Total Body Training With Only A Barbell

This is total body training. The nice thing about this is you can do it all with just a barbell. This in-depth article explains the program and exercises in detail. Learn more ...

Remember that barbell gathering dust in the corner of your room? Still don't know what to do with it? Read on, and we'll take you through a plethora of drills that are easy to perform, in the comfort of your home. Follow the instructions closely, and you will start benefiting in a short period of time.

You will gain lean body mass, lose fat, lower your overall weight and improve your general fitness level and health condition. Last but not least, you will improve your look and get a proportional boost of self-esteem.

The program is easy to perform, does not require a large space at home, and can be performed at your own comfort any time of the day. It is also affordable, since it only requires that barbell we mentioned earlier on, which you may already possess, and is not an expensive item anyway. You can buy starting sets of plates, and then add larger ones as you progress.

The program is a perfect tool for persons who can not subscribe to a gym, because there is none located near them or they're too expensive. The ability to perform the program at any time of the day does away with the "busy schedule" excuse as well.

Now read on ...

Exercises

1 Squat

Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart; place the barbell straight on your trapezius and posterior part of your shoulders. Flex at the hip and then bend your knees and go all the way down as if sitting on a chair until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Lean your torso forward if you feel that your heels are unstable on the ground. Then get back to the initial position without locking your knees at the end of the movement. Remember that you must keep your back straight at all times.

2 Stiff-Leg Deadlift

Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart holding the barbell in your lowered arms, in front of you. Bend forward at the waist by flexing the hip. Keep your back flat and your head looking up.

Tighten your buttocks and lock your knees while bending forward. Stop going down the moment you feel your hamstrings fully stretched and go back to the starting position.

3 Lunges

Place the barbell straight on your trapezius and posterior part of your shoulders. Place one foot in front of the other. Bend your rear knee and direct it toward the floor. Do not force your front knee to go forward. Repeat the movement without moving your legs.

4 Calf Raise

Put the barbell on the rear part of your shoulders and start lifting up and down with your toes while keeping your back straight and your knees slightly bent.

5 Lying Press

Lie down on your back in a semi-supine position. Hold the barbell above your chest with palms facing forward and elbows bent. Push the load upward to the full range of motion, keeping it in the same plane at all times.

Don't hyperextend, nor lift your body at the end of the movement. This exercise can also be performed with a Wide Grip on the bar, which will increase the effort on the external parts of the pectorals.

The Close Grip version targets the triceps and the inside parts of the pectorals; the difference is that you must place your hands around 8 inches apart on the barbell then lower it to your chest with your elbows pointing outward.

6 Pullover

Lie down on your back in a semi-supine position. Hold the barbell above your chest with palms facing forward, hands shoulder width apart, and arms extended up toward the ceiling.

Slowly lower the barbell behind your head while bending your arms slightly, and then slowly return to the starting position.

7 Bent-Over Rows

Stand up, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent, bend your torso forward and kept it at a 45-degree angle with the floor. Pull the barbell to the sternum while flexing your elbows and pulling your shoulder blades in toward your spine then get back to the initial position.

You can also perform the exercise in a reverse grip by following the same principles. Another option is to hold the barbell in a reverse close-grip manner so you focus more on the outer parts of your upper back. Make sure your back is kept straight throughout the movement.

8 Military Press

Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell in front of your shoulders, palms forward, and slowly push it upward without reaching the end of the motion to prevent lifting your shoulder blades. Then get back to the starting position in a controlled manner.

9 Front Raise

Stand up, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell with the hands shoulder-width apart. Lift forward with the arms straight until you reach eye level, than return slowly to the starting position. Do not bounce the barbell up and never use your back to cheat because it's a concentration movement. (Editor's Note: images shown below with two dumbbells instead of a barbell.)

10 Shrugs

Stand up, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell shoulder width apart. Lift your shoulders straight upward toward the ears in the frontal plane without bending the elbows then slowly lower down the weight.

11 Upright Rows

Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell shoulder width apart. Lift through your shoulder joint straight upward while bending the elbows and bringing the barbell up to your chin and then slowly lower down the weight.

12 Biceps Curls

Stand up, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell shoulder width apart in front of you, palms facing forward. Lift the barbell up by flexing at the elbow joint until you reach a full biceps contraction then lower it down slowly.

13 Bent over Concentration Curls

Stand up, feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent. Bend your chest forward until it is parallel to the floor. Lift the barbell up by flexing at the elbow joint until it reaches your shoulders level then lower it down slowly. If your lower back is unable to support this position, you can do the movement while seated on a chair. (Editor's Note: photos below shown in this alternate seated configuration.)

14 Lying Triceps Extensions

Lie down on your back in a semi-supine position. Hold the barbell above your head. Your arms must be perpendicular to your body and the floor. Flex at the elbow and lower the barbell backward to crane level without moving your shoulder joint. Return slowly to the starting position.

15 Standing Overhead Extensions

Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell shoulder width apart and straight up to your head with your arms extended. Flex at the elbow and lower the barbell behind your neck and then slowly lift it back.

16 Reverse Grip Curls

Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart in front of you, palms facing backward. Lift the barbell up by flexing at the elbow joint until it reaches your chest then lower it down slowly.

17 Wrist Curls

Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart in front of you palms facing backward. Curl your wrist up and then slowly release, rolling it to your fingers. (Editor's Note: photos shown below are seated instead of standing.)

18 Good Morning

Stand up, feet shoulder-width apart; place the barbell straight on your shoulders. Bend forward at the waist until your chest becomes approximately parallel to the floor while keeping your back straight then slowly get back to the starting position.

19 Twists

Stand up, feet shoulder width apart; place the barbell straight on your shoulders. Slowly rotate your upper body from side to side while keeping your pelvis stable. (Editor's Note: photos below are seated instead of standing.)

