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Full Body Compound Workout For Complete Strength

Updated: Jan 15

A strength trainer completing a full body compound workout with an Olympic barbell.

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Organised around the Olympic lifting movement clean and jerk, this full body compound workout is designed to increase both power and strength in the major muscle groups.

As well as providing a full body workout, the compound exercises that feature throughout this workout will promote muscle growth.

In addition, if you select the different workout options (such as the AMRAP or EMOM), you’ll improve muscular endurance while also burning fat.

How to do this full body compound workout

This full body compound workout is organised into a repetition pyramid. The objective is to progress up the repetition pyramid, starting at 1 rep, until you have completed 10 reps on each exercise.

To clarify, you are not completing 1 up to 10 reps on each of the compound exercises separately. Begin at the first exercise, deadlifts, perform 1 repetition then advance to the second exercise, hang clean, and again perform 1 rep.

When you have progressed through the four compound exercises, go back to the start but this time complete 2 repetitions. Proceed in this manner until you have reached 10 reps.

If you manage to complete all 10 sets (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10!) on each of the four exercises, you will have performed 220 reps total.

Full-body compound workout AMRAP

AMRAPs are a brilliant way to stimulate a bit of self-competition and amp the intensity of your workout. When you set that countdown timer ticking there’s but one objective: to accumulate as many repetitions as possible.

But anyone who’s had experience with AMRAPs knows it’s not so simple. Pacing is super important. If you go too quickly too early, you’ll likely blow up before you get out of the first minute.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of completing an AMRAP yet, it’s wise to take your time. This sounds contradictory I know. After all, the point of an AMRAP is to acquire as many reps as possible.

However, you’ll need a couple of AMRAPs under your belt before you get an idea of your pacing. Consider sticking to a specific rep range, say 5 or 10 reps, then take a 10- to 20-second rest.

Your objective would be to see how many sets of either 5 or 10 reps you can rack up before the timer runs down. The next time you have a go try to beat your previous score.

Related: Check out our complete guide to AMRAP training

Make this an EMOM workout

EMOMs may not be as intense as AMRAPs, but they are a great way to bring structure to your workout. Once you’ve decided on how many ‘rounds’ you’re going to work through, and how many reps per round, just set a repeat timer and away you go.

In addition to establishing structure, EMOMs act like rocket fuel to training motivation. The clock keeps you moving while the drive to complete your reps within the minute keeps you actively engaged. When EMOMing, there’s no chance to indulge in a long rest or chat by the water cooler.

Related: EMOM Training, Everything You Need to Know

Workout kit list

The great thing about this full body compound workout, other than the fact that it builds complete strength, is that it requires hardly any equipment.

To enjoy the strength benefits of this workout all you need is an Olympic barbell, an assortment of bumper plates, and a couple of clips.

This meagre kit list will enable you to complete this full body compound workout as well as the two variations outlined above.

Full body compound workout

Before undertaking this workout ensure to warm up thoroughly beforehand. Spend at least 10-minutes engaged in cardio and light lifting. Every couple of minutes increase the intensity a notch or two so that when you finish the warm up, you’re at around 80% of max effort.

By following this simple warm up protocol you’ll find that you perform better in the workout. In addition, you’ll reduce injury risk – which is the main reason why we warm up prior to exercise. (For more on the importance of warm-ups (and cool-downs) follow the link: Benefits of Warm-Ups.)

Warm up

10-minutes cardiovascular exercise. It’s preferable to select a cardio exercise that works all the major muscle groups such as rowing or the cross-trainer.

After the cardio phase work through a progressive repetition pyramid of the exercises below. Select a light weight and complete just one repetition of each exercise. Concluding the final rep, go back to the first exercise and now complete two reps. Proceed up the pyramid five times total.

The workout

Below you'll find a list of the full body compound exercises that comprise this workout. Each exercise is accompanied with a range of suggested training options. As outlined above, the options include the repetition ladder, AMRAP (as many reps as possible), and EMOM (every minute on the minute). Before starting the workout, select the method that aligns with your training methods and fitness goals.


Option 1: integrate into the full body compound workout pyramid

Option 2: 5- or 10-minute AMRAP

Option 3: 5- or 10-minute EMOM (aim for either 10, 12, or 15 reps on the minute)

Deadlift teaching points

  1. Standing in front of an Olympic bar, adopt a shoulder-width stance.

  2. Bend down and grasp the bar, palms facing toward you. Remember, bend at the knees and keep the back straight.

  3. Before lifting take the strain and then, under control, execute a deadlift by standing up.

  4. As you stand up push forward and through with the hips.

  5. At the top position, you should be perfectly erect, not leaning back or tilting forward.

  6. Keeping correct postural form, return the bar to the start position. Or, if you’re using bumper plates, drop the bar from the top position.

Hang clean

Option 1: integrate into the full body compound workout pyramid

Option 2: 5- or 10-minute AMRAP

Option 3: 5- or 10-minute EMOM (aim for either 10, 12, or 15 reps on the minute)

Hang clean teaching points

  1. The hang clean start position is the top position for the deadlift.

  2. So, standing with your feet spaced shoulder-width, hands spaced evenly across the bar and on the outside of your legs, initiate the movement by hinging forward at the hips.

  3. Using lower back, trapezius, shoulder, and arm strength, pull (clean) the bar up to the front rack position. Remember, the bar must remain close to the body – you are not swinging it out away from your body.

  4. To assist the initial phase of the movement you can drive the bar up with the hips.

  5. As the is about to sink into the front rack position, rotate the hands around the bar ensuring to raise the elbows when you do so. This will ensure that the bar is locked securely in position.

  6. To conclude the movement, allow the bar to drop into the start position. But it’s better to use bumper plates so that you can just release it.

Front squat

Option 1: integrate into the full body compound workout pyramid

Option 2: 5- or 10-minute AMRAP

Option 3: 5- or 10-minute EMOM (aim for either 10, 15, or 20 reps on the minute)

Front squat teaching points

  1. The easiest way to get the bar into position to start the front squat is to execute a hang clean. Of course, you’ll only be able to do this if you are not going ‘heavy’.

  2. With your feet spaced slightly wider than shoulder-width, bar supported securely across the anterior deltoids, elbows pointing forward, squat down to 90-degrees.

  3. When squatting maintain strict form: back remains straight; bending at the knees; no hinging at the hips; eyes fixed forward.

  4. At 90-degrees pause momentarily before concluding the movement.

  5. To conclude the front squat fire evenly through both quads and stand up. Remember, do not lock out at the knees in the top position.

Push press

Option 1: integrate into the full body compound workout pyramid

Option 2: 5- or 10-minute AMRAP

Option 3: 5- or 10-minute EMOM (aim for either 10, 15, or 20 reps on the minute)

Push press teaching points

  1. Following from the front squat, you should already be in the correct position to initiate the push press.

  2. Your feet are shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, supporting the bar under your chin.

  3. Eyes remain fixed on an indefinite point to your front.

  4. Taking a shallow bend at the knees, fire through the quads to get the bar moving. This phase of the exercise serves to ‘assist’ the shoulders.

  5. Simultaneously engage the shoulders and push the bar above your head.

  6. Just before your elbows lock out, pause momentarily before returning to the start position for the next repetition.


Enjoyed this full body compound workout?

Full body compound workout concludes with the HUngry4Fitness Book of Circuits.


About Adam Priest –

A former Royal Marines Commando, Adam Priest is a content writer, college lecturer, and health and fitness coach. He is also a fitness author and contributor to other websites. Connect with Adam at

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