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Stoppani Full-Split Training System (SFS)

Have it all with one program: size, strength, and leanness. My brand-new hybrid training system combines the fat-burning benefits of full-body training with the muscle-building prowess of body-part splits.

Stoppani Full-Split Training

I’ve spent over 40 years experimenting to find the best way to train to build muscle, get stronger, and burn body fat. And after four decades of searching in the gym, and three decades spent researching in the lab, I’m proud to say that I’ve found the ideal all-in-one method for reaping great gains in hypertrophy, strength, and fat loss: my Full-Split training system.

Combination Training

As the name implies, Full-Split training combines body part-split training (where only a couple muscle groups are trained every workout) and full-body training (where all muscle groups are trained in each workout) into one program. And how, exactly, is it possible to simultaneously train every muscle group in a workout while still focusing on individual body parts? Volume, that's how.

With the Full-Split system, you have some workouts of the week where certain muscle groups get higher volume by way of more exercises and sets. And each workout you do includes at least one exercise for each muscle group. This way, you get the muscle-damaging and fatiguing benefits of higher volume workouts for each muscle group with the gene-activating and metabolic-boosting benefits of full-body training.

Full Benefits

I stumbled onto full-body training in early 2017, after I completely ruptured my right quadriceps tendon in January of that year. Four surgeries later, I was left to hobble around on crutches. This meant that my typical day of weight lifting, running, hiking, cardioacceleration, and other high-impact, high-intensity training practices had to change drastically.

How was I going to maintain a presentable physique on social media every day without the ability to train and live the way I was used to? Luckily, I was only one leg down. That meant that I could still train my upper body (with some modifications, of course). And I did have one left leg that I could train, albeit carefully. So I was fairly confident that I could maintain most of my muscle mass during this recovery period.

The big question on my mind, however, was this: How am I going to maintain my body fat at 4%-5% year-round? I had always been extremely lean, and I wanted to stay that way, even while dealing with my injury and coming up on 50 years old. That’s when I remembered the research on full-body training and how superior it is for fat loss compared to body part-split training. So I switched my workouts over to full-body training. Well, it was actually three-quarters-body training for me, since I was down one leg at the time!

With modifications due to my leg brace, I started hitting full-body workouts, doing one exercise for 3-4 sets for each of the 10 major muscle groups (chest, back, shoulders, traps, abs, triceps, biceps, forearms, legs, calves), five to seven times a week. And as I had hoped (and which was evident to all my followers on social media), the full-body training kept me at 4%-5% body fat and maintained my muscle mass, despite being one leg down and unable to do any conventional cardio.

Let me repeat that: I stayed extremely lean with ZERO cardio.

The full-body workouts were so effective that on July 2, 2017, I made every one of my workouts available to you for free through my Train With Jim series on my social media pages and JimStoppani.com. Thousands of JYM Army members followed along, doing my full-body workouts for free with similar hypertrophy and fat-burning results.

Fat Fighter

From a physiological and biochemical perspective, it makes complete sense that full-body training leads to greater fat loss than split training.

When you exercise a muscle, you activate genes in that muscle. Those genes boost the metabolic rate of the muscle cells, as well as muscle-growth processes. You also cause fatigue in those muscles, which will require calories for recovery. In other words, each muscle you train in a workout will burn more calories after the workout is over, due to recovery processes and a boost in metabolic rate.

It would make perfect sense, then, that if you train 10 muscle groups in a workout, you'll burn more calories and fat than if you train one muscle group. And the research confirms this, let alone the results that myself and thousands of JYM Army experienced.

To learn more about on the science and fat-burning benefits of full-body training, read this article: Full-Body Training For Fat Loss.

Full Force

We're not just talking about fat loss here. There's even evidence that full-body training can improve strength gains and muscle growth. In one study, Norwegian researchers had trained powerlifters train the bench press, squat, and deadlift either three or six times per week. They reported that increasing to six times per week led to a doubling of the strength gains experienced by the powerlifters after 12 weeks of training. They also gained about 10% more muscle mass.

