Doug's Mega Cutting Routine

Doug's mega cutting workout routine is a 4 day split combining weights and cardio designed to lose fat while maintaining muscle mass.

Workout Summary

Lose Fat
Split
Intermediate
4
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, EZ Bar
Male & Female

Workout Description

Doug's mega cutting workout routine is designed to lose fat while maintaining muscle mass. A thorough cardio warm up at start of each day, stretches and cardio cool down at the end of the training session.

Workout notes:

  • Low intensity cardio is performed every day, morning and evenings working up to 40+ minutes each session.
  • Abdominals performed after each training session.
  • Ab exercises: rope crunch, crossover crunch and hip thrusts. 20-15 reps on each set for abs.
  • First two sets on each body part is a warm up set indicated by * are warmup sets
  • Repetition timing is 4-1-4 on main exercises, and 1-1-1 on Tri-Set exercises
  • 45 seconds rest between sets unless indicated.
Monday - Shoulders and Triceps
Shoulders
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Dumbbell Press - (15, 12*)  4  12, 10, 8, 8
Tri Set x 3 (see notes):
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 10-12
Dumbbell Reverse Fly 3 10-12
Dumbbell Shrugs 3 10-12
Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
EZ Bar Close Grip Bench - (15, 12*) 4 12, 10, 8, 8
Tri Set x 3 (see notes):
Dumbbell Kickbacks 3 10-12
Overhead Rope Extension 3 10-12
Narrow Grip Pushups 3 Failure
Notes
Tri sets: No rest between exercises. 60-90 Seconds between each Tri-Set.
Tuesday - Back
back
Exercise Sets Reps
Reverse Grip Bent Over Row (15*, 12*)  4  12, 10, 8, 8
Tri Set x 3 (see notes):
Wide Grip Pull Down 3 10-12
1 Arm Cable Row 3 8
Hyper Extensions 3 12-15
Notes
Tri sets: No rest between exercises. 60-90 Seconds between each Tri-Set.

WEDNESDAY - REST DAY

Thursday - Chest and Biceps
Chest
Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Dumbbell Press - (15-12*) 4 12, 8, 8, 8
Tri Set x 3 (see notes):
Pec Dec 3 10-12
Dumbbell Flys 3 10-12
Push Ups 3 Failure
Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Curl - (15, 12*) 4 12, 10, 8, 8
Tri Set x 3 (see notes):
EZ Bar Curl 3 10-12
Dumbbell Reverse Curl 3 10-12
Rope Curl 3 10-12
Notes
Tri sets: No rest between exercises. 60-90 Seconds between each Tri-Set.
Friday - Legs and Calves
Quads
Exercise Sets Reps
Squats - (15-12*) 5 12, 10, 8, 8, 8
Tri Set x 3 (see notes):
Wall Squat 3 12-15
Leg Extension 3 12-15
Sissy Squat 3 20-25
Hamstrings
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Curls - (12-15*) 4 12, 10, 10, 10
Straight Leg Deadlifts 3 15, 12, 10
Calves
Seated Calf Raise - (10-12*) 3 12, 10, 10
Standing Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 15
Notes
Tri sets: No rest between exercises. 60-90 Seconds between each Tri-Set. Wall Squats are performed with back against a wall or door, feet placed approx 2 foot in front.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY - REST DAYS

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About The Author
Doug is an ex-competitive bodybuilder with over 20 years fitness experience, specifically diet & nutrition, weight management and training techniques.

