How to GET MORE out of DOING LESS in the gym – and reasons I love full body workouts

I knew this headline would get your attention! But for real, I want to share how you can get so much more out of doing less in the gym. Now, don’t get me wrong, you still need to dedicate at least 3 solid days to lift weights (even 2 if you are just starting out), but I am here to tell you how you can get so much more out of those three days if you are strategically planning your workouts and exercises. I used to lift 5-6 days per week for 60-90 minutes a session. I was honestly doing way too much and my body was burned out and I never saw good muscle growth because of it. Over the years I have learned that I can get more out of doing less at the gym, as long as I am selecting the best exercises to get more bang for my buck, keeping track of my nutrition and making that my focal point, and also getting plenty of steps each day.

As I stated previously, I used to WAY overdo it at the gym. Hitting the weights hard five-six days a week, doing too many “warm up” sets and way too many “to failure” sets as well. This is not necessary to achieve the body you want NOR is it necessary to reap the benefits of training. In fact, it’s a fast pass to overtraining and getting injured. You can get SO MUCH out of doing three full body workouts per week and then you have days in between training to allow for repair and muscle growth. My new favorite way to train is FULL BODY Mondays, Wednesdays and either Friday or Saturday – and I may throw in one extra day of accessory/easy training where I work on my weaknesses, mobility, abs etc. I also walk plenty every single day, hitting 12-15K steps, but usually I just aim for 12K. I also try to do my Peloton bike 1-2x weekly (having to ease into that though because as you know I’ve been dealing with a hip labral “fraying” injury and I re-aggravated it, so had to take some time off the bike). Having a day in between my weight days allows for recovery, and when you train your entire body each workout the risk of overdoing one area or becoming chronically sore from excess volume is slim compared to if you focus on one body part each day (also, my opinion, but I find training like a bodybuilder to be boring).

As I have gotten older I have noticed my body is slower to recover – so I have to be even MORE on top of my nutrition, hydration and recovery. I was noticing when I tried to train with heavy weights multiple days in a row I was not recovering and my body just felt tired and weak. Instead of trying to fight this I decided to try the full body method and do 3x week and so far I am loving it. If anything, I feel like my #GLUTEGAINS have been better since I STOPPED trying to workout so hard every single day – because now I have the time for my muscles to repair and get stronger.


  1. You will recover better and be better balanced since you are spreading out the volume of your training throughout the week rather than 1 body part at a time getting hammered
  2. Full body workouts burn more calories and are more efficient than body-part training
  3. Full body workouts allow you to mix things up and not get as bored compared to body part training
  4. You will be more efficient with your time in the gym and won’t need to go as frequently since you’re hitting all the major muscle groups each session
  5. You may be able to work out harder since you are better rested and not beating your body down as frequently, therefore you will get more out of your sessions

As I said earlier, my body feels so much better and my overall energy is way better lifting weights 3x per week. I hit my lower body and glutes each session pretty hard, aiming for 8-12 working sets each session, and then I mix up which upper body group I focus on. For example some Monday’s I may focus on shoulders, glutes and legs, abs and arms, then Wednesday I may focus on back, glutes and legs and abs, and then Saturday I may focus on a mixture of push/pull upper, and lower body work. On the days I don’t lift I try to walk and move around as much as possible, do mobility, get on the peloton, etc.


  1. Goblet squats (go heavy on these – kettlebell or Db held at the chest)
  2. Bulgarian split squats/lunges/split squats/step-ups for single leg lower body work
  3. Sumo squats with heavy kettlebell (add a deficit to make even harder)
  4. Barbell hip thrust (start with DB and work your way up)
  5. Romanian deadlift
  6. Landmine squat
  7. Good mornings
  8. Pushups
  9. Planks (hands, elbows, side elbow)
  10. Pullups (can also do lat pulldowns or close grip pulldowns or even DB pullovers instead)
  11. DB snatch (I go more moderate weight because I am not interested in hurting my shoulders)
  12. DB row (single arm; challenge the weight here since the risk is very low on this one)
  13. Single arm cable row from incline
  14. TRX pushups and/or inverted row with TRX
  15. DB floor press or incline DB press if your shoulders allow
  16. Sumo deadlift (once my back and hip are better I will be doing these)
  17. Single leg deadlifts
  18. kettlebell swings

That is not even an extensive list, but a decent handful of my favorites! You can pick a handful – think 5-6 moves + a few accessory moves that you like if you have the time, and go through a circuit style 2-4 rounds depending on your level. Saving things like bicep curls, tricep extensions and lateral raises/front raises/rear delt fly for the end of the workout will allow you to work your hardest on the moves that require the most energy. These last few exercises I just mentioned are isolation moves, focusing on one muscle at a time instead of 2-3 muscles, so they do not require as much energy (nor do they burn as many calories or produce the same muscle-building response as the larger muscle group exercises). They are still fine to include (and good to include) but don’t JUST do “accessory work”.

If you decide to incorporate this style of training, let me know how it goes for you! 3 days a week is actually plenty when it comes to lifting weights. The old mindset of “5 days per week” needs to be tossed out the window! Nutrition is where it’s at if you REALLY want to change your body – so all you need when it comes to strength training is 3 MAYBE 4 days per week. And track your steps and overall MOVEMENT! So don’t just sit around for the entire day after or before your workout – even if you work a desk job try to get up periodically and run the stairs or just walk a lap around the office to burn some calories and keep the metabolism firing. Take walks at lunch, too! Even 10-15 mins at a time makes a HUGE impact!

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