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
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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 10 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
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

 

226 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 02/15/2018 - 06:07
Nav

For the Cardio part - can you do HIIT instead of steady state?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 02/15/2018 - 08:35
JoshEngland

Hi Nav,

Yes, you can.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 02/12/2018 - 17:26
John Gussler

JoshEngland , how about abs? Should I perform ab workouts separate, or should these exercises work on abs as well as full body. And will this help "belly fat" loss?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 02/13/2018 - 09:00
JoshEngland

Hi John,

Yes, your abs are worked indirectly in this workout program. If you feel like you need more ab isolation work to meet your individual goals, you're more than welcome to add some in.

It's very difficult (read: impossible) to isolate fat loss. For men, we typically store fat in our guts. Thus, when we do lose fat, we'll naturally lose some from there. The best thing you can do for fat loss is to sustain a calorie deficit consistently over a fairly long period of time (8-16ish weeks).

Hope this helps!

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Posted Wed, 02/07/2018 - 20:59
Luis

What’s the diet plan for this exercise consist of? Should we be meal prepping? What’s the amounts of carbs between the high, low, and medium days? I did my BMR and it says I should intake 2850 calories which seems kinda high. I’m 5’10 186 lbs at age 34.

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Posted Wed, 02/07/2018 - 13:11
Thomas

Do you have a recommended cardio warm-up time for using the treadmill?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 02/07/2018 - 14:28
JoshEngland

Hi Thomas,

For info on warming up start here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/warming-up-for-dummies

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 02/04/2018 - 16:53
Dave

Should the cardio plan be on off days or performed on same days as weight routine or both?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/05/2018 - 09:11
JoshEngland

Hi Dave,

Add in cardio whenever and wherever you see fit. So long as you do perform it, it won't make much of a difference as to when you perform it.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 02/04/2018 - 15:21
michael frank

Highly doubtful a beginner will be able to do 10 pull ups, let alone 3 sets of 10.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/05/2018 - 09:10
JoshEngland

Hi Michael,

The program is simply a template. Modify it to meet your individual capabilities.

If a beginner can't perform 10 pull ups, they should start off performing eccentric only pull ups and work their way to being able to perform 3 sets of 10.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 02/03/2018 - 15:54
Necat General

When should i do cardio on free days or after training?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 02/05/2018 - 09:09
JoshEngland

Hi Necat,

Add in cardio whenever and wherever you see fit. So long as you do perform it, it won't make much of a difference as to when you perform it.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 01/15/2018 - 15:47
Levi

hello, i am training weights since 2013, and i follow this program for two weeks.i was 97 kilogram after two weeks i am 94.4, just recoverd from a herniated disk, and in the meantime i gaind some bad weight i am 16 % bodyfat, but my question is, to lose the weight to get to 10 % bodyfat if the 12 week plan is suiteble for me. or should i do more advanced programs because,i dont want to lose muscle,and i feel flatter instead more shredded. And another question is, for now the nutrition program works with the lower and moderate carb days, can i apply that in any training program. with kind regards Levi,C from holland sorry for the spells.

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Posted Mon, 01/08/2018 - 06:41
Von

I like the work out but it gets boring doing the same exercises for 12 weeks

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Posted Thu, 12/28/2017 - 10:22
Athomp

Is there a more detailed version of the diet plan for men? The info is good, but I don’t think there is enough detail. How am I supposed to calculate the number of calories I should be in taking based on 200gs of protein. Also, how do I calculate grams of crabs if I have a % for daily caloric intake?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 12/28/2017 - 16:51
JoshEngland
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Posted Thu, 12/28/2017 - 10:11
Andrew

Is there a more detailed eating plan for the men? While the info above is good, 180-200 g's of protein is only 10% of daily caloric intake? How do you calculate how many calories that should be. It says to calculate the carb intake based on calculations but that would mean somewhere around 50% of intake should be from carbs? i'm a little lost and would like to have more information on how to calculate the macro nutrients.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 12/28/2017 - 16:51
JoshEngland
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Posted Tue, 12/19/2017 - 10:02
Lee

I cannot seem to find the 12 week diet part of this programme...any help would be great!

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Posted Mon, 12/11/2017 - 21:13
Muhammad Shettima

Hello Nick,
Just started this program and loving it. I have 2 questions.
1) Can i add more sets, eventually as i get stronger, say 4 or 5 sets per workout?
2) Can i increase the number of days e.g instead of 4 days, i do 6 days in a row i.e U - L - U - L - U - L - Rest
Thanks.

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Posted Sun, 12/03/2017 - 23:10
Alfonso Sanchez

Is there certain foods to eat with the diet

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 12/04/2017 - 09:00
JoshEngland

Hi Alfonso,

It is always best to stick to whole, nutrient rich food sources.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 11/30/2017 - 06:42
Von

This work out looks great but do you have something for a level other than beginners?

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Posted Wed, 11/22/2017 - 13:12
chris

With thew timing of the cardio section...

Week 1 - 3 cardio sessions. 5, 8 and 5 minutes. Is this three different days? Or is this each workout day?

Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 11/22/2017 - 14:20
JoshEngland

Hi Chris,

They are 3 sessions to be done on separate days of the week.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 12/12/2017 - 21:10
KronicEvo

I'm still a bit foggy with the cardio days. Can you break it down for me a bit? Please and thank you!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 12/13/2017 - 10:26
JoshEngland

Hi KronicEvo,

For example: Week one has three cardio sessions. Perform these on three separate days (M/W/F or whatever you prefer). Perform cardio for 5 mins on day 1, 8 on day 2, 5 on day 3.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 11/17/2017 - 11:13
danny

Thank you for the article Im on week two and already feel better and can see my body changing thank you for all the info week one is hell if you are like me and out of shape but push through it gets better

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Posted Wed, 10/25/2017 - 05:49
hamidson

Hi. At first thanks for this good article
I have one question: what about the weight size of barbell and dumbbells.. what do your advice light or normal or heavy ... or it is depend to person how much he can do lifting? thanks in advance

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:04
JoshEngland

Hi Hamidson,

You're correct. It will depend on the person and how much s/he can lift.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 10/21/2017 - 04:15
ARmin

Hi . I do soccer once a week and Mountain climbing once a month. Do I need to do lower body plan ??

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 10/30/2017 - 10:01
JoshEngland

Hi Armin,

Yes, you'll still want to perform the lower body workouts within this program.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 10/15/2017 - 17:20
Abdullah

Here cardio plan in first 6 weeks is 5,8 and 5 minutes thts total 18 mins first week thats seems to be just warm up.. Can you explain

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Posted Thu, 10/12/2017 - 04:27
Colin Parris

The lack of detail in the nutrition section is extremely disappointing.
Secondly, I am a 42 year old male. My CURRENT caloric intake is about 600calories below the recommended levels, and I'm getting FAT. ...fatter by the week. I have a fear that this was written by some 27 year old athlete who's "cycling some gear," and has no clue what an average middle aged American body looks like or how it reacts to NATURAL food and training.

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Posted Sat, 10/21/2017 - 18:21
Jason

I had a similar issue. In the end, adding the exercise helped me start dropping, but not at first. After working out and not losing weight I went to to doc to see if I had a thyroid issue or something. Turns out I had low T--not "low end of the spectrum", I'm talking 50% of the minimum. Started doing a gel therapy to get mine up. BIG change in weight loss results. I could eat 2000 calories a day and still lose weight on a plan somewhat similar to this (I was 330 lbs when I started, I'm 290 8 weeks in).

I'm not saying that's a magic bullet for everyone (and of course I don't recommend using something like this when not indicated), but I've found us "older guys" with issues dropping weight sometimes have an underlying factor. Hoping once I drop the rest of the gut my levels come up naturally.

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Posted Mon, 09/25/2017 - 15:53
Chaudary Naveed

I m 37 years old Male .... I want to ask that can I eat fewer calories than recommended by you but with high protein intake .. for example about 1800 calories with about 180g protein and 170g carbs ? I have lots of belly fat

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Posted Sat, 09/02/2017 - 20:59
Heather

In the description it say I will be told "exactly what to eat", but I only see the requirements.
Is there an actual meal plan somewhere that follows these guidelines or is it something I need to figure out for myself?

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Posted Fri, 08/25/2017 - 22:53
Cesar

The nutrition plan states what your intake should be thoughout the week but the workout plan is only 4 days a week. What would you recommend someone who is sedentary for a good portion of the day for the rest days? Should they do some light workout, such as cardio, in order to burn off some of the calorie intake?

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Posted Mon, 09/04/2017 - 06:07
Justin Cook

I would recommend an active rest and do a 30 minute to and hour walk to help keep your body burning. The walk still can help you recover by stretching out your muscles.

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Posted Sun, 08/20/2017 - 12:23
Kai

What if my protein intake is below 50 g , what should I do , can you help me with a workout and diet where my protein intake is below 50 g as the place where I cone from it's not possible to have a high protein intake

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Posted Sun, 08/20/2017 - 09:11
Lacey

I am trying to view the workout chart but the rows are overlapping and I cannot see a few of them, can someone show me the workout list, please?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 08/21/2017 - 09:04
JoshEngland

Hi Lacey,

Sorry about that. I'll get someone on our team to fix that problem immediately and follow up.

Thank you for your patience in the meantime!

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Posted Wed, 08/16/2017 - 14:25
CRT

Is it mandatory to add the calories for the metabolism ages? I'm 25 and my weight loss deficit calorie amount is 1800 calories a day. If I add the extra calories, then some days I will be going over this 1800, mostly on the high carb days. Do we have to add the extra calories?

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Posted Sat, 07/01/2017 - 19:07
Katie

For the calorie allotment are we eating back the calories we are burning during workout sessions? Such as if I am on a 1600 calorie day and burn 300 calories do I eat those 300 calories back?

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Posted Tue, 06/27/2017 - 05:47
Tej

hey bud
My weight is 159 lbs and height 172 cm with Body Fat 17.5%
Age 24
I want to maintain my weight but want FAT loss... most of the fat is on my belly and sides
Will this workout help to reduce my fat 17.5 to 10% in 12 weeks???
Thanks

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Posted Tue, 06/06/2017 - 08:45
chetaan

hello
i am a 20kg over weight with 32% bodyfat, will this 12 weeks routine be suitable for me?
i used to workout previously but theres been a gap for 8 months

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Posted Thu, 05/18/2017 - 08:40
Nick S

Hi Josh,
If I can do cardio for a longer stint than 5-10 minutes, should I start at my minimum, or just stick to your plan?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 05/18/2017 - 09:22
JoshEngland

Hi Nick,

Thank you for your question, however I cannot take credit for this program as I did not write it.

It depends, are you new to the weight lifting portion as well? It might be worth starting off with how the program is written. With that said, it is simply a template, so you are more than welcome to modify it in any way to better fit your needs, experience level, and goals.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 05/06/2017 - 07:51
Colin M

Hi I am just about to embark on a weight loss mission after wrecking my body for the last year :( been looking for a complete plan and I really like this. just one thing that is confusing me is at the top it states this is a 6 days a week beginner course? however when the 12 week gym plan is laid out it is only for four days? where and what do I do the other 2 days please?

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