12 Week Fat Destroyer: Complete Fat Loss Workout & Diet Program

This is a complete 12 week program to help you get ripped. Feature includes detailed diet plan and cardio schedule, along with a 4 day upper/lower muscle building split.

Workout Summary

Lose Fat
Full Body
Beginner
6
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Kettle Bells
Male & Female

Workout Description

This workout plan is designed to help you shred fat and get in shape in only 12 weeks. This might sound like hype, but it's not. The following plan is not easy. It starts slowly, but builds rapidly.

Every detail of your diet and training for the next 12 weeks will be laid out for you. You will be told exactly what to eat, how much cardio to do, and how to weight train.

The goal is simple: lose fat, maintain muscle mass, get in shape and transform your physique as much as possible over the next 3 months. You want to not only look better, but have the fitness level and strength to match your new body.

12 Week Program Expectations

Over the next 12 weeks your goals and expectations are:

  • Fat Loss - To lose at least 20 pounds of fat.
  • Muscle Mass - To maintain, or even gain lean muscle mass.
  • Conditioning - To be in amazing shape; perhaps the nest shape in years.

The 12 Week Diet Plan

Each week will consist of 3 different types of eating days.

  • High Carb Days - 1 day per week
  • Moderate Carb Days - 3 days per week
  • Low Carb Days - 3 days per week

You may structure these days in any preferred manner. I suggest keeping the high carb day for special occasions. That way you can attend family functions, or eat out with friends, and indulge a little more than normal.

It should be noted that calorie intake can be adjusted based on metabolism. The follow changes are recommended:

  • Men 40+ - Reduce daily calories by 300.
  • Men 20-25 - Increase daily calories by 300.
  • Women 40+ - Reduce daily calories by 200.
  • Women 20-25 - Increase daily calories by 200.
12 Week Eating Plan for Men
  • Week 1 - 3 low carb days with 2300 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2400 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 2 - 3 low carb days with 2200 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2400 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 3 - 3 low carb days with 2100 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2400 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 4 - 3 low carb days with 2000 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2400 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 5 - 3 low carb days with 2300 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2300 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 6 - 3 low carb days with 2200 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2300 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 7 - 3 low carb days with 2100 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2300 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 8 - 3 low carb days with 2000 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2300 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 9 - 3 low carb days with 2300 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2200 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 10 - 3 low carb days with 2200 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2200 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 11 - 3 low carb days with 2100 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2200 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.
  • Week 12 - 3 low carb days with 2000 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 2200 calories, 1 high carb day of 2700 calories.

Protein intake should be a minimum of 180 grams per day. If you are a bigger guy, or have a fair amount of muscle mass, then eat 200 to 220 grams of protein per day. If you eat a little more protein the drop your daily fat intake to make up for the calories.

Fat intake should be approximately 20-30% of your daily calories. Once you have determined your daily calories from proteins and fats, fill in your eating plan with carbohydrates.

Also, you are allowed up to 10% of your daily calories from dirty foods/junk foods. You do not have to eat any junk if you prefer. This option exists as a convenience, should you be battling a craving, or attending a social gathering where you would prefer to have a small snack.

12 Week Eating Plan for Women
  • Week 1 - 3 low carb days with 1500 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1600 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 2 - 3 low carb days with 1400 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1600 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 3 - 3 low carb days with 1300 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1600 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 4 - 3 low carb days with 1200 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1600 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 5 - 3 low carb days with 1500 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1500 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 6 - 3 low carb days with 1400 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1500 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 7 - 3 low carb days with 1300 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1500 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 8 - 3 low carb days with 1200 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1500 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 9 - 3 low carb days with 1500 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1400 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 10 - 3 low carb days with 1400 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1400 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 11 - 3 low carb days with 1300 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1400 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.
  • Week 12 - 3 low carb days with 1200 calories, 3 moderate carbs days with 1400 calories, 1 high carb day of 1900 calories.

For women, protein intake should be a minimum of 100 grams per day. If you are in good shape and have a fair amount of muscle mass, then eat 120 grams of protein per day. If you eat a little more protein the drop your daily fat intake to make up for the calories.

