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Body Recomposition Workout Guide

Introduction to Body Recomposition

A great body recomposition workout is the #1 request asked of fitness trainers when women reach out to talk about their fitness and health goals. This approach to fitness focuses on simultaneously shedding excess body fat while building lean muscle mass. Unlike traditional weight loss methods that often result in muscle loss, body recomposition aims to transform your body composition, sculpting a leaner and more defined physique. If this sounds like you, keep reading as we delve into the principles of body recomposition, explore the best workout routines and dietary strategies, and provide practical tips for achieving your fitness goals. Remember, proper diet coupled with the right workout plan are crucial to getting the healthy physique you’re after.

If you hate reading, you can find our personal favorite body recomposition workout guide on our site created by 2 fitness instructors. Using only dumbbells, it’s a great guide for beginners to advanced, but if you really want to get into the meat of diet and workouts to optimize your fat loss and muscle gain, keep reading.

Understanding Body Recomposition

How It Differs from Traditional Weight Loss or Muscle Gain:

While traditional weight loss methods typically prioritize calorie restriction and cardiovascular exercise, body recomposition takes a more holistic approach. It combines resistance training to build muscle with proper nutrition to support fat loss, resulting in a more sustainable and balanced approach to transforming your body.

The Best Body Recomposition Workout - Weight Training 

While there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, one this is clear, weight training is way more effective than cardio at shedding fat and building muscle.

Weight Training for Body Recomposition

The Importance of Resistance Training:

One of the cornerstones of body recomposition is resistance training, also known as weight or strength training. Unlike traditional cardio workouts, which primarily burn calories during exercise, resistance training builds lean muscle mass, which increases your overall metabolic rate. This means that even at rest, your body burns more calories, making it easier to maintain a caloric deficit and lose weight.

Why Building Muscle Helps You Lose Weight Faster:

Muscle is metabolically active tissue, meaning it requires energy (calories) to maintain itself. By increasing your muscle mass through resistance training, you effectively raise your basal metabolic rate (BMR), the number of calories your body needs to function at rest. This results in a higher overall calorie burn throughout the day, even when you're not exercising.

Elevated Caloric Expenditure:

Furthermore, resistance training elicits a phenomenon known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) or the "afterburn" effect. After a challenging weightlifting session, your body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate as it works to repair muscle tissue and restore oxygen levels. This increased caloric expenditure can last for hours or even days after your workout, contributing to greater overall fat loss.

Enhanced Fat Oxidation:

Resistance training also enhances your body's ability to oxidize fat during and after exercise. As you lift weights, your muscles require energy to perform the movements, primarily sourced from stored fat. Additionally, the metabolic demands of muscle repair and recovery following resistance training promote fat oxidation, helping you shed unwanted body fat while preserving lean muscle mass.

Balanced Physique and Improved Body Composition:

In addition to its metabolic benefits, weight training helps shape and sculpt your physique, resulting in a more balanced and aesthetically pleasing appearance. By targeting specific muscle groups through resistance exercises, you can enhance muscle definition and symmetry, creating a leaner and more toned body overall.

Incorporating Weight Training into Your Routine:

To maximize the benefits of weight training for body recomposition, aim to include at least three to four resistance training sessions per week, targeting all major muscle groups. Focus on compound exercises such as squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and rows, which engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously and promote functional strength. One huge caveat here is you must perform these exercises with proper form or you’ll do more harm than good and find yourself out for weeks to months with an injury which makes you more prone to pack on the pounds instead of dropping ‘em. 

We’ve created a great guide for those looking for a solid workout routine using only dumbbells to show you proper form, reps, etc to help kickstart your body recomposition workout goals. 

We always recommend a few sessions with a personal trainer to ensure you’re doing everything correctly, but if that’s out of the budget, ease into it with smaller weights, higher reps until you’re sure your form is on point.

So let’s break those exercises down. Remember the more muscles you activate on a movement, the better off you’ll be. That’s why compound is king (or queen).

The Squat: Your largest muscle groups are your: quads, glutes, and hamstrings, and a proper squat can incorporate all of these and more. You’ll need to engage your core for stability while your calves, and stabilizer muscles get in on the action too.  The more muscle groups you incorporate, the more energy you’ll expend and the longer your Basal Metabolic Rate will increase. 

Deadlift: While this is an amazing exercise that activates multiple muscle groups on your posterior chain, many untrained people get injured with improper form. In our opinion, it’s best to have a trainer help you use proper form, or opt for a trap bar deadlift which is still incredibly effective, but can help you avoid back injuries due to improper form common with normal deadlifts.

Bench Press: This exercise is typically associated with men, but it’s one that women should not neglect if they want to maximize their fat burning post exercise as explained above. It activates chest, shoulders, deltoids, and triceps, making it an excellent compound exercise for your upper body.

