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

Josh England
Written By: Josh England
December 5th, 2016
Updated: August 13th, 2021
1.9M 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!

943 Comments
Trevor
Posted on: Sun, 01/29/2023 - 04:46

Hi ive been doing this workout now for nearly 12 weeks what would you recommend now I'm 45 but want to build bigger everything but not sure what splits to do

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 01/29/2023 - 12:10

Give this a read, Trevor. It could help you out. Thanks for reading M&S!

Jason N.
Posted on: Wed, 01/25/2023 - 17:35

I work from home and do my workouts over the lunch hour. For equipment, I only have access to adjustable dumbbells that go up to 70 lbs as well as resistance bands. I can pretty much do everything I need to with what I have aside from a few exercises like the leg press and pull up which I have good substitutes for.

With what I have available, my question is regarding the 5x5 strength exercises in how to make the most of the weight I have to work with. I started with doing 1.5 reps for 5x5, but I don't know if that really enough for the intent of those lifts, or if I should do 2 half reps and a full rep as 1 rep?

Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!!

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 01/27/2023 - 13:51

Doing slow negatives, Jason? Those may help as well. Take five second negatives after you finish that half-rep. You could also do pauses at the bottom and extra contractions after the sets are over. Try those, and let me know how they work.

Jason
Posted on: Sat, 01/28/2023 - 21:57

Thanks for feedback Roger. Negatives are interesting and something I didn’t consider. I’ve always heard or read that the contraction/squeeze was the most important part of a rep. Are slow negatives as good for hypertrophy gains as the contraction or concentric part of reps, or do they provide a different benefit towards building muscle?

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 01/29/2023 - 12:09

Your muscles are strongest when they're fighting against stretching (doing the negative), so there is a great hypertrophic and strength benefit to doing negatives. They will work harder, so they will need more recovery and nutrition, which leads to progress.

Jason
Posted on: Sun, 01/29/2023 - 18:21

Thanks Roger. Really appreciate the feedback.

After only 1 week, I love the style and layout of the program. Being limited in the amount of weight I have available, this is great info to work with,

Kent
Posted on: Mon, 01/23/2023 - 02:12

I want to start DC training but am a little hesitant for some reason (I have no idea why). This program seems like something good to do first, to get me in to the mindset to jump in to DC. Thoughts?

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 01/23/2023 - 13:18

Not sure about the hesitancy either, Ken, but yes, this would be a solid way to transition into it. Give this all you got and let us know how it goes. I'm curious about that first DC experience as well. All the best.

Wed
Posted on: Sun, 01/15/2023 - 14:01

Is it ok to break training days into 2 parts, it feels too much for 1 session to maximize training efficiency?

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 01/23/2023 - 13:16

Do what you gotta do to get through it. I admire you for knowing the limits and still trying to find a way. Break them up and slowly work to improve so you can combine them into one again. Thanks for reading M&S!

Mark J
Posted on: Tue, 01/10/2023 - 13:58

I dig this workout, but it says to only do it for 8 weeks. So what should I do after those 8 weeks? I will not be a 5-days-a-week guy. I prefer full-body workouts 2-3 days per week. If I am supposed to stop this workout, what should I start after? Any recommendations? Thx

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 01/22/2023 - 11:10

Feel free to do this longer than 8 weeks if you keep seeing results, Mark.

If you want to try something different after instead, check this out to pick a new one. https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-choose-your-next-train...

jennifer
Posted on: Sun, 01/08/2023 - 17:08

Can I use a smith bar instead of barbell

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 01/20/2023 - 08:31

You can, Jennifer.

Nicholas
Posted on: Thu, 12/29/2022 - 10:24

Hi,

I am on week 7 of this work out. Could you tell me which work out I should move on to after the 8 weeks are up? Great work out by the way! Cheers.

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 12/29/2022 - 10:25

This should help you find a new program, Nicholas. Check this out.

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

Nicholas
Posted on: Thu, 12/29/2022 - 10:40

Thank you. I think full body is perfect for my needs which is strength and to build muscle. I don't like split routines.

Geoffrey
Posted on: Wed, 12/28/2022 - 15:41

Hi Roger,
For 3 days/week, do you prefer fullbody routine or half body? and why?
Thanks

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 12/29/2022 - 10:27

Depends on the goal, Geoffrey. If you want to focus on athleticism and endurance, then fullbody would work well because you train everything, but not so much that recovery is an issue. If you want to develop muscle, then a half-body plan would be the ticket because you can challenge more muscles. Then, there's strength. If you want to get stronger, then I would suggest a push, pull, legs routine for optimal recovery between workouts.