Fat intake should be approximately 20-30% of your daily calories. Once you have determined your daily calories from proteins and fats, fill in your eating plan with carbohydrates.

Also, you are allowed up to 10% of your daily calories from dirty foods/junk foods. You do not have to eat any junk if you prefer. This option exists as a convenience, should you be battling a craving, or attending a social gathering where you would prefer to have a small snack.

The 12 Week Cardio Plan

It doesn't matter which form of cardio you use for these 12 weeks. Pick something that gets your heart moving, be it treadmill, elliptical, or swimming.

The first thing you will notice about this cardio plan is that it starts slow. That's ok. Right now you are out of shape. This program is designed to get you in shape over the course of 12 weeks.

Be patient. Trust the plan and stick to the plan. After the end of 12 weeks your level of conditioning may surprise you.

During the first 6 weeks take at least one day of rest between cardio workouts. After week 6 it is recommended that you perform cardio using a 2 days on, 1-2 days off pattern.

  • Week 1 - 3 cardio sessions. 5, 8 and 5 minutes.
  • Week 2 - 3 cardio sessions. 8, 10 and 8 minutes.
  • Week 3 - 3 cardio sessions. 10, 12 and 10 minutes.
  • Week 4 - 3 cardio sessions. 12, 15 and 12 minutes.
  • Week 5 - 3 cardio sessions. 15, 20 and 15 minutes.
  • Week 6 - 3 cardio sessions. 20, 20 and 20 minutes.
  • Week 7 - 4 cardio sessions. 20, 22, 20 and 22 minutes.
  • Week 7 - 4 cardio sessions. 22, 25, 22 and 25 minutes.
  • Week 9 - 4 cardio sessions. 25, 27, 25 and 27 minutes.
  • Week 10 - 4 cardio sessions. 27, 30, 27 and 30 minutes.
  • Week 11 - 4 cardio sessions. 30, 35, 30 and 35 minutes.
  • Week 12 - 4 cardio sessions. 35, 40, 30 and 45 minutes.

12 Week Gym Workout Split

You will be using an upper/lower workout during the next 12 weeks. Rep schemes are merely guidelines.

When a weight becomes manageable using the given set and rep schemes, add weight to the bar. For sake of convenience, use the same weight for each of the sets for a given exercise.

  • Day 1 - Upper A
  • Day 2 - Lower A
  • Day 3 - Off
  • Day 4 - Upper B
  • Day 5 - Lower B
  • Day 6 - Off
  • Day 7 - Off
12 Week Gym Workout
Upper A
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Bench Press 3 8-10
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 10-12
Seated Barbell Press 3 8-10
Pull Ups 3 10
Skullcrushers 3 10-12
Dumbbell Curl 3 10-12
12 Week Gym Workout
Lower A
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats 3 8-10
Leg Curl 3 12-15
Leg Extension 3 12-15
Leg Press Calf Raise 3 15-20
Plank 3 60 sec
Twisting Hanging Knee Raise 3 20
12 Week Gym Workout
Upper B
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Bench Press 3 10
Barbell Row 3 8-10
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 12-15
Lat Pull Down 3 10-12
Cable Tricep Extensions 3 10-12
EZ Bar Preacher Curl 3 10-12
12 Week Gym Workout
Lower B
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Press 3 15-20
Still Leg Deadlift 3 8-10
Walking Dumbbell Lunge 3 10
Seated Calf Raise 3 15-20
Cable Crunch 3 20
Russian Twist 3 20
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About The Author
Max Riley is a freelance muscle building and nutrition writer who has had his work appear in numerous print and Internet magazines.

