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

Josh England
Written By: Josh England
December 5th, 2016
Updated: August 13th, 2021
2.2M 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!

1.1K Comments
Morshed
Posted on: Wed, 09/27/2023 - 07:19

For the 1 arm dumbell row do you mean 4x10 as in 2x10 for left and 2x10 for right arm or4x10 for left and 4x10 for right??Is it ok if I do 2 arm dumbell row instead of 1 arm?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/27/2023 - 14:05

4 sets for the left, and 4 sets for the right.

Mahir Niloy
Posted on: Wed, 09/27/2023 - 07:12

Can I replace DB row with Barbell row?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/27/2023 - 14:04

Sure!

Daan
Posted on: Sun, 09/24/2023 - 05:29

Thank you guys for making this workout program!!

Saleh
Posted on: Sun, 09/24/2023 - 01:41

Is there anything as an alternative for lunges? This take too much time and pressure on my mind. Can I do something like split squat or step up? Or box squat?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/27/2023 - 14:04

Split squat or step up would work as subs since you're still working each leg.

Aravind
Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2023 - 08:56

What can I do alternative to a pull up? There is already pull down in Day 3.

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2023 - 19:53

You can do a pullover, Aravind. Either with a dumbbell, cable or with a pullover machine.

Aravind
Posted on: Thu, 09/21/2023 - 07:27

Thanks for your response

Mahir Niloy
Posted on: Tue, 09/19/2023 - 12:17

I have used this plan for 3 months:
Day-1:
3×5+ Barbell Rows
3×5+ Bench Press
3×5+ Squats

8×8 Lateral Raises
8×8 Curls
8×8 Leg Raises

Day2:
3×5+ Chinups (or equivalent)
3×5+ Overhead Press
3×5+ Deadlifts

8×8 Incline DB Press
8×8 DB Shrugs
8×8 Cable Crunches

Day3:
3×5+ Barbell Rows
3×5+ Bench Press
3×5+ Squats

8×8 Tricep Pushdowns
8×8 Neutral Grip Chinups
8×8 Planks

I used another plan for 3 months before this.Should I do this intermediate workout routine now?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2023 - 19:52

I think you're ready for this one now. How did the old routine help you?

Mahir Niloy
Posted on: Fri, 09/22/2023 - 03:16

I did the old routine on my first 3 months in gym and i wasnt very consistent with it.Was mostly learning how to do the workouts and i didnt increase weights for all 3 months.I can do all the excercises in this routine so should i do it?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/27/2023 - 14:03

Yep. Give it all you got. Just pay attention to warming up and recovery. You should see solid progress with this one if you're consistent.

Matt
Posted on: Tue, 09/19/2023 - 05:58

Hi

Great program. My question is, would it be ok to substitute regular deadlifts with trap bar deadlifts and squats with hack squats? Reason being I have no ACL in my left knee and it feels much safer to use these alternatives. I lift alone so try and reduce the risk as much as possible.

Thanks for the program.
Matt

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2023 - 19:54

Hey Matt, as long as your doctor is good with it, I think those are excellent swaps.

Sophie
Posted on: Mon, 09/18/2023 - 00:13

Would this program be suitable for a 15 year old boy to gain muscle? He has been doing a basic weights program for the past 2 months.

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2023 - 19:53

Hi Sophie, yes, this would be fine for a 15-year old.

Brad
Posted on: Sun, 09/10/2023 - 18:00

I am 56 and have been training since I was 16. Of course, with age, my body is changing. I have been debating a full body training program for a while now. I am going to try this. My question is, after the eight weeks can I just take a week off and continue with this program; or do I need to find another full body program after 8 weeks? Thanks.

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/20/2023 - 19:55

Hi Brad, you can take a week off and pick back up with this one if you want. Hope this helps.

Reda
Posted on: Mon, 09/04/2023 - 06:35

Whrn you recommend 10 reps for lunges, do you mean 10 reps for each leg. Or 5 per leg? And if it’s 10 for each leg, do you rest?

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 09/05/2023 - 19:45

10 for each leg, and you rest after you complete all 10 for each leg.

Furkan
Posted on: Sun, 09/03/2023 - 07:33

can i do incline dumbell curl on the day 1? i feel better instead of normal dumbell curl

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 09/05/2023 - 19:45

You sure can.

Furkan
Posted on: Sun, 09/03/2023 - 07:18

for 9 month ive used this plan
(monday, wednesday, friday)

squat 4x8
bench press 4x10
dumbell fly 3x10
lat pulldown 3x10
seated cable row 3x10
lateral raise 3x10
dumbell shoulder press 3x10
z bar curl 3x10
triceps pushdown 3x10

now can i use this plan?

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 09/05/2023 - 19:44

Yes.

Emir
Posted on: Sun, 09/03/2023 - 07:16

what can i add instead of deadlift? i really hate this exercise, and can i do leg press instead of lunge?

