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

Josh England
Written By: Josh England
December 5th, 2016
Updated: August 13th, 2021
1.4M 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!

714 Comments
Kal Kay
Posted on: Mon, 09/06/2021 - 14:45

Hey
what do you recommend for warm up / cool down

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/08/2021 - 16:01

Hi, Kal. Give this a go for warming up. You can stretch and walk for around 10-15 minutes as a cool-down afterwards.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/warming-up-for-dummies

Pete Armfield
Posted on: Fri, 08/27/2021 - 15:32

Hey! Love the workout.

Planks for 20 secs.. are we supposed to adjust for as hard (long) as possible (but manageable) for 5 sets?

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/08/2021 - 15:59

Hi, Pete! You can either try to increase the time you hold the plank or have a partner add plates to your back for increased resistance to support.

Daryl
Posted on: Mon, 08/23/2021 - 11:28

Instead of doing the plank for 5 sets for 20 seconds each can I use the ab wheel? How many sets and reps would I do if I am able to use the ab wheel?

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Wed, 09/08/2021 - 15:58

Hi, Daryl! Sure, you can substitute the ab wheel if you like. Stick with 5 sets but begin with 5 reps each and work your way up until you can do five sets of 10. Let us know how it works for you!

Smith
Posted on: Thu, 08/19/2021 - 03:34

Hey what should be my starting weight for the 3 big lifts(bench press, deadlift and squat)... And how many pounds shoud i add to these three lifts every week?

M&S Team Badge
Roger
Posted on: Tue, 09/07/2021 - 09:40

Hi, Smith. Start with the weight that you're capable of performing all the reps with while using good form. As the article says, add five pounds each week as long as you're capable of achieving the desired reps. If you can't, don't add weight until you can.

Nathan Close
Posted on: Fri, 08/13/2021 - 19:09

Do you think it would be fine to be cutting while on this workout? I've been doing it for four weeks but I thi k I need to cut some fat.

M&S Team Badge
Marina
Posted on: Fri, 08/13/2021 - 19:36

Nathan - yes you can do that.

Nikhil
Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 07:20

Thanks for the amazing workout. Do you have a dumbbell only alternative for this?

M&S Team Badge
Marina
Posted on: Wed, 08/04/2021 - 13:49

Hi Nikhil!

Here's a 3-day dumbbell only program you might be interested in:
https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/3-day-full-body-dumbbell-workout

Josh
Posted on: Sun, 08/01/2021 - 09:29

Is Beta-Alanine meant to be taken every day regardless of rest days? My bottle has 30 servings and says take daily, but I'm just wondering if it's necessary or instead take only on days I work out. I am currently doing the 3-day hypertrophy workout template provided here.

Jacob
Posted on: Mon, 07/26/2021 - 08:37

Would it make much of a difference to switch the Day 2 workout with Day 1 and do squats etc on the Wednesday? Only 1 squat rack in my gym and it's hardly free on Mondays but almost always free Wednesday.

M&S Team Badge
Abigail
Posted on: Mon, 07/26/2021 - 11:36

Hey Jacob - yes, you can switch up the days

Andrew Pollesel
Posted on: Sun, 07/25/2021 - 19:56

Hey Josh,
I don't have access to a leg press machine. What would you suggest to replace leg presses? I have a home gym with free weights and pullies.
Thanks,
Andrew

M&S Team Badge
Abigail
Posted on: Mon, 07/26/2021 - 11:38

Hey Andrew - check out this article for leg press alternatives: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/lower-body-alternatives-your-...

Andrew Pollesel
Posted on: Fri, 07/30/2021 - 13:57

Thank you!

EMAD UD DIN
Posted on: Mon, 07/12/2021 - 09:23

Hi there, I am following this program for about 1 month or so and really liking that. My only 2 questions are
1. can i replace dumbbell row with barbell
2. can i use smith machine for bench or shoulder press

M&S Team Badge
Abigail
Posted on: Mon, 07/12/2021 - 09:27

Hey Emad - Glad to hear you're liking the program! Yes, you can do both of those.

Kenneth Dye
Posted on: Mon, 07/05/2021 - 16:19

After doing squats my legs are always sore for at least two days. Wouldn't it be hard to do leg workouts on day two just a couple days after squat day?

M&S Team Badge
Abigail
Posted on: Tue, 07/06/2021 - 09:44

Hey Kenneth - if you're still that sore days after doing squats, then your recovery might not be in check. You can take two days off between Day 1 and Day 2 to accommodate for the soreness in your legs.

Kenneth
Posted on: Mon, 07/05/2021 - 05:31

The dumbbell row on Day 1 refers to bent over dumbbell row or single arm row?