118 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Fri, 05/17/2013 - 17:04
sutton
This would be great if it gave actual meals instead of meal plsns
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Posted Fri, 05/17/2013 - 17:31
Mealey
What style of eating would you recomend? Every few hours, 3 meals a day, intermittant fasting?
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Posted Fri, 05/17/2013 - 17:36
joshua naquin
what is the best supplments to take to lose fat and gain muscle ........ and whats is the best energy buster to take
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Posted Fri, 05/17/2013 - 19:11
Neil Williams
Protein, Creatine & Cardio my friend. Keep it simple!! x
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Posted Wed, 07/10/2013 - 20:21
Casey
@joshua naquin.....LOOK IT UP. ALL OF IT. teaching yourself.
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Posted Fri, 11/15/2013 - 04:09
Chase J. Baker
Hydroxicut, Whey Protine, BCAA Intra-workout, and Creatine Monohydrate is what this program recomends so id go with that..
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Posted Fri, 05/17/2013 - 18:00
Brandon
Any more detail to add to that food plan? Meals per day? Schedule of high to low carb days throughout the week?
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Posted Sat, 05/18/2013 - 03:46
Neil Williams
eating every 4 hours works well for me. 8am - breakfast, 12pm - lunch, 4pm pre-work out (leaves a nice gap to digest the meal 2 hours before the gym. 6pm i work out), 8pm post work out/ dinner. This how i would do it. On the days your not working out eat the lesser amount of carbs. Eat the higher amount of carbs on the monday to boost your metabolism after having 2 low carb days. Here is an example.... Mon - High Tue - Med Wed - Low Thr - Med Fri - Med Sat - Low Sun - Low In regards to the meal plan, ignore chocolate, crisps, fizzy drinks (even zero/ diet), bread, saturated fats. processed foods, fast foods & takeaways. Eat brown rice, sweet potato, wholewheat pasta, veg (of the green variety brocolli, spinnach, asparagus, green leaf salads) & fruit (try and ignore bananas). Dont forget your dairy. good forms of protein are chicken, turkey, lean mince, cottage cheese, eggs & tuna. If you have to cook anything in oil use olive oil. With the meal frequency and the allotted amount of carbs suggested you shouldnt have to 'snack'. But if you do, take a couple of caramel snap jacks/ rice cakes and spread on a little peanut butter.. HEAVEN!! eat clean, get lean
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Posted Fri, 05/24/2013 - 07:20
Brandon
Thanks that's very helpful
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Posted Tue, 06/11/2013 - 16:51
Allison
Just wondering.. why ignore bananas?
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Posted Sun, 05/18/2014 - 21:16
Shawna
I was wondering the same thing. Bananas have potassium which helps sore muscles recover and they are a great handy pre or post workout snack!
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Posted Thu, 06/26/2014 - 16:55
James Keir
Bananas are one of the most fattening fruits. Sweet potatoes have more potassium than bananas and they are also a clean carb source.
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Posted Fri, 05/17/2013 - 19:23
Ryan
Looks good! Two questions: 1.) What intensity of cardio is meant to be done with this plan? 2.) How much rest time between sets? between exercises? Thanks!
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Posted Sat, 05/18/2013 - 03:13
Neil Williams
For me, low intensity always for fat loss. Walk on a the tredmill with a slight incline. Try and keep your bpm at about 120. The higher the weight and reps the longer the rest time. Id say 30 seconds rest between sets and 2 minutes between exercises on this plan.
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Posted Wed, 08/14/2013 - 15:01
Ryan
Thanks for the help. I am just finishing my twelfth week of the program and have seen gains in my strength as well as dropped from 187 to 165 lbs. Fantastic program and will definitely revisit and recommend to others.
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Posted Wed, 05/07/2014 - 13:18
Christian
Hi Ryan since you started at the same weight I'm starting on and you had great results congrats I had a question about the cardio how did you work it out... Is it 3 sessions per week or 3 sessions every other day? And did you meet the 180 g of protein per day recommendation?
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Posted Sun, 05/18/2014 - 16:24
Ryan
Hi Christian, The cardio for the first part of the program was three sessions per week. I used low intensity cardio on M, W and F. When it went up to four sessions a week, I used low intensity cardio on T, W, F, S. And yes I was able to meet the 180g of protein per day...sometimes more than that, but never less. Hope that helps
