Hardcore 40: Blast Fat and Get Shredded in 40 Days!

The Hardcore 40 combines a high-speed, fat burning workout system with HIIT cardio and a precision diet to melt away fat and leave behind muscle.

It’s time for all out war on fat. You have a goal – look good by Summer, lean out before your next birthday, or drop the freshman 15 – and now you need a plan. You’ve read and researched until your eyes couldn’t take any more, and you’re beyond frustrated. The pounds aren’t coming off, and you don’t know what to do.

Stop and listen. Now is the time for results. No more reading. No more researching. You have a goal, and it’s time to get there.

The Hardcore 40 Program is your saving grace. It does not present you with ideas or concepts. It is a specific program designed to maximize fat loss and muscle retention over the course of the next 40 days. This program tells you how to train, what to eat and how to perform cardio to get shredded fast! It's not easy, but you can expect results.

So let's get moving moving. You’ll be well on your way to six pack and shredded in no time.

Hardcore 40 Program

Quick jump to the sub-sections on this page:

  1. Program Pillar #1: Fuel (Food)
  2. Sample peak, hold and light day meal plans
  3. Program Pillar #2: Fire (Weight Training)
  4. Program Pillar #3: Flashpoint (HIIT)
  5. Hardcore 40 program template
  6. Weight training workouts A & B
  7. Program notes
  8. Recommended supplements

Program Pillar #1: Fuel (Food)

Cycling carbs is an effective fat-burning strategy. The Hardcore 40 diet utilizes a zig-zagging, or cycling of calories and carbs to keep your metabolic fire stoked and high. On a day to day basis, the only macronutrient you will be changing – or cycling – will be carbohydrates. Protein and fat intake will remain consistent throughout all training days, making this a fairly simple diet to follow.

By rotating carbs and confusing your body, you will fight off metabolic adjustment. Fat burning will remain consistent over the next 40 days.

  1. Peak Day. This is a higher carb and calorie day. You will eat 2600 calories, which includes 280 grams of protein, 235 grams of carbs, and 60 grams of fat.
  2. Hold Days. This is an "average" calorie and carb day. You will eat 2300 calories, which includes 280 grams of protein, 160 grams of carbs and 60 grams of fat.
  3. Light Days. This is a lower calorie and carb day. You will eat 2000 calories, which includes 280 grams of protein, 85 grams of carbs and 60 grams of fat.

Eating Cycle – You will following a 4 day eating cycle of: peak day, hold day, light day, hold day. This 4 day pattern will be repeated 10 times during the course of the 40 day program.

  • Day 1: Peak Day. 2,600 calories, 235 grams of carbs, 280 grams of protein, 60 grams of fat.
  • Day 2: Hold Day - 2,300 calories, 160 grams of carbs, 280 grams of protein, 60 grams of fat.
  • Day 3: Light Day - 2,000 calories, 85 grams of carbs, 280 grams of protein, 60 grams of fat.
  • Day 4: Hold Day - 2,300 calories, 160 grams of carbs, 280 grams of protein, 60 grams of fat.

Get RippedMeal Frequency – It is best to eat smaller meals every 2 to 3 hours. This will provide your body with a constant supply of fuel and protein, allowing for optimal fat loss and muscle building or retention. How many meals you eat per day is an individual thing, but anywhere from 5 to 7 is optimal. Plan your meals around your schedule, and make them convenient. You don’t want frequent eating to become a burden. And don’t forget – sometimes a simple protein shake and a piece of fruit is your best option!

Protein Food Choices – The best protein choices are fish (tilapia, salmon, tuna), lean meat (chicken, ground turkey, lean beef), protein powders, eggs and low fat milk and cheese. Try to eat a minimum of 30 to 40 grams of protein per meal.

Carb Food Choices -  Carbs encompass a wide variety of foods, healthy and unhealthy. Stick with fruit (bananas, strawberries, blueberries, apples, oranges), veggies (broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower, spinach), and healthier grains such as quinoa, wild rice, oatmeal, and wheat. Remember that most fruit and veggie carb sources such as strawberries, apples, spinach, tomatoes and broccoli allow you to eat more without being calorie dense.

Fat Food Choices – Fats are the hardest macronutrient to monitor. It is best to plan out your daily meals, allotting the required protein and carbs first. Then, research and find out the fat content in these foods. If you find that you are not getting enough daily fat intake, consider adding small amounts of olive oil, almonds, and avocados to your daily meal plan. You can also supplement with fish oil and other essential fatty acids (EFAs).

