Full-Body Routines, Auto-Regulation, Squats and Deadlifts Q&A

John GrimekRecently I received some e-mails from readers of RoughStrength.com with questions and I thought it might be useful to share the answers with all the audience. So here it is.

Rough Strength Questions and Answers:

“Hi, Alex!

So you believe in whole body programs over split routines yourself correct? I do not believe you can split bodyparts up period and I do not know who came up with them but in the old days that is all the old timers did and they were stronger, more powerful, better conditioned, and much more healthier back in those days then today?”

You can check out my article called “Full-Body Advantage” (part 1 and part 2) where I speak on this topic. In two words, full-body routines worked better for me and my clients. Look at John Grimek, he used to train his whole body at one session. And he could train for 5 days in row. Once again, 5 full-body workouts in a row! Not sissy “chest and triceps”. It’s squatting, pressing and rowing 5 days in a row. Now you can imagine how mighty and powerful was this man. Arthur Saxon, Pyotr Kryloff, Eugen Sandow – they all trained their whole body in one session. They were circus performers and they practiced their tricks that were full-body exercises. So I think I’ve answered the second part of your question. Yes, oldtimers were stronger, leaner, meaner and healthier than today’s bodybuilders, powerlifters, strongmen (especially if we take them off steroids and growth hormone).

“People tell you that you should listen to your own body but it seems to me before you do that you should use common sense and think things out first before you do this. You have to rest other parts of your body also. Your joints, tendons, muscles, heart, nervous system. AM I wrong here or what?”

Auto-regulation is a great gift of nature but you should implement it right. You need to learn how to listen to your body before you can actually hear it. It takes time and experience but when you got there you find harmony. You can progress without a very advanced program that include over hundred different approaches that you learned from the latest bodybuilding magazine. You can progress even without a program. But you need tons of experience for that. That’s why reasonable advice would be: “Find a proven with time and people program and stick with it until it will stop working. Then tweak the variables”. Or you can use my personalized program design services here.Bill Kazmaier Deadlift

I think squats and deadlifts are the best two exercises in the world at any age and I mean heavy and light ones and high and low reps also. These two exercises work your whole body and no one does them. They are great for your lower and upper back, and knees, etc as long as you do them correct?

Squats and deadlifts are great. You doing yourself a big favor practicing them. Do you need them? It depends on your goal. If you’re a powerlifter – of course (: If you’re a bodybuilder – definitely. You can achieve huge legs only through good old barbell squats. But what if you’re a strength enthusiast, average Joe, and you can’t afford expensive gym memberships but want to become big and strong? Several options:

  • Kettlebells – they consume almost no place and can provide you with strength benefits of squat and deadlift. Take a look at Double Front Squat, Double Overhead Squat, Double Swing and Double Snatch.
  • Sandbags – with this tool options are endless: Zercher Squats, Bear-Hug Squats, Shoulder Squats, Shouldering, Bear-Hug Good Morning etc. Besides, you can use my invention Alex Zinchenko Deadlift.
  • Bodyweight – Single-Leg Squats, Bridges, Plyometrics. I’ve seen a lot of guys with big upper bodies and reasonable legs that were training with their bodyweight exclusively. Check out my interview with one of them here.

That’s it. Thanks for the questions. I hope my answers will be helpful. Keep up with training and get strong as hell!

Stay tuned for more on rough training.

Play rough!

Alex Zinchenko

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2 thoughts on “Full-Body Routines, Auto-Regulation, Squats and Deadlifts Q&A

  1. Nathan - Nathan Strength Fitness

    When I first started training I was definitely a fan of full body workouts. Since then I’ve kind of strayed from them, but having 5 full body workouts in a week? That’s crazy.

    Perhaps it’s crazy enough to compel me to try doing it for a month or two…


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