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

Josh England
Written By: Josh England
December 5th, 2016
Updated: August 13th, 2021
1.7M 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!

881 Comments
oskars
Posted on: Tue, 09/13/2022 - 02:33

Started again training at the gym, after 6 years, found this programm. Already have been a week in a gym, and i absolutly loving it, simple but good workout

Simeon Anastassiou
Posted on: Mon, 08/22/2022 - 06:47

Great workout!
I'm trying to also get back into cycling but finding it hard to implement it into this three day split, as I like to go for long hard bike rides.
I was thinking of doing Monday and Tuesday back to back full body workouts, Wednesday rest and Thursday bike ride and Friday the final lifting day. What are your thoughts and recommendations for that?

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 08/22/2022 - 07:18

That actually is a good idea, Simeon. If you take it on, let us know how it goes for you.

Thank you for reading M&S!

David
Posted on: Tue, 08/16/2022 - 04:02

Great article. Thank you for this. May I ask is it three days in a row or split? Or can you do either?

Thank you

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 08/18/2022 - 18:48

It doesn't say it, David, but I believe the intent was for you to take every other day off, but doing active rest such as walks or bike rides. If you feel you can train three days in a row, do it but take two days off in between.

Jerry Clark
Posted on: Thu, 08/04/2022 - 06:43

Hello. What do you do after completing the 8 weeks. Can you do another and continue to add weight.

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 08/13/2022 - 07:55

You sure can, Jerry. Or you can try another one of the awesome programs here on M&S. Thanks for choosing us for your training needs.

Omer
Posted on: Thu, 08/04/2022 - 05:34

Hi this workout looks great and I already did the first two days. Is there a good substitute for the deadlift for the strength component on the 3rd day?
I did deadlifts a lot in the past and I'm often injured in the lower back by it. I want to get the most gains out of this program, especially upper body! thanks.

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 08/13/2022 - 07:55

Have you tried rack pulls, Omer? Those may be better for you. The link I'm sharing is with a trap bar, but you can do it with a barbell as well.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/trap-bar-rack-pull

Jerry Clark
Posted on: Mon, 08/01/2022 - 13:15

What do you do once the 8 weeks are done. Do you do another adding more weight. Or mix it up. Love the 3 day full body workout

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 08/12/2022 - 08:48

You can do either, Jerry. That's up to you. Whatever will keep you going, go for it!

Mohit
Posted on: Mon, 08/01/2022 - 10:34

Hey I do dumbbell squats instead of barbell squats so can I switch the squat from 5x5 to maybe 4x10 or 3x10 since I'm not lifting as heavy?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 08/11/2022 - 08:14

Yes, Mohit. You can do that. If you still want to focus on strength, pause at the bottom of those squats so momentum doesn't help you.

Thomas
Posted on: Sat, 07/30/2022 - 11:56

Great article, many thanks for the useful insight. I have been using this program for more than 3 months (using resistance bands due to lack of free weights) with very good results.
I was wondering if I can add 1, or 2 HIIT workouts for more fat burning between workouts. If, per se, I added "The Spartacus Workout" that became a trend in the last decade on one of the rest days, would it reduce my gains? Many thanks

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 08/09/2022 - 08:35

Hi, Thomas. I think you would be okay doing that, but the only way to know for sure is to do it. If you notice your recovery is altered after a couple of weeks, cut back.

Rudy
Posted on: Fri, 07/29/2022 - 16:29

Follow up question to last comment on adding 10 push-ups after every set. Using day 1 as example does that mean 50 total
Push ups during Squats, 40 total push ups during dumbbell bench and so on. Just want to make sure I understand correctly, thanks.

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 08/09/2022 - 08:34

Yes, that is correct.

Igna
Posted on: Thu, 07/28/2022 - 18:18

hello, i play tennis 3 times a week (amateur, not at a very competitive level) and i am looking to complement with this routine, but apparently it is too demanding to apply it in parallel to tennis, is it advisable to eliminate a series in each exercise or eliminate certain exercises? thanks in advance

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 08/09/2022 - 08:20

Hi, Igna. If tennis is the priority, then feel free, but your results may not be the same as they would be if you completed the program as written. That is ultimately up to you, though.

Elmo
Posted on: Sun, 07/17/2022 - 13:35

Hi all I've just found this workout and going to start it tomorrow, I'm struggling with building my chest its always been tough to build definition there and in the past I gave up because of it. Will this be adequate to build size in my chest or would you recommend anything I could add to it to help me with this

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 07/26/2022 - 19:31

Hi, Elmo. What is here should be enough, but if you feel like you really need extra help, do 10 pushups after each set of every exercise. That will be a lot of reps and a lot of blood pumping into the chest.

Dre
Posted on: Mon, 06/20/2022 - 10:38

Could I use this workout to help benefit me in a weight lifting competition?

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 06/24/2022 - 10:08

If you're talking about Olympic weightlifting with the Clean and Jerk and the Snatch, then no, this wouldn't be best for you. Read this for more insight.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/which-olympic-lifts-should-bo...

