The fastest way to lose fat is to build muscle. The reason is because muscle consumes much more energy and thus as you build more muscle your metabolism speeds up. So as you build more muscle you will actually lose size and fat, which is why muscle building should be one of your top priorities.
If you’re afraid of getting “too muscular”, don’t worry because getting jacked is easier said than done. It takes many years to get jacked, but only a few months to get into solid shape.
The following is a great 4-day workout plan. Keep in mind it is possible to get into great shape on 2-day or 3-day per week workout plans. I would not recommend doing an intense workout more than 4 or 5 days per week.
(As a general rule, rest for 60-90 seconds between sets)
MONDAY: Strength Building Upper Body
Before you even start make sure you warm up your upper back, shoulder mobility, and chest by doing face pulls and push ups.
1. Controlled Barbell Bench Press
Once warmed up, start with an empty barbell and gradually add weight after each set (10-20 lbs depending on your strength level). Do sets of 5 reps until you reach or get close to your 5-rep max. Get a spotter for your top set if you feel you need one. When doing this movement control the descent, don’t touch the bar to your chest, instead pause it an inch above your chest for 2 seconds, and then powerfully reverse it upwards. Do all your reps like this.
2. Overhead Dumbbell Press
These can be done seated or standing. Don’t allow your lower back to arch too much. Prevent that by flexing your abs and if you’re standing by squeezing your glutes. Pick a weight you can do for 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
3. Bent Over Barbell Row
Start with an empty barbell. Work up to a weight that you can do for 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
4. Isometric Pullup Holds
These are great if you both struggle or excel at pullups. Begin by jumping up and holding yourself at the top position of the pullup. Keep your shoulders pinned back and your chin tucked. Hold that top position for 3 seconds and lower yourself down very slowly. Repeat for 4-5 sets of as many reps as you can do. (Stop just before total exhaustion).
5. Rear Delt Flyes
Start by picking a light weight, maybe 10 pounds, as these are harder than they look. Do 4 sets of 15-20 reps. Do the reps controlled, try to hold/pause at the top position, and lower the weight under control.
TUESDAY: Athletic Lower Body
1. Box Jumps and/or Sprints
If you choose to do both sprints and a variation of explosive jumping, then do the sprints first and do them outdoors. Do 20-30 sprints ranging from 10 to 50 yards. Also try hill sprints. For the jumping do 5-8 sets of 3 fast reps.
Take about 70% of your regular deadlift 1-rep max and do 5-7 sets of 3 reps with that 70% weight.
Pick a weight that you can do 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps with.
This is a fantastic lift for your hamstring and glute development but it also is potentially dangerous as it requires strict form. Start light, such as with an empty barbell, and do 4 sets of 10.
5. Calf Raises
Do 4 sets of 25 reps.
THURSDAY: Muscle Building Upper Body
1. Flat Dumbbell Bench Press
Warm up and work up to a moderately heavy weight that you can do 4 sets of 8-12 reps with.
Do 3 sets to total failure. As many pushups as you can do.
3. Dumbbell Bent Over Rows
Pick a weight you can do for 4 sets of 8-15 reps.
4. Face Pulls
Do 4 sets of 20 reps with a hold and squeeze at the contraction portion of the movement.
5. Bicep Curls & Tricep Pulldown Superset
Do a set of bicep curls immediately followed by a set of tricep pulldowns followed by a rest. Do 3-4 sets of 12-20 reps.
FRIDAY: Strength Building Lower Body
Warm up by stretching your hip flexors and inner thighs and by doing bodyweight squats.
1. Barbell Squats
Start with an empty barbell and gradually work your way up to near a 5-rep max. Do sets of 5 all the way up. Get a spotter for your top set if you feel you need one.
2. Bulgarian Split Squats
Start on the lighter side as these are quite brutal even with no weight at all. Do 3 sets of 12-15.
3. Romanian Deadlifts
You can use dumbbells or a barbell. Do a couple warmup sets with lighter weight. Then find a weight you can do for 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
4. Barbell Hip Thrusts
Do 4 sets of 15-20 reps.
Always remember that good form is more important than the amount of weight you’re doing. Form is the most important thing for results and longevity, so for any exercises you’re unfamiliar with or not 100% fully confident with, google them, and watch multiple videos on how to perform them. Then have someone else watch you when you perform the movement.
Also, before every workout make sure to warm up properly. Do not jump into bench pressing or squatting completely cold without doing some kind of mobility warm up.
And lastly, you can do this workout plan indefinitely. All you need to do is every 4 weeks change the variations but keep the structure. So in a month change flat bench press to decline bench press or change squats to sumo deadlifts. This goes for all the movements too, train the same part of the body but using a different exercise variation for 4 weeks. Also keep track of the weight and the sets x reps that you’re doing, that way you keep track of your progression.