Hope this helps!

Amender
Posted on: Sun, 12/25/2022 - 12:18

Hi, Can you make a 4 day full body daily program with more focus on Biceps, Chest and weight loss.

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 12/29/2022 - 10:24

Will pass the suggestion on to my editor, Amender. Thanks.

vincent kasule
Posted on: Tue, 12/20/2022 - 07:05

can i add some morning light cardio & bodyweight?

Mon - 5 min cardio, 5 min planks, ab wheel & pushups/dips

Tue - 5 min cardio, 5 min planks, ab wheel & pull ups

Wed - 5 min cardio, 5 min planks, ab wheel & pistol squats

Thur - 5 min cardio, 5 min planks, ab wheel & pushups/dips

Fri - 5 min cardio, 5 min planks, ab wheel & pull ups

or how would you advise i add them in

thank you

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 12/27/2022 - 08:46

This looks good to me, Vincent. Go for it, and let us know how it works for you. Your experience may help someone else.

Thanks!

Joe Hall
Posted on: Sun, 12/11/2022 - 14:51

Hi, are the 5x5 all working sets or 2 w/up and 3 working?

Thanks,

Joe

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 12/12/2022 - 20:20

You can do it either way, Joe. My suggestion would be to do all five as working sets. Hope this helps.

Joe Hall
Posted on: Tue, 12/13/2022 - 03:12

Great, thanks

Rokas
Posted on: Sun, 12/11/2022 - 09:52

Already did this program 3 cycles, can you suggest a replacemant one? On thuesday and thursday i do cardio on bike, 45mins. About the program, why there is 3 times plank? i do 5 times one minute, with 30s rest times. But i think it could be more variation. Other thing that bothers me, its on wensday there is seated lateral raise, and on friday there is standing lateral raise. Whats the diffrence, and do you really need both? I think different exercise for one if them would be more beneficial.

Anyway like the program very much, the biggest negative the time it takes, with 10 min warm up and streches after workout my time from gym enter and exit takes 3 hours.

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 12/11/2022 - 14:30

This should help you pick your next program, Rokas. Check this article out.

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

The planks are great for stability as well as preparation, but you can certainly change the exercise you do if you like, especially after three times on the program.

Seated lateral raises are great for isolation and concentrating on the side delts while the standing version is great for size and strength becasue you can use your body to help you generate a couple extra reps.

Lucie
Posted on: Wed, 11/30/2022 - 21:52

Started this program today. I can't go too high on the squats even if I can easily do them at 160. I focus on me really squatting as low as I can without bending my back too much. I focus on staying straight and pushing with my feet and joy my back. Goal is to go back to doing 185.

It kicked my ass today. Awesome program and workout.

As for increasing the weights some others have mentioned, 5 lbs a week can be quite alot. I'd suggest buying some add-on weights u can attach to ur dumbbells. They are pricey but they're 1,25 lbs per plate so if I up ur weight by 2,5 lbs that's perfect to do progressive overload

Jack
Posted on: Wed, 11/30/2022 - 11:43

Was wondering how I could condense this 3 day plan into 2 days, say Monday and Wednesday with running on t,th,sat. With a lighter upper body workout on fri. I rest on Sunday. Main goal is fat loss but would still like to maintain/gain some strength. Don’t care too much about size but if that comes, so be it. I’m 50, training since I’m 20.

Jack Powitz
Posted on: Tue, 11/29/2022 - 12:17

I run 3 days week, T/Th/Sat, Sat is a long run. I plan to do this routine on Mon and Wed. Fri would be a lighter version or a different whole body routine (I cant get into the gym on Friday). If I were to condense this routine into 2 days (Mon and Wed) what would you suggest. My goals are fat loss, maintain/gain some strength, am good with a little more size too but is least important. Been lifting/running since I'm 20. I'm 50 years old.

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 12/02/2022 - 21:10

Hey Jack, I would simply suggest following the order of workouts instead of condensing them. So, do Workouts 1 and 2 on Monday and Wednesday, then next Monday do Workout 3. Then repeat on the next weight training day.

