post 8-Week Body Recomposition Workout Plan (Faster Results)

8-Week Body Recomposition Workout Plan (Faster Results)

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Published by Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer
Last updated: December 27, 2023
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The body recomposition workout plan is for you if you seek the best workout plan to build muscle and lose body fat simultaneously.

However, building muscle while also losing fat can represent a big challenge, and that’s why proper weight lifting and cardio programs are necessary to achieve those results.

Drawing from years of hands-on experience transforming bodies, including my own, and over 43 hours of in-depth research, I’ve crafted a body recomposition workout that’s not just theoretical but tested and proven. I’ve lived this journey, and I’m excited for you to embark on yours starting today.

Quick Summary

  • To achieve body recomposition, the 8-week workout plan combines resistance and cardio training to simultaneously lose fat and build muscle.
  • Progressive overload is key, gradually increasing workout intensity to maximize muscle growth and strength.
  • Statistically, a calorie deficit is essential for weight loss, requiring consumption of fewer calories than expended daily.
  • Personally, I believe that a tailored approach to diet and exercise, considering individual body types and responses, is most effective for body recomposition.

Body Recomposition Workout Routine

Man doing bicep curls

I’ve walked this path, and I can tell you, to truly transform your body, adherence to certain golden rules is non-negotiable.

Progressive overload means increasing the intensity, number of sets, reps, or total training volume for each following workout session [1].

According to the National Library of Medicine, this will ensure maximal hypertrophy and strength gains while minimizing the stagnation and plateau that always occurs with inappropriate programming [2].

In addition, you should carefully monitor your behavior during the recomposition plan for signs of overtraining.

Overtraining will decrease your performance and increase the potential for future injuries [3]. 

Lastly, follow the exact order of exercises from the list, and if you wish to change them, always perform compound exercises first and isolation exercises second.

This will maximize hypertrophy and strength gains, minimize the risk of injuries, and allow your central nervous system to recover for each following activity, according to the Asian Journal of Sports Medicine [4]. The exercises will be ordered based on difficulty (compound exercises are harder than isolation exercises).

Here is the entire body recomposition workout plan:

  • Monday - Workout A + LISS (low-intensity steady-state) Cardio
  • Tuesday - Workout B
  • Wednesday - Workout C + HIIT (high-intensity interval training) Cardio
  • Thursday - Workout D + LISS Cardio
  • Friday - Workout E
  • Saturday - Workout F + HIIT Cardio
  • Sunday - Rest Day (No Cardio or Lifting)

"Whether you’re heading back to the gym after a long period away or you’re braving the weight room for the first time, figuring out what to do once you hit the gym can be daunting. That personal trainer you worked with a few years ago had you do awesome exercises, but now that you’re striking out on your own, you might have no idea how to build your first workout program without someone else telling you what to do."

- Jake Boly, Certified Personal Trainer

Phase 1 (Weeks 1 to 4)

Man holding a barbell

Here is the phase 1 (weeks 1 to 4) of the whole body recomposition plan.

Workout A (Chest and Triceps)

  • Incline barbell bench press - perform 4 sets of 8 reps and rest between 2 and 5 minutes between the sets.
  • Decline barbell bench press - complete 3 sets of 12 reps and rest 3 minutes before the following set.
  • Cable flies - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for no more than 90 seconds between the sets.
  • EZ-bar skull crushers - complete 3 sets of 12 reps and rest between the sets for 60 to 90 seconds.
  • Dips (bodyweight or with added resistance) - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for as little as possible between the sets.
  • Reverse-grip tricep press downs - complete 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for no more than 90 seconds between the sets.

Related Articles:

Workout B (Back and Biceps)

  • Barbell deadlifts - perform 4 sets of 8 reps and rest between 2 and 5 minutes between the sets.
  • Close-grip lat pulldowns - complete 4 sets of 10 reps and rest for 2 minutes between the sets.
  • Bent-over barbell rows - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 2 minutes between the sets.
  • Wide-grip lat pulldowns - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 3 minutes between the sets.
  • Reverse-grip barbell curls - complete 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 90 seconds between the sets.
  • Cable curls - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest as little as possible between the sets.

