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.

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

 

281 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Tue, 04/17/2018 - 13:20
Emcy Corteza

Which days and what workouts do we have to do low carb, high carb and moderate carb days? Also, the cardio your attached workout plan doesn't make sense when it says on top to start off witht 5-10 mins of cardio, but the file says 30 mins? So which one is it?

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Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 13:51
Ben

Are cardio sessions to be done in conjunction with gym workouts or should they be done on off gym days or does it matter?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 15:42
JoshEngland

Hi Ben,

Whenever you can get it in and whenever you prefer to get it in.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 06:16
Dan

Hey,
Just wanted to ask, you’ve written number of calories that you need to get every day, but the exercises are included ?
For example can I eat 2600 cal and burn 300 so I finish the day with 2300 or I need to get 2300 cal from food only?
Thank you

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:01
JoshEngland

Hi Dan,

It is difficult to recommend a broad diet as diet is highly individualized and will vary from person to person.

Start here to find your calorie needs: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

Then go here to determine your macros: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-calculate-perfect-macros

Then finish up here for an idea of what to eat as part of your diet: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-create-a-bodybuilding-...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:15
Dan

Hey Josh,
My question is the cal in the plan is final cal for the day or just food cal?
Thank you,

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/16/2018 - 09:18
JoshEngland

In the plan it's just food calories for the day.

But as mentioned, the plan is very generic and you'd be better off forming a diet to meet your needs with the resources provided in the past comment.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 04/12/2018 - 08:05
Kakha

Cardio Session means - 1 Cardio exercise? 3 or 4 cardio session means only 3-or 4 cardio exercise per week ?

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Posted Wed, 04/11/2018 - 16:17
Khaled

Hi mark can I use hiit cardio with this plan ?

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Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 04:20
mark

what is the rest periods between reps

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 08:47
JoshEngland

Hi Mark,

30-90 Secs should do the trick. For a fat loss program, I'd try to stick to the 30-45 sec range.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 04/09/2018 - 22:21
mahmoud

thank you

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Posted Mon, 04/09/2018 - 18:46
Ahmed

Hello,

I’m a 18 years old
I weight 185pounds
My height is 5”8

I’m trying to lose my fat and gain muscles (full body)at the same time...I want to focus on both. Is their any routines you recommend and I only have dumbbells and treadmill and elpitical like a fitness center. Thank you!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Tue, 04/10/2018 - 08:54
JoshEngland

Hi Ahmed,

Focus on one goal at a time.

All workout programs work to do those things depending on your consistency with the program, diet, sleep, and lifestyle outside of the gym.

Be consistent. Body recomposition takes time. Sometimes it can take A LONG time. Training is a marathon, not a race.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 04/08/2018 - 13:15
Nadeem

Two questions
1- i can’t do pullups ao is there an alternative?
2- can i do cardio and gym workout on the same day?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:19
JoshEngland

Hi Nadeem,

1. Start off with eccentric only pull ups until you build up your strength.

2. Yes, you can.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 04/09/2018 - 15:42
Nadeem

thanks for the help
1 followup question
If im not able to perform eccentric push ups is there an alternative?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/09/2018 - 16:10
JoshEngland

Hi Nadeem,

Check this article out: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/pull-up-progressions

I'd recommend using those tips to help you out until you progress to having enough strength to perform the pull up.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 04/07/2018 - 18:54
Zerji

Hi, I am a 16 year old guy with around 19,6% body fat and weigh around 60 kg. Do you think this workout can help me out get better visual results?? I have been following a muscle gaining routine and have had little changes after a while. Thanks in advance

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:42
JoshEngland

Hi Zerji,

You may want to consider taking a look at your diet if your goal is fat loss. It's going to be a greater indicator of your results than the actual workout you are performing.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 04/07/2018 - 13:53
Sophy

Hi,because of my job I can't go to the gym two days in a row. So is it a problem to workout one day with one rest?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/09/2018 - 09:42
JoshEngland

Hi Sophy,

No, not at all.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 04/01/2018 - 07:23
Rob

Am I over extending if I want to do to upper and lower workouts on the same day? I usually workout every other day.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/02/2018 - 09:56
JoshEngland

Hi Rob,

If you want to perform full body workouts, check out our full body workout section: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/full-body

It'll be a much safer approach than performing all of this volume each training day.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 03/31/2018 - 19:05
Charlotte

Hi, I can't do pull ups AT ALL. What can I do instead?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 04/02/2018 - 10:01
JoshEngland

Hi Charlotte,

I'd recommend eccentric only pull ups. Check out them out here:

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/exercises/eccentric-only-pull-up

Video demonstrates them jumping into position, but feel free to use a bench or steps to get yourself into the starting position if needed.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 03/29/2018 - 01:11
Gab

Can i swap?:

pull ups with lat pull downs

and any alternatives to?:

twisting hanging knee raise
cable crunch?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Thu, 03/29/2018 - 09:08
JoshEngland

Hi Gab,

You can, but you'd probably be better off performing eccentric only pull ups or band assisted pull ups.

Reverse crunches or lying leg raises and standard crunches, exercise ball crunches, or weighted crunches should do the trick.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 03/27/2018 - 19:40
Max

I've been working out for a couple of months now. I'm willing to try this workout to help me lose fat. I have a question. I'm used to doing cardio for 30 min a day. Since I already do a lot of cardio. Do I follow the workout and only do a few minutes of cardio for the first week or can I do more?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 03/28/2018 - 09:31
JoshEngland

Hi Max,

You're more than welcome to alter this template to meet your individual capabilities.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 03/27/2018 - 10:25
Jennetta

This is a great post. My question: I am in really good shape. I am a power lifter, but I have been chronically 30 lbs over weight my whole life and no matter what I seem to do gets me to burn fat. I’m going to give your program a try, but should I start at week 1, or do you have a program designed for advanced participants who need to loose weight? I was thinking I would start with 30 minutes of cardio per day and add on 5 minutes per week?

