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

Josh England
Written By: Josh England
December 5th, 2016
Updated: August 13th, 2021
2.8M 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
  • Program Duration8 weeks
  • Days Per Week
  • 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


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!

Posted on: Thu, 07/18/2024 - 21:29

What do you think of doing this 4 days a week?

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Posted on: Wed, 07/24/2024 - 14:58

As long as you don't do four in a row, you should be fine. Days off matter. So, do all three, rest a day or two, then get back on it. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Wed, 07/17/2024 - 20:30

I've been doing this for about 10-12 weeks now and woul like a recommendation on something slightly more advanced. Even if it's more days per week. Thank you I'm advance <3

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Posted on: Wed, 07/24/2024 - 14:44
Posted on: Mon, 07/15/2024 - 08:13

I have been out of the gym for about a year and I have been
Back. This 3 day program looks great but I’m wondering how I
Should go about doing the 5X5 since I lost a lot of strength and the
Muscle I did have. How would you recommend I start these? Should
I do something else in place?
Thank you

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Posted on: Mon, 07/22/2024 - 06:40

Hi Jennie, start them with whatever weight you can do, but don't avoid them. They will help you get better.

César Arruda
Posted on: Sun, 07/14/2024 - 14:24

Can this workout plan be used as a weight loss program? Reducing the macros consumed and so?

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Posted on: Mon, 07/22/2024 - 06:33

Sure can, Cesar! If you try it, let us know how it goes.

nancy Perry
Posted on: Wed, 07/10/2024 - 05:59

Is there anyway to incorporate a bit more glute work in these

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Posted on: Fri, 07/12/2024 - 08:44

You can add a glute exercise on each day if you like, Nancy. We have some great choices for you here.

Hope this helps!

Posted on: Sun, 07/07/2024 - 15:26

I want more glute work! Any suggestions where I could add some in?

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Posted on: Thu, 07/11/2024 - 05:30

You can add a glute exercise in on each day, Melissa. Since it is a point you want to emphasize, do it first when you have the most energy. This page has several exercises you can choose from. Any of them that you can do would be ok to add in.

Posted on: Fri, 06/28/2024 - 21:05

This workout is great. Is it okay to take creatine while trying to lose weight.

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Posted on: Sun, 06/30/2024 - 07:48

It is, Sebastian. Creatine can help with both muscle building and fat loss. We have several great brands that have creatine here on M&S!

Posted on: Fri, 06/28/2024 - 10:12

This workout sounds great, love that it is only 3 days a week! The main question I have is can I substitute some of the dumbbell workouts with a smith machine? I herniated my C4-C5 disc, which affected my left arm, a couple years ago while lifting. As such I am nervous about reinjuring myself since my left arm, is weaker than my right.

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Posted on: Fri, 06/28/2024 - 20:37

Hey Jay, as long as your doctor has no problems with it, go for it!

Posted on: Sat, 06/22/2024 - 22:47

I really like this workout. Would playing basketball on the off days be ok? I tend to play basketball Monday, Wednesday Thursday and Sunday, and plan to workout Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Planning on using basketball as my cardio day. Usually for about 1.5 hours off and on depends on whether we win or lose.

I am really interested on the leg workout as I have had ACL surgeries on both knees and have been working really hard on strengthening my legs to perform better at basketball.


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Posted on: Mon, 06/24/2024 - 06:11

Keep checking in with your doctor or therapist about the ACL, Henry. Outside of that, I see no problems here. Enjoy and best of luck!

Brian Villalta
Posted on: Sat, 06/22/2024 - 01:46

Hello, I started this routine this week…was wondering if I can substitute the legs press and leg extension…with any body weight or dumbbells workout…if you have any recommendations? I workout at home all I have is 15,20 and 25s dumbbells

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Posted on: Mon, 06/24/2024 - 06:09

Hi Brian, swap the leg press out for pause goblet squats and instead of the extensions, just take time in between sets to flex your quadriceps as hard as you can and hold that position for 15-20 seconds. Repeat if you feel you need more than that.

Posted on: Thu, 06/13/2024 - 21:03

Hi, I like this lay out. How come thier is no 5x5 for military/shoulder press? Is thier a way to fit it in?

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Posted on: Mon, 06/17/2024 - 07:43

Hi Ryan, the 5x5 are focused on the big three for powerlifting. If you want to do military as well, do them after bench press on Workout 2. I hope this helps!

Posted on: Tue, 05/28/2024 - 21:19

Hello :)

Due to my scoliosis, I had to give up on squats for strength and instead started maxing out on the leg press for legs strength. Could I substitute Squats on day 1 with leg press for strength and if so should I also be doing leg press for hypertrophy on day 3 or sub that for something else?
I’m currently coming off a 6 day split routine and have been training consistently for two years.

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Posted on: Wed, 05/29/2024 - 08:31

Hi there, Geekay. Props for finding a way to keep it going.

Do leg press on both days. If you want variety, then do a single leg version on the hypertrophy day. I think you can still see progress, even with that adjustment.

Justin Lucciano
Posted on: Tue, 05/28/2024 - 15:14

After the 8 weeks of this what should I do next? Keep it or a different 3 day a week full body.

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Posted on: Wed, 05/29/2024 - 08:30

You can do it either way, Justin. If you want to try a new program, you can find one here.

PS - I saw this question got posted twice. Comments have to be approved before they show up. Letting you know so you are aware that your comments did go through and will be read. Thanks for reading M&S!

