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
12 weeks
4
30-45 minutes
Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Kettle Bells
Male & Female
download pdfDownload Workout

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.

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The course will teach you how your body loses fat, how to utilize workout plans on our website to maximize fat loss, how to eat for fat loss, how to supplement to lose body fat and how to track your progress.

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12 Week Program Expectations

Over the next 12 weeks your goals and expectations are:

  • Fat Loss - To lose at least 10 pounds of fat.
  • Muscle Mass - To maintain, or even gain lean muscle mass.
  • Conditioning - To be in amazing shape; perhaps the best 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
Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 8-10
Walking Dumbbell Lunge 3 10
Seated Calf Raise 3 15-20
Cable Crunch 3 20
Russian Twist 3 20

Post your post-workout swolfies in M&S gear on IG and tag @muscleandstrength, #muscleandstrength, or DM them to us to get a shoutout on Muscle & Strength stories!

589 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Sun, 11/15/2020 - 19:56
Dejuan bryant

I will be beginning my workout tomorrow in excited and motivated. Do you know where I can purchase a home gym reasonably priced.

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Posted Fri, 11/13/2020 - 09:04
Brooke

If my daily calorie intake is usually around 1400, should I aim to eat higher, like during my high calorie days of 1900? I’m a 5’6” 26 yr old. I’m looking more to lose some weight and become more toned

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Posted Fri, 11/13/2020 - 09:29
Abigail_M&S

Hey Brooke - have you used our BMR calculator to determine your daily caloric needs? https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

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Posted Mon, 11/16/2020 - 09:24
Abigail_M&S

Great! Based on that, you should be able to follow the diet plan above.

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Posted Fri, 11/13/2020 - 09:54
Brooke

Yes, it says my daily calorie intake should be 1997 calories. I don’t typically eat that much however but should I even though I’m trying to achieve fat loss?

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Posted Thu, 11/05/2020 - 01:02
Emely

I can’t find the training program

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Posted Thu, 11/05/2020 - 10:17
Abigail_M&S

Hey Emely - the training program is written above. You can also download the PDF here.

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Posted Sun, 11/01/2020 - 23:50
Mandy

I'm brand new to weightlifting and this is my first program. I'm starting week 2 and had a couple questions. First, any suggestions for pullup alternatives? I am unable to do even one but would like to know what might be a good way to build up to them. Second, any menu plans or suggestions? I have terrible eating habits and don't really know what low/mod/high carb looks like or what a good meal plan might look like. 36/Female/210lbs. Thank you!

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Posted Mon, 11/02/2020 - 10:00
Abigail_M&S

Hey Mandy - if you're brand new to lifting, I'd suggest doing a full-body workout 3 times per week. You can check out this one: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/muscle-strength-full-body-wor....

You can use our BMR calculator to figure out your daily caloric needs: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator. From there, you can figure out your macro needs using this article: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-calculate-perfect-macros

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Posted Mon, 11/02/2020 - 10:42
Mandy

Thanks!

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Posted Sun, 11/01/2020 - 20:21
Amir

Thanks for the amazing workout program, based on my BMI I am required to consume 2300 calories. I was wondering how should break down my diet plan to use this program?

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Posted Mon, 11/02/2020 - 09:46
Abigail_M&S

Hey Amir - Protein intake should be a minimum of 180 grams per day. 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.

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Posted Sun, 11/01/2020 - 16:01
Claire Drysdale

I can see there is 40+
And 20-25
What should we be doing at 30-35
Also with the plan we do the split and add in the 5 mins cardio at the end ?

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Posted Mon, 11/02/2020 - 09:43
Abigail_M&S

Hey Claire - you can follow the calories that are given. If you use our BMR calculator (https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator), you can use a more specific caloric number that is tailored to you.

For the cardio, yes, you'll add it in after your weight training.

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Posted Thu, 10/29/2020 - 19:02
Niki

How do these sessions. Three times a day I have to do 5.8 and 5 minutes or?

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Posted Fri, 10/30/2020 - 09:03
Abigail_M&S

Hey Niki - Session one is 5 minutes, session two is 8 minutes, and session three is 5 minutes.

