In Tennessee there are a variety of responses to your question. Some run double deep hive bodies (2 hive bodies) for brood/food chamber for the bees. Others of us...run a one and a half story hive. That is to say, one deep and one shallow or medium. Others run 3 medium supers for brood/food for the bees. Regardless which equipment is used these areas are all FOR THE BEES. Then, we super up over that to get what is for the beekeeper. It is crucial to leave enough honey on for the bees to overwinter. We have a worse winter here in Tennessee than you do in south Alabama, so we want to make sure the bees have plenty of stores to get them through some long cold spells and freezing temperatures. For me that usually means a few frames of honey in the deep and a super full of honey above the deep brood chamber. Hope this is helpful info for you. The best answer would come from other experienced local beekeepers in your area. Ask around and see what they do.
"My child, eat honey, for it is good." (Proverbs 24:13)