- Main GoalLose Fat
- Workout TypeSplit
- Training LevelIntermediate
- Program Duration8 weeks
- Days Per Week5
- Time Per Workout45-70 minutes
- Equipment RequiredBarbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar, Machines, Other
- Target Gender Male & Female
- Workout PDF Download Workout
Time to destroy body fat!
And now that we put that silly notion away – because spoiler: fat cells can’t be destroyed once they are accumulated – we can move on to developing a helpful strategy to assist in your weight loss goals.
When you “lose fat”, the fat cells shrink.
And the only real way to make fat cells shrink is through maintaining a calorie deficit.
In addition to this, if you want to maintain/build lean muscle mass, you have to resistance train (preferably with weights).
So, this 8 week program is going to outline a routine to help you maintain lean muscle while losing body fat.
Recommended: Need help losing fat? Take our Free Fat Loss Course
Body Fat Demolition Overview
This 8 week fat loss routine will help in creating a calorie deficit needed to help you lose body fat. However, to make it a successful routine, you will have to eat in a calorie deficit.
The routine is a 5 day per week workout that follows an upper/lower split with a full body workout on Saturday. Resistance training during fat loss phases is important to maintain lean body mass.
Given that it is a 5 day workout routine, it is designed more for an intermediate lifter in mind. The volume will be slightly higher since you’ll have an extra day to distribute volume on.
Weight selection should be within a 7-8 RPE on most of the exercises listed. You want to finish each rep feeling as though you have 2-3 reps still left in the tank. The slightly lower intensity will allow you to maintain the training frequency while still allowing you adequate time to recovery from each individual workout.
As with most programs on Muscle & Strength, the main goal should be weight progression week to week. However, given that you will be eating at a calorie deficit while performing the program, it is not expected that each week will result in an increase in weight used.
Simply perform at as high of an intensity as you can during the duration of the program and the rest will take care of itself.
Rest periods in between working sets will be 90 seconds for your first lift, 60 seconds for the following 2 lifts, And 45 seconds for the remaining lifts listed.
Monday: Upper Body Workout
|Single Arm Dumbbell Row||4||6-8 Each|
|Incline Dumbbell Bench Press||3||8-12|
|Lat Pull Down||3||8-12|
|Cable Lateral Raise||3||8-12|
|Incline Dumbbell Curl||3||12-15|
Tuesday: Lower Body Workout
Wednesday: Upper Body Workout
|Decline Hammer Machine Press||3||8-12|
|Dumbbell Shoulder Press||3||8-12|
Thursday: Lower Body Workout
|Seated Leg Curls||3||8-12|
Saturday: Full Body Workout
|Trap Bar Deadlift||4||6-8|
|Lat Pull Down||4||8-12|
Other Fat Loss Considerations
Some people may look at the program above and be confused. There’s no cardio. No circuits. Nothing to get your heart rate up.
However, fat loss is achieved through being in a calorie deficit and there are plenty of ways you can achieve a deficit. If you’re used to working out 4 times per week with an upper/lower split, the extra full body workout might be enough to get you there.
If not, subtracting a few calories from your daily intake is one strategy. Or, increasing your daily energy expenditure through additional cardio is another.
It takes experimenting with what works best for you. Some people struggle with eliminating calories from their diet. Others don’t have time to increase their activity level.
Either strategy works – so long as you maintain an energy deficit, you’ll be on your way to fat loss.
Something else you may want to consider is optimizing your quality and quantity of sleep – and if you haven’t done this already, it should be your first tactic. We have plenty of articles on Muscle & Strength that tackle how important sleep is to both fat loss and muscle growth goals. So, if you’re not getting 7-9 hours of high quality sleep each night, you might be cutting yourself short.
Finally, circling back to diet, you’ll want to ensure you’re eating an adequate amount of protein to prevent/minimize muscle tissue loss while in a calorie deficit. There’s a pretty wide range when it comes to what experts think is most optimal (ranging from 0.7g-1.2g of protein per lb of bodyweight).