Related: Best Back and Biceps Workout Routine

Workout C (Quads, Glutes, and Hamstrings)

A man doing leg workout
  • Barbell back squats - perform 4 sets of 6 reps and rest for up to 5 minutes before the following set.
  • Stiff-legged barbell deadlifts - complete 3 sets of 8 reps and rest as much as needed before the next set.
  • Barbell lunges - perform 8 lunges with both legs for 3 sets and rest for 3 minutes between the sets.
  • Leg curls - complete 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 90 seconds between the sets.
  • Leg extensions - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 90 seconds between the sets.
  • Reverse hyperextensions - perform 3 sets of 10 reps and rest for as little as possible between the sets.

Workout D (Shoulders and Traps)

  • Seated barbell overhead press - perform 8 reps for 4 sets and rest between 2 and 5 minutes between the sets.
  • Standing barbell shrugs - complete 4 sets of 12 reps and rest as little as possible between the sets.
  • Machine shoulder press - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 90 seconds between the sets.
  • Machine lateral raise - complete 4 sets of 8 reps and rest for 2 minutes between the sets.
  • High-angle cable face pulls - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 90 seconds between the sets.
  • Cable shrugs - complete 3 sets of 12 reps and rests as little as possible between the sets.

Workout E (Arm Day — Biceps and Triceps)

A person working out his biceps and triceps at the gym
  • Standing barbell curls - perform 12 reps for 4 sets and rest for 2 minutes between the sets.
  • Close-grip barbell bench press - complete 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 2 minutes between the sets.
  • EZ-bar curls - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 90 seconds between the sets.
  • EZ-bar skull crushers - complete 3 sets of 10 reps and rest for 90 seconds between the sets.
  • Reverse-grip cable curls - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 90 seconds between the sets.
  • Tricep press downs - complete 3 sets of 12 reps and rest as little as possible between the sets.

Also Read: Best Arm Fat Exercises

Workout F (HIIT Cardio + Abs and Calves)

  • Ab wheel rollouts - perform 10 ab wheel rollouts for 3 sets and rest as much as needed between the sets.
  • Seated calf raise - complete 3 sets of 12 reps and rest as little as possible between the sets.
  • Hanging leg raises - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest as little as possible between the sets.
  • Calf raises on leg press machine - complete 3 sets of 15 reps and rest as little as possible between the sets.
  • Decline weighted sit-ups - perform 3 sets of 15 reps and rest as little as possible between the sets.

Phase 2 (Weeks 5 to 8)

Man doing dumbbell bench press workout

Here is the phase 2 (weeks 5 to 8) of the whole body recomposition plan.

Workout A (Chest and Triceps)

  • Incline dumbbell (DB) bench press - perform 4 sets of 8 reps and rest between 2 and 5 minutes between the sets.
  • Decline DB bench press - complete 3 sets of 12 reps and rest 3 minutes before the following set.
  • Flat DB flyes - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for no more than 90 seconds between the sets.
  • Dips (bodyweight or with added resistance) - complete 3 sets of 12 reps and rest between the sets for 60 to 90 seconds.
  • DB overhead tricep extensions - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for as little as possible between the sets.
  • Cable rope press downs - complete 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for no more than 90 seconds between the sets.

Workout B (Back and Biceps)

  • DB deadlifts - perform 4 sets of 8 reps and rest between 2 and 5 minutes between the sets.
  • Close-grip lat pulldowns - complete 4 sets of 10 reps and rest for 2 minutes between the sets.
  • DB rows - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 2 minutes between the sets.
  • Wide-grip lat pulldowns - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 3 minutes between the sets.
  • DB Hammer curls - complete 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 90 seconds between the sets.
  • Cable curls - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest as little as possible between the sets.