Sample Meal Plans - Peak Day, Hold Day and Light Day

Peak Day - Sample Meal Plan
Peak Day - Sample Meal Plan
Meal Food
Meal 1 1/2 cup cooked oats, 2 large eggs, 1 scoop whey protein
Meal 2 1 medium banana, 6 oz chicken
Meal 3 1 cup cooked quinoa, 1/4 cup salsa, 1 can tuna (5 oz)
Meal 4 1 oz roasted almonds, 2 cups cooked broccoli, 5 oz tilapia
Meal 5 (Pre-workout) - 1 scoop whey protein, 4 oz strawberries
Meal 6 (Intra-workout) - 1 scoop whey protein
Meal 7 4 oz lean ground turkey, 8 oz cooked wild rice, 2 cups asparagus

2600 Calories

280 grams protein, 235 grams of carbs, 60 grams of fat

Hold Day - Sample Meal Plan
Hold Day - Sample Meal Plan
Meal Food
Meal 1 1 medium banana, 10 egg whites
Meal 2 1 oz walnuts, 2 scoops whey protein, 1 medium orange
Meal 3 6 oz pink salmon, 4 oz wild rice
Meal 4 5 oz 80% lean ground beef, 2 cups cooked spinach
Meal 5 (Pre-workout) - 1 scoop whey protein, 1 medium apple
Meal 6 (Intra-workout) - 1 scoop whey protein
Meal 7 6 oz chicken breast, 1 cup cooked carrots, 5 oz cooked quinoa

2300 Calories

280 grams protein, 160 grams of carbs, 60 grams of fat

Light Day - Sample Meal Plan
Light Day - Sample Meal Plan
Meal Food
Meal 1 1/2 cup blueberries, 8 egg whites, 1 oz cheddar cheese
Meal 2 2 scoops whey protein, 4 oz strawberries
Meal 3 1/2 cup cooked wild rice, 6 oz tilapia, 1/2 cup cooked broccoli
Meal 4 1 oz roasted almonds, 5 oz canned tuna
Meal 5 (Pre-workout) - 1 scoop whey protein, 4 oz strawberries
Meal 6 (Intra-workout) - 1 scoop whey protein
Meal 7 6 oz lean ground turkey, 1/2 cup cooked wild rice, 1/2 cup asparagus

2000 Calories

280 grams protein, 80 grams of carbs, 60 grams of fat

Program Pillar #2: Fire (Weight Training)

Muscle building over the course of the next 40 days will focus on two metabolism-jolting training styles:

  1. Heavy Complex. (Heavy Weight, Short Rest) Utilizing heavy compound exercises, you will perform 3 sets with only 60 seconds of rest between each set. Compound lifts blast multiple bodyparts, requiring a greater effort and causing you to expend more energy. Training with heavy weight maximizes muscle retention and gains. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn.
  2. Light Complex. (Light Weight, High Reps) Once again using compound movements, you will perform two higher rep sets with only 60 seconds of rest between sets. During the first set of a “light complex”, you will be working within the 15 to 20 rep range. For the second set, you will drop to a lighter weight and aim for 20 to 30 total reps. If you can’t complete the minimum amount of reps, rack the weight, count to 5, and attempt to knock out the last several reps that you missed.

Workout Frequency – You will be following a 2 days on, 1 day off workout schedule. On training days, you will be performing both weight training and cardio. Off days are truly that – off days. This is a workout frequency of nearly 5 days per week, and may be more then you are accustomed to. Hang in there. Training during this 40 period is intense, but worth it!

Get Shredded

Workout Structure – You will be rotating between three workouts: push, pull and legs. Push days focus on hitting the chest, shoulders and triceps. Pull days blast your back, biceps and abs. On leg day, you will hammer your quads, hamstrings and calves.

  • Push Day - Chest, Shoulders and Triceps
  • Pull Day - Back, Biceps and Abs
  • Leg Day - Quads, Hamstrings and Calves

Workout Exercises – As mentioned, you will be rotating between heavy and light complexes. During the course of each workout, you will perform 8 total complexes – 4 heavy complexes and 4 light complexes. Each workout should last 45 minutes to one hour.

Progression – One of the keys to challenging yourself during workouts is to work for more reps and weight on every set. This is called progression. Never waste a set! When you hit the high end of the rep range for an exercise, add weight.

Failure – Do not train to failure. Use your instincts, and try to end a set one rep before positive failure. If you have doubts about the next rep, stop the set.

Program Pillar #3: Flash Point (HIIT)

HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is a form of cardio used by the muscle building community because of its effectiveness at burning stubborn fat. HIIT training involves alternating between extremely intense exercise periods (in which your heart is beating at about 80 to 90% of its maximum heart rate), and lower intensity periods. Lower intensity exercise can also be substituted with periods of complete rest.

