Workout Routines

The Best Body Recomposition Workout

Add muscle and lose fat simultaneously with this routine designed to change your muscle composition.

The Best Body Recomposition Workout
Duration 3 days
Exercises 13
Equipment Yes

We can’t overstate the awesomeness of German engineering. The land that brought us jet planes, the Mercedes, and Heidi Klum also introduced perhaps the best method of body recomposition known to the fitness industry—that is, a timeless strategy to gain muscle and lose body fat simultaneously. Achtung!


Hala Rambie, a scientist who defected to West Germany during the Cold War, found that fat loss could be accelerated by raising levels of blood lactate—an energy substrate. More lactate corresponds to greater release of growth hormone, which tells your body to grow muscle and burn flab. The best way to raise lactate quickly is to pair upper- and lower-body exercises, or opposing movements, for reps in the 8–15 range. The sweet spot for sets is three, and rest periods are 30–60 seconds. This approach has since become known as German Body Comp. The workouts that follow are just two of the routines that appear in The 101 Best Workouts of All Time, the new book by M&F’s training director, Sean Hyson, which offers routines for every piece of equipment and any amount of training time. Pick it up at 101bestworkouts.com.

Directions

Perform the exercise pairs (marked “A” and “B”) as alternating sets. So you’ll do a set of A, rest, then a set of B, rest again, and continue for all the prescribed sets. The remaining exercises are straight sets.

Each exercise is assigned a tempo. The first digit is the number of seconds you take to lower the weight. The second digit is the number of seconds you should pause
in that bottom position. The third digit applies to the lifting portion of the exercise, and the fourth is the length of the pause in that end position. A “0” indicates no time—simply move on to the next digit. For example, a front squat with a tempo of 3110 would be done like so: Take three seconds to lower yourself into
the squat. Pause for one second at the bottom. Take one second to stand up, then go back down.

To increase intensity, decrease rest between sets by 15 seconds for every two weeks you repeat the workout. Start by resting 60 seconds for the first two weeks. Then in Weeks 3 and 4, rest 45 seconds. If you train for six weeks, drop rest time to 30 seconds.

Alternate Workouts One and Two for three sessions per week, resting a day between each session. So in your first week on the program, you’ll do Workout One twice, and in the second week, you’ll do Workout Two twice, and then repeat the cycle.

Click through below for the moves:

Workout 1

Exercise 1A

Barbell Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Barbell Deadlift thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec rest
Tempo: 4010

Exercise 1B

Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Bench Press You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
60 rest
Tempo: 3020

Exercise 2A

Barbell Bulgarian Split Squat You'll need: Barbell, Bench How to
Barbell Bulgarian Split Squat thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 (each side) reps
60 sec rest
Tempo: 3110

Exercise 2B

Inverted Row You'll need: Barbell, Squat Rack How to
Inverted Row thumbnail
3 sets
10-12 reps
60 sec rest
Tempo: 2011

Exercise 3A

Bodyweight Dip You'll need: Dip Station How to
Bodyweight Dip thumbnail
3 sets
10-12 reps
60 sec rest
Tempo: 3110

Exercise 3B

Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl You'll need: Bench, Dumbbells How to
Incline Dumbbell Biceps Curl thumbnail
3 sets
10-12 reps
60 sec rest
Tempo: 4010

Workout 2

Exercise 1A

Barbell Front Squat You'll need: Barbell, Squat Rack How to
Barbell Front Squat thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec rest
Tempo: 3110

Exercise 1B

Neutral-Grip Chinup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Neutral-Grip Chinup thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec rest
Tempo: 4010

Exercise 2A

Romanian Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Romanian Deadlift thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec rest
Tempo: 3110

Exercise 2B

Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Incline Bench Press You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Incline Bench Press thumbnail
3 sets
8-10 reps
60 sec rest
Tempo: 3110

Exercise 3A

Seated Zottman Curl
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
10-12 reps
60 sec rest
Tempo: 3020

Exercise 3B

Decline EZ-Bar Triceps Extension
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
10-12 reps
60 sec rest
Tempo: 4010

Exercise 4

Half-Kneeling Cross-Body Cable Chop
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
8-10 (each side) reps
60 sec rest
Tempo: 3010
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