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Posted Sun, 03/25/2018 - 08:47
Tyler

Is there an actual diet to this workout or do i need to make one myself?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/26/2018 - 08:48
JoshEngland

Hi Tyler,

I'd always recommend opting for a diet plan you create for yourself than one you find online. Online diet plans tend to be highly generic and don't take specific diet recommendations seriously.

Find out how many calories you need each day according to your goals and aim to get there by eating mostly whole food sources: lean meats, oats and whole grains, fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and low fat dairy products.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 03/24/2018 - 00:25
Jeremy

So I just completed week 1, stuck to everything, but i put on about 4 lbs. I know muscle will weight more, but not 4 lbs, I don't think, so I'm wondering if the calorie intake is a bit too high and I should lower it, or if the gradual decline over 4 weeks will balance that out and this is just a recomp by design. I haven't seen a diet plan like this.

My original plan was to just see it through for at least 4 weeks and see how it goes, or if i should cut back a couple hundred calories now. If this is normal, then cool. I just don't wanna accidentally turn into cartman before my hawaii trip in 11 weeks.

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/26/2018 - 08:52
JoshEngland

Hi jeremy,

Weight change is to be expected when initially starting a diet routine. Even more so if you've changed your diet as well. Unless you've been eating a lot of food the past week, those 4 pounds could be anything from sodium and water retention, lactic acid build up, undigested food in your gut, or a number of other things.

Don't sweat it.

The diet plan on this page is very generic. For a better way, figure out your calorie needs here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/tools/bmr-calculator

Subtract 250-500 calories from that number and aim to eat that amount of cals each day through whole food sources: lean meats, oats and whole grains, fruits and veggies, nuts and seeds, and low fat dairy products.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 03/23/2018 - 22:41
Galag

First of all thank you for this brilliant schedule
My question is; in week 12 the cardio sessions are 35, 40, 30 and 35 minutes. That's total of two hours and twenty minutes.
Suppose I have cardio in the same day with lifting
I usually take 70 minutes in my weight lifting (main program)+ 2 hours and 20 minutes cardio, it will be almost 4 hours!!
Is that normal ? Because I've heared that its not good to train for too long.
Waiting for your reply :)

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/26/2018 - 09:33
JoshEngland

Hi Galag,

Four cardio workouts per week, not per day.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 03/17/2018 - 14:32
Gab

For twisting knee raise and the likes (exercises with alternating sides), is it 20 reps per side (40 all in all) or 20 reps in a set? And how many seconds should my rest time be between sets in all exercises? Thanks!

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/19/2018 - 09:12
JoshEngland

Hi Gab,

For unilateral (one sided) exercises it's going to be each. Rest for 30-60 secs between sets and exercises.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 03/16/2018 - 12:17
Sourabh Garg

I want to know that can i perform this split in 6 days a week....as my gym remains closed on Sunday...and i want to do WORKOUT 6 days a week.... Thanks

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Fri, 03/16/2018 - 15:23
JoshEngland

Hi Sourabh,

Sure, you can. But I wouldn't recommend it. Your body needs time to recover so you can build muscle. And there are better ways to spend your time than going to the gym every single day. 3-5 days per week is plenty.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sun, 03/04/2018 - 20:43
Renata

Hi! I like the program a lot but i have a small question ( I'm new regarding gym) do i need to do the cardio before the weight training or after? Thank you

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/05/2018 - 08:53
JoshEngland

Hi Renata,

If you're going to lift weights and do cardio in the same session, perform cardio after your weight lifting session.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 03/01/2018 - 11:02
Giorgos

I have a basic question...more better or not??? I am the type of person who spends a lot off hours for trainnig every week and i can push my self do more.My question is ,if i wanna go to gym more days than 4 for ex. 5 or 6 or start from the first week doing more cardio sessions than 3 for more time can i? I feel like i have done nothing with only 4 days per week. If i do 5-6 trainning days with a 30min cardio session after weights trainning should i increase the weekly calories intake? Thanksin advance for your answer Giorgos

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Posted Tue, 02/27/2018 - 15:39
Michael

I have very bad shoulders, both have been dislocated more than once. Do you have any alternative work outs that I can replace in this plan to prevent shoulder injuries/ dislocations in the gym?

Thanks!

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Posted Sat, 03/17/2018 - 00:21
Michael

JoshEngland do you have any suggestions?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Mon, 03/19/2018 - 09:18
JoshEngland

Hi Michael,

Yes, but it's probably not going to be what you're hoping for.

I'd recommend working with a professional in person. They'll be able to watch you perform exercises and diagnose your movement patterns to make better exercise selections suitable for your individual capabilities.

It'd be very difficult to make blind recommendations over the internet and not fair to you as it could result in further injury down the road.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 02/27/2018 - 12:19
Michael

Hello, I work 14-16 hours days so it is hard for me to consistently do 4 days due to my erratic schedule. I belong to a 24 hour gym so is it possible to do two a days with this program if I only have 2 days out of the week to fit a workout in (upper and lower A on Mon morning/evening, and Wednesday morn/evening for the B workouts)? Will this change the diet plan proposed in the program?

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Posted Wed, 02/21/2018 - 13:04
Michel

JoshEngland can we do some supersets using these workouts?

JoshEngland's picture
Posted Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:51
JoshEngland

Hi Michel,

Sure, I don't see why not.

Hope this helps!