Skip to main content

Best Full-Body, Fat-Burning Workout Routine

  • Author:
  • Updated date:

David is an army-trained biomedical scientific officer, writer, and lifelong health and fitness enthusiast.

Best Full-Body Workout for Fat Loss

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 you'll lose 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 intense 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 need 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 explain both of these approaches and show you how to combine them in order to create the ideal fat burning workout routine. And I'll also give you three different full-body circuits so you can get started with a complete training program straight away.

Start With Abdominal Training

In order to get the best results, you need to set up your routine in the right way. And that means starting off with some abdominal training. 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 anyway 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 of jumping rope or running/brisk walking on the treadmill, followed by some general mobility work.

Then do three sets of 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 on to 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 one more time and go through the circuit another 2 - 4 times depending on how fit you are.

So generally you would start with 2 top weight circuits, and increase to 3 when you feel you want to. Then, at a later date, you could increase 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 whichever of them you prefer, but the best approach is to do all three of them once per week. So you will train three days per week. This could be Monday, Wednesday, and Friday or perhaps Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. It doesn't matter as long as you always have at least one day off between workouts.

Full Body Circuit Training Routines

Workout 1 (8 reps)Workout 2 (12 reps)Workout 3 (10 reps)


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



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 additional 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 the neck. So you go through them all in sequence and then you go through them again, continuing on 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.

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, well-defined body. But here are a few tips to help ensure you are able to 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, but 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 dieting alone ever could.
  4. Get sufficient rest and sleep. Lack of sleep will cause hormonal imbalances as well as make it more difficult for you to recover from your workouts. So your results will be compromised. So make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep per night, and if you can get additional time to take a nap 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 to. You can take a week or so off every few months, 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 be certain to get excellent results. Best of luck, and if you have any questions, do ask them in the comments section below.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 David


David (author) from Birmingham, UK on September 05, 2018:

Barbell complexes don't take very long Michael. You should be able to get through the whole lot (including your warm-up) in under an hour. But don't rush it when you first start. Just take it steady, and then gradually increase your pace over time. Best of luck.

Michael Bialuk on September 04, 2018:

Can't wait to start this David. I am 54 years old and I've been training a long time. I need this type of conditioning and really cannot wait to get started. Question: If I include the barbell complex, how long should this workout take? I plan on doing three circuits. Thank you.