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

Josh England
Written By: Josh England
December 5th, 2016
Updated: August 13th, 2021
2.7M 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!

1.2K Comments
Mounaim
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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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 05/20/2024 - 06:13

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

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/improve-pullups-8-weeks

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

Chad
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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Roger
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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Roger
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.

Tony
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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Roger
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!

Natalie
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 glutes....my upper body gets toned quickly. Thanks for any help!

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Roger
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!

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

Plenty of options here for you to check out.

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

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!

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

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

Matt
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!

Conor
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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Roger
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.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/shoulders

robert
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

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 03/27/2024 - 20:34

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

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/machines-only-3-day-split

Allen
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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Roger
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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Roger
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.

Allen
Posted on: Tue, 03/26/2024 - 00:20

Aside from lunches I still have pretty decent mobility. Years of doing powerlifting and not enough stretching has taken its toll. I’ve never been checked for arthritis… but I don’t THINK that that’s the issue.

Charisse
Posted on: Tue, 03/19/2024 - 02:12

Hi, I'm in the middle of this program and doing great. What would be the next step after the 8 week duration of the program? Thank you.

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

Hi Charisse, you could find that next program based on your new goals here.

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

Thank you for reading M&S!

Ashley
Posted on: Mon, 03/18/2024 - 09:35

Hello! Is this program good for weight loss as well? And as a female, would this program make me bulky? Any advice would be great :)

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 03/25/2024 - 20:24

As long as your nutrition and cardio supports your fat loss goals, you will be fine using this program, and you should NOT get bulky.

Tessa
Posted on: Sun, 03/17/2024 - 02:57

Obviously there are rep numbers posted on here, any suggestions regarding rep ranges? Been following the PHUL on this site (enjoyed it thus far) and found I could gauge/therefore make progress when it range instead of an absolute number. Curious as to your thoughts!

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 03/25/2024 - 20:24

You can either go two lower with the goal of going heavier or push yourself with the weight you use for the recommended reps to go two over. For example, if you can do 50 for 10, try for 12. Once you get it, go up.

Hope this helps!

Mike smit
Posted on: Thu, 03/14/2024 - 18:26

How many weeks should i follow this course before switching it up for a new routine. Just started my second week enjoying it so far. And do you have any tips on advancing with the pull ups i have a wrist injury so for now i'm using the assisted pull up machine at my gym and try to pull up to the point my chest reaches the height of my grip for max ROM.

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 03/23/2024 - 16:50

Hey Mike! Go with this for at least eight weeks.

Pullups: you're doing what I would suggest. Make sure you pause at the top and bottom of each rep. Momentum is the enemy if you want to truly master pullups. I also think lifting straps would help with the grip and wrist while you're dealing with the injury. Consider using those as well if you're not already.

Ashton
Posted on: Wed, 03/13/2024 - 12:17

Can I get the same results without using weights? My doctor doesn't recommend me to use weights, but I can use resistance bands, my body weight and a cable machine in replace of them.

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 03/23/2024 - 16:48

You may not experience the same results, but I never suggest going against a doctor's suggestions. Go for it with the bands, cable machine, and bodyweight. Let us know how it works, and thanks for reading M&S, Ashton!

James
Posted on: Tue, 03/12/2024 - 16:47

This workout is a three day a week split but can I run it every other day so some weeks I would train 3 days a week and some weeks 4 days a week
(Mon Wed Fri Sun Tue Thu Sat Mon) etc etc

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 03/12/2024 - 18:58

I see no issues with that, James. Go for it. Hope this helps!

Cornelius
Posted on: Wed, 03/06/2024 - 23:56

This ill thought through program is overly long, mixes body parts that shouldnt and relies on outdated methods of strength building.

Matt
Posted on: Sat, 04/06/2024 - 13:58

Dunno Cornelius, it's been working pretty well for me so far.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Dan
Posted on: Tue, 03/05/2024 - 13:54

What a good warm up to start

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 03/12/2024 - 18:57

If you're talking about before you train at all, a few minutes on an elliptical or treadmill followed by stretching and contracting muscles would be effective.

If you're talking about warmup weights, go with 50% of what you think you can do before you start your work sets.

Hugh
Posted on: Sun, 03/03/2024 - 06:53

Hi I had a heart attack 1 year ago I’m 55 I have a sitting job so as well as getting stronger i really need to get fit to be able to walk a few miles and build stamina will this help as only doing bits on rest days .thank you for the work you’ve put it to help others with there goals

Michael
Posted on: Sat, 03/02/2024 - 14:49

Hi! I hope this isnt a stupid question but I just started this program and was wondering if one of the lateral raises could be switched with an overhead press?
I know its training the muscles differently but not sure if it would be worse or not.

Thanks in advance!

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 03/09/2024 - 20:22

Not a stupid question, Michael, but let me answer with a question of my own. Why are you wanting to swap them? I ask so I can provide the best answer possible for you.

Brent
Posted on: Thu, 02/29/2024 - 06:03

Started this routine this week and am loving it. Thanks! My back is one of my weakest lifts and this routine doesn’t have a big compound strength move for the back pull. Any supplement you’d advise to target the back more with this routine?

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 03/09/2024 - 20:21

Hey Brent, the deadlift is as good as you can find for the lower back as well as the entire posterior chain. However, reverse hypers, rack pulls, and barbell rows off the floor are also good additions to include if you want.

Josh
Posted on: Mon, 02/26/2024 - 20:13

My biggest fear is my legs and triceps not growing. How does doing these workouts make your legs grow along with triceps cause it feels like I'm not doing it. But this is my second week.

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 02/27/2024 - 18:40

Hey Josh, thanks for reading M&S. If this is only your second week, then you need to give it more time. You should see some positive results in a couple of months. Keep in mind that since you're trying to make them grow, then you're literally trying to build muscle that you don't have yet. That takes time, consistency, and commitment.

Colene
Posted on: Fri, 02/23/2024 - 16:17

Hi, do I have to do the workouts in the order listed for the three-day full-body workout program?

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 02/24/2024 - 07:58

It's suggested, but it's not like we're going to be there to stop you if you don't. LOL.

Mind if I ask why you want to switch things up and what you have in mind? I'd like to provide the best suggestions possible if needed.

Colene
Posted on: Sat, 02/24/2024 - 08:23

Thank you for your quick response! My gym is usually crowded and sometimes the equipment is not available to use in the order the exercises are listed.

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 02/25/2024 - 07:06

Makes sense. Do the first exercise first, but do the rest as you need to. Let us know how it goes.