The Total Package: A 3 Day Full Body Strength & Hypertrophy Workout

Josh England
Written By: Josh England
December 5th, 2016
Updated: August 13th, 2021
2.5M Reads
The Total Package: A Full Body Strength & Hypertrophy Workout
Can't seem to train for hypertrophy without sacrificing strength or vice versa? Check out this 3 day full body workout that helps you train for both!
Workout Summary
  • Main Goal
    Build Muscle
  • Workout Type
    Full Body
  • Training Level
    Intermediate
  • Program Duration8 weeks
  • Days Per Week
    3
  • Time Per Workout75-90 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Recommended Supps
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

Workout Description

As Shakespeare so beautifully put it, “to be or not to be, that is the question”.

However, for lifters it looks more like this:

“To train for strength or to train for hypertrophy, that is the question.”

It’s a dilemma we all face too often. But, who’s to say we can’t have it all? When I recently took a second to dissect my workout, I decided going forward I’ll always have a split that has it all and by sharing it, you’ll have it too. The next time you decide you want to build up your strength, without sacrificing your striations, return to this workout. It’s the total package, a 3-day full body workout.

Recommended: Need help building muscle? Take our Free Muscle Building Course

Breaking Down The 3 Day Full Body Workout

The total package workout is a simple concept, really.

You want gains.

You’re told to get muscle gains, you have to train in an 8-12 rep range for muscle hypertrophy.

Related: Fast Mass Program - The 4 Day Superset Split Workout

But you’re also told you need to be functional. You need to be strong. And to accomplish this you have to train in the 1-5 rep range to increase your central nervous systems capabilities to elicit force output, aka strength gains.

Seems like a lot of confusing and conflicting circumstance. However, you can accomplish both.

How? I’m glad you asked.

The Frequency of the Total Package

We’re going to start off by switching from your traditional bodybuilding or strength split to full body workouts three days a week. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “But, Josh! Full-body workouts are so… are so… beginner level!”

Stop right there, my friend. Sure, a lot of coaches and personal trainers put their clients through an initial full-body program to ensure they fix any muscular imbalances a client may have, but there are so many benefits to full-body workouts that we can all benefit from.

Instead of hitting the gym 5 times a week, we narrow it down to just 3 days. You’ll be thanking me when you start seeing gains in your social life to go along with the gains you’ll earn through this workout.

Dymatize Female Athlete Performing a Lunge

Plus, those three days are packed with two huge components (I’ll get to them shortly) that will leave you jacked! Not only that, the more often you can stimulate the muscle (especially true for natty lifters), recover fully, and repeat that muscle protein synthesis, the more gains you’re going to see!

So, now that you’re sold on working out 3 days a week, let’s move on to the two major components that make this program the total package.

The Strength Component

Each day begins with a 5x5 rep scheme of one of the big three lifts (squat, bench, and deadlift). The 5x5 rep scheme is used in a lot of programs and is seen as one of the key foundations of a strength-based workout.

We’re going to split up each day to be paired with its own big lift. On Mondays, you’re going to come in and hit some squats.

I’m a big fan of squatting on Mondays; usually you tend to be the strongest you’ll be coming off dual rest days from the weekend and you tend to be more energized due to the extra calorie consumption most of us are guilty of on the weekends. Also, the squat racks tend to be free as everyone else is participating in international chest day.

Wednesday is your bench press day. Nothing like getting your #pumpday swole from some heavy bench pressing. It also will give you some extra time to allow your legs to recover from squats before we hit deadlifts on Friday.

The strength portion of the Total Package Workout ends with deadlifts on Friday. Deadlifts, for most, are a lifter’s strongest lift. So, by doing them on Friday you can burn some extra calories before going into the weekend.

The Hypertrophy Component

While we split up the big three lifts, we also hit each muscle group with just the right amount of volume to elicit a hypertrophic response.

This is where the full-body component comes in and also where you’re going to see most of your physical gains. You’ll be doing a 4x10 rep scheme for all of the large muscle groups, with a 3x10 rep scheme hitting the smaller groups.

It’s certainly no easy task. You’re going to be dog-tired from performing the strength component of this workout. So, make sure you go lighter on the weight, focus on the range of motion while you’re lifting, and really try to create a pump in each muscle group.

M&S Athlete Performing Bent Over Rows

Rest Days

Some people still think there shouldn’t be such a thing as a rest day. I kind of sit on both sides of that fence. I don’t like to lift weights every day, but I like to keep my body in motion.

