The PERFECT Total Body Workout (Sets and Reps Included)

What's up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.


We're continuing the perfect workout serieshere today.

This time, by popular demand, with a totalbody workout.

Look, it's hard to declare perfection in asingle workout when we're trying to hit our entire body.

But I'm going to try and do my best and justifywhy we're selecting the exercises that we do.

In addition – there's a little bit of abonus – I'm going to make this the 'perfect total body workouts', as in 'plural'.

I'm going to give you more than one.

To accomplish this goal, I'm going to giveyou guys a template that you can use, and I want to make sure I'm doing that now.

Again, we're talking about two, singular workouts.

We have a complete plan called our Total BeaXtprogram at ATHLEANX.

com, where we have a complete workout, day by day, for 90 days, which isbased around total body training.

I definitely suggest you check it out.

When we're talking about this, and alwaysin our total body workouts, I always break out the muscle markers.

As you can see, it's not going to be verypractical for me to draw all over my damn body to get the point across.

I'm going to apply something else that's goingto be very helpful for you guys.

That is, instead of thinking about which particularexercises are going to accomplish what we're trying to accomplish, I want you to thinkmore in terms of movements.

We know if we can train the movements in aparticular workout then we can incorporate the muscles that achieve those movements.

So here, in these workouts, you're going tofind something in common.

We want to train the squat pattern.

We want to train the lunge pattern.

We want to train the hinge – particularlythe hip driven movement.

A push.

A pull.

Some sort of carry.

And of course, always a corrective exercise.

So, with that being said, I want to breakdown workout A.

If you're going to do this – let's say you did the perfect chest workoutand you just want to try it out.

This is the workout that I would give you.

Instead, if you want to break this down intoa more appropriate plan where you can do a Monday, Wednesday, Friday total body plan;you would use A and then I'm going to give you workout B, and then you go back to A.

You'll be alternating A, B; A, B; on a Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Some weeks it's A, B, A.

On other weeks: B, A, B.

The fact is, I want to point out why we're selecting what we're selecting so youunderstand why, and you can gain some real benefit from.

You ready? Let's start breaking down workout A.

So, let's start breaking down our first workouthere.

Workout A.

Again, giving you the reasons whywe're selecting what we're selecting.

It starts here with our warmup.

Our warmup is going to be that lunge pattern.

That overlooked athletic, irreplaceable movementpattern I think a lot of us overlook.

We use it here as a warmup because it doesa couple things really effectively.

Number one: it gets us to move in multipledirections as you're going to see here with our multidirectional lunge, and it helps usmobilize our hips in all three planes of movement.

At the same time, it's increasing our coretemperature to make us feel warmer, and ready to participate in this complete, total bodyworkout.

You can see Antonio Brown, when we train together, we use this as a primary movement for all his warmup.

His entire dynamic warmup consists of differentvariations of the lunge.

It's that effective for getting him readyto do what he has to do.

I believe it's going to do the same thingfor you.

What we do is two to three rounds of 7, eachdirection, of this multidirectional lunge.

Two forward in the sagittal plane.

Two in the frontal plane, side to side.

Then two going back to the right and the leftin this transverse plane opening up the hips.

Again, you're going to feel your hips startto mobilize, and feel loose, and ready to go.

Two rounds might cut it for you.

Maybe you need an additional third.

That's up to you.

Now we move onto our key, foundational lowerbody movement pattern.

This is going to be our strengthening pattern.

This is our squat.

We're going to use the barbell squat to dothis.

The key here is to make sure we're accommodatingfor some of this extra movement pattern focus of what we're doing in this total body workout.

So instead of traditionally going five setsof 5 here, we're going to drop it down to three sets of 5.

Again, to allow for some of the additionalmovement patterns we're going to attack here in this overall workout.

The goal is still the same.

When you can perform all three sets of 5 repetitionsusing a particular weight, you want to increase that weight over time, and continue to tryto progress the overload, and get yourself stronger in this base foundational movement.

From here we have to work the other side.

The other side of the chain, which is theposterior chain.

For me, we're looking at and focusing on thehinge.

Rather than go to a deadlift in this workout– you will, if you're going to stick around for workout B – here we want to focus onjust working on that hinge.

More importantly, working on developing thatoverlooked aspect of glute participation in a hinge.

People don’t get this right and we sufferfrom what we call 'glute amnesia', never driving from the appropriate muscles to drive a hinge.

This exercise is one of the most overlookedwhen it comes to that.

