Part of an exciting new series with Trainer Anthony Olick!

“How Can I Structure an Effective Full-Body Workout?”

There is no substitute for sweat.  Effort and consistency are always what drive results.  However, possessing an understanding and knowledge of what you are doing can help channel the hard work you are putting in everyday toward maximized productivity.  Certified personal trainer Anthony Olick understands how to make the most of the time you spend at Club Julian, and here is what he has to say about how to “sweat smarter” and achieve progress steadily and safely through full-body strength workouts.


Ultimately, everyone will respond differently to a certain stimuli, however, a nice guide point to help someone who is looking for the most effective full-body strength training workout would be to learn and implement some basic compound exercises first. A compound exercise is a movement that utilizes multiple joints and multiple muscles.  Here are a few examples:

  • Deadlift
  • Squat
  • Military Press
  • Chest Press.

For instance, when you perform a deadlift correctly, you engage the majority of your posterior chain (hamstring, gluteal muscles, erector spinae, latissimus dorsi… etc.) all while moving at your hip, knee, ankle, and shoulder joints. All that muscle recruitment in one movement is, in my opinion, crucial to begin building a foundation and achieving a true full-body workout.

Anthony teaches a woman how to do bicep curls

That being said… and again, a Club Julian trainer can help you learn how to properly perform compound movements (deadlift, squat, chest press, military press, lat pull downs, shoulder press, etc.), and implement them into your routine frequently. These are your bread-and-butter movements, the ones that will serve as staples in your routine for much of your fitness journey.

Once the bread-and-butter compound movements are mastered, learn some isolation (or ancillary) movements. Isolation movements are those that typically only involve one joint and one muscle or muscle group. Good examples of these movements would include:

  • Bicep Curls
  • Triceps Extensions
  • Leg Extensions
  • Leg Curls
  • Shoulder raises and others.

Once you learn the basics of both the compound and isolation movements, you can then begin to build a workout routine that will recruit every muscle group.  The next challenge is how to pair movements/exercises, repetitions, rest periods, and sets. To maximize your routine, however, you need to have a goal in mind. Do you want to gain strength above anything? Do you want to lose weight and “tone” your body? Do you want to grow muscle?  Maybe all of the above?

Take the rest of the week to familiarize yourself with some of the bread-and-butter compound exercises as well as a series of the isolation exercises.  Again, Club Julian’s training staff is here to help you, even if you don’t have an appointment – just ask!  Next week, we will discuss how to integrate the concept of supersets in building a good full-body workout.  Talk then!