Jeroen van Pelt
Posted on: Tue, 06/14/2022 - 15:58

Could I do this for example Monday(day1), Wednesday(day2), Thursday(day3)?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 06/15/2022 - 09:24

You can! If that works for your schedule, go for it, and please let us know how the program goes for you.

Jeroen van Pelt
Posted on: Wed, 06/15/2022 - 14:26

Awesome thanks! Also I am really bad in gaining weight. Is there any diet thats good with this program?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 06/16/2022 - 08:08
Clare Hudson
Posted on: Sat, 06/11/2022 - 01:10

Hi on a rest day would you advise total rest eg nothing at all? Would pilates be classed as exercise still?
Also the 5 x 5 lifts, you don't mention to what percentage of max 1 rep we should base this on. Do I max out on 5 reps or work to 80% of what my max lift is is?
Thanks

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 06/13/2022 - 09:20

Hi, Clare. Yes, a rest day should be complete rest. Your strategy for the 5x5 is a good one.

Moiz
Posted on: Sun, 06/05/2022 - 23:15

Hi. Seems like a great workout. I will be trying it from next week. Just a question on the rest days. Can I swap the jog/walk with swimming on rest days?

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 06/07/2022 - 20:32

That is okay, Moiz. If I have a chance to get in the pool, I take advantage.

Rudy
Posted on: Sat, 06/04/2022 - 03:11

One more question before I get started on program. On rest days would hitting a heave bag for cardio be ok, or do you recommend I keep light (walk/jog). Thanks

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 06/07/2022 - 20:31

Love heavy bag work. Won't say no to it. Just don't completely tire yourself out.

Rudy
Posted on: Thu, 06/02/2022 - 01:14

Thanks for answering, got another question. How about doing additional ab work off days? In addition to planks on workout days.

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 06/07/2022 - 20:30

You should have at least one complete day off a week where you do nothing in regards to training. Other than that, if you feel you can do an extra ab exercise or even two on off days without recovery being affected, do it.

Rudy
Posted on: Sat, 05/28/2022 - 01:21

Hi, I was wondering if I can change the order of the exercises (Hypertrophy) so I can superset. For example Machine pec deck w/ pull-up on day 2.

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 05/28/2022 - 21:11

Give it a try, Rudy. Let us know how you do it and how you felt after you get it done.

Miya
Posted on: Mon, 05/16/2022 - 21:17

Hi. On my third week of the program now and loving it! Should I just keep going up in weight on big 3 until failure? After failure should I repeat last weeks weight? For the supporting exercises should I continually add weight each week? I’m starting to feel really exhausted by the end as I keep adding 5lbs each week.

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 05/25/2022 - 19:08

Hi, Miya! Once you find the weight that challenges you, stay there. You don't have to max out every set. Start lighter and work up if you like.

Dr. Miller
Posted on: Fri, 07/15/2022 - 11:25

Sounds like you are advising to deload which I agree. Also suggest 3 weeks on program, deload week 4 using week two's load(weight).

Jannes Dhondt
Posted on: Wed, 05/04/2022 - 10:46

Hi,

I'm running 3 times a week (max 60 minutes, 2 slow runs and 1 interval run) since a long time and would like to grow more muscular.
As I read in your guidelines that you wouldn't recommend too much or too intense cardio on rest days, to recover propely, I was wondering if this program would be a great addition to my running program?
If not, do you have other suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 05/24/2022 - 21:06

Hi, Jannes. This could help, but making sure you eat enough calories to compensate for the running is even more important. If you have a smartwatch and can figure out how many calories you're burning, eat that and then some to compensate on top of your regular nutrition plan.

DJ
Posted on: Tue, 04/19/2022 - 14:48

What would be the best alternative for Leg Curls, Leg Extensions and Machine Pec Deck if you are training at home with barbells, dumbells, bench and a squat rack. I know I could repeat the equivalent from other days but presume this defeats the point.

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 04/25/2022 - 20:43

Actually, DJ, repeating movements is okay when you need to do substitutes. However, you can click the Exercises tab at the top of the page and find exercises you can do based on the equipment you have access to.

Bigb
Posted on: Mon, 04/18/2022 - 14:49

I've been running the Shaun's 3 day muscle building split for a long time. I've gained strength and muscle, but have been reading about the need to get work on muscle groups more than once a week (though occasionally I get in one of the exercises from that workout twice a week).

Is this split a good one to change it up for myself? It's tough for me to get into the gym 4 days a week.

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 04/25/2022 - 20:42

I think this is a great choice. Run it and let us know how it goes!

Arash
Posted on: Thu, 04/14/2022 - 01:23

Hi,
Can you please explain how to go about the supplements? when and how much of each? Thank you.

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 04/25/2022 - 20:41

Hey Arash, follow all the supplements as the directions on the label suggest. Each product will have its own instructions.

Kai
Posted on: Wed, 04/13/2022 - 08:12

I have done this program for 8 weeks and rested for 1 week.
Should I continue to do this program again? Or any suggestions?
I think this program work really well for me.

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 04/25/2022 - 20:41

Hey Kai, run it back and try to do even better this time around! Thanks for reading and supporting M&S!