In the New Zealand study referenced in my "Full-Body Training For Fat Loss" article, the researchers found that when they broke the players up into those who could squat at least double their body weight (strong) and those that couldn’t (weak), the strong players increased muscle strength with full-body training more than those following the split training. They also gained slightly more muscle mass.

The Volume Debate

One of the major complaints that bodybuilders have with full-body training is that they don’t get enough work on each muscle group in each workout. Because you have to train so many body parts, you can only do a few sets per muscle group, otherwise, you’d be in the gym all day, and exhausted.

When you compare split-body part to full-body training, however, the total volume (sets per muscle group) is similar over the course of a week. For example, training chest once per week and doing four sets each of four exercises, for a total of 16 sets for chest, is similar to training chest six times per week and doing three sets of one exercise each workout – that ends up being 18 sets of chest for the week.

Full-Split the Difference

Despite the similarity in volume over the week, limiting each muscle group to only a few sets every workout could limit the total fatigue placed on the target muscle, as well as the total amount of mechanical and chemical damage the muscle receives, not to mention the limited muscle pump. All of these processes may be important for muscle growth, so total volume is not the only important factor for muscle growth.

To solve this problem, I added the "split" part to full-body training to create my Full-Split system. The premise is fairly simple: You train certain muscle groups with more volume (more exercises and more total sets) in certain workouts and low volume in other workouts.

Take my Full-Body Shortcut To Size (STS) program, which was the inaugural program of my Full-Split training system. STS has you training five days per week.

In Workout 1, you train chest with 2-3 sets of four exercises for a total of 9-12 sets for chest. In addition, you do rest-pause or drop sets to further boost the intensity. You also do 2-3 sets of calves for a total of 4-6 sets. For the remaining muscle groups, you do one exercise each for 2-3 sets. In the other four workouts during the week, volume for chest and calves goes back to the standard 2-3 sets per.

Workouts 2-5 for STS follow a similar format, only with different muscle groups receiving the additional volume in each workout – back and abs in Workout 2; shoulders and traps in Workout 3; triceps and biceps in Workout 4; and legs and calves in Workout 5.

With these workouts, you put all your energy and focus on the target muscle groups receiving the most volume. That way, each muscle group gets at least one workout per week where volume and intensity are high to overload and fatigue the muscle cells properly, and to also enjoy the feel and benefits of the pump. The other eight muscle groups in each workout, then, are trained with less intensity; the point of these exercises is more about keeping the metabolic genes turned on in those muscle fibers for better fat loss and health benefits.

Modified for You

Worried that training all 10 muscle groups in every workout, plus additional sets for focus body parts, will take too long? If so, you have a few options. You can split up the workouts, use supersets, or make your own modifications.

One way to modify the training is to separate the focus-muscle-groups workout from the other body parts at two different times of day. For example, you can do the chest and calves sets from Workout 1 of SFS in the morning, then do the other eight exercise later in the day.

Another way to speed up the workouts is with supersets. Supersetting at least the full-body exercises is one way to speed through them. Also, feel free to use tri-sets, giant sets, or even do all eight non-focus exercises as a circuit that you repeat once or twice to complete 2-3 sets for each exercise.

There are many ways that my Stoppani Full-Split (SFS) training system can be applied. In addition to Shortcut To Size, SFS is on display in my Tabata Builder program, and I've also utilized it in both my Super-Man Remastered Challenge and Down and Up Mass Full-Split programs.

And feel free to create your own SFS workouts from any of my Train With Jim full-body programs, or ones you've designed on your own. For each workout, simply pick one or two muscle groups to focus on, give each of those body parts 2-4 exercises each, and do one exercise each of all remaining muscle groups.

Full-Split training is definitely the best way to train if you want it all – the best results in muscle size, muscle strength, and fat loss, not to mention overall health. After seeing my results and the results of thousands of JYM Army members, it’s the only way I’ll continue to train.

But then again, I want it all: size, strength, leanness. Do you?



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