It's the barbell hip thrust.

This exercise gives us a hinge.

You can literally see that it's driven solelyby a hinge, but whether or not you're doing it correctly is the thing.

I don’t want you to load up super heavyhere.

I don’t want you to try and get in the five-reprange because what we tend to do here is heave our hips up with no real concentration, andeffort, or focus on driving that with the right muscles.

We want to drive this with the glutes.


So, we're going to drop the weight down tothe 10 to 12 rep range, add an additional set for three to four sets of this to reallyfocus on driving this key movement, and doing it the right way.

Now we move onto the upper body.

Again, we want to get that foundational liftfor pushing.

For me, it's going to be the barbell bench-press.

Now, if you don’t feel adequately looseat this point from the other work you've already done, you can certainly warmup with some additionalsets of the bench-press.

But let's say you're ready to go.

Once again, you're going to attack this withthree sets of 5, the way you're trying to progressively overload from workout to workout, getting yourself to become stronger in this movement.

Now we've got to go and hit the 'pull' aspectof it.

For me, I'm going to go with the weightedchin-up.

My loading parameter is going to be slightlydifferent as well.

Again, I don’t go all the way down to the3 to5 rep range because I find that people really cheat those reps and they don’t initiatewith the muscles they need to.

What I want you to do is lighten a big inthe 6 to 10 range.

Give you a little bit wider range from whichI want you to fail.

'Fail' meaning, I want you to not be ableto get yourself back up the bar without looking really ugly or doing some kipping.

The weighted chin is one of those irreplaceable, great exercises that I think we could all benefit from including.

So, you're going to do it here as well.

Finally, we're now going to incorporate thelast two components.

The carry and the corrective.

These are two things that I think get overlooked.

Again, we are accruing additional volume.

This is not junk volume and this is not 'throwaway'.

So, we need to make sure we've accommodatedthis by making some changes earlier in the workout.

For the carry you're going to take half yourbodyweight in each hand and you're going to walk around whatever space you have for 50steps.

I mention 50 steps as opposed to a distancebecause even if you have a limited amount of space, you're going to be able to countyour steps.

The goal here is to do a couple of things.

Number one: there is a conditioning effectfrom doing a carry, but more importantly, you're building grip sustainability.

Not just overall force output, but sustainabilityof forced output, which is a critical component that benefits all our bigger lifts very well.

I just did a video on this, on how importantit is, and just talked about this in my live event on how important grip sustainabilityis to your overall athleticism and performance.

So, we're going to use the carry to accomplishthis.

Finally, we move onto the corrective.

Guys, you know that I'm a big fan of the correctiveexercises because I feel like they're helpful for preventing some things from going wrong, even before they do.

Or if you have already had some injuries, they're helpful for getting us back on track.

For me, I guess you could probably figureout that the one I was going to select – you can only do one – would be the face pull.

So here we're going to end this with two setsof 12 of a face pull.

Again, it's that mentality of how you're approachingthis.

Think of it more like twelve sets of 1.

Then you do that again.

So you're doing 24 high quality, perfect repetitionsin this perfect workout to make sure you're recruiting the right muscles that are notonly going to help you posturally, but they're going to help you back in those overall lifts, and just feel better overall.

So, there's workout A.

Like I said in thebeginning, if you want to just try what the perfect workout would feel like and you'reeven new to total body training, workout A is where you'll focus your efforts.

You'll get some great benefits from doingit.

However, if you want to be more expansiveabout it and you want to start to lay out a program, I would suggest that you move ontoa second workout.

You give yourself an alternative that's goingto fill in the gaps nicely, alongside workout A.

That's where workout B comes in.

How do we perform it? Workout B is going to give you the same opportunitiesfor warming up.

I feel like that 3D lunge pattern is so beneficialthat it's going to warm us up for what we have ahead in this workout as well.

We're going to perform that in the very sameway and then move onto our first big exercise.

Here, the hinge becomes more of the focus.

The hinge becomes the overload.

In this case, the hinge becomes the deadlift.

We're going to have the opportunity, onceagain, to perform this in a 'three sets of 5' fashion so we can overload, still accommodatesome of the additional volume here.

And also take into consideration the factthat, neurologically, the deadlift is going to be a little more taxing on the body thansome of the other exercise options within this total body framework.

So, we're going to do a three by 5 there again, with the goal being the same; to progressively overload each time you encounter this WorkoutB variation.

From here, to finish up the lower body trainingwe go back.

We have an option here.