20 Crunches

Lie down on your back in a semi-supine position. Hold the barbell on your chest with both hands. Straighten your arms and point with them to the ceiling.

Slowly raise your shoulders and upper back, concentrating on your upper abdominals. Then return to the starting position while controlling the movement.

21Side Crunches

Lie down on your back in a semi-supine position. Hold the barbell on your chest with both hands. Straighten your arms toward the ceiling. Slowly raise one side of your shoulders and upper back, concentrating on your obliques and slowly return to the starting position. Then switch sides.

The Program

Reps & Sets

Rest time between sets and exercises must be 30-90 seconds depending on your conditioning level.

If you are a beginner, how can you progress to a more advanced level? It's simple; you need to increase the intensity of training by doing one of the following:

  • Increase the number of repetitions.
  • Add sets.
  • Increase or extensively decrease the speed of the movement.
  • Decrease time of rest between sets and exercises.
  • Add weights to the barbell.
  • Use advanced training techniques such as:
  • Drop Sets: place many plates on each side of the barbell (as much as you can lift for 6-10 repetitions). Perform repetitions till concentric failure then immediately remove one plate from each side and without rest continue the exercise to failure and again remove one more plate from each side.

Continue this procedure till you're out of plates.

  • Exhaustion-Set System: perform as many repetitions as possible with good technique until concentric failure occurs.
  • Burn System: perform a set till concentric failure, then proceed with half or partial repetitions.
  • Pyramids: start with a set of 10-to-12 repetitions with a light resistance, which is increased over several sets so fewer and fewer repetitions can be performed, until reaching 1 repetition maximum. Then repeat the same sets and resistances in reverse order, with the last set consisting of 10-to-12 repetitions.
  • Super Slow System: perform very slow repetitions ranging from 20-to-60 seconds per repetition.
  • Super Setting Systems: in the first type, you use several sets of two exercises for the agonist and antagonist muscles of the body part. In the second type use one set of several exercises in rapid succession for the same muscle group or body part.

Training Program

Once A Week Total Body Training Program:

  • Squat - 4 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Stiff-Leg Deadlift - 4 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Lying Press - 4 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Bent-over Rows - 4 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Military Press - 4 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Shrugs - 4 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Biceps Curls - 4 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Lying Triceps Extensions - 3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Good Morning - 3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Twists - 3 sets, 8-12 reps

Click Here For A Printable Log Of This Routine

Twice A Week Total Body Training Program
(Take Two-Three Days Rest After Each Session):

Day 1:

  • Squat - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Stiff-Leg Deadlift - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Lying Press - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Bent-over Rows - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Military Press - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Shrugs - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Biceps Curls - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Close Grip Lying Press - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Twists - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Crunches - 2-3 sets, 12-15 reps

Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 1

Day 2:

  • Lunges - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Calf Raise - 2-3 sets, 12-15 reps
  • Wide Grip Lying Press - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Pullovers - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Reverse Close Grip Bent-over Rows - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Front Raise - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Upright Rows - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Reverse Grip Curls - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Lying Triceps Extensions - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Good Morning - 2-3 sets, 12-15 reps

Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 2

Three Times A Week Total Body Training Program
(Take One Day Rest After Each Session):

Day 1:

  • Squat
  • Lying Press
  • Military Press
  • Bent-over Rows
  • Biceps Curls
  • Lying Triceps Extensions
  • Good Morning
  • Crunches

Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 1

Day 2:

  • Lunges - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Calf Raise - 2-3 sets, 12-15 reps
  • Wide Grip Lying Press - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Reverse Grip Bent-over Rows - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Front Raise - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Shrugs - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Reverse Grip Curls - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Close Grip Bench Press - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Twists - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps

Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 2

Day 3:

  • Stiff-Leg Deadlift - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Pullovers - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Reverse Close Grip Bent-over Rows - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Upright Rows - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Standing Overhead Extensions - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Bent-over Concentration Curls - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Wrist Curls - 2-3 sets, 8-12 reps
  • Side Crunches - 2-3 sets, 12-15 reps

Click Here For A Printable Log Of Day 3

Advanced Barbell Training Program:

Program 1:

Superset 1: 3 sets, 8-12 reps

  • Squat
  • Stiff-Leg Deadlift

Superset 2: 3 sets, 8-12 reps

  • Lying Press
  • Bent-Over Rows

Superset 3: 3 sets, 8-12 reps

  • Military Press
  • Shrugs

Superset 4: 3 sets, 8-12 reps

  • Lying Triceps Extensions
  • Biceps Curls

Superset 5: 3 sets, 12-15 reps

  • Good Morning
  • Crunches

Click Here For A Printable Log Of Program 1

Program 2:

Superset 1: 2 sets, 8-12 reps

  • Squat
  • Stiff-Leg Deadlift
  • Lunges
  • Calf Raise

Superset 2: 2 sets, 8-12 reps

  • Lying Press
  • Wide Grip Lying Press
  • Pullovers

Superset 3: 2 sets, 8-12 reps

  • Wide Grip Bent-Over Rows
  • Reverse Grip Bent-Over Rows
  • Narrow Grip Bent-Over Rows

Superset 4: 2 sets, 8-12 reps

  • Military Press
  • Front Raise
  • Upright Rows

Superset 5: 2 sets, 8-12 reps

  • Lying Triceps Extensions
  • Biceps Curls
  • Overhead Extensions
  • Bent Over Curls
  • Wrist Curls

Superset 6: 2 sets, 8-12 reps

  • Good Morning
  • Crunches
  • Twists

Click Here For A Printable Log Of Program 2

Stretching:

  • Upper Body Stretch
  • Abdominals Stretch
  • Quadriceps Stretch
  • Hamstrings Stretch