Full Body Routines vs Body Part Splits

To some this argument of full body routines vs a bodybuilder style split routine is one of compound movements vs isolation movements. But it need not be just that. Even a full body routine done two or three times a week can include isolation work. With full body routines you have less time to do as manys sets for each movement or bodypart, so this arguement also often turns into the One Set vs Multiple Sets for each movement discussion too. But each way of training has its advantages and disadvantages.

Full Body Routine Advantages

Allows entire body to be worked at each workout session. So skipped sessions are not a problem as would be with split routines.

Can allow exercise movements/body parts to be hit more frequently.

Entire workout time can be less a week than with split routines.

Can prioritize different movements first on different workout days in the week.

Can introduce variation in exercises or rep range for two or more workout days in the week and not have to prioritize one over the other. Can bench one day, dip the other without having to do both in one day.

Full body Routine Disadvantages

Its very taxing working the entire body in an entire workout.

Not as much time for isolation exercises.

Typicaly have to do less sets but could do 5x5 if you wish for each exercise movement/body part..

Overlapping exercises/bodyparts may suffer based on exercise order; Bench press and military press for example.

Body Part Split Routine Advantages

More time to work individual muscles both major and minor.

More time to hit major muscle groups from more angles with more exercise variation in movements.

More rest days between sessions that work the same body part directly.

You can focus on just one thing on a given day versus the entire body.

You can workout a little 4 to 6 days a week or so.

Body Part Split Routine Disadvantages

Your routine is more structured so missed sessions throw off things and entire body parts may be neglected if you miss just one session a week.

Days you work major muscle groups are very taxing while other days are a breeze.

Typically don't work out body parts as frequently as a full body routine.

Have to workout more days a week than a full body routine typically.

While both full body routines and split routines have their strengths and weaknesses often people use a hybrid of the two. One can do full body routines for all the compound movements twice a week or so and have a day of isolation exercises inbetween. On the isolation day you can work biceps, triceps, forearms, grip, calves, and abs while you still work them a bit if you don't get to this session and only do the two or three full body session a week.