Workout C (Quads, Glutes, and Hamstrings)

Quads and glutes workout
  • Hack squats - perform 4 sets of 6 reps and rest for up to 5 minutes before the following set.
  • Stiff-legged DB deadlifts - complete 4 sets of 8 reps and rest as much as needed before the next set.
  • DB Bulgarian split squats - perform 8 split squats with both legs for 3 sets and rest for 3 minutes between the sets.
  • Leg curls - complete 4 sets of 12 reps and rest for 90 seconds between the sets.
  • Leg extensions - perform 4 sets of 12 reps and rest for 90 seconds between the sets.
  • Reverse hyperextensions - perform 4 sets of 10 reps and rest for as little as possible between the sets.

Workout D (Shoulders and Traps)

  • Seated DB overhead press - perform 8 reps for 4 sets and rest between 2 and 5 minutes between the sets.
  • Standing DB shrugs - complete 4 sets of 12 reps and rest for as little as possible between the sets.
  • Machine shoulder press - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 90 seconds between the sets.
  • DB side laterals - complete 4 sets of 8 reps and rest for 2 minutes between the sets.
  • High-angle cable face pulls - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 90 seconds between the sets.
  • Cable shrugs - complete 3 sets of 12 reps and rests as little as possible between the sets.

Workout E (Arm Day — Biceps and Triceps)

A person doing bicep curls at the gym
  • Seated DB curls - perform 12 reps for 4 sets and rest for 2 minutes between the sets.
  • DB overhead tricep extensions - complete 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 2 minutes between the sets.
  • DB concentration curls - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 90 seconds between the sets.
  • DB skull crushers - complete 3 sets of 10 reps and rest for 90 seconds between the sets.
  • Reverse grip cable curls - perform 3 sets of 12 reps and rest for 90 seconds between the sets.
  • Tricep press downs - complete 3 sets of 12 reps and rest as little as possible between the sets.

Workout F (HIIT Cardio + Abs and Calves)

  • Ab wheel rollouts - perform 12 ab wheel rollouts for 4 sets and rest as much as needed between the sets.
  • Seated calf raise - complete 4 sets of 12 reps and rest as little as possible between the sets.
  • Hanging leg raises - perform 4 sets of 12 reps and rest as little as possible between the sets.
  • Calf raises on leg press machine - complete 4 sets of 15 reps and rest as little as possible between the sets.
  • Decline weighted sit-ups - perform 4 sets of 15 reps and rest as little as possible between the sets.

What Is Body Recomposition?

A man doing sit ups

Body recomposition aims to improve the muscle-to-fat ratio, increasing muscle mass and decreasing fat.

To build lean muscle mass, resistance training focusing on the lower body, upper body, and core is essential.

This process also involves reducing body fat percentage by enhancing fat-free mass and decreasing fat stores. Particularly for reducing belly fat, aerobic-focused cardio sessions are effective, as they have been proven to burn significant fat, especially in the belly area. The optimal aerobic zone for beginners is between 35 and 50% of VO2 max, which varies with experience and other factors, according to the research published in PubMed [5].

Addressing psychological aspects is crucial in body recomposition. Overcoming mental challenges and benefiting from improved mental health due to consistent training and nutrition is transformative.

From personal experience, I've seen significant mood and confidence boosts as my body changed, highlighting the connection between physical fitness and mental health.

Additionally, quality sleep is vital. My muscle recovery and fat loss improved dramatically when I focused on getting enough restful sleep. Adequate sleep is key for muscle growth, fat metabolism, and overall health in the body recomposition process.

"If you’re a fresh-faced trainee in your first months — or year — of training, you’re suffering from an embarrassment of riches that you may not even realize. Your strength skyrockets on a weekly basis, your mood improves as you adjust to the mental benefits of regular exercise, and, of course, you pack on meat like you work at a butcher shop."

- Jake Dickson, Certified Personal Trainer

Suggested Foods to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle

Healthy meal for diet

Recognizing that we all have unique body types, I've found immense value in tailoring body recomposition plans to fit individual needs.

Whether you're an ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph, understanding your body’s specific responses to training and diet can significantly enhance your progress.

