The Custom Fat-loss Workout

Bench Press
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Losing weight isn’t easy. Burning fat requires dedication to a strong nutrition plan, as well as plenty of work in the gym.

But not every weight loss workout hits the muscle groups you need. Sometimes, you need a workout that’s a little more customizeable.

That’s why we’ve created a fat-loss program that allows you to customize your workout to your own taste. We’ve provided an outline, including the sets and reps for each exercise, so you have the freedom to choose the exercises yourself and create your own unique program. Remember to pair this work with a fat-burning meal plan to maximize your results.

How it works

Each day you’ll be doing a total-body workout, consisting of either upper-body pushing exercises and lower-body pulls or upper-body pulls and lower-body pushes. You’ll do one of those pairings in one workout, and then the other in your next workout. (See the lists of exercise options for each movement pattern below.)

Each session should end with two “finisher” exercises. The first will use high reps to flush blood into the muscle groups that work in opposition to the ones that were your main focus that day. For example, if the workout began with upper-body pushing and you did bench presses, you might do face pulls in this first finisher. This will improve flexibility and recovery, help to prevent injury, and bring up weak areas. The second finisher is jumping rope—perhaps the single most effective training tool for burning fat.


Perform three workouts per week, resting at least a day between sessions. You’ll need about 30 minutes for each workout, plus time for a warmup and cooldown.

How to do it

Perform the paired exercises (marked “A” and “B”) back to back, resting as little as possible in between. Use a weight that’s about 25% of your max. The following workout is an example of how you could structure your program:

Start with:
1A. Upper-body push:
3 sets of 10 reps
1B. Lower-body pull
3 sets of 10 reps

Choose two new exercises:
2A. Upper-body push:
3 sets of 10 reps
2B. Lower-body pull:
3 sets of 12 reps

Finisher 1: Upper-body pull, two sets of 15

Finisher 2: Jump rope for one to five minutes depending on your ability

Exercise options

Following the guidelines above, select moves from this “menu” to build your custom routine:

Upper-Body Push

  • Alternating dumbbell bench press
  • Bench press
  • Shoulder press
  • Floor press
  • Incline dumbbell press
  • Pushup
  • Push press

Upper-Body Pull

  • Face pull
  • Chinup
  • Lat pulldown
  • Inverted row
  • Cheat curl
  • One-arm dumbbell row
  • Reverse curl

Lower-Body Push

  • Bulgarian split squat
  • Lunge squat
  • Front squat
  • Box squat
  • Step up

Lower-Body Pull

  • Power Clean
  • Single-leg Romanian Deadlift
  • Deadlift
  • Good morning
  • Kettlebell or Dumbbell Swing
  • Romanian Deadlift

2-week sample schedule

Alternate Workout I and Workout II.

Week 1: Workout I on Monday and Friday. Workout II on Wednesday. Rest on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Week 2: Workout II on Monday and Friday. Workout I on Wednesday. Rest on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Sample Workouts

Workout I: Hypertrophy (upper-body push/lower-body pull)

1A. Upper-body push
Sets: 5 Reps: 5 Rest: 30 sec.
1B. Lower-body pull
Sets: 5 Reps: 8. Rest: 90 sec.

2A. Upper-body push
Sets: 5 Reps: 5 Rest: 60 sec.
2b Lower-body pull
Sets: 5 Reps: 8 Rest: 120 sec.

3A. Upper-body push
Sets: 3 Reps: 6 Rest: 60 sec.
3B. Lower-body pull, 3 sets of 6. Rest 120 seconds, then repeat 3a

Finisher 1: Upper-body pull, 2 sets of 15

Finisher 2: Russian twist, 3 sets of 12

Workout II: Maximizing strength (upper-body pull/lower-body push)

1. Upper-body pull
Sets: 8 Reps: 2 Rest: 5 min.

2. Upper-body pull
Sets: 8 Reps: 2 Rest: 5 min.

3. Lower-body push
Sets: 8 Reps: 2 Rest: 5 min.

4. Lower-body push
Sets: 2 Reps: 10 Rest: 2 min.

Finisher 1: Upper-body push
Sets: 2 Reps: 15

Finisher 2: Farmer’s walk
Sets: 2 Reps: 100-yard walks

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