289 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Fri, 05/21/2010 - 18:11
Cristiaan
Great plan, will give this a go as of next monday, can I just ask, what weight should I be lifting? I'd say about 50% 1rm? What do you suggest? Thanks in advance
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Posted Tue, 05/31/2011 - 22:30
Dana Burgess
How long should you do this routine?
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Posted Thu, 08/11/2011 - 19:10
anthony
this workout i shud kip for how many week n shud i start wth light weight or heavy
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Posted Fri, 04/19/2013 - 01:01
Carmello
Focus on staying in school and using correct grammar first..
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Posted Mon, 10/15/2012 - 07:55
T. Dent
Cristiaan, use a weight that will only just allow you to finish the reps you have you set out to do foe that exercise. you cannot set a certain percentage on how much you should be lifting because persons body works differently.
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Posted Sat, 05/22/2010 - 14:01
Marcus
great routine man just one question: is it possible to split this into 3 days? cause im gonna do it when wrestling season starts so i can maintain my muscle and burn fat. Doing it 4 days a week would be a hassle since itd be during school and wrestling season. So if its possible to shorten it to 3 please let me know how
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 05/24/2010 - 03:19
Steven
You could do chest, shoulders and triceps on Day 1, legs and abs on Day 2 and back and biceps on the third training day.
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Posted Mon, 05/24/2010 - 06:29
Marcus
that seems like too much volume on the first day though
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 05/24/2010 - 08:51
Steven
You would have to reduce some of the exercises.
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Posted Mon, 05/24/2010 - 17:09
Thom
Great routine. What kind of diet do I need to go along with this?
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 05/24/2010 - 18:02
Steven
I would recommend heading to the forum and laying out some specifics about your current weight, etc., and see if we can't help you figure out a good diet. http://www.muscleandstrength.com/forum/
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Posted Tue, 05/25/2010 - 18:59
sean
just to clearify, is it 60-90 after the first set in tri-set then another after the 2nd set or is the rest only between switching exercises.
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 05/25/2010 - 19:56
Steven
No rest during trisets. Rest 60 to 90 between exercises.
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Posted Wed, 01/18/2012 - 10:21
Oscar
so each tri set consists of the 3 different exercises? So do the 3 different exercises rest then again?
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Posted Fri, 01/27/2012 - 01:06
kshitij gavhale
gr8 routine kindly explain what does it means by no rest between trisets ?????
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Posted Tue, 05/25/2010 - 22:13
sean
so do i do 3 straight sets of the same exercise or do one, one, one 60 sec of rest then 1-1-1 again. i just wanna make sure i have all this perfect
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 05/26/2010 - 09:47
Steven
You do not rest in between exercises on trisets.
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Posted Wed, 01/18/2012 - 09:39
Oscar
Ok just so I'm clear. A tri set is the 3 different exercises. so 3 exercises rest 60-90 sec then next 3 sets of exercises? I this right?
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Posted Thu, 05/27/2010 - 22:54
kevin
hey what do you mean by 4-1-4 for the exercise.. do the 4 sets of the main exercise then the triset then back to the 4 sets for the main exercise ?
Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 05/28/2010 - 07:35
Steven
4-1-4 is the rep tempo. you should take 4 seconds to lift the weight concentrically, hold for one second at contraction, and take 4 seconds to lower the weight to the starting position.
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Posted Mon, 05/31/2010 - 21:42
Alejandro Vasquez
could this also increase the seze of your arms?
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 06/01/2010 - 11:18
Steven
It is very hard to cut fat and increase muscle at the same time.
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Posted Mon, 06/07/2010 - 15:58
Jake Zerfas
The first 6 weeks of strength gain is usually new neurological connections between muscle fibers. This workout is designed to cut fat and build lean muscle, so putting on any sort of "bulk" is highly unlikely. However, if you have not been active prior to this workout and have not spent much time in the weight room before, you could possibly put on some muscle during this workout given you stick with it long enough. Again, this is designed to cut fat and tone muscles so it is likely you will experience more definition rather than muscle gain. Jake Kinesiologist Health and Fitness Specialist Licensed Massage Therapist
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Posted Wed, 06/06/2012 - 16:39