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Posted Thu, 11/05/2020 - 04:51
Hammond

So you mean 3 times a day or a week?

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Posted Thu, 11/05/2020 - 10:18
Abigail_M&S

3 times per week

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Posted Tue, 10/27/2020 - 15:00
Florentin

Hi regarding this certain plan I was wondering abou the diet for the plan, based on my BMI I am required to consume 3814 calories per day. With a 500 calorie deficit, I get down to 3314 daily calories which is way above the dietary consumption requirements for thsi plan. Do I stick to the stated dietary requirements or do I follow the breakdown of my TEE. please advise if this program is suited for me thank you.

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Posted Thu, 10/29/2020 - 09:30
Abigail_M&S

Hey Florentin - I would use your personal calories

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Posted Fri, 10/30/2020 - 22:31
Alec Thornton

Niki, BMI is not very reliable, as you've likely heard. Better to work out your BMR-basal metabolic rate, then factor in your activity levels. This will add calories to your BMR calorie total, to give you a more accurate indication of what your daily caloric intake needs are. From this, you will subtract for your 500cal deficit.

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Posted Mon, 10/26/2020 - 15:47
Pete

What is the recommended way to do the gym workouts? 3 circuits or do all 3 sets of one exercise and then move on to the next? If it's the latter, how long a rest period between sets?

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Posted Tue, 10/27/2020 - 09:26
Abigail_M&S

Hey Pete - you'll do all 3 sets of one exercise before moving on to the next. Your rest between sets should be 45-60 seconds.

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Posted Thu, 10/22/2020 - 20:53
Jason

5’11 220lbs male here. I’m doing around 1600-1700 calories per day. Struggling to get the protein in. Curious.....how many carbs do you recommend for low, medium, and high days?

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Posted Fri, 10/23/2020 - 09:38
Abigail_M&S

Hey Jason - carbs are calculated based on the remaining calories after you account for protein and fats. 1600-1700 calories does seem a bit low. Have you used our BMR calculator to find out your daily caloric need: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

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Posted Tue, 10/20/2020 - 15:29
Cleo Burrows

I'd like to start this program as I've been doing weightlifting at home for about 8 weeks now (3/week) and while I am able to lift heavier weights I haven't seen minimal changes physically, but not scale wise. I'm a 66 yo female and have tried low-carb, keto, low cal and intermittent fasting to no avail....no weight loss. I'm 179 pounds, 5'7" and getting desperate. I had my resting metabolic rate done and it's low. 1148 calories. I want to tone up, gain muscle (as it's suppose to burn more calories) and lose weight. I find if I eat over 1350 cal/day I will gain a bit of weight. When I eat protein I find I'm not hungry during the day and would have trouble getting in 100g. I would have trouble with the cardio as well as I'm battling a lung infection that has caused damage and making me get winded quickly. What program would you recommend? Thanks

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Posted Wed, 10/21/2020 - 10:10
Abigail_M&S
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Posted Mon, 10/19/2020 - 21:26
Chris B

Hey M&S,
I’m 33 yo 6’2” currently 354 lbs, I was down to 259 pounds but a year in a half of depression and overeating I’ve added 20 pounds to my starting weight of 335. I’m trying to find a plan that is realistic and that are lifetime changes. My goal is to get down to 265 by my wedding anniversary June 25th. Is this a good plan to start with or should I be trying something else.
Thank you

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Posted Tue, 10/20/2020 - 09:37
Abigail_M&S

Hey Chris - this plan is a good place to start. The biggest factor in fat loss is diet. A solid diet paired with a consistent workout routine will get you well on your way to your goal. You've got this!

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Posted Fri, 10/16/2020 - 13:32
Brix Lee

After completing this workout plan, what plan do you recommend next?

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Posted Mon, 10/19/2020 - 09:22
Abigail_M&S

Hey Brix - it all depends on your goals. What are your goals?

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Posted Fri, 10/23/2020 - 15:38
Brix Lee

I'm still not in my best shape yet and I hate that my body is pear shaped. I've been searching everywhere on how to make my hips narrower not just tone it. I still don't have any muscle definition though I already lost 7 kg. I'm currently 68 kg and my height is 5'4 ft which is overweight according to my BMI. I hope you can help me. Thank you!

