Often full-body workouts will be your best bet when you're looking for intense fat loss because of the fact that they will allow you to workout with the greatest frequency, yet still have plenty of time left over to recover.
Since you are going to have a reduced calorie intake when working toward fat loss, this means fewer reserves left over to recover, making it even more important that you watch the total volume you are doing. If your workout includes a high number of sets, you are going to struggle to come back as strong with each session.
Designing a full body workout for cutting can be tricky for some people, especially if they are involved in any other types of exercise such as cardio or an outside sport. Since each full body workout will be working every muscle group in the body, you have to watch what form of exercise you will be doing the day after to make sure you're not shorting yourself of the 48-hour recovery period.
Here are three different variations of full body workouts for cutting that you can make use of.
1. Low Volume Compound Workout
The following is essentially a reduced volume workout that targets muscle maintenance without much glycogen depletion.
If you're utilizing a lower carbohydrate cutting diet, this will be the best approach to take since it won't leave your muscles drained. You really must pay attention when doing your workouts to what type of diet you're following. This will have a large influence on overall program design.
For the following set-up, your primary aim is to maintain the previous weight you had been using on the bar so you keep your strength level constant. Make a note that you will not get as large of a 'muscle pump' after this workout since it is in the lower rep range and uses fewer sets. Furthermore, when on a reduced carbohydrate diet it's also expected that you'll experience a decrease in muscle pump, so all factors working together may leave you a little flat.
Apart from the psychological issue of dealing with that, it will have no implication on the effectiveness of the program, so it's not something you really need to worry about anyway.
Alternate between these workouts either doing two or three workouts a week (using an ABA, BAB, ABA set-up). As long as you work each muscle group once every five days it should be enough of a frequency to still get good results and keep your lean body mass intact during the cut.
2. Depletion Full Body Workout
The second type of full body workout aimed for cutting is a workout to deplete all the muscle glycogen stores. These are effective when performed once in a while to really boost fat burning enzymes in the body and increase progress.
You typically will do these forms of cutting full-body workouts when you eat a diet that cycles carbohydrates in order to fully remove all the carbohydrates for the body. Then, when you immediately follow the depletion workout with a high-carbohydrate meal or meals, the muscles will suck these up and it would be more beneficial than if you hadn't done the depletion workout at all.
When moving through the following full-body workout, decrease the total weight you are lifting due to the higher rep range called for.
In many instances, the full-body depletion workouts will only be completed once a week or even less frequently than that and are simply a means to help quicken the rate of progress throughout the cutting cycle.
When moving through the following full-body workout, decrease the total weight you are lifting due to the higher rep range called for. Aim to keep your rest periods on the shorter side to reap the most metabolic benefits.
Also note that depending on the particular diet you're using and how low in calories and carbohydrates it is, you may need to add a third set of most exercises. Typically the best manner to perform these workouts is by doing a circuit-style type of set-up where you do one set of each and then proceed onto the next. Once you've completed one entire round of the circuit, then you go back and do a second and third if necessary.
3. Time-Pressed Full-Body Workout
Finally, the last variation of a full-body workout for cutting is for someone who is under greater time constraints and looking to get in and out of the gym as quickly as possible.
Short, yet intense workouts when following a cutting program tend to be quite effective because they won't take as much out of you, allowing you to recover much better while consuming your low-calorie diet.
Also, since many people are doing more cardio training while they are cutting, this helps to better balance this with your total time schedule if you can only make it to the gym three or four days a week.
If you performed the following workout a minimum of twice a week, that will still allow you plenty of time to get to the gym for the cardio sessions as well.
Keep in mind that this full-body workout will not burn a great number of calories, and from an exercise-fat-loss standpoint, that's not the goal. Someone who follows this type of set-up should take steps to be absolutely sure that their diet is in line and will create a large enough calorie deficit that fat loss does in fact take place.
So consider using these three different variations of cutting workouts. Complete one of these workouts 3 times per week the next time you want to lean down. When combined with a good diet program, they all can help you achieve top-level results.