Planning a Full-Body Workout: Building Muscle vs. Burning Fat

Summer is around the corner and many of you might be wondering if you can build muscle and burn fat in a healthy way? We'll dive right into the matter in today's post.
Planning a Full-Body Workout: Building Muscle vs. Burning Fat

Last update: 09 November, 2019

How many times have you outlined workout goals or tried meeting them through exercise? Do you want to build muscle and burn off excess body fat at the same time? Will you have to do a full-body workout to meet your goals?

If you’re not aware of certain key workout aspects, reaching your goals will be complicated– especially if you want to build muscle as you burn fat. And, it might not even be possible in some cases. We’ll fill you in on everything you need to know in today’s post.

Which full-body workout should you start?

Following a full-body workout routine is important for seeing the results you have in mind. And why is that? Performing exercises that work out your different muscle groups is more efficient than following exercises that focus on specific areas.

Full-body workouts also save you time— something essential in our busy reality– while being more productive as well.

By sticking to full body workouts, we can eliminate excuses such as not having the time to work out. Those kinds of excuses only lead to failures.

Full-body workouts mix muscle-building sessions with other more active and intense exercises that really make you sweat. The combination training is much more entertaining than traditional routines that focus on separate muscle groups individually.

We also want to remind you that you can perform full-body workouts right at home or outside. More often than not, you won’t need anything else besides your own bodyweight.

These workouts will also help you in matters that go beyond physical health. For example, they’ll have a positive impact on your emotional health and help your posture, which will enhance your quality of life.

full body workout burn fat benefits

Full-body workout: keys for making the most of your workout

Before getting started, we want to highlight certain keys to meeting your goals:

Nutritional factor: you need to have a calorie-deficit

We’re going to debunk a major health myth: you can build muscle on a calorie deficit. In fact, it’s the only way to burn fat. But your deficit doesn’t have to be big. You could actually lose some of your muscle mass if the deficit is too great.

Include HIIT workouts in your weekly routine

With HIIT workouts, you won’t have to worry about losing muscle during your cardio exercises. HIIT is a perfect way to help your body burn fat faster and makes sure that your workouts are intense.

The University of Western Ontario confirmed that HIIT workouts, along with conventional low-intensity cardio workouts, burn the most amount of fat per minute.

Lifting heavy compound weights

If you’re on the skinny-side and want to bulk up, adding heavy weightlifting to your routine is essential. Exercise at 80 percent of your one-rep-max. Do this in sets of 4 to 7 compound repetitions, using different muscle groups at the same time.

Resting, an essential step in a full-body workout!

Exercise, diet and rest are the three pillars of health. Certain studies, such as this one from the University of Chicago, concluded that ample rest helps you lose muscle fat.

full body workout burn fat

Can you work towards both goals at the same time?

No, and the best thing you can do is accept this and move on to a specific goal, be it burning fat or building muscle.

The truth is, that once you are well established in your workout plan, your body handles both goals at the same time. More accurately, it can’t keep up with them at a healthy, practical rhythm.

If you’ve been working out for a while now, you should first focus on a single goal. The more specific your goal is, the more chances you’ll have of reaching it.

Lastly, think about how to minimize the side-effects of your workouts and lifestyle. For example, if you want more muscle and are aiming to define them as well, try to retain as much muscle as you can. Follow our tips and step closer and closer to your goal!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Buxton, O.M., et al (2012). Adverse Metabolic Consequences in Humans of Prolonged Sleep Restriction Combined with Circadian Disruption. Science Translational Medicine, Vol. 4, Issue 129, pp. 129ra43.
  • Senna, G., et. al (2011). The Effect of Rest Interval Length on Multi and Single-Joint Exercise Performance and Perceived Exertion. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25(11):3157-62.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.