Duncan
What is your email? I have a couple more questions
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Posted Tue, 06/01/2010 - 02:21
Martin D
When you say: "Ab exercises: rope crunch, crossover crunch and hip thrusts. 20-15 reps on each set for abs". How many sets of each ab exercise am I suppose to do after each workout? Is it just one set for each exercise or 3 sets of each?
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 06/01/2010 - 11:02
Steven
One set for each movement.
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Posted Tue, 06/01/2010 - 17:49
Martin D
Thanks Steve. I will be starting this routine today, but unfortunately I will only be able to do cardio once a day - after the workout, since I'm at work 9 hours everyday, and it is too hard for me to get up in the morning(I am not a morning person). I would like to talk about what supplements to take along with this routine? I have read some of the other routines and your posts and saw that you recommend fish oil, nitric oxide and some fat burning supplement. I can easily get fish oil no problem. What is that Nitric oxide? Which one would be the best out there? Also which fat burner would you recommend the most? I will be going to GNC over the weekend or might go online and search for better deals. Just to let you know that I just got finished with a split system of Joe Weider. It has worked quite well for me. I did some good gains on it. My next routine was suppose to be power and bulk but I feel like I need to shred some of my unwanted fat instead of bulking up too much. I take whey protein twice a day(2 scoops of EAS), L-Glutamine and creatine as well. I am done with creatine now and still taking the protein and Glutamine. Just in case you'd like my measurments: 6'3", 220lbs. I have a problem with extra unwanted fat around my waist area(lovehandles) and abs and lower chest. Is there anything particular that I should pay extra attention to? Thank you so much for the response. Martin
Steven's picture
Posted Wed, 06/02/2010 - 08:48
Steven
Here are the Nitric Oxide supplements: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/store/category/nitric-oxide.html They are very popular because they work. They help with boosting energy and focus during training, which can really help during cuts. There are also many quality fat loss products: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/store/category/fat-loss.html Animal Cuts and Lipo 6 are 2 of the most popular. As far as unwanted fat, just make sure you're eating enough protein while cutting, at least 30 to 40 grams every 2.5 to 3 hours. You'll also want to lift as heavy as possible within stated rep ranges to give your body a reason to hold on to hard-earned muscle. The fat will slowly come off. Be patient and keep working hard.
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Posted Mon, 11/29/2010 - 16:36
Martin
Steve, Just thought to drop a line. As of today I am still on mega cutting routine and it has been amazing. So far I dropped to 194lbs. You were right about the fat. Slowly, but it's coming off. Pretty soon I will be ending my cutting routine and going into power and bulk. I did lost some strength but not too bad. I keep trying to lift as heavy as possible every time.
Steven's picture
Posted Mon, 12/06/2010 - 14:44
Steven
Congrats on the great progress!
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Posted Mon, 05/14/2012 - 02:26
John
How long have you been doing this workout??
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Posted Tue, 07/05/2011 - 16:03
Darren
Also for nitric oxide the best ones that I've found is N-Zero, C4, or the new M5 by Cellucor. Also for fat burners use T7 or D4 extremem thermal shock also by Cellucor. Cellular by my opinion is the best supplement company going right now.
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Posted Thu, 07/28/2011 - 13:42
hungryhamburglar
For the ab sets, 4-1-4 timing as well? Or regular 1-1-1 for them.
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Posted Tue, 06/01/2010 - 16:56
Isaac Mtz
hey steve what about this rutine, a fat burner ( lypo-6 multiphase) and a low carb and fat balanced diet( 5 meals)... btw... i only make 1 hour of cardio
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 06/01/2010 - 17:29
Steven
Sounds like a reasonable approach. What type of low-carb approach will you be using?
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Posted Thu, 06/03/2010 - 15:15
Santos Musonera
Thanks for the great plan.I'm goin to get started monday morning.I have a question; assuming I did everything on this plan exactly how its descrived, when should I expect to see some changes?If i cant do cardio in the evenings becoz of work, can I replace that with a saturday activity like swimming? Thanks again Steve.
Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 06/03/2010 - 18:42
Steven
Swimming is a great form of exercise. The real key to success on a program like this is having a proper diet. You want to eat at least 30 to 40 grams of protein every 2.5 to 3 hours, and eat fewer calories then it takes to maintain your weight. You would like to lose about 1.5 to 2 pounds of fat each week.