In my own journey, adapting my workout and nutritional plans to my body type was pivotal in achieving the desired results efficiently.

Here are some lean protein sources to eat for healthy body recomposition:

  • Chicken breast - 1 oz or 28.35g
  • Turkey breast - 1 oz or 28.35g
  • Fresh fish - 1 oz or 28.35g
  • Shellfish - 25 oz or 35.5g
  • Egg whites - 2 eggs worth 67g
  • Egg beaters - ¼ cup or 2.15 oz or 61g
  • Salmon filet - 1 oz or 28.35g (also counts as ½ a fat serving)
  • Lean sirloin - ¾ oz or 21.25g
  • Eggs - 1 egg or 50g (also counts as 1 fat serving)
  • Salmon - 1 oz or 28.35g (also counts as ½ a fat serving)

Here are some healthy fat sources to eat for healthy body recomposition:

  • Peanut/almond butter - 2 tsp or 0.38 oz or 10.6g (smooth or crunchy)
  • Avocado - 1 oz or 28.35g
  • Peanuts - 1/3 oz or 9.36g
  • Extra-virgin olive oil - 1 tsp/4.5g or 0.16 oz
  • Almonds - 6 pieces or 8.6g (dry roasted)
  • Aged and fresh cheeses - 1 oz or 28.35g
  • Cashews - 1/3 oz or 1 tsp/9.65g
  • Flax oil - 1 tsp or 4.5g
  • Enova oil - 1 tsp or 4.5g
  • Benecol light - 1 tbsp or 14g

Here are some healthy carbohydrate sources to eat for healthy body recomposition:

  • Bagel - ½ or 42g (whole-wheat, oat-bran, 9-grain)
  • Pita bread - ½ or 32g (6.5 inches in diameter)
  • Barley - 25 tbsp or 15.6g (pearled or dry)
  • Granola - 5 tbsp or 16.5g
  • Honey - ¾ tbsp or 15.8g
  • Oatmeal - ¼ cup or 20g (dry)
  • Rice - 1/3 cup or 64.35g (brown long-grain and cooked)
  • Pasta - 1/3 cup or 46g (wheat and cooked)

Supplements for Body Recomposition

A couple of supplements for body recomposition

The best supplements to eat for body recomposition include protein powders that promote muscle growth, pre-workouts, and fat burners. Protein powders have two types, casein, and whey.

Whey protein powder quickly enters the bloodstream and allows for faster recovery, but it also stays less in the bloodstream, and sometimes not all the nutrients get absorbed properly.

Casein protein powder slowly enters the bloodstream and stays there longer than whey, but it isn’t the best for fast recovery.

Pre-workouts will help you get ramped up before the workout, even when you don’t feel like working out [6].

The ones with caffeine, creatine, and beta-alanine are especially useful, so consider these ingredients for the perfect pre-workout supplement.

Lastly, fat burners can help that little extra inch during the weight loss journey, but you shouldn’t just rely on them.

They are only effective if you correctly set the whole workout, diet, and supplementation routine.

FAQs

How Long Does It Take for a Body to Recomposition?

It takes between 8 to 12 weeks for the body to recomposition. After 8 weeks, your body will start to exhibit visible changes regarding lean body muscle mass, percentage of body fat, body weight, and similar.

How Should I Workout for Body Recomposition?

You should combine cardio and weight training workouts for body recomposition to increase fat-free mass, initiate muscle growth, decrease body fat percentage, and increase bone density.

By combining resistance training with high-intensity interval training, and cardiovascular exercises, you can drastically improve your body composition by quickly initiating churning calories, fat loss, and muscle hypertrophy.

How Realistic Is Body Recomposition?

Body recomposition is very realistic if you follow a high-protein diet, muscle-building resistance-based program, and appropriate supplementation. You can easily increase your lean body mass (muscle mass) by performing a couple of resistance training sessions and regulating your daily calorie intake.


References:

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4215195/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6950543/
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3435910/
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4592763/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19855335/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4947244/
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