muscles in the upper chest are the upper pecs. With that in mind, here are the workouts to target the upper chest:

  • Incline-bench pullovers
  • Incline dumbbell press
  • Incline chest press on hammer machine
  • Reverse-grip bench press
  • Incline dumbbell flyes

To target the chest more broadly, here are workouts to sculpt the entire chest:

  • Pull-ups
  • Chin-ups
  • Dumbbell press
  • Incline barbell press
  • Decline bench press

Shoulder Exercises:

  • Shrugs
  • Power cleans
  • Upright rows
  • Lateral raises
  • Military press
  • Behind neck presses
  • Dumbbell presses


Finally, we arrive at the arms. When you work the arms, you need to work triceps just as much as the biceps.

Good workouts for the triceps are:

  • Pushdowns
  • Lying dumbbell extensions
  • Parallel bar dips
  • Overhead rope extension
  • Single-arm cable kickback
  • Rpe press-down

To move on to the biceps, try these targeted workouts:

  • Preacher curls
  • Alternate dumbbell curls
  • Standing barbell curls
  • Barbell curl
  • Cable wrist curl
  • Concentration curls

Putting Together a Total Body Workout

When you do you full-body workout, choose a different exercise from each group. Each day, change the move. Each day, start with a different muscle group. If you begin with chest on day one, move to the lower body the next time, and so on. Hit the gym on odd days and rest on even days. Here is a sample schedule for your full-body workout:

  • Day 1: start with chest before working other muscle groups
  • Day 2: rest (cardio, not the couch)
  • Day 3: start full-body workout with the legs
  • Day 4: rest
  • Day 5: begin workout with arms
  • Day 6: rest
  • Day 7: begin workout with back

When you do your full-body workout, stick to 2 to 4 sets of 10-12 reps for each exercise. Do not push to failure. It requires more recovery time. Stop just short.

To put together a compound workout program, you are going to need to mix up your reps a little more. Instead of focusing on cardio on rest days, resting is simply allowing one part of the body to rest. Real rest doesn’t come until days 6 and 7. Days 1 to 5 are when you workout:

  • Day 1: Choose an exercise for each upper body muscle group. Do 4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  • Day 2: Choose an exercise for each lower body muscle group. Do 4 sets of 8-10 reps.
  • Day 3: Return to upper body. 5 sets of 5 to 8 reps.
  • Day 4: Return to lower body. 5 sets of t to 8 reps.
  • Day 5: Choose an exercise from each muscle group. 3 sets of 10-12 reps.

What is your best full-body workout program that gets the job done in less than an hour? Share your success stories.


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