There are many ways to perform HIIT cardio. During the Hardcore 40 Program, you will be utilizing both running and biking. Feel free to insert your favorite form of cardio (such as stairmaster, jumping rope, swimming, etc.) into the program, but remember to stick to the intensity template.

You will be performing HIIT cardio on weight training days only. Resist the urge to do any training on schedule rest days. Your body needs rest to function properly. Too much cardio exercise can actually decrease muscle mass and make it harder for you to recover in between weight training sessions. Here is the intensity template:

  1. Warmup – Warmup for 4 minutes. This period is low intensity, and is used to get the blood flowing.
  2. Intervals – You will be performing 16 total intervals. Each interval consists of a 30 seconds high intensity period, followed by a 30 second low intensity period.

Rest – If you are winded, it is completely acceptable to rest instead of performing the 30 seconds of low intensity work. But push yourself! Try to improve, and make it a goal to complete the entire 20 minute period with no rest whatsoever.

When To Perform HIIT – Try to perform your HIIT sessions immediately after lifting weights. Research reveals you will burn more calories and fat this way.

HIIT Variety – Do you need to stick with only two forms of HIIT training? No. As long as you are “hitting” HIIT on your training days, you can use whatever form of HIIT that works best for you, on any training day.

The Hardcore 40 Program Template

The following table breaks down how you will be training and what you will be eating for each of the 40 days:

Hardcore 40 - The 40 Days
Day Fuel (Diet) Fire (Lifting) Flashpoint (HIIT)
Day 1 Peak Push - A Run
Day 2 Hold Pull - A Bike
Day 3 Light OFF OFF
Day 4 Hold Legs - A Run
Day 5 Peak Push - B Bike
 
Day 6 Hold OFF OFF
Day 7 Light Pull - B Run
Day 8 Hold Legs - B Bike
Day 9 Peak OFF OFF
Day 10 Hold Push - A Run
 
Day 11 Light Pull - A Bike
Day 12 Hold OFF OFF
Day 13 Peak Legs - A Run
Day 14 Hold Push - B Bike
Day 15 Light OFF OFF
 
Day 16 Hold Pull - B Run
Day 17 Peak Legs - B Bike
Day 18 Hold OFF OFF
Day 19 Light Push - A Run
Day 20 Hold Pull - A Bike
 
Day 21 Peak OFF OFF
Day 22 Hold Legs - A Run
Day 23 Light Push - B Bike
Day 24 Hold  OFF OFF
Day 25 Peak Pull - B Run
 
Day 26 Hold Legs - B Bike
Day 27 Light OFF OFF
Day 28 Hold Push - A Run
Day 29 Peak Pull - A Bike
Day 30 Hold OFF OFF
 
Day 31 Light Legs - A Run
Day 32 Hold Push - B Bike
Day 33 Peak OFF OFF
Day 34 Hold Pull - B Run
Day 35 Light Legs - B Bike
 
Day 36 Hold OFF OFF
Day 37 Peak Push - A Run
Day 38 Hold Pull - A Bike
Day 39 Light OFF OFF
Day 40 Hold Legs - A Run
 