Experiment within the range to find what works best for you. Consuming towards the lower end will allow you eat more calories from other macronutrient sources, which might assist in workout performance. Eating towards the higher end might help keep you more satiated while dieting. Everyone is different.
By adopting the workout routine listed above and the other recommended strategies within the article, you should be well on your way to achieving your fat loss goals.
If anything is unclear, or if you have any questions that aren’t addressed in the article, feel free to drop us a comment below.
We’re always happy to help!
Can it be used to build muscle instead of fat loss
So long as your nutrition and recovery are supporting that muscle building effort, then yes, it will work.
Calorie deficit……. I have done bmi calculator I have done calories a day and it doesn’t seem to work. They say I should eat 2,600 kcal a day to lose weight and 3,100 to stay sane weight. Seems a lout to me
What do you weigh now, and what is your goal weight, David?
I weigh 98kg and want to be 94 or 93. I know it’s muscle so I’m looking at body fat % for a more accurate reading. Currently at 35% body fat
2200-2400 would be a good range to work with, then.
Great thank you!
Sorry my body fat is 27% oops!!!!!!
I've noticed that there are no ab-focused workouts in this routine. Is there a reason for that?
Can't speak for the author on that, Samien, but I do got a solution. Give this a go.
It looks to me that this plan doesn't have any ab-focused workouts on it. Is there a reason for that?
Can't speak to why there isn't any ab workouts, Samien. But, I can offer one for you to do in conjunction with this.
My BCA score is 79/100
Total weight 80.2 kg
Skeletal Muscle Mass (SMM) 35.2 kg
Percent Body Fat (PBF) 23.3 kg
Which of the fat loss program should i follow??
My guess is that the BCA means the Navy BCA test score. How much experience do you have training, A?
Should there be any warm up sets, or is the rpe low enough that you can straight in to a work set safely?
Hi, Chris. You can do the first set or two of the first exercise with lighter weights to help you warm-up. After that and a few minutes of stretching, you should be good to go.
One more thing, instead of trap bar Deadlift (don't have it on my gym), can I do normal Deadlift? And the Decline Hammer Machine Press, can I do decline dumbbell press or decline press on smith machine? And what about the cardio, is it ok to do or it becomes to much due to the energy utilized on the workout?
Keep up the good work?
Hi, Cesar. Your substitutions would work if you prefer to make those switches. Yes, doing cardio won't affect your results or recovery from the training.
Hey, this workout looks great but I have one question about the days of training of this plan.
Can I do this workout from monday to friday instead of monday to thursday, one day of rest and saturday and I'm asking that because of my work and gym schedule that makes it very difficult to work out on saturday.
Congrats on your work, keep it up!
Hey Cesar, if that schedule works best for you, then go for it. Just make sure you recover properly between workouts. Get adequate sleep, eat enough to support the training, and focus on other activities such as stretching or foam rolling and percussive guns if possible.
What are the recommended supplements for this plan?
Hi, EJay. The author didn't include supplements for this program, but if fat loss is your goal, then the sure bets are a multivitamin, whey protein isolate, pre-workout for energy, and l-carnitine or CLA for fat loss. Hope this helps!
Hello, what's the difference between the Decline Hammer Machine Press, and the normal hammer machine press. Is it the same except you put the seat higher so the handles come lower, and if there isn't a hammer machine in my gym with what can I substitute it?
Thanks in advance
Hey Martin - the decline press better targets the lower chest. For alternatives, you can do a high to low cable fly or a decline dumbbell/barbell bench press.
Thanks for the response
hello, Bro as mentioned ( Weight selection should be within a 7-8 RPE on most of the exercises listed) but still there are sets mentioned as 8-12what is the meaning of that, and shall we work the 3 sets with the same weight, or shall we increase and from week to week we increase? plz advice
Hey Amr - RPE stands for rate of perceived exertion. The higher the number, the harder you're exerting yourself. Weight should remain the same until you can safely move up to the next weight.