You can either squat again in this workoutor you can do something different.

You can do the reverse barbell lunge.

Now, if you're going to squat, I want to seeyou lighten the load here.

This is not going to fall into the same frameworkof the three sets of 5.

Here, I'm trying to de-load you a little bit, realizing how taxing the deadlift itself can be.

But if we do have an opportunity here andyou want to try something different, I would highly suggest that you try to do the reversebarbell lunge.

This is going to give you a chance to do somethingdifferent.

To load yourself in an exercise you probablyhaven't loaded yourself fairly heavy in.

We're still in this 10-rep range.

That's a fairly heavy load.

But whichever choice you make, realize thatthe main focus, lower body-wise, is to deliver most of your efforts into that hinge.

In this case, the deadlift, for those threesets of 5.

But now we go back up to the upper body.

The upper body is not necessarily the bench-press, but it's still a press.

It's going to be an overhead press.

Once again, this is our foundational pushingpattern here.

This time in the vertical, as opposed to thehorizontal.

But still, the same goal being to progressivelyoverload and build your strength in this movement over time.

Realizing that, yes, it can be challengingto continue to press overhead with more, and more, and more weight.

The fact is, we still want to apply the sameprinciple of wanting to overload here and strengthening in this exercise.

So, we do our three sets of 5 on the overheadpress.

We now go back to the pull and here we'regoing to do the row.

Contrary to what some might say, in termsof the loading pattern for the row, I still like to keep this a little bit on the higherside.

10 to 12 reps.

Why? The same idea and concept applied to the barbellhip thrust would be applying here as well.

I think that just heaving the weight up anddown is going to make us susceptible to a couple of things.

Number one: there might be some lower backfatigue, having done the deadlifts earlier in this session that could come into playand rear their ugly head if you're just heaving the weight around on a lower rep focus.

So, the 10 to 12 is going to allow me to bea little more conscientious of the weight I'm lifting and the way I'm lifting the weight.

More importantly, I also find that gettingback engagement, and lat engagement is a little bit easier when you lighten the weight andfocus on how you're lifting the weight.

So, the barbell row is slightly adjusted tobe a little more accommodating to that.

To allow us to get better form, better contraction, and again, without overloading the lower back.

Again, we wrap up the workout one more timewith our carry and our corrective.

This time, instead of carrying down at oursides, we're going to lift those arms up overhead.

A much different experience, and a much lighterexperience if you haven't already tried this.

Here, we're going to go with a quarter ofyour bodyweight in each hand and try to accomplish those same 50 steps around the gym, or aroundyour apartment, or whatever workout facility you're training in.

The fact is, you're going to feel a lot ofpostural engagement.

You're going to feel a lot of challenges tokeeping your arms as upright and straight as possible.

And you're going to feel that mid and lowertrap area really work overtime to try and keep you in this position.

All good indicators that this is somethingyou should probably be doing a lot more of.

Finally, from a corrective standpoint, ifyou want to face pull again, you'd be making me happy.

But there are some other options.

Particularly in the lower body.

You can utilize the hip band mini ladder thatyou're seeing here.

Or you can utilize some other things likeband pull aparts, or even basic external rotation for your rotator cuff.

There you have it, guys.

The perfect total body workout.

Again, covering Workout A and B and dependingupon what your individual training goals are right now, whether you just want to experimentwith one, or whether you want to try and incorporate it more into a plan; they're both going tobenefit you substantially.

The fact is, if you're looking for a completeprogram, as I've said, there are limitations when you're coming up with a perfect workout.

A singular workout.

Especially when it comes to total body.

We designed an entire plan, which is our TotalBeaXt program, which is over at ATHLEANX.


I mentioned it before.

It's not just a couple of workouts.

It's a 90-day plan, step by step, incorporatingmany more correctives than are here.

Athletic training and conditioning drillsas well, making you exactly that: a Total Beast.

Not just a one-dimensional strength athlete, but somebody that could do a lot more than that.

It's all laid out for you step by step atATHLEANX.


In the meantime, if you've found the videohelpful make sure you leave your comments and thumbs up below.

I know if you like the perfect series you'vebeen asking for more.

Make sure to leave your comments below andcheck out the other ones in this series.

To do that, you're going to want to make sureyou subscribe and turn on your notifications, so you never miss a new video when we putone out, guys.

I listen to what it is that you want, andI do my best to cover those in all the videos we do.

I hope you're finding them helpful.

I'll be back here again in a couple of days.

See ya.


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