Best Full-Body, Fat-Burning Workout Routines

Updated on February 7, 2018
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David is an army-trained biomedical scientific officer, writer, and lifelong health and fitness enthusiast.

Burn fat fast with full-body circuits and complexes.
Burn fat fast with full-body circuits and complexes. | Source

How to Lose Fat Fast

If you want to lose excess body fat and get that lean, toned, "hard-body" look there are various ways you could go about doing that.

You may decide to take up jogging. But this is not very time efficient, and although it will help you lose weight, a lot of the weight being lost will be muscle. So you will just end up as a smaller version of how you look now, and will not get the lean, toned look that most people want.

A much better approach is to do high intensity interval training. Here you would do short bursts of activity, such as hill sprints or bike sprints, alternated with periods of coasting or "active recovery".

However if you want to get the very best results in terms of burning off excess fat whilst at the same time building and firming muscle, to give you a shapely, defined killer body, you can't beat full body weight training workouts.

But they do have to be done in a specific way, i.e. either as circuits, with minimal rest between sets, or as complexes, where you don't put the bar down until you have completed all the exercises for the required amount of reps.

So in this article I'll give you the ideal fat burning workout routine that combines both of the above approaches, and I'll also give you three different examples of a full body circuit routine so you can get started with a complete training program straight away.

Start With Abdominal Training

The way to set your routine up for best results is to do some abdominal training first. This will give you that tight, firm stomach which is so important to your overall appearance.

Do bear in mind however that you can't spot reduce, so this will not burn off stomach fat to any appreciable degree. But that will happen as a result of the calorie expenditure and elevated metabolic rate that you will get from the rest of the workout.

So when you get to the gym, first do a general warm-up consisting of 5 minutes jumping rope or running/brisk walking on the treadmill, followed by some general mobility work.

Then do three sets 20 - 30 reps of your abdominal exercise of choice. This could be Swiss ball crunches, hanging or lying leg raises, ab wheel rollouts or any other good abdominal exercise.

Then, after this you will move onto your circuit training routine.

Full-Body Circuit Training Workouts

A full-body circuit training workout should consist of 4 - 6 exercises that you go through in sequence, with only a short rest period between each. Or if you are fit enough you might have no rest at all.

Set up the equipment you need and go through the first circuit with fairly light weights to warm the muscles up. Then increase the weights a bit and go through the circuit again. Finally, increase the weights to the full amount you will be using and go through the circuit another 2 - 4 times depending on how fit you are.

So generally you would start with 2 circuits with the full weight, and increase to 3 when you feel you want to. Then at a later date, you could increase it to 4 if you wish, though for most people this will probably not be necessary.

Rest as long as you need between circuits to get your breath back.

Here are three different full-body circuits you could do. You can do either one of them, but the best approach is to do all three once per week. So you will train three days per week, with at least one day off between workouts. So you might train Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or perhaps Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Workout 1 (6 reps)
Workout 2 (15 reps)
Workout 3 (10 reps)
Squats
Leg Press
Front Squats
Rack Pull
Romanian Deadlift
Sumo Deadlift
Bench Press
Incline Dumbbell Press
Close Grip Bench Press
Bent-over Row
Dumbbell Row
T-Bar Row
Overhead Press
Lateral Raise
Seated Dumbbell Press
Pull-Ups
Pulldowns
Close Grip Chin-Ups

You'll notice that each workout consists of a quad dominant and a hip dominant movement, together with a horizontal push and pull and a vertical push and pull (with the exception of the lateral raise, which is included to avoid overworking the shoulders in that plane of movement). So you can change the exercises as best suits you as long as you stick to that same basic formula, as this will ensure your whole body is worked fully and evenly.

Barbell Complexes

Finally, when you have finished your circuits, you will do a barbell complex such as "The Bear" to really improve your overall conditioning as well as give a huge boost to your metabolic rate, so you'll continue to burn fat long after your workout has finished - even when you are sat watching TV.

The Bear consists of 5 movements that you perform one after the other without putting the bar down. These are the clean, front squat, push press, back squat and push press behind neck. So you go through them all in sequence and then you go through them again, continuing for the required number of reps.

Then put the bar down and rest for a minute or two before repeating. Do anything from 2 - 5 sets of 5 - 8 reps.

You can see The Bear being demonstrated in the video below.

The Bear Barbell Complex

Additional Notes

If you do this workout routine, training three days per week, you will be doing everything you need to get a lean, toned, sexy body. But here are a few tips to make sure you get the best results possible.

  1. Don't train to failure. Really; don't. If you constantly push your muscles to the point where you fail to complete the last rep of a set you'll only overtax yourself and burn out your central nervous system. Train hard to not to complete exhaustion.
  2. Use a full range of motion in all your exercises. Partial reps give partial results, so always do the exercises properly.
  3. Get your diet right. You can't out train a bad diet, and doing this routine is not a licence to eat whatever you want whenever you want. To lose body fat you need to be eating at a calorie deficit. But this workout routine will make it easier to achieve that, and will give you a much better appearance when you have lost weight than simply dieting alone.
  4. Get sufficient rest and sleep. Lack of sleep will cause hormonal imbalances as well as preventing proper recovery from your workouts. So your results will be compromised. So make sure you get at least 8 hours sleep per night, and if you can get additional time to rest during the day that may also help improve results.
  5. Be consistent. This should be obvious, but you won't transform your body if you are not consistent with your training. So don't miss workouts unless you absolutely have no choice. You can take a week or so off in the summer though, and a couple of weeks at Christmas. But otherwise, make sure you get to the gym when you are supposed to.

That's it. Follow this full body fat burning workout routine in the way described and you'll get the results you want. Best of luck; and if you have any questions do ask them in the comments section below.

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© 2018 David

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