Workout Routines

The 3-Move Total Body Workout

Get back to basics with this simple, yet highly effective routine that builds muscle and burns fat…in just three moves.

Bodybuilder
Duration 3 days
Exercises 9
Equipment Yes

Is it possible to elicit serious changes to your overall body composition using only three exercises? Well, let’s consider the alternative approach for a moment.

We often times get caught up in the plethora of exercises and routines that are displayed all over the Internet. Having too many options to choose from can keep us from focusing on our goals. We start a routine with hopes to build more muscle and strength, faster, but then end up finding another great routine to follow two weeks later. It is true that you need to switch things up once in a while to create continual adaptations. But many take this to the extreme. Six weeks is a good amount of time to work consistently at a routine. Tracking your numbers, and adding weight to the bar while continuing to work on form and execution, will bring you much better gains than changing your routine all of the time.

Nothing Fancy. Just the Basics.

Coaches like Mark Ripptoe, Dan John, and Pavel Tsatsouline have always preached the use of the basics, and consistent progression on those basic exercises. No fancy stuff -- just consistently heavy lifting and mastering those skills.

When it comes down to it, you can build a solid routine with only three tried and true strength-training exercises and get results. With the judicious use of these three moves, you can increase size in every major muscle group and blow through stores of bodyfat to reveal new detail.

For six weeks, we challenge you to only use the following three lifts in your routine.

Your goal will be to master these three exercises. But there’s no sense in becoming bored along the way so you will take three different approaches in your three scheduled workouts. The first workout will be strength-based, the second workout will address hypertrophy and the third will involve high-rep/high-volume conditioning protocols. Track your progress, and see how taking the minimalist approach to training can bring you dramatic gains.

Perform a good total-body warm-up before beginning the routine. Perform a few light sets of each movement before your working sets.

Sample Split

Day/Workout

1 Strength
2 REST
3 Hypertrophy
4 REST
5 Conditioning
6 REST
7 Cycle Repeats or REST

Workout 1: Strength

Exercise 1

General Pullup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Pullup thumbnail
5 sets
5 reps
2-4 min rest
Add weight if needed to bring about failure at the rep range listed.

Exercise 2

Overhead Barbell Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Overhead Barbell Press thumbnail
5 sets
5 reps
2-4 min rest
Perform standing.

Exercise 3

Barbell Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Deadlift thumbnail
5 sets
3 reps
2-4 min rest

Workout 2: Hypertrophy

Exercise 1

Barbell Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Deadlift thumbnail
3 sets
8 reps
60-90 sec rest

Exercise 2

Overhead Barbell Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Overhead Barbell Press thumbnail
4 sets
8-12 reps
60-90 sec rest
Perform standing.

Exercise 3

General Pullup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Pullup thumbnail
4 sets
8-12 reps
60-90 sec rest
Add weight if needed to bring about failure at the rep range listed.

Workout 3: Conditioning

Exercise 1

Overhead Barbell Press You'll need: Barbell How to
Overhead Barbell Press thumbnail
5 sets
15,12,9,6,3 reps
as little as possible rest
Perform standing.

Exercise 2

General Pullup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Pullup thumbnail
10 sets
-- reps
30 sec rest
Perform first two sets to failure, then eight sets of two reps.

Exercise 3

Barbell Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Deadlift thumbnail
10 sets
10 minutes reps
-- rest
Using 75% of your 1RM, perform 2-3 reps on the minute every minute for 10 minutes total.
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