Rows: These are crucial to balance out the push motion of bench press, with the pull motion of rowing. If you focus only on push motions, your body will suffer from an imbalance and, trust me, as you age, you’ll pay the price. Always work on internal rotation AND external to keep your body mechanics optimal.  Rows activate your:

  • latissimus dorsi (middle back)
  • rhomboids (between shoulder blades)
  • trapezius (neck, shoulders, and upper back)
  • biceps brachii (front of upper arm)

Incorporate all or most of these fundamental exercises into your routine for maximum fat loss, muscle gain, and body recomposition.

Diet Strategies for Body Recomposition

The Role of Diet in Achieving Body Recomposition:

While exercise is crucial for body recomposition, nutrition plays an equally important role. To effectively lose fat and build muscle, it's essential to fuel your body with the right balance of macronutrients and micronutrients.

Importance of Protein and Fiber Intake:

Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth, making it a critical component of any body recomposition diet. Aim to include lean sources of protein such as chicken, fish, tofu, and legumes in each meal to support muscle recovery and development. Additionally, prioritize fiber-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes to promote satiety and regulate digestion.

Most studies show that protein becomes more and more important as we age to maintain muscle mass. Getting .8 to 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight is the target you should aim for when looking to maximize lean muscle growth and eliminate fat.  Peter Attia, author of the bestselling book, Outlive, says, 

The more I research this topic, the more I find that the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight is simply not sufficient to build and maintain muscle mass as we age — a critical component of my 4-part exercise framework for longevity. Instead, in our practice, we recommend patients aim to consume 2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight (or about 1 gram per pound). 

If you’re advancing in years (and by advancing, I mean late 30’s to 40’s even), you’d be wise to start upping your protein intake to set the stage for the rest of your life. 

To put this in perspective, if you eat 3 times per day and you weigh 130 pounds, you’ll need to be consuming 43 grams of protein per meal. If you break that up and add in a snack or another meal, you’ll still need 32.5 grams per meal. This can be challenging for a lot of people so sometimes supplementation is a good strategy if you can’t quite get there from your diet alone. If you choose to supplement for optimal protein intake, we highly recommend our grass-fed whey protein. It tastes amazing and has 20g of protein per serving. On top of that, it has digestive enzymes, a probiotic, 0 grams sugar, and MCT oil, making it a very robust product for the price.

Exploring Different Dietary Approaches:

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to dieting for body recomposition, various dietary strategies can be effective depending on individual preferences and goals. Popular approaches include the paleo diet, ketogenic diet, intermittent fasting, Mediterranean diet, and plant-based vegan diet. Ultimately, the best diet for body recomposition is one that you can adhere to long-term and maintain consistency with.

Emphasizing Consistency and Sustainability:

Consistency is key when it comes to achieving body recomposition goals. Focus on making sustainable lifestyle changes that you can maintain in the long run rather than resorting to short-term, restrictive diets. By prioritizing nutrient-dense foods, staying hydrated, and practicing portion control, you can create a balanced and sustainable approach to nutrition that supports your fitness journey. 

The only diet that works is the diet you stick to, so focus on caloric deficit in a sustainable fashion and you’ll see results for sure when you can stick with it.

Ideal Daily Schedule for Body Recomposition

Beginner's Daily Schedule with Adequate Rest:

For beginners, it's important to start slowly and gradually increase the intensity and frequency of your workouts. Aim for three to four days of resistance training per week, interspersed with one to two days of cardiovascular exercise or active recovery. Be sure to include rest days in your schedule to allow your muscles time to recover and repair.

Intermediate and Advanced Daily Schedule for Fitness Enthusiasts:

Intermediate and advanced fitness enthusiasts may benefit from a more structured and varied workout routine. Incorporate a mix of strength training, HIIT, and steady-state cardio into your weekly schedule, with a focus on progressive overload to continue challenging your muscles and promoting growth. Listen to your body and adjust your training volume and intensity as needed to prevent overtraining and minimize the risk of injury.

Incorporating Rest and Recovery into Your Routine:

Regardless of your fitness level, rest and recovery are essential components of any body recomposition workout program. Schedule rest days into your weekly routine to allow your body to recover from intense workouts and reduce the risk of burnout or overtraining. Focus on getting adequate sleep, staying hydrated, and practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or yoga to promote recovery and reduce stress levels. Additionally, consider incorporating active recovery days, such as light walks or gentle stretching, to keep your body moving while giving your muscles a break from intense exercise.


In conclusion, body recomposition offers a holistic approach to transforming your physique, allowing you to simultaneously lose fat and gain lean muscle for a stronger, healthier, and more defined body. By combining effective workout routines with balanced nutrition strategies, you can achieve your fitness goals and create lasting changes in your body composition. Remember that consistency, patience, and perseverance are key to success, and that progress may take time. Listen to your body, prioritize self-care, and celebrate your achievements along the way.

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