Posted on: Sun, 05/26/2024 - 06:35

hi im 6.4 and 340 pound super fat what wourkout should i do i signed up to gym but been bounce around programs. Should i do fat burning or muscle building i wanna be around 260 250 lb im lost lol.

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Posted on: Tue, 05/28/2024 - 09:00

Hi Zac, thanks for reading M&S!

Right out the gate, fat loss is your main focus. Don't worry about building muscle until you reach your goal. The good news is if you train and diet right, you could build some muscle just from putting in the daily effort.

Have you done any programs on M&S already, and if so, which ones? I don't want to recommend something that you have already tried. Also, any medical issues that restrict you from doing anything?

Posted on: Fri, 05/17/2024 - 21:18

Hello, I hope you answer me.
I'm fat and I cant do 10 reps of pullups, what should I do?
And how can I improve my muscles to do more pullups?
Or can I use the pullups machine (that helps you lift yourself)??

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Posted on: Mon, 05/20/2024 - 06:13

Start eating to lose weight, do more cardio, then use this.

In the meantime, if you have access to a pullup assistant machine, you can use that.

Posted on: Mon, 05/06/2024 - 16:03

What would you recommend in terms of a ramp % for the 5x5 portion? Some programs for example start you first week with 40-50% of 1RM and then gradually you increase to 95% towards the end of the program.

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Posted on: Mon, 05/20/2024 - 06:12

Hi Chad, I agree with that. So, that is what I would recommend as well.

Walter Ornelas
Posted on: Mon, 04/29/2024 - 12:18

For the 5 x 5 set, is there a warmup set? Also, what should be the working weight suggestion?

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Posted on: Mon, 04/29/2024 - 17:57

You can warm up with a couple of sets before you start the five. Weight should feel challenging but doable with good form. It could be 75-85% of your max, but that may vary between individual lifters.

Posted on: Sat, 04/27/2024 - 01:46

Hey! I like to end with a bit of cardio. What would you recommend and how long for?

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Posted on: Sun, 04/28/2024 - 19:17

Hi Tony, as Josh wrote, HIIT is not recommended, but if you wanted to do 15-20 minutes of steady state cardio on a treadmill or elliptical, I think that would be okay. Just don't go too hard on it.

Hope this helps!

Posted on: Mon, 04/08/2024 - 06:32

I am looking for a plan to help me lose some fat (gained weight recovering from surgery) and this plan looks awesome! What can I substitute for incline bench? Also I have arthritis in my knees and must avoid lunges and extensions...any suggestions to make it more glute focused? I have a hard time growing my upper body gets toned quickly. Thanks for any help!

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Posted on: Tue, 04/09/2024 - 20:25

Hi Natalie, may I ask why you need the sub for incline bench, and what equipment you have access to so I can make the best recommendation?

Also, glute bridges for the win if your knees can handle those.

Hope this helps!

Posted on: Sat, 04/06/2024 - 13:56

8 weeks turned into 12 - I'm seeing great results, could I keep doing this plan indefinitely? I ask because I do 12 hour shift work that pendulums between days and nights any given week, so doing splits doesn't work for me, but this plan has been great. Just wondering if there's any harm keeping this routine or if I should check out something else?

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Posted on: Sun, 04/07/2024 - 08:14

Glad you're making progress, Matt. You can keep doing it, but keep in mind that you should eventually make a shift because different programs can help provide balance and address weaknesses you may have. That said, if this one is keeping you motivated and you feel you are making progress, ride it until the wheels fall off!

Thanks for choosing M&S!

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Posted on: Tue, 04/09/2024 - 20:23

Plenty of options here for you to check out.

PS - Apologies for the delay in answering this. In the future, you can be assured we got your questions. It just needs to be approved to be answered, and I was away for a couple days. Thanks for being here!

Posted on: Sun, 04/07/2024 - 23:05

Thanks Roger, sounds good. Any other full body M&S work outs you might recommend?

Posted on: Fri, 04/12/2024 - 14:27

No problem! When I came back to this page, it should my message still in the text box, so I couldn't be sure I remembered to hit submit or not. Thanks again for your help Roger!

Posted on: Wed, 04/03/2024 - 16:30

Why are there Lateral raises on 2 separate days? Can I replace one of them for another shoulder exercise?

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Posted on: Thu, 04/04/2024 - 05:51

Hi Conor, one is seated so you have more control of the weight, and the other is standing so you can go a little heavier. That said, you can replace it if you like. I would go with a rear delt movement myself, but we have plenty to choose from here.

Posted on: Wed, 03/27/2024 - 00:13

I' 55 years old with knee and lower back pain. I need to establish a work to help me loose weight and gain muscle

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Wed, 03/27/2024 - 20:34

This might be a good one for you, Robert. Hope this helps!

Posted on: Thu, 03/21/2024 - 13:33

I am 55 and simply can't do lunges anymore. too much knee pain. what would you suggest as an option?

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Posted on: Mon, 03/25/2024 - 20:26

Hi Allen, any other issues I should know about, or are there any other movements you find to be too difficult. I don't want to waste either of our time making recommendations you can't do. Let me know, and I will provide some suggestions.

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Posted on: Wed, 03/27/2024 - 20:33

Ok. Then go with a hack squat if you want to hit the quads more or romanian deadlift if you want to target the posterior chain.