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Posted Thu, 06/03/2010 - 17:20
Ryan
First off,thank you for a great website.Is this rutine doable for a women? My wife is having a hard time with keeping weight off,and is asking for some help.Could she do this rutine with weight that is heavy for her or at least offering good resistance? Granted she does not want to bulk up but I would think that if building muscle burns fat,once she reaches her goal and starts to see some muscle tone,she could then switch up her rutine.Of course this would be with a good diet.Thanks in advance.
Steven's picture
Posted Thu, 06/03/2010 - 18:45
Steven
This program would work for a woman. Women generally require a slightly higher rep range. I would recommend using 10 to 15 reps for most exercises. She won't bulk up if she lifts heavy. She'll actually tone up and look wonderful. Have her check out the female transformations...most of them recommend training heavy, and as you will see, they are not bulky: http://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/transformations.html If sh does perform this routine for a while, and enjoys lifting, it is definitely OK to switch routines!
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Posted Thu, 06/03/2010 - 23:16
Eric
I can only do 1 cardio session would 1hour of cardio work for this routine?
Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 06/04/2010 - 16:01
Steven
Yes as long as you have your diet in check and setup to help you lose weight.
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Posted Mon, 06/07/2010 - 16:34
SHANE RATLIFF
For the sets that are 12,10,8,8 are we supposed to increase weight or just use the same all the way through?
Steven's picture
Posted Tue, 06/08/2010 - 08:01
Steven
If you are pushing hard you will probably be using about the same weight for each set.
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Posted Fri, 06/11/2010 - 07:30
Prads
Hi Steve, Great Plan!! Does this plan require a low carb diet. As I workout in the morning I have my protein (35gms) shake with creatine(5gms), gluatimine(5gms) and waxy maize (1scoop). Post workout I have the same combination of the shake. Breakfast is again with eggs and oat meals Since I work 10-12 hours a day, I need to have a high carb meal(rice with soya chunks/grilled chicken) in the afternoon, followed by evening snacking on a sandwich and a granola. Dinner is low carb with a protein shake before sleep. I weigh 69 kgs for 5.6" frame. Please let me know your inputs, so I could start this program at the earliest. Regards, Pradeep B
Steven's picture
Posted Fri, 06/11/2010 - 07:46
Steven
It's doesn't require an extremely low carb approach, but ti does require a cutting diet for fat loss. It seems like you approach is solid.
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Posted Fri, 06/11/2010 - 07:55
Prads
Thanks a million. I will have this plan cycled from this coming week. Pradeep B
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Posted Fri, 06/11/2010 - 21:57
Mike
I have a few questions and a statement, I just finished my first week of this routine. and I LOVE it thus far. I am only able to do 30 minutes of cardio, but I dont take as much rest between sets as the workout recomends. I always Powerlifted 3-6 reps 80% of my max to start, this has been difficult for me, my Muscles are not attuned to the reps. I wanted to ask in there are some substitute exercises, My body has taken a ton of punishment from, work sports and plain old me being clumsy. Sissy squats are near impossible for me to do correctly, my knees and ankles simply do not bend the proper way anymore, I have had quite a few surgeries. My gym has a 45 degree calf machine but not a seated calf machine, suggestions? I can squat but I must use the Sumo style, with feet pointing pretty far out. I tried to squat properly but again my body would not contort properly. also on the Pushups either Triangle for triceps or regular, its always done last and I Struggle to get 4-5 good ones before failure is this normal? is my diet off? will my body adapt and get longevity? I am currently on the South Beach diet, I understand its not the best workout diet but its per the doc so its what I have to deal with. I use the phase 2 meal plans. Regards Mike
Steven's picture
Posted Sat, 06/12/2010 - 20:59
Steven
Hi Mike, I think it would be best to answer your questions over at the forum. We have several topics to address. http://www.muscleandstrength.com/forum/
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Posted Sun, 06/13/2010 - 20:12
Mike
I reposted my thread on the forums here is a link, http://www.muscleandstrength.com/forum/beginners-questions-advice/42129-questions-about-dougs-maga-cutting-routine-pasted-workout-page.html#post384539 Thank you in advance for taking your time to answer! Mike
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Posted Mon, 06/14/2010 - 14:55
Chenise
Is the cardio portion designed to be done every day (7 days) or just on the work-out days (4 days)? Also, as a women, which would be the best routine to loose weight/fat the quickest? Doug's Mega Cutting routine, Doug's 5 day high definition routine, or Doug's super shredding routine? Thank you, Chenise

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