The Single Greatest Full-Body Fat-Loss Workout

Get trim and exercise all of your muscles with this fat loss workout.

Most gyms feature a standard layout—one that presents all who enter with a cluster of machines, front and center, arranged in such a way as to provide members with a "circuit." Circuits are a gym's equivalent of a no-brainer, requiring only that the trainee move from machine to machine for a prescribed number of repetitions, over and over again. While this isn't a bad way for a newbie to become oriented with training, it can present a comfortable trap that eventually leads to a plateau, if followed for too long. In other words: if you're looking for a great fat-loss workout, you need to do better.

So we compiled a better circuit—one that involves free weights, to build more muscle, burn more calories, and keep you challenged for the long-term.

Most total-body workouts leave core work to the end, when you're already tired. This routine prioritizes abs by placing them first. From there, you'll move on to a light circuit that will serve as a warm-up while burning loads of calories. Finally, you'll hit the main circuit, which builds strength and muscle. If you're looking for something even more intense than this fat-loss workout, here's the ultimate MMA training routine for non-warriors. 

Perform the first exercise (Swiss-Ball Plank) in this fat-loss workout as straight sets—do one set, rest, then the other, rest. Exercises 2A through 2D are done as a complex, so choose one pair of dumbbells and use it for each move. It should be a load that allows you more than the required reps on your weakest exercise in the series. Perform six reps for each of the exercises in succession. Rest 90 seconds and repeat until all sets are completed.

For exercises 3A through 3D, adjust your equipment and loads as necessary but perform them in the same circuit fashion. If you choose to repeat the workout, vary the sets and reps you perform on these last four exercises each session. This will help you to continue milking gains from the circuit for months on end. Rotate between 3 sets of 10 reps, 4 sets of 5 reps, and 2 sets of 15 reps.

Swiss-Ball Plank

Swiss ball plank, part of a great fat-loss workout

Sets: 2 Reps: "Stir" for 30–45 seconds Rest: 60–90 sec.

Place a Swiss ball on the floor and get into pushup position with your hands on it. Now lower your forearms to rest on the ball, keeping your entire body in a straight line with abs braced. Use your elbows to roll the ball in a circular motion, clockwise and then counterclockwise, as if you were stirring a pot.

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift

Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift, Best Full-Body Fat-Loss Workout

Sets: 3–5 Reps: 6 Rest: 0 sec.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with feet hip width. Push your hips back and, keeping your lower back in its natural arch, bend your torso forward. Lower your body until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, bending slightly at the knees as needed. Squeeze your glutes as you come back up.

Alternating Dumbbell Row

Alternating Dumbbell Row, Best Full-Body Fat-Loss Workout

Sets: 3–5 Reps: 6 (each side) Rest: 0 sec.

Bend forward at the hips as you did in the Romanian deadlift and row one dumbbell to your side. Lower it and repeat on the other side.

Dumbbell High Pull

Dumbbell High Pull, Best Full-Body Fat-Loss Workout

Sets: 3–5 Reps: 6 Rest: 0 sec.

Hold dumbbells in front of your thighs and bend your knees and hips so the weights hang just above your knees. Explosively extend your hips as if jumping and pull the weights up to shoulder level with elbows wide apart, as in an upright row.

Front Squat To Press

Front squat to press, part of a great fat-loss workout

Sets: 3–5 Reps: 6 Rest: 90 sec.

Hold the dumbbells at shoulder level and stand with feet shoulder width. Squat as low as you can without losing the arch in your lower back. Come back up and press the weights overhead.

Snatch-Grip Rack Deadlift

Snatch-Grip Rack Deadlift, Best Full-Body Fat-Loss Workout

Sets: 3 Reps: 10 Rest: 0 sec.

Set up as you would to deadlift, only do so in a power rack, resting the bar on the safety rods at about two inches below your knees. Grasp the bar wide, hands about double shoulder width. Extend your hips and stand up, pulling the bar to in front of your thighs.

Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press

Alternating Dumbbell Bench Press, Best Full-Body Fat-Loss Workout

Sets: 3 Reps: 10 (each side) Rest: 0 sec.

Lie back on a flat bench holding dumbbells. Press them both over your chest and then lower one of them to your side. Press it up and then lower the other hand. That's one rep.

Dumbbell Lunge

Dumbbell Lunge, Best Full-Body Fat-Loss Workout

Sets: 3 Reps: 10 (each side) Rest: 0 sec.

Stand with your feet hip width, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Step forward with one leg and lower your body until your rear knee nearly touches the floor and your front thigh is parallel to the floor.

Inverted Row

Inverted Row, Best Full-Body Fat Loss Workout

Sets: 3 Reps: 10 Rest: 90 sec.

Set a barbell in a power rack (or use a Smith machine) at about hip height. Lie underneath it and grab it with hands about shoulder-width apart. Hang from the bar so your body forms a straight line. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull yourself up until your back is fully contracted.

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