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Posted Sat, 05/18/2013 - 16:20
josue
Hi my name is Josue and I have a doubt about the cardio sessions. for example in week one say: 3 session : 5,8,5 is that mean 3 days a week for 5,8, and 5 minutes per day? thank you.
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Posted Sun, 05/19/2013 - 09:50
connie
Does anyone have a recommendation for an Iphone app that allows you to put in this customized plan? It would be even better if the app would have a place for me to log my daily foods, my workout results and sync to a fitbit or nike band.
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Posted Thu, 05/23/2013 - 15:26
Shan
MyFitnessPal, it allows you to log your meals, breaks it down to the carbs, fats, and proteins! highly recommend it :D
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Posted Sun, 06/16/2013 - 09:20
Andrew
MyFitnessPal is probably one of the best for tracking meals. You can customize your meal plan within the app to help you keep track of what percentage protein, fat and carbs you're taking in. I use the p90x fat shredder nutrition plan: 50% protein, 30% carbs and 20% fat.
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Posted Tue, 07/23/2013 - 17:22
Stebe
I'd recommend JEFit for the workout plan. It's available on iOS and Android and i input all my custom workout routines in there. Sadly, doesn't sync with FitBit, last I checked.
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Posted Sun, 05/19/2013 - 18:57
Karen
Will this work for Vegetarians
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Posted Mon, 05/20/2013 - 19:31
dreamveil
I eat no where near that amount of calories in a day. Maybe 1200-1600 max. Ideas for that?
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Posted Wed, 05/29/2013 - 09:29
aman
idea: eat more
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Posted Mon, 05/20/2013 - 22:34
Talia
What is considered high vs. moderate vs. low in carbs? Can you give examples for both men and women on this plan?
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Posted Mon, 05/27/2013 - 09:17
Dasun
Hi, what would be the best way to mix the cardio sessions with the weight sessions? first cardio session at the beginning of the work out, one in the middle and the last one at the end? Appreciate if you can let me know. Thanks.
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Posted Tue, 05/28/2013 - 18:46
James Tillman
I just started working out 3wks ago after being off since HS 97'. And had a physical done to find out I'm a borderline diabetic. So how would the meal plan work for anyone like me?
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Posted Wed, 05/29/2013 - 10:21
Kristian
Hi, is that diet good for 16 years old boy? (Im 16 and I want to start this diet and training at Monday). Please reply me (even after Monday). MY: age-16 hight-184 cm weight-81 kg Sorry for grammar or some mistakes-Im from Slovakia :) Thanks.
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Posted Thu, 05/30/2013 - 14:56
Heavenly
Hi, thank you for your clarity. Could you recommend what type of protein I should take? (24/Female) Taste?? I was doing the slimfast & Atkins protein shakes & bars for convenience and found myself literally gaining weight... a fat % of about 44% and 63% respectively :(
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Posted Mon, 07/01/2013 - 22:34
Simon
Go to your local supplement store and ask questions based on what you need. A good protien will have fast and slow release witch is most likely what your looking for. Remember that just some protien does not do anything it is the working out and tearing of muscles the does something. The protien is simply to help it repair its self. One last thing because you are having protien and maybe working out does not mean you can eat what ever you want. Some people will fall into that and ruin there chances at what they want to look like
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Posted Sun, 05/18/2014 - 21:15
Shawna
You should be using whey protein, we really like Optimum Nutrition and Trutein, they taste great with flavors like cinnabon and chocolate peaut butter cup. We order all our protein and supplements online, it's much cheaper that way.
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Posted Fri, 05/31/2013 - 14:26
Gareth
I have just started this work out and going really well .I have one problem can you explain the cardio routine to me .
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Posted Wed, 06/05/2013 - 22:52
AW
Are the splits supposed to be worked like 3 circuits with 3 cardio routines at the end of each? Or is the intent to complete 3 sets of an exercise and move on to the next exercise...and work the cardio into the routine.
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Posted Wed, 06/12/2013 - 01:57
Priyanka