Jack P
Posted on: Tue, 11/29/2022 - 11:43

Plan to start this program next week. I run 3 days a week. Plan to lift m, w, and f (lighter). I run t, th, sat, and rest Sunday. Friday I would lift lighter at home. If I were to condense this into a 2 day per week, what would u suggest. Looking to lose fat while still gaining a some strength (if size comes too, so be it). I’m 50 and been lifting/running since I’m 20.

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 12/01/2022 - 08:28

Hey Jack, to be honest, I don't suggest combining them into two days a week. If that is all you have, then simply do the workouts in the order as you train. So if you do workouts 1 and 2 on the first week, then do workouts 3, and 1 again on the next week. Keep the rotation going in that cycle. Hope this helps, and thank you for reading M&S!

Ahmed
Posted on: Mon, 11/28/2022 - 23:45

Hi coach I just wanna ask about abs workout with this program.

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 12/01/2022 - 08:22

Hello, Ahmed. Feel free to take this one on. Do it on one of the off days or after your workouts. https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/core-destroyer-8-week-home-ab...

Mohamm
Posted on: Sun, 11/27/2022 - 01:05

Hi friends. Would it to be beneficial to add 2 or 3 sets for a lagging bodypart each day?
I was on an upper lower with 4 exercises for back +shrugs+deadlifts, so I think the back volume here is lower
Should I add exercises or do you suggest me another x3 fullbody?? (Lack of time)
Thank you!!

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 11/27/2022 - 21:25

Feel free to add three sets to a lagging bodypart. You can check out our Exercises section for options if you need some to consider adding.

Steve
Posted on: Sun, 11/13/2022 - 14:38

Hi I was wondering . Right now I workout from home. With the deadlift is there something you can replace that with? Lower back problem or can you just do more reps with a lighter weight. Also what would you replace machine pec deck with. Have dumbbells up to 90 lbs and also have bands. Thanks

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 11/19/2022 - 09:18

For the deadlifts, talk to your doctor because of the lower back problems. Hard to offer an alternative if you don't know what is wrong or how it can resolved.

For the pec-deck, I suggest standing band flyes. I train at home as well. Take a resistance band and hold each end while the middle is wrapped around something like the upright of a squat rack or a post. Perform standing flyes as if you were holding onto the handles of a pec-deck. Not much resistance at the bottom, but it beats nothing.

Malik
Posted on: Tue, 11/08/2022 - 18:46

what’s the recommendation for days spent working out.
ex: M,T,W or M,W,F?

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 11/12/2022 - 11:09

That is up to you. If you choose to train three days in a row, then take two days off before starting again. You can also do every other day so you have rest between workouts.

David Lankton
Posted on: Tue, 11/08/2022 - 10:01

I am 60 and have worked out all my life, but four and five day workouts have become very draining. Would this program be a good alternative?

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 11/12/2022 - 11:08

I believe it would, David. Please let us know how you like it. Thanks for reading M&S!

Olgar Duyen
Posted on: Mon, 11/07/2022 - 12:50

Hey coach! First of all thank you for the program. I have some questions. The program says we have to increase 5lb for each week. Is that available for some isolation moves like lateral raises and machine pec decks? I had a rotator cuff injury made a rehab process and working out like around 6 months and now i'm better both physical and mental.

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 11/12/2022 - 11:07

Good question, Olgar. First things first, see a doctor about this information before applying it because I don't know the details of your injury and I'm not a physician.

It will be tough to increase by five pounds a week on exercises like a lateral raise or concentration curl. For those exercises, focus on doing the reps slower and more controlled. You can then hold contractions longer to provide a different challenge. Finally, you can then start adding reps with the weight you're working with. Once all of that gets too easy, then add your weight.

Arnold P.
Posted on: Tue, 11/01/2022 - 10:24

What if I do this program every Tues, Thurs, & Sat? Is it okay?
And I really love golf (driving) almost every rest days, is it okay as my cardio routine or I have to stay with light jog/walk?

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 11/07/2022 - 11:46

The schedule is fine, Arnold. As for the cardio, keep the light jogs/walk in. If you were walking the golf course, I'd say substitute it.

Jean François
Posted on: Sat, 10/29/2022 - 06:11

thank you for this routine. Could I substitute the dumbell exercises for barbell or Z bar exercises? Would they be how lighter? What if I cannot squat too much (knee discomfort)?