Here is a step by step guide for the next 8 weeks of your life, no get to it!
Workout Fundamentals – Overall Frequency:
The workout frequency for this program is high. This is optimal for burning the most fat. The frequency used in this program would probably be overtraining if all the workouts were designed to build muscle. However, since there are several types of workouts, with varying parameters, a higher frequency is possible.
Muscle Maintenance Workouts:
These workouts should be similar to the ones you would use to build muscle. However, since we are trying to lose as much fat as possible, much of the workout schedule will be used up by other type of workouts. Therefore, it is important to get as much out of each muscle maintenance workout as possible. The goal should be to use heavier weights, and to perform sufficient volume, or total work, to optimally maintain muscle mass.
Progression is still just as important as it was when bulking. However, focus on progression through reps & time, rather than increasing the weight. In other words, focus on increasing total reps (sets x reps) for each exercise, or on decreasing the total workout time. Increasing the weight used is still fine & effective, but I think that the using the other two ways is easier during this type of routine.
Use weights that are approximately 85-90% of your 1RM. Note that your relative 1 RM will decrease throughout the workout, as you get fatigued.
Aim to perform a total of 25-35 repetitions for each primary exercise
Keep rest times at 30-90 seconds
Avoid training to failure on compound movements. It is ok to do for isolation exercises, but it isn’t necessary. Avoiding failure is especially important for this program, as the workout frequency will be high.
Many people will automatically include isolation exercise in a “good” routine for summer-cutting. However, in this case, they are not the best choice. The main benefit of isolation exercises are to focus on a specific area which needs more work. This is useful during the previous 8 months of bulking, when the goal is to build muscle & symmetry. Now, the goal is to maintain current muscle mass. Building up specific parts is not a priority.
That said, compound movements will provide the most bang for the buck, and will be the most effective at maintaining muscle mass. A few sets of sets to focus on the arms will not hurt, but drop the lateral raises, flyes, and leg curls.
The goal for these workouts is to aid with maintaining muscle mass, as well as boosting fat loss. As mentioned before, the amount of fat oxidation depends on the amount of calories burned. As such, the workouts will focus on using compound exercises which use large muscle groups.
Rest times will be short to maintain intensity. The rep ranges used should be in the neighborhood of 8-12 reps. This will allow for sufficient calorie burning, and it will also help to maintain muscle mass.