The Total Package: A 3 Day 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

Build Muscle
Full Body
8 weeks
75-90 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells
Male & Female
download pdfDownload 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 delihemma 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.

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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 it’s 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 afterwards 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 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 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 to day. If you decide to make alterations, try to make each exercises 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. You’re 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!

642 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 03/01/2021 - 03:53

What can I do instead of leg extensions and leg curls?

I don’t have machines, got squat rack, barbell and dumbbells. Can I replace these for other exercises?

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Posted Mon, 03/01/2021 - 10:04

Hey Miguel - check out this article for alternatives:

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Posted Mon, 03/01/2021 - 10:07

That’s great thanks!

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Posted Thu, 02/25/2021 - 03:21

Hi, if i can change the Hypertrophy part to superset ?

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Posted Thu, 02/25/2021 - 09:58

Hey Aziz - it's best to follow the program as written.

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Posted Wed, 02/17/2021 - 16:43

Can I also do these workouts on Monday/Wednesday/Thursday? Or like Monday/Wednesday/Saturday? Or does it have to be 1 rest day in between?

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Posted Fri, 02/19/2021 - 10:39

Hey J - Since these are full body workouts, it's ideal to have at least one full rest day between workouts.

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Posted Wed, 02/03/2021 - 18:07

Really looking forward to starting this program. I’m 55 and have always trained for mass but I have not had much success. Lately I’ve been constantly changing my routines. I always prefer to train 3 times a week and was looking for a full body routine. I will have to be careful on the squats as I have a lower back weakness. Thanks for sharing.

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Posted Thu, 02/04/2021 - 10:17

Hey Rob - Good luck! Keep us updated on your progress!

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Posted Wed, 01/27/2021 - 15:17

Hello , i find this programm a little " light" especialy on big muscle group like Legs ....What would you recommand for advanced level ?

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Posted Fri, 01/29/2021 - 13:52
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Posted Fri, 01/29/2021 - 14:51

thanks so much !!!! ENORMOUS !!!But not realy for hypertrophy but i like it .. THANKS MERCI from France

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Posted Mon, 01/25/2021 - 17:11

Is this the full routine ? I mean cycle this 3 days for 8 weeks ?

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Posted Tue, 01/26/2021 - 13:04

Hey Gunjan - yes it is. You'll repeat the 3 workouts above for 8 weeks.

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Posted Mon, 01/25/2021 - 11:45

Do you recommend making any sort of dietary adjustments while following this? Especially given the 4 days off... For example, I'm following a 3,300 calorie plan, split 40/30/30 C/F/P... Should that remain consistent if my goal is to build lean muscle?

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Posted Tue, 01/26/2021 - 13:06

Hey James - diet changes are highly dependent on the individual. Are you coming from a program with more workouts per week? Also, what are you doing on rest days?

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Posted Tue, 01/26/2021 - 13:30

Hey Abigail. Right now I'm doing a 4 day split.. Upper/Lower/Upper/Lower. On off days I'm either sedentary, or doing some Yoga to recover. Diet-wise I've been keeping it consistent everyday, whether I'm in the gym or off. (Also if it matters/helps, I'm 5'9" 175lbs, looking to get up to about 180/185 before cutting).

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Posted Tue, 01/26/2021 - 13:32

I'd recommend following the same calories you've been using. Keep track of your progress and if you're gaining weight too fast, you can lower your calories.

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Posted Wed, 01/20/2021 - 18:36
Carlos G.

No access to gym. But have barbell setup at home.. what alternative exercises can I substitute for the leg extension and leg curl? Thanks.

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Posted Thu, 01/21/2021 - 08:53

Hey Carlos - check out this article for alternative exercises:

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Posted Tue, 12/22/2020 - 04:21

Hello, can i add more ad workouts on the rest days between the workout days, or the plank is enough?

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Posted Tue, 12/22/2020 - 09:26

Hey Ivica - you can add in additional ab exercises 1-2 days per week.

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Posted Mon, 12/28/2020 - 08:03

Thank you!

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Posted Fri, 12/18/2020 - 18:27

Hi, Jus finished week 1. I feel like 5x5 squats once per week isn’t enough though? Is there enough volume in this program for leg growth?

