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 full body workout split that helps you train for both!

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Full Body
Intermediate
8 weeks
3
75-90 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells
Male & Female
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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 delihemma 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.

Breaking Down The Total Package

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 it’s 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 afterwards to further promote your recovery.

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 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 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 to day. If you decide to make alterations, try to make each exercises 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. You’re 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 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!

396 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sun, 03/24/2019 - 11:03
Themistoklis Ko...

This one is a Great program. I used to do a DUP and the stronglifts a couple years ago. Due to my young daughter i have not much free time. This program has a lot of pros. Just 3 days and you leave the gym exhausted and jacked. But the most important thing is that you still use the big 3. I am on the 4th week and haven't used the rest days for cardio/low intensity. Still, the gains are obvious. I will post again after the 8 week period.

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Posted Mon, 03/25/2019 - 09:54
JoshEngland

That's awesome! Thank you for sharing!

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Posted Tue, 03/19/2019 - 19:01
Bobby

I've been seeing good results from this workout, but feel that I should modify the shoulder excersises. You have one day with seated side laterals and then another day with standing side laterals, but no front or rear shoulder excersise? Is this done on purpose?
Thanks.

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Posted Wed, 03/20/2019 - 11:44
JoshEngland

Hi Bobby,

The front delt is worked through pressing movements. The rear through pulling movements.

You're more than welcome to alter the program to better fit your individual needs.

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Posted Thu, 03/14/2019 - 20:36
Ryan

Hello, I’m returning to weight training after a 5 year break. This looks like what I’m wanting to try but it says it’s intermediate. I was originally trying the 5x5 Strong Lifts program but I don’t feel like I’m getting enough upper body work. If I knock down the sets to 3 sets on the lifts that require 4 and 5 sets, could that bring this down to a beginner level? I loved the 5x5 program but it didn’t feel like it met all my needs like this appears to. Thanks for your time.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 03/15/2019 - 09:33
JoshEngland

Hi Ryan,

I'd recommend a beginner or someone coming off a long layoff start with one of these programs: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/beginner

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Posted Wed, 03/13/2019 - 01:23
Arun

Hey Josh,

I have been doing this workout for a coupla weeks now. But I prefix each session with a 5 min (70-100cal) warm up on a treadmill or rowing machine or a cross trainer or bike, followed by a 3 circuit pushups, crunches, hanging leg raises, box stepping that lasts about 20 mins.

I would love to know your thoughts on this.

Thank You
Arun

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Posted Wed, 03/13/2019 - 10:40
JoshEngland

Hi Arun,

Sounds like your warmup is quite the workout. haha

That should be fine provided you have the time to perform all of the work and you feel as though you are recovering just fine from the work load on your rest days.

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Posted Sun, 03/10/2019 - 09:22
JASON ALLAN

Hi Josh - great article. I’m going to give it a go!

Regards nutrition? What guidelines would you give?

5 10, 82kgs. 34 waist. According to my scales my body fat is c22%.

Also, I cycle to work c4 times a week. 16miles round trip, 1h 20, @ slow to medium pace.

Many thanks

Jason

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Posted Mon, 03/11/2019 - 09:31
JoshEngland
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Posted Wed, 03/06/2019 - 21:20
Mahmoud

Hello Josh recently i started to train boxing But before i start i was going to the gym for 5 months but random exercise no specific program i was gaining some muscle but later i feel like nothing is changing would you recommend this program for me to gain muscle because I'm little bit skinny and gain strength for my boxing training at the same time considering that my boxing training day count as the rest day and I'll do some less cardio as jogging and jump rope please answer it is extremely important for me

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Posted Thu, 03/07/2019 - 09:50
JoshEngland

Hi Mahmoud,

You can perform this program in unison with your boxing training depending on your goals. However, if you're looking for a program to help you become a better boxer - I'm sure there are better workouts on the web (we don't have any at this time, unfortunately).