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 09/05/2023 - 19:42

Deadlift is for the entire posterior chain. Leg press and lunges don't have the same benefit. You can ultimately change the program as you need, but you won't achieve the same results as you would with the deadlift added in.

Mahir Niloy
Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2023 - 09:33

Will this routine be good if i want a lean muscular body?I dont want bulky body.

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 09/05/2023 - 19:41

As long as your diet and recovery support your goal, this program can help you move forward towards achieving it.

Langley
Posted on: Tue, 08/29/2023 - 11:00

Finding I have spare time at end of each workout. I would like to add more ab exercises. Thoughts on this?

i) Side Planks added to each Day (to target obliques)
ii) Replace Plank on Day2 & 3 with Cable Crunch and Hanging Leg Raise (respectively)

Could maybe add Barbell Rollout, but there doesn't seem to be space. Any other ideas? I understand abs made in the kitchen.

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 08/30/2023 - 06:43

I like both of those, Langley. Go for it. If you got an ab wheel, you perhaps could do rollouts with that.

Thomas
Posted on: Mon, 08/21/2023 - 13:21

I am starting this program, but would like to focus my hamstrings a little more. Can you recommend the best way to go about doing so?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 08/24/2023 - 21:16

Hello, Thomas. You training in a gym, I'm guessing. If so, then do a single leg curl on top of the leg curl you do on Day 2. You can also add Stiff-Legged Deadlifts on Day 1 after Squats. Follow similar sets and rep schemes.

nahush
Posted on: Tue, 08/15/2023 - 06:13

Hi Josh
Apparently I am an international karate athlete,can I do this 3 day Full body workout and for other two days I'll go for snatches and cardio and all..!
Pls reply soon

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 08/24/2023 - 21:15

Yes, you can do the other two days of activity while on this program.

Antonio
Posted on: Thu, 08/10/2023 - 15:47

Hi, would you recommend this routine for someone working construction and lifting things and deadlifting all day every day and alot of bending over and walking up and down for over 30 mile a day or am I better off using a ppl or bro split? Thanks or any advice if I do use this routine

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 08/24/2023 - 21:14

What's good, Antonio? I think this is a good one for you, but I would back down the volume by doing one less set than what is listed here. So, if it says 5 sets, do 4. Hope this helps!

kethan
Posted on: Fri, 07/28/2023 - 14:51

Hey there! I've recently begun hitting the gym as a skinny fat guy, and I'm planning to go on a slight calorie surplus.

I'm wondering if three-day full body workouts would be more beneficial for beginners compared to other split workouts.

Additionally, even though the workout is for intermediates, do you think it's still suitable for me since I'm already familiar with the exercises? Thanks!

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 08/13/2023 - 12:51

I think it would be better for beginners so they can learn how the muscles work and train everything without pushing one group too much. I think this would be a fine choice for you. Good luck, and let us know how it goes!

John
Posted on: Sun, 07/16/2023 - 12:46

Can I used heavy tension, good quality resistance bands in place of weights and still reap the benefits of this program?

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 07/23/2023 - 09:53

You may not see all the same benefits because the resistance changes as the band loses tension, but you will see some sort of positive changes, John. If you do it, let us know how it goes for you.

Amr
Posted on: Sat, 07/15/2023 - 20:23

Is there any specific warm-up exercise before the workouts?

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 07/23/2023 - 09:52

No specific plan, but you can do what you're comfortable with in order to prepare. Outside of light cardio and stretching, I suggest doing one or two lighter sets to prepare for the work sets on the first exercise or two.

Ronald Frank
Posted on: Wed, 06/28/2023 - 01:28

Hey, I have mobility issues and a bulging disc in my lower back that prevents me from Squatting or Deadlifting. Is there any way I could replace those exercises?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 06/28/2023 - 07:56

You can, but talk to your doctor about what exercises you can do, Ronald. Your physician knows your body and situation better than we do, so your best bet is to get recommendations about exercises that way.

Dannyfoots
Posted on: Mon, 06/19/2023 - 08:26

I work in very physically demanding job 50 hours week doing concrete slabs so 20,000 steps a day and alot of lifting pushing and pulling any tips with this program? And aswell as to not be crippled with Dom's for the work day to ruin job required performance?

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 06/20/2023 - 07:22

Two tips for you.

1. Do one less set than is recommended here for each exercise. So, when you see five sets, do four. If you see four sets, do three, and so on.

2. Ramp up the weight each set. Start very light and work up to a single heaviest set. This will minimize the impact of volume on top of what you're already doing.

Hope this helps. Thanks for reading M&S!

Bernard F
Posted on: Mon, 06/12/2023 - 00:30

3 weeks into this program and absolutely love it. Already noticing lean gains in all body areas. Where would M&S suggest to go after this program? Could you run this program again with the same format but different exercises? My goal would to be continue to build muscle. Thanks!

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 06/12/2023 - 06:49

Hi, Bernard. Glad you're seeing results, and we appreciate you being here.

You can do the same format with different movements, or you can find your next program here.

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