Weight Training Workouts A&B

Push Workout A
Push Workout A
Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Bench Press - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Incline DB Bench Press - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Incline DB Bench Press - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Military Press - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Military Press - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Seated French Press - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Seated French Press - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
* Note on Heavy Complexes: Pick a weight that allows you to perform 8 to 10 reps on the first set. Do not worry about the rep total on the second and third sets. Do as many as possible. Because of the limited rest between sets, your rep totals will drop.
Push Workout B
Push Workout B
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Bench Press - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Dumbbell Bench Press  - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Weighted Chest Dip - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Incline Bench Press - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Seated Dumbbell Press - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Seated Dumbbell Press - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Close Grip Bench Press - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Close Grip Bench Press - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
* Note on Heavy Complexes: Pick a weight that allows you to perform 8 to 10 reps on the first set. Do not worry about the rep total on the second and third sets. Do as many as possible. Because of the limited rest between sets, your rep totals will drop.
Pull Workout A
Pull Workout A
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Rows - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Barbell Rows - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Weighted Pull Up - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Lat Pull Down - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Barbell Curl - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Barbell Curl - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Weighted Situp - Heavy Complex 3 10 to 15 Reps on 1st Set
Weighted Situp - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
* Note on Heavy Complexes: Pick a weight that allows you to perform 8 to 10 reps on the first set. Do not worry about the rep total on the second and third sets. Do as many as possible. Because of the limited rest between sets, your rep totals will drop.
Pull Workout B
Pull Workout B
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Cable Row - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Seated Cable Row - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Close Grip Lat Pull Down - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Close Grip Lat Pull Down - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Seated Dumbbell Curl - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Seated Dumbbell Curl - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Weighted Crunch - Heavy Complex 3 10 to 15 Reps on 1st Set
Weighted Crunch - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
* Note on Heavy Complexes: Pick a weight that allows you to perform 8 to 10 reps on the first set. Do not worry about the rep total on the second and third sets. Do as many as possible. Because of the limited rest between sets, your rep totals will drop.
Legs Workout A
Legs Workout B
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Leg Press - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Hack Squat - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Barbell Lunge - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Romanian Deadlift - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Romanian Deadlift - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Seated Calf Raise - Heavy Complex 3 10 to 15 Reps on 1st Set
Seated Calf Raise - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
* Note on Heavy Complexes: Pick a weight that allows you to perform 8 to 10 reps on the first set. Do not worry about the rep total on the second and third sets. Do as many as possible. Because of the limited rest between sets, your rep totals will drop.
Legs Workout B
Legs workout B
Exercise Sets Reps
Front Squat - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Leg Press - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Dumbbell Lunge - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
Dumbbell Step Up - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
DB Stiff Leg Deadlift - Heavy Complex* 3 8 to 10 Reps on 1st Set
DB Stiff Leg Deadlift - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
Standing BB Calf Raise - Heavy Complex 3 10 to 15 Reps on 1st Set
Standing BB Calf Raise - Light Complex 2 15 to 20, 20 to 30
* Note on Heavy Complexes: Pick a weight that allows you to perform 8 to 10 reps on the first set. Do not worry about the rep total on the second and third sets. Do as many as possible. Because of the limited rest between sets, your rep totals will drop.

Program Notes

40 Day Cycles – Because eating is based on a 4-day cycle, training on a 3-day cycle, and HIIT on a 2-day cycle, nearly every day will be different. On some days you will hammer legs and eat very few carbs. And on some off days you will enjoy the luxury of eating more carbs and larger meals.

This structure is designed to keep you mentally engaged, and to help maximize the body’s tendency to adapt. Your body has a difficult time adapting to a program that is constantly changing.

Diet Planning – The key to the Hardcore 40 program lies in proper diet planning. It is best to create an eating template for peak, hold and light days, and then stick to these templates! Try to build in some food variety. If you force yourself to eat chicken, rice and broccoli for every meal, you might lose focus and want to cheat.

Prepare your meals in advance on Sunday. Keep them in the freezer, so during the week you are ready to roll. Bad planning and preparation will only open the door for you to cheat. You will have moments where you are tired, from life or your workouts, and won’t feel like cooking. Always, always, always cook your larger meals in advance.

Metabolism – Everyone has a different metabolism. The calorie structure of this program is designed to work for most men. If you have an extremely high metabolism, you may need to add in 300 more daily calories to help stave off muscle loss. If your metabolism has slowed, it may make more sense to lower daily calories by 200. If any adjustments are make to daily calorie levels, make them only to carbs, and not to protein and/or fat. Proper protein and fat intake are crucial for good health and maintaining muscle while losing fat.

Expectations – What can you expect during these 40 days? Results! You can expect to maintain your current muscle mass, and to lose approximately 10 pounds or more, or about a 5% drop in bodyfat percentage.

Remember, a program is only as good as the effort put into it. Push for progression of weight, plan a solid diet filled with lots of lean protein, fruits and veggies, and do your cardio!

Recommended Supplements

To amplify your results, consider supplementing with the following:

  • Pre-workout Supplement. A pre-workout supplement with nitric oxide and caffeine, such as Black Powder or Dark Rage, will fuel you with extra energy and stamina, allowing you to take your workouts to the next level, speed up your metabolism and wage war on bodyfat.
  • Multivitamin. The Hardcore 40 is an intense fat loss program. Because you will be eating less and working harder during this time, a quality multivitamin will insure that there are no holes in your nutrition and diet plan.
  • Fat Loss Supplement. A quality fat loss product, such as Animal Cuts, Meltdown or Lipo 6, will provide you will a clean energy boost throughout the day, and help to fight off unwanted food cravings.
  • Amino Acids, BCAAs and Glutamine. Encourage your body to hold on to as much muscle as possible by supplement with an amino acid/BCAAs supplement such as Scivation Xtend or LG Sciences BC + EAA. These supplements will also assist in minimizing muscle soreness.

Ripped and Shredded in 40 Days