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Posted Thu, 03/07/2019 - 13:11
Mahmoud

Now I'm looking for gaining muscles and strength then later I'll focusing more on the boxing do you recommend this program for me

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Posted Fri, 03/01/2019 - 23:34
Landyn

Hi Josh,
I’m 19 and and I’m looking for a full body Hypetrophy workout and was wondering if you had any recommendations.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/04/2019 - 10:56
JoshEngland

Hi Landyn,

The one on this page is solid, or you can try out this one:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/3-day-full-body-dumbbell-workout

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Posted Wed, 02/27/2019 - 12:33
Johnny

Hi Josh,
I’m a 16 year old trying to gain muscle. I am a football player and want to get to the next level is this the best workout or would you choose another workout for me?

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Posted Sun, 02/24/2019 - 10:38
Willie Brackett

I’m 72 years old and I started this workout a few months ago . Wow my gains for my age are great . I’m up to 365 on my deadlifts but I’ve had to modify some lifts because of joint problems . I can no longer set a bar on my shoulders for squats I have to do machine squats but I’m doing over 300 lbs !!! Can’t bench with straight bar so I use the machines and do extra. I’m just getting where I can do pull-ups without assistance. Thank you for this work out ... I’m shooting for 405 on deadlifts soon !!!

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Posted Fri, 02/22/2019 - 00:57
Karl S.

Josh, I love this workout, and have seen steady gains since starting it seven weeks ago. However, what would you recommend in the warmup phase of the 5x5 powerlifting movements?

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Posted Fri, 02/22/2019 - 12:20
JoshEngland
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Posted Thu, 02/21/2019 - 15:23
Pranga

I am 6'3 and weigh 200 lbs. I am skinny fat with 29% body fat. I dont look skinny or fat but have excess fat around my belly and hips . Would you recommend me to do this program, cut my fat percentage and then bulk up ?

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Posted Fri, 02/22/2019 - 12:26
JoshEngland

Hi Pranga,

You might find the following article helpful: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-do-you-know-whether-to-cu...

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Posted Mon, 02/18/2019 - 14:07
Matt

I have enjoyed some of your other programmes and this workout looks great to change things up and incorporate strength work into a bodybuilding routine.

A couple of questions. Are the planks only 20 seconds? It seems a bit short to me! Also would you add extra calf work in? Other smaller muscle groups get 9 sets per week so I would worry 3 sets only is a bit light.
Thanks

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Posted Tue, 02/19/2019 - 10:28
JoshEngland

Hi Matt,

Most will be ok with the 3 sets of calf work, but you are more than welcome to increase that if you wish.

The 20 second planks should be highly focused on the core. If you are truly engaging the core during the 20 seconds, it should be plenty. However, you are more than welcome to increase the duration if you wish.

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Posted Mon, 02/18/2019 - 04:49
FAIZEL

I'm an endurance looking at gaining muscle strength & definition with bit of muscular gains. Endurance Athlete. Triathlete. What best program would recommend for me. Thanks FAIZEL

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Posted Sun, 02/17/2019 - 20:01
Sha

Hi John ... I don't really have a question but just wanted to say thanks for the work you do..

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Posted Mon, 02/18/2019 - 10:00
JoshEngland

Thanks Sha!

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Posted Thu, 02/14/2019 - 06:07
Steve

Josh My Legs need some work do you think I could do a separate leg day and do the rest of the routine as it is. Without doing legs so it would be full body on the 3 days and legs on one day. Thanks keep up the good work

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Posted Thu, 02/14/2019 - 09:17
JoshEngland

Hi Steve,

If you have the time to work out 4 days per week - I'd actually recommend a 4 day Upper/Lower split. I think you'd like the results from.

And yes, you could do what you have suggested as well. But my personal recommendation would be an upper/lower workout.