On your rest days for this program, you’re going to refrain from touching the weights (you’re probably going to be too sore to want to anyway). Instead, go for a very light jog and/or walk. Keep the pace slow and really try to benefit from the active recovery.

Shoot for about 30-45 minutes of low-intensity cardio on your off days and also be sure to hit the foam roller afterward to further promote your recovery.

3 Day Full Body Split FAQs

How long should I take for rest periods in between sets?

You’ll want to be sure to take 2-3 minutes of rest in between your 5x5 sets. For the rest of the hypertrophy workout, try to limit rest to 45-60 seconds. At the end of the day, if you need to take a longer rest, it’s better safe than sorry.

How should I progress the weight used for these workouts?

You can do this in a number of ways and it really depends on your level of fitness. Personally, I like to add 5lbs for each set on the strength component. Each week, I’ll begin my working sets with the second lightest set from the previous week.

However, you can do sets where the weight remains the same throughout and try to increase by 5lbs each week too. This is how I prefer to progress with the hypertrophy sets of this workout.

M&S Female Athlete Performing Pulldowns

Can I substitute (body part specific lift) with (lift in the program)?

Absolutely! I wouldn’t swap out any of the main lifts unless you have a legitimate reason to do so, but for the hypertrophy lifts, you can swap out whichever exercise for an exercise targeting the same body part that you want to. You know your body’s weaknesses better than I do, so by all means swap away.

One thing that I’d like to note, no two lifts are the same day each day. If you decide to make alterations, try to make each exercise that you are doing on each day different, and consistently do them week in and week out so you can track improvements.

Related: Muscle & Strength Full Body Workout Routine

Can I add in additional lifts?

I wouldn’t recommend it. This program is pretty serious as is and you’re going to want to limit taking the rep count any higher. If you want to do a lift bad enough, sub it in for one and do it. Your gains will thank you in the long run.

Can I do HIIT Cardio/additional cardio than what is recommended on rest days?

Again, I wouldn’t recommend it. But if you feel like you can and still recover efficiently enough to where it won’t affect your performance doing these lifts, give it a go!

Is this program good for someone looking to lose fat/build muscle?

This program is perfect for both of those scenarios. Your ability to lose fat and build muscle is going to be highly dependent on what you do outside of the gym. You’ve got to make sure your diet is aligned with your goals, you're getting enough sleep each night, and you're doing everything possible to allow your muscles to recover.

The Total Package 3 Day Full Body Workout

Day 1

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Squat 5 5
2. Dumbbell Bench 4 10
3. Dumbbell Row 4 10
4. Seated Dumbbell Press 4 10
5. Lunge 4 10
6. Dumbbell Curl 3 10
7. Standing Barbell Tricep Extension 3 10
8. Calf Raise 3 12
9. Plank 5 20 secs

Day 2

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Bench Press 5 5
2. Machine Pec Deck 3 12
3. Leg Extension 4 10
4. Leg Curl 4 10
5. Pullup 4 10
6. Seated Lateral Raise 4 10
7. Dumbbell Hammer Curls 3 10
8. Rope Extension 3 10
9. Plank 5 20 secs

Day 3

Exercise Sets Reps
1. Deadlift 5 5
2. Incline Dumbbell Press 4 10
3. Lateral Raise 4 10
4. Pulldown 4 10
5. Leg Press 4 10
6. EZ Bar Curl 3 10
7. Skullcrushers 3 10
8. Dumbbell Shrugs 3 12
9. Plank 5 20 secs

Conclusion

The Total Package Workout is the perfect workout if you’re looking to get the most out of your workouts without spending every day in the gym.

It targets both strength and hypertrophy by utilizing a 5x5 rep scheme followed by a full body routine three days a week. It also allows you to work on your cardiovascular health during your low-intensity recovery days.

While I certainly didn’t come up with these principles, I like putting them together. Strength, size, and health, what more could you ask for?

If you have any questions, please feel free to leave a comment below!

1.2K Comments
Manny Segura
Posted on: Tue, 02/13/2024 - 19:50

Is this workout good for somebody doing martial arts 4 days per week?
It looks good and I want to improve my muscle and strength.

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 02/21/2024 - 08:41

I believe it would serve you very well. The only suggestion I have is to make sure you take at least one complete day off a week. Hope this helps.

Mark
Posted on: Tue, 02/13/2024 - 11:45

I have completed the programme now having a week off as I am over 50yrs and it tired me out what program should I do next or could I do the same for another 8 weeks.