I am a woman 29 with hypothyroid and pcod I want to loose fat for the better health in future what do I do as u know that my energy level is down and my body doesn't know how to convert the food into energy. I just want to loose at least 15 kg as now I m 70 kg with 157 cm height pls help and also I want to know the diet plan as well as the protein name for lean muscle n fat reduction with such medical condition. Thanks n lots of love. Priyanka. (India)
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Posted Thu, 06/13/2013 - 12:24
Kevin
Question about low vs. moderate calorie days in week 5 for example. Both low and moderate calorie days call for the same amount of calories. Is that a typo or will 6 of the days be moderate or low versus 3 of each?
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Posted Fri, 06/14/2013 - 05:21
Hazem
What about daily calories for men under 20 ?
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Posted Sat, 06/15/2013 - 01:55
Tais
What does "reps" mean?
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Posted Thu, 06/20/2013 - 09:05
baer
Reps is short for repetitions.
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Posted Sun, 06/23/2013 - 20:33
Brittney
Hey, I'm a female. Can you give some advice on the nutrition? I'm looking for percentages of carbs on low, medium, vs. high carb days. Should it be like 40/35/30 for high/medium/low carb days, respectively? I just need more concrete information to build/develop my eating. Thanks!
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Posted Sun, 06/23/2013 - 23:30
Rod
Is that 180 grams of protein on the days I work out or 180 grams every day?
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Posted Mon, 06/24/2013 - 09:45
Brittney
Can you provide some additional instruction on the eating? I'm a female, but approximately what percentage of my diet should be protein? I know it says 100g minimum, but can you translate that into the percentages for me? Also for the high/low/medium carb days, can you provide percentages on that too? I'm not sure what's a good carb level, as I previously attempted (and failed because I'm too active) a low carb diet. Thanks! Starting this today and very excited to try it - but just need to make sure I have the eating part under control.
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Posted Mon, 06/24/2013 - 10:49
S.A.M
Hey guys thanks for the detailed work out Is this a workout suitable for a 16 years old boy.I am 16 Years old Height=172 cm Weight=72 Kg PLEASE PLEASE reply AS SOON AS POSSIBLE THANX in advance
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Posted Mon, 06/24/2013 - 22:54
Mahgan
Am I suppose to do cardio on the off days or same days as weights??
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Posted Thu, 06/27/2013 - 03:09
Courtney
Can someone please explain the cardio plan??
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Posted Thu, 07/04/2013 - 17:49
Adam
hi I am 5ft 3" 65kg with 20% body fat and have modified my calorie intake to 2047 Does that seem like a reasonable intake for loosing body fat based on this cardio plan?
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Posted Fri, 07/05/2013 - 02:11
Barbos
Hi everyone!! I am 6 weeks into this and its the results are amazing!! Now...Weights are becoming manageable so should I increase weights, reps or sets...or all of the? Also, the cool out and stretching, how important is it and how long should it take? Thanks!
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Posted Wed, 07/10/2013 - 04:11
Kevin
I would say that if you are completing 3 sets of say squats at 175, then you should add 5 - 10 lbs the next time you perform squats.
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Posted Wed, 07/10/2013 - 13:47
Robin
Hi, I just joined the gym and would like to choose the 12 week programs as my main goal is to loose weight. I am 5ft,7 inch , weight is 200lb and 28% BMI. I have High Cholesterol. I was asked by Doctor to loose weight.. atleast 20-30 lb off. Seems this program is bit tough.. but I got to try to work it out. However I have bunch of questions to ask Do I need to take the recommended supplement which is mentioned above? How much break time for each session? For days 3, 6 & 7 are off.. does it means no workout? Before starting any of the session, do we need to warm up in treadmill or cycle or elliptical? If yes, how much time? About diet, I eat Indian Non-vegetarian food with spices. So could you recommend what and what not to take? How many times to eat and break between each meals etc... Does eating and drinking from out(if going to some parties) affect the diet ? Does drinking alcohol (occasional) affect the workout and diet? Hoping to get some response. Thanks
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Posted Sun, 10/13/2013 - 15:52
john s
hi Robin, did u got any answer for u r question.. what diet or exercise you are fallowing...

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