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Posted Tue, 10/27/2020 - 09:56
Brix Lee

Thank you so much!

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Posted Wed, 10/28/2020 - 15:01
Brix Lee

I want to ask if it's really bad to do cardio before working out or it's just a myth?

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Posted Thu, 10/29/2020 - 09:35
Abigail_M&S

Hey Brix - it's best to do cardio after your weight training. You can read more about that here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/choosing-cardio-pre-post-workout

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Posted Thu, 10/29/2020 - 12:32
Brix Lee

Thank you!

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Posted Fri, 10/23/2020 - 15:44
Brix Lee

And btw it's hard for me to follow the diet plan cuz I'm still living with my parents and whatever food is served, that's what I eat. I can't also convince them to buy me whey. I think I don't get the right macros but I eat clean as much as I can with the food we already have in our house. I hope you can help me. Thanks again!

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Posted Tue, 10/27/2020 - 09:43
Abigail_M&S

Hey Brix - have you used our BMR calculator to determine your caloric needs? (https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator)

My biggest piece of advice would be to keep training hard and eating clean and you'll see results. Results take time and don't happen overnight. As far as a workout to follow, I'd suggest a full body workout like this one: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/muscle-strength-full-body-wor...

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Posted Sat, 10/31/2020 - 05:26
Isaac

did it work well? did it get you in shape? would you say it's worth doing?

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Posted Thu, 10/15/2020 - 14:52
Jason Peters

Respect to M&S for responding to questions

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Posted Thu, 10/15/2020 - 13:54
Keerthi

Hi Riley,
This is awesome, thank you so much. I am gonna start this.
Can you pls suggest alternate for Pull-ups..

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Posted Fri, 10/16/2020 - 08:31
Abigail_M&S

Hey Keerthi - do you need an alternate because you can't do them or because you don't have access to a pull up bar?

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Posted Mon, 10/19/2020 - 11:56
Emjay

Can you provide alternatives for both scenarios? That could help people in both camps!

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Posted Tue, 10/20/2020 - 09:28
Abigail_M&S

This is a great article if you can't do pull ups. It walks you through 3 progressions: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/pull-up-progressions

Pull ups are a compound back exercise. If you can't do them or don't have the equipment, replace them with another back-focused movement like lat pulldowns or dumbbell rows.

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Posted Wed, 10/14/2020 - 22:37
Abdul aziz

This workout is really awesome ! But please anyone guide me about this that I started workout 3 year I'm very fat at that time i lose fat through workout i build muscle but everytime i went for shredding my lower back pain hurts due to which i didn't go to gym and gaps occur between tha workout for 2 months please guide me what to do should i leave my passion ??please guide me anyone

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Posted Thu, 10/15/2020 - 09:38
Abigail_M&S

Hey Abdul - if you're consistently having lower back pain, you might consider a trip to the doctor. Are you warming up prior to your workout?

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Posted Thu, 10/15/2020 - 12:47
Abdul aziz

Yes i visit doctor he take xray he said there minor swollen between your hip bone and lowe back pain he said you had to take rest just for a week and then you can rejoin and start from lighter weight i done it as what that he prescribed he gave me medicine also after that when i rejoin i feel again pain and yes i do warm up of 5 to 10 mints before workout

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Posted Fri, 10/16/2020 - 08:29
Abigail_M&S

Abdul - I would avoid any exercises that cause you pain. Focus on dynamic warm ups to help get your body ready for your sessions. Here's a link to our warm up guide: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/warming-up-for-dummies

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Posted Sun, 10/11/2020 - 05:11
Oberon De Monet

Hey guys! I’m restarting at the gym because I want to lose 3.5 stones (about 50lbs). Because I have a toddler I can only go to the gym Sat-Tues when she goes to her dads . Would it be harmful if I did all my workouts in these 4 days and had the following 3 days as rest, or do I need to find some way of spacing them out more?

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Posted Mon, 10/12/2020 - 11:35
Abigail_M&S

Hey Oberon - congrats on getting back to the gym! I would recommend doing something like this:
Sunday: Lower
Monday: Upper
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Full Body