M&S Team Badge
Abigail
Posted on: Tue, 07/06/2021 - 09:31

Hey Kenneth - you can do either! If you opt to do single arm rows, the reps listed are per arm, not total.

mahendra singh
Posted on: Sun, 07/04/2021 - 10:49

hey josh, you didn't mention about the weight progression? how often should I increase the weight and by how much? thank you

M&S Team Badge
Abigail
Posted on: Tue, 07/06/2021 - 09:39

Hey mahendra - when you choose to increase weight is highly dependent on the individual. You should increase weight when you feel like you have more than 1-2 reps left in the tank during your sets.

Jose
Posted on: Sun, 06/13/2021 - 18:50

Can i change squad for leg press?

M&S Team Badge
Abigail
Posted on: Mon, 06/14/2021 - 10:47

Hey Jose - ideally you'll do squats, but if you're unable to do so, you can do leg press.

mickael
Posted on: Fri, 06/04/2021 - 08:06

i am new to strength training...how do you find your 5 rep max?

M&S Team Badge
Abigail
Posted on: Fri, 06/04/2021 - 10:52

Hey mickael - you can take a day and test for it

Jose
Posted on: Thu, 05/27/2021 - 23:42

How can I add Daily Undulating Periodization (DUP) to this program.

Ash
Posted on: Wed, 05/19/2021 - 15:51

What should diet be during this 8 week program?

M&S Team Badge
Abigail
Posted on: Thu, 05/20/2021 - 09:46

Hey Ash - there is no specific diet for this program. You can use our BMR calculator to figure out your daily caloric needs: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

JaimeEspana
Posted on: Tue, 05/18/2021 - 17:58

Hi guys, I have lower back issues that have been getting better since I am doing hyperextensions three times a week. Can I incorporate 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps after the planks?

Thanks,

M&S Team Badge
Abigail
Posted on: Wed, 05/19/2021 - 10:04

Hey JaimeEspana - yes you can.

Ryan
Posted on: Mon, 05/17/2021 - 10:00

So I’m super sore today and it’s supposed to be my workout day. Is ok if a take a extra day rest but still hit the gym theee times per week? I aim for Monday, Wednesday and Friday, but what if I did Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday? Still getting my three days a week in.

M&S Team Badge
Abigail
Posted on: Mon, 05/17/2021 - 10:45

Hey Ryan - you can definitely do that!

Ryan
Posted on: Tue, 05/11/2021 - 16:58

Love the program! What kind of calorie intake/diet would best suit this program?I’m currently “trying” to hit 3000 calories a day, but that could be difficult at times. Trying to lean out a bit, but still make some gains.

M&S Team Badge
Abigail
Posted on: Thu, 05/13/2021 - 09:39

Hey Ryan - have you checked out our BMR calculator to determine your daily calorie intake? https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

Ryan
Posted on: Sat, 05/15/2021 - 21:02

Appreciate the prompt response. I checked out the link and I should be right at 3000 calories a day. Thanks again and best of life.

Joel
Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2021 - 03:06

With the lunges, is that 10 reps on each leg or 10 total (so 5 on each)?

M&S Team Badge
Abigail
Posted on: Tue, 04/27/2021 - 09:40

Hey Joel - 10 each leg

Hrk
Posted on: Sun, 04/25/2021 - 15:59

Just finished this 8 week plan, and I loved it. Is it okey to continue this programme for any longer than 8 weeks?

M&S Team Badge
Abigail
Posted on: Mon, 04/26/2021 - 09:56

Hey Hrk - yes you can continue this program for longer than 8 weeks.

Desmond
Posted on: Sun, 04/25/2021 - 13:28

I am reaching the 8th week of the program....should i continue on or change program, if change any recommendations which program should i try?

M&S Team Badge
Abigail
Posted on: Mon, 04/26/2021 - 09:54

Hey Desmond - if you like this program and are seeing results, you can repeat this program.

Naor
Posted on: Wed, 04/21/2021 - 09:47

Hey, Thank you for the plan.
i am allready a week wtih it and it feels great. i have a few questions please:
1) can i replace lunge with step ups? i have a knee issues and i want to keep a low profile with them. is there any other good replacements for lunges?
2) is that fine to rest 1:30 mins each set for small muscle and 2 mins for the big ones?
Example: for the chest (bench press) i rest for 2 mins and for triceps i rest 1:30 mins each set.
thank you :)

M&S Team Badge
Abigail
Posted on: Fri, 04/23/2021 - 10:47

Hey Naor - yes, you can replace lunges with step ups. For rest times, rest between compound movements can be 1-2 minutes and rest between the accessory work can be 30-60 seconds. Hope that helps!

Naor
Posted on: Fri, 04/23/2021 - 11:03

It helps alot, ty!

Iain Rudd
Posted on: Tue, 04/20/2021 - 21:02

I currently work out 4 days a week and would like to continue that schedule. I am thinking of doing a favorite day a second time during the week or rotating the days-
week 1- day 1, day 2, day 3, day 1.
week 2- day 2, day 3, day 1, day2
week 3- day, day 1, day 2. day 3
Etc...
Any thoughts please.

Free Workouts & Expert Advice

Get a weekly email with the latest workouts, tools, expert guides and deals from M&S.