Hello Josh , i am 81.7 KG and 178 cm , thank you for the workout , i wanted to ask can this work out make me lose fat and gain muscles in the same time ? Or just keeps my muscles intact ? Also i have 20% fat so do you reckon this program can make me reach 15% of fat in 2 months ?
Thank you again Josh
Hey M.A. - to achieve the results you want, you will need to pair this workout with a solid diet. Diet will play the largest role in achieving the results you want.
A solid diet with good protein intake and carbo deficit ? Also do you recommend daily cardio of 10 min running on running machine after each workout day ?
A solid diet made up of whole, good foods. Use our BMR calculator to determine your daily caloric needs and then check out this article on macronutrient breakdowns. You can add in cardio 2-3 times per week for 30-45 minutes after your workout.
So I have been working out on my own routine for a bit, I actually do something close to this, but I do probably 12 different exercises each work out, is that fine or doing this few better? thanks!
You could probably get away with doing less - everyone is different though. Experiment and find what approach is best for you individually.
Hi Josh, i wanna asked you that the exercise which include 4 sets ( is it hypertrophy ???) and the others we will increase weight for each set ?
All of the exercises are for hypertrophy. What builds muscle the best also burns fat really well.
Do you recommend any kind of Cardio before/after the workout?
Def none before. You could add in cardio after depending on your goals and other activity throughout the day.
The duration and frequency will depend on the cardio you enjoy doing and inevitably add into your workouts.
Hey Josh, is it okay to do this workout Monday through Friday instead of having Friday off. Do you have any suggestions for the two days I have off during the week?
I would cut the weekend workout off completely if you need to schedule in this way considering the final workout is a full body day.
On your rest days rest. You may also consider doing a form of active recovery (walking and/or yoga are both great).
Hello, I am looking to lose a little fat by 17% of my total body percentage, do I have to continue this cycle until it ends after 8 weeks or do I continue it until I lose my fat
You can do either. So long as you're seeing results still, there's no reason you have to stop after 8 weeks.
I am looking to lose about 15 pounds. I eat a lot of junk food & sweets & drink a lot of iced tea and sometimes Starbucks, so cutting that crap out alone will do a lot. Combined with a good diet, would this program get me to lose 15 or more pounds? If not, is there a program you could recommend?
Starting to make some dietary changes would be a step in the right direction. Adding workouts would be beneficial as well.
I'd recommend starting with a true beginner workout. You may like one of these: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/beginner
Hi Josh. I started that program yesterday at 198-200 pnds (after having lost already 72-74 pnds at starting weight of 272 in October 2018 (height: 171cm/5ft7, age 30). I have been stuck on a plateau for the passed 2 months now. Do you think I will be breaking out of this plateau if applied with my Intermittent fasting regime. I eat about 40% protein, 30% fat and 30% carbs and having at least 500-600 caloric deficit? Or do I need a more radical approach to shock my body?
Mtl, Qc, Canada
Tough to say. Prolonged periods of dieting can result in a plateau and can be corrected by a diet break (a period of maintenance or slight surplus). However, diet breaks can be troublesome for people who are on a weight loss journey and don't have the ability/built in habits to know when to end the diet break and create a fat loss environment again.
To answer your question, no I don't think a radical approach needs to be involved. If you want to give it a little longer to see if you break through a plateau, that could be a good move. If that doesn't work, it may be worth working with someone in person (or qualified online but this can be riskier) on your diet strategy.
Hope this helps!
My man! Always good content! I think I want to run this next! I like the way the volume is distributed! Seems a bit more auto-regulated. Anyway could I run this in a maintenance calorie range or surplus instead of a deficit?
Absolutely - the outcomes of the workout will depend more on your calorie intake than the actual workout itself.
My weight is 155lbs and LBW is 121 lbs.(Fat22%)
Height is 174cm
Target is maintaining the bodyweight with lower fat % around 12-13%.
And I have only 10 weeks.
Will this routine work for me?
It will likely take longer than 10 weeks to get to that level of body fat given your starting point with any program. But yes, this program is great for the goal of fat loss.
After following strict diet, and after following this schedule how many percent loss in fat I'll see?