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Posted Mon, 02/11/2019 - 22:21
Kirk

Been out of gym for 2 yrs. I know my way around the gym and the correct movements for most exercises ... This program should be no problem correct? Just start a little on light side or would u recommend doing more of a beginner workout to get back in swing of things.
Thanx

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Posted Tue, 02/12/2019 - 08:55
JoshEngland

Hi Kirk,

For beginners (or those coming off a long layoff), I always recommend one of these workouts: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/beginner

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Posted Mon, 02/11/2019 - 13:55
Cohen

Greeting Josh, could you kindly shed some clarification with regards to the weight percentage use in respect to the 1 rep max on both the strength as well as the hypertrophy sets please. kind regards

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Posted Mon, 02/11/2019 - 16:59
JoshEngland

Hi Cohen,

Sure. 85-95% of strength based sets. 75-85% on hypertrophy sets.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 02/11/2019 - 09:14
John

Josh,
Can you elaborate a bit more on the each supplement intake please?
When to take?
How much to take?
New to supplements so I'm confused on volume and timing.
Thank you!

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Posted Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:26
JoshEngland
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Posted Sun, 02/10/2019 - 15:53
Chris

I have 8 screws in my back. I had a spinal fusion. My doctor told me not to do squats with weight. I can only use my body weight. Will that hold me back with this program.

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Posted Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:33
JoshEngland

Hi Chris,

Probably not the answer you want to hear - but I'd recommend seeking out a good personal trainer or strength coach in your area to help with your program design. In your instance, your injury history will affect many movement patterns. Any information received over the internet won't do you the service you need to maintain proper health and strength.

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Posted Mon, 02/11/2019 - 11:15
Chris

Yeah not what I wanted hear. Even though it’s been five years,guess that doesn’t make a difference. But I will look into that. Thanks you for replying back.

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Posted Sun, 02/10/2019 - 11:46
Htet

Hi Josh,

Probably a stupid question, but Can I do Hiit or cardio after workouts?

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Posted Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:34
JoshEngland

Hi Htet,

Sure, you can add in HIIT after your workouts if you feel it is necessary. Personally, I'd just stick to some LISS on my off days as a form of active recovery though.

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Posted Fri, 02/08/2019 - 11:56
Matthew

How much rest time between sets ?
Is this suitable for begginers ?

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Posted Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:44
JoshEngland

Hi Matthew,

I wouldn't recommend this program for beginners. You might like one of these: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/beginner

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Posted Sun, 02/03/2019 - 20:58
Jeanine

What rpe should I be going for? Usually I push myself to the point where my last reps of any given set or exercise are a 9/10/failure

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Posted Tue, 02/05/2019 - 14:34
JoshEngland

Hi Jeanine,

8-9 on the strength based sets. You always want to feel as though you have one more rep left in the tank. I wouldn't recommend training to complete failure on any given exercise.

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Posted Mon, 01/21/2019 - 01:50
Shuvam

I have been lifting for 2 year's but never seen significant muscle growth , I am good at bench press & deadlift but not at squats do you recommend this exercise for me to pack on muscle mass. Please reply .

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Posted Mon, 01/21/2019 - 12:11
JoshEngland

Hi Shuvam,

It'd likely be a nice change-up to your current routine to spark some growth.

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Posted Fri, 01/18/2019 - 01:45
Shah93

Hi josh
3 questions for you
1. Is this workout perfect for someone who’s trying build muscle and get slightly leaner ?
2. Is this workout plan hitting each Muscle group
twice within the 3 workout days ?
3. When attempting the 1st set for one of the 5x5 3 big lifts. Would I start with the heaviest weight where I can only get 5 clean reps or shall I build it up ?

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Posted Fri, 01/18/2019 - 14:06
JoshEngland

Hi Shah,

1. Yes, this workout can promote those goals.

2. Each muscle group is actually hit 3ish times.

3. I'd recommend ramping up the sets - starting light and working up to your heaviest set.

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Posted Mon, 01/14/2019 - 07:10
Branden95

Hey Josh,

Is it possible to replace all chest and shoulder work for more back, due to a shoulder impingement. Basically, to put more focus on strengthening upper back. And can I reduce the amount of working sets for strength exercises from 5 set to 3-4?

Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 01/14/2019 - 13:44
JoshEngland

Hi Branden,

Absolutely. Feel free to modify this template in whatever ways you deem necessary for your own goals.