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 02/21/2024 - 08:41

You can do it either way, Mark. If you want something new, this guide may help.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-choose-your-next-train...

Thank you for reading M&S!

Martin
Posted on: Tue, 02/06/2024 - 06:45

Can't wait to start this next week I'll let you know how I get on

Elias
Posted on: Fri, 02/02/2024 - 11:14

Hello!
I've been trying this programme for a bit now and I like it. It feels easy to progress the weights.
I'm far from new to the gym and I just got off a year of coaching with a world champion lifter, but something I am not sure of myself is how to schedule deload-weeks. I really neel like I need one after this week since I've been going pretty hard the past 4-5 weeks. What would you recommend I do when running this programme? Just take off some weight? Remove exercises?

Thanks in advance!

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 02/10/2024 - 12:24

Hey Elias, thanks for reading M&S!

When you feel like you need to deload, then deload. Take as much of a week off if you need to. If you really want to keep training but feel the toll is too much, then reduce weight instead of exercises. Hope this helps!

Laura
Posted on: Thu, 02/01/2024 - 12:52

This looks great - thank you! Where could I best incorporate some glute focussed fav exercises such as hip thrust and RDL by taking out a couple of upper body exercises?

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 02/10/2024 - 12:23

Hi Laura, I would add hip thrusts after squats on Day 1 and replace deadlifts on Day 3 with RDL's. Don't take any upper body movements out. Hope this helps.

James K.
Posted on: Mon, 01/29/2024 - 21:01

Can I do this workout 1 day off 2 days on? At the moment I can only hit the gym on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 01/31/2024 - 11:50

If it helps you stay consistent, then go for it, James. Let us know your results on this one.

Vitali
Posted on: Tue, 01/23/2024 - 22:06

Hey, great program, but I don't see overhead barbell press anywhere. Which exercise is suitable to swap for it? I would like to continue doing both barbell and dumbbell shoulder presses

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 01/25/2024 - 06:57

Hello Vitali, the dumbbell version is in Day 1, and you can swap the Incline Bench on Day 3 for the barbell overhead press. I hope this helps!

Andrew
Posted on: Tue, 01/16/2024 - 13:29

Hi! Great article! Thanks for that, I'm gonna use it after my Old 3 Day fbw 5x5 for strength. I have a weak shoulders and want to build them stronger. I'd like to do 1 5x5 excersise for them. Think about OHP or military press. I'd put this excersise before or after Deadlift because IMO it wouldnt interfere with shoulder mouscles(if done before DL). Can you advice?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 01/25/2024 - 06:56

What's good, Andrew? If this is a top priority, do it first when you have the most energy. You can't go wrong with either version of the press. Just stay consistent with the one you choose. Thanks for reading M&S!

Bill
Posted on: Mon, 01/08/2024 - 16:49

Which routine is better this one or the other one that Steve Shaw made

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 01/09/2024 - 20:53

Hard to knock either one. It really is based on the user and their goals.

sean beatty
Posted on: Thu, 01/04/2024 - 05:19

hi guys , im new to lifting . when doing these exercises do i do 1 set of each until all exercises are done then move onto set 2 of all exercises etc or do i do 5 sets of first exercise before moving on to 5 sets of 2 etc

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 01/07/2024 - 20:04

Hi, Sean. You should do all five sets of an exercise before doing the next. Just make sure you rest for around one minute between each set.

Craig
Posted on: Fri, 12/29/2023 - 17:50

Would these workouts be possible to complete in 60 minutes as I’m pushed for time in the mornings to get to work.

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 12/30/2023 - 20:26

Hey Craig, you would have to cut the rest down to 45 seconds, and even then you may have to cut a set out of the last few exercises. That may keep it under an hour. If you try this, let us know how it works. Thanks for reading M&S!

Jessica Murray
Posted on: Thu, 12/28/2023 - 18:29

Thank you for this workout. It's exactly what I need with my hectic schedule. I had a four day split but kept missing one every week... I know my life allows me to lift three days a week consistently and this plan seems to maximize that time.

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 12/28/2023 - 21:27

Let us know how it goes for you, Jessica. Happy New Year, and thanks for reading M&S!

Jay
Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2023 - 09:41

What can I replace the machine exercises with? I have a squad rack and dumbbells at home.

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2023 - 20:28

This page should help you find all the replacements you need, Jay.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises

Joshua Glossa
Posted on: Sun, 12/24/2023 - 03:32

Hey Roger,
This is a great program!what's your thoughts on adding an extra day and repeating one of the workouts ?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2023 - 20:27

I will pass your comments onto Josh England, Joshua. If you feel the extra day would help and your recovery isn't altered, go for it!