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Posted Mon, 12/21/2020 - 09:17

Hey Jake - if you're wanting a program with more emphasis on muscle growth, check out this one:

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Posted Mon, 12/14/2020 - 20:21
Dawood Jiwani

I’d like to incorporate barbell row and overhead press - how could I do that ? Many thanks

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Posted Tue, 12/15/2020 - 09:52

Hey Dawood - you can replace the dumbbell row on day 1 with a barbell row. You can add in overhead press before the pullups on day 2.

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Posted Sat, 12/12/2020 - 03:36

Hi, what are the recommended rest times in between sets?



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Posted Mon, 12/14/2020 - 09:12

Hey Anthony - the heavier compound movements will have 1-2 minutes between sets. The lighter accessory work will have 45-60 seconds between sets.

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Posted Thu, 12/03/2020 - 21:21
Carlos G.

Hi guys! Love this program been doing it for a while now. Is there an advanced full body workout program? I'd like to keep doing full body three times a week.. I understand that switching up routines is good. Was wondering if there is an advanced full body program available... Thanks.

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Posted Fri, 12/04/2020 - 08:01

Hey Carlos - this routine can be made 'advanced' by keeping your rest periods short. For more info about how to switch up this routine to keep making progress, check out this article:

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Posted Fri, 12/04/2020 - 20:52

Has it worked well for you? I'm a semi-beginner and I am really wanting to try this instead of a focused split that I am doing now.

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Posted Mon, 11/30/2020 - 01:09
Satyam Patel

How has this program worked for ectomorphs looking for more of the hypertrophy side of the program? Any things I should change or reconsider?

Thank you!

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Posted Tue, 11/24/2020 - 16:55
sameh fikry

Thank you for this workout...
But, what about rear delts exercises?!!

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Posted Wed, 11/25/2020 - 09:28

Hey sameh - rear delts are targeted with a majority of the chest exercises. Additional rear delt exercises are not needed.

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Posted Sat, 11/21/2020 - 14:46
James Phimister

Just started this training routine after doing 531 for a long time. I thought it looked easy . I was so wrong it's brutal . It has the strength and the pump training and I feel very motivated during it. I needed to cut the days and this workout is perfect.

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Posted Sat, 11/21/2020 - 10:24

Hi, how can I incorporate hip thrusts into the routine for glute growth?

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Posted Mon, 11/23/2020 - 09:31

Hey Olivia - you could replace lunges on day 1 with hip thrusts. If you want to add in hip thrusts on another day, you can add in a few sets on day 3 as well.

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Posted Tue, 11/17/2020 - 09:26

Hi, what could be done instead of leg extension and leg press? I'm working out from home. thank you

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Posted Tue, 11/17/2020 - 09:34

Hey liol - for leg extensions, you can do Bulgarian split squats. For leg press, you can do box step ups.

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Posted Sat, 11/21/2020 - 14:43
James Phimister

I have just started this program to. I do Bulgarian split squats instead of leg extensions 10 on each side 3 x 10 lighter weight to get used to it. I can't leg press either so I do a kinda hex bar squat with weights under my heels and a narrower stance. They are brutal .

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Posted Sun, 11/08/2020 - 14:57

Can I add abs exercise end of each working days after plank?

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Posted Mon, 11/09/2020 - 09:46

Hey Turkish - Yes you can. Only add one or two additional exercises.

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Posted Thu, 11/05/2020 - 10:35

Hi can u use this program. But use a rep goal system for sets an reps. Thanks in advance.

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Posted Fri, 11/06/2020 - 09:10

Hey Andy - it's best to follow the program as written. If you do use a rep goal system, you'll multiply the number of sets by the number of reps per set.

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Posted Tue, 11/03/2020 - 15:31
Salh Galal

Hey , can i do this program twice per weak ?

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Posted Thu, 11/05/2020 - 09:51

Hey Salh - this is a 3-day program. Do you only have 2 days per week to workout?

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Posted Sat, 11/07/2020 - 15:31
Salh Galal

no , i have 6 days , i want to repeat this program 2 times per weak , can i do this ?

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Posted Mon, 11/09/2020 - 09:45
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Posted Mon, 11/02/2020 - 20:44

Hey Josh, can I use this as a beginner (1-4 months training under my belt?)