Thanks for reading M&S!

Zohran
Posted on: Wed, 12/20/2023 - 06:42

What should our RPE be set for each exercises.
And how should we gradually change RPE As we progress.

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2023 - 20:27

Last sets should be RPE 9 or 10. Start lighter as you feel you can with the beginning sets. If it was a three set exercise, I would go RPE 8, 9, 10 myself.

Cristy
Posted on: Wed, 12/13/2023 - 16:43

Hi, just wondering if you can please help with what can be alternated for;
Machine pec deck
Leg extension
Leg curl
Rope extension
Leg press
Thank you!

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2023 - 20:25

We have a full exercise section here that can help you find alternatives. As long as they work the same muscle groups, you should be fine.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises

Saad Cherkaoui
Posted on: Mon, 12/11/2023 - 15:17

Hello,
Thank you for this package. It is awesome!!!
I feel like I’m doing something wrong. The 5x5 seems easy. I’m not following the 2-3 minutes rules for resting, though. Are these sets for warming? Or should I increase the weight for these ? Please advise. Thank you

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 12/27/2023 - 20:25

Time to go up in weight. These should be heavier sets. If you don't approach failure on the fifth rep of the last set, go up.

LL
Posted on: Fri, 12/08/2023 - 08:18

Can I box on the rest days with this workout?

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 12/18/2023 - 17:48

Yes!

Carol S.
Posted on: Wed, 12/06/2023 - 16:37

If I know my 1RM for each of the big lifts, what % of that weight do you recommend starting with on week 1? And how close to my 1RM should I be by the time I get to week 8? Thanks.

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 12/18/2023 - 17:48

Hi, Carol. I'm going to suggest starting with 75% of your 1RM. How close you should be to the end is going to be individual based. Some people may get stronger quicker than others, so play that by how you feel.

Kyle
Posted on: Tue, 12/05/2023 - 12:39

How should I change up this routine after 8-12 week of after hitting a plateau?

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 12/18/2023 - 17:46

This will help you find that next program, Kyle!

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-choose-your-next-train...

George
Posted on: Sat, 12/02/2023 - 14:11

Is there any specific reason the program duration is only 8 weeks? For how long could this be run potentially?

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 12/18/2023 - 17:46

It's recommended to change programs every couple of months, but you could run this for up to a few months as long as you see results.

Thanks for reading M&S, George!

Tony
Posted on: Sat, 12/02/2023 - 02:10

Hey. Re cardio. Because of my work schedule, I want to keep it to the 3 days only, what cardio options/timings would you recommend on the 3 days? I usually start with cardio but can switch? Cheers

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 12/18/2023 - 17:45

Hey Tony, I suggest changing to after weights. You will deplete your glycogen storages with weights, which makes cardio more likely to burn excess fat calories or fat storages.

Harshvardhan
Posted on: Thu, 11/23/2023 - 08:10

What exercise can substitute lunges in DAY 1 , because I find it very difficult to get execute lunges

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 11/26/2023 - 20:11

You can do goblet squats or sumo squats, but I hope you will take my advice and find a way to keep working on the lunges. I didn't when I first started training and by the time I got older, I regretted it. It took me much longer to get better at them once I finally committed, but it was worth it. Make the switch, but find a way to do even a set with bodyweight only when you can. Thanks for reading M&S!

Harshvardhan
Posted on: Wed, 11/29/2023 - 07:58

Will take your advice for sure. I have one more question, I had seen great progress with your split and I’m looking forward to continue further but I recently some changes in your split and that i decrease the no of sets to 3 per 5 reps for back squats, dead lift and bench press but I’m following progressive overload very carefully. So is this the right way or should I go back to 5 sets for 5 reps

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 11/30/2023 - 20:52

That method can work. If it's working for you, keep it up!

manuelpabon
Posted on: Mon, 11/13/2023 - 14:17

Could you split this up into a morning and after noon workout? I have limited time in the morning but can get 3-4 exercises done with the needed rest period then do the rest at home or in a gym.

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 11/26/2023 - 20:08

That can be done, but it would be best to do the entire workout in one session so your recovery won't be affected. Find the part of the day you have the most time to commit and train then if possible.

Eddie
Posted on: Sun, 11/12/2023 - 17:53

I see an EZ bar curl is in this workout, my question is, what is the proper way to hold the bar during this exercise?