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.

291 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Tue, 04/07/2015 - 16:52
Toma

speaking of cardio how long do i need to warm up
Thanks!.

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Posted Wed, 03/18/2015 - 08:06
Prince

I have a few questions about this routine. By the way I'm a bit skinny and I want to lose my belly fats.

1. Is this routine applicable for me?
2. How many weeks to do this routine?
3. Was the main exercise is a drop set? 12,10,8,8?
4. And lastly, what do u mean by main exercise about 4 sets. Is it 4 x 12,10,8,8 or just only do the 12,10,8,8 without rest?

Thanks in advance.

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Posted Thu, 11/13/2014 - 06:06
Tomas Casiano

I see that there is no forearm exercises, what would you recommend?

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Posted Tue, 09/30/2014 - 03:52
Josh

Steve with this routine can I do Cardio just in the morning instead of doing it morning and evening?

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Posted Wed, 09/10/2014 - 03:22
Deepanshu Gulati

Hi Doug

My friend who is a girl has been doing the four days super set workout schedule for quite a long time but she has not been able to reduce the size of her legs as compared to her upper body and there is lot of non uniformity b/w upper and lower part..So would it be be advisale to go for legs twice a week or what is the way out to get her legs slim.

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Posted Sun, 06/08/2014 - 13:14
Luis

Hi, can I do this routine bit but with HIIT ??

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Posted Tue, 05/06/2014 - 18:09
Mark

The gym which I go to does not have a Hyper Extension machine or anything similar to be able to do that tri-set. Is there any workout recommended to replace that one in this case?

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Posted Wed, 03/12/2014 - 20:46
Linda

Is this routine also suitable for females helping to maintain definition and to tone, using light weights?

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Posted Wed, 02/19/2014 - 00:36
Justin

I might have missed it, but are we only supposed to incline press? No flat press..at all?!!

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Posted Mon, 02/03/2014 - 09:57
BarbellChestFlyes!

Just stick with a 3 day split and maintain the weight but drop the volume to 5x5
Chest/Tris
Back/Bis
Legs/Shoulders
ABCxABCx

Obviously add cardio in there and eat a NET calorie intake of around a 500 calorie deficit so you dont lose your muscle. Keep protein intak eup and sip BCAAs.

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Posted Sun, 12/29/2013 - 14:10
Deep Rathod

I want to reduce my love handles

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Posted Sat, 12/21/2013 - 19:50
Lennar

What do you mean tri-set x 3 don't understand

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Posted Tue, 10/22/2013 - 15:56
Ran D

This looks promising.

I'm a bit confused, however, with the warm-up sets. Take the very first exercise...
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Dumbbell Press - (15, 12*) 4 12, 10, 8, 8

The warm-up sets are the first two, so, that would be 15 and 12 reps each. There are total of four showing here. Does that mean that there are a total of 6 sets? (15, 12, 12, 10, 8, 8) It does seem like overkill. However, if there are only 4 sets, would that mean 15, 12, 10, 8?

Thanks in advance.

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Posted Wed, 10/16/2013 - 18:14
Matt a

I can only do morning casino on the weekends, can i add some more weights to make up for it?

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Posted Mon, 09/02/2013 - 15:35
robert

great routine quick question do I need to do the cardio mourning and night or the whole routine?

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Posted Tue, 08/20/2013 - 20:15
ricardo gonzalez

What does the (15,12*) mean after the exercises ie: Seated Dumbbell Press - (15, 12*)

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Posted Fri, 08/30/2013 - 03:00
So

warmup ....
First two sets on each body part is a warm up set indicated by * are warmup sets

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Posted Tue, 10/22/2013 - 15:58
Ran D

Those are supposed to be the warm up sets. Take a moment and read through the bullet points before jumping to the exercises.

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Posted Tue, 08/06/2013 - 18:32
Amir

Hey steve.
I need ur advice.Um following Mega cutting routine 6days a week and getting great results.This sight is a blessing for those who have vision to transform.Well i just finished MP Assult which gave energy for intence workout.i dont take breakfast i take lunch at 2pm then MP Assult at 3pm nd leave for gym.so can i stick to the same routine with Animal cuts…..(no MP Aussult).for example Animal cuts on empty stomach at 10am and then meal at 2pm then Animal cuts at 3pm then gym. Waiting for ur answere.

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Posted Fri, 08/02/2013 - 00:33
Luis Emilio Ele...

Can i change it to Chest-Triceps, Back-Biceps, Legs-Shoulders?

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Posted Wed, 06/26/2013 - 08:10
aye

what does this "failure" mean? and how many seconds of rest in each reps? thanks.

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Posted Tue, 06/11/2013 - 16:41
Sokha

Steve, can I substitute dead lifts for hyperextensions on back days?

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Posted Thu, 05/30/2013 - 16:49
eric

what does the 15,12* mean

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Posted Tue, 05/21/2013 - 18:13
josue

so let me see if I understand about the triset rest time. let say that for the EZ bar curl it says 3 sets of 10 to 12 reps. so that means that I should a set of 30 to 36 reps per exercise and then rest 60-90 sec. or do the set of 10-12 rest 60-90 sec. and on the last set of this do the 10-12 reps and without resting continue with the next exercise? please explain it because I really want to do this but im really confuse with the rest times.

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Posted Sun, 05/19/2013 - 23:43
IFTHIHAN

How long should I do this workout ?

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Posted Sat, 05/18/2013 - 19:28
ncon94

what would be a good exercise to use in place of the pec dec?

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Posted Sun, 05/12/2013 - 14:42
Zack

I am about to start training for a 10k race, first race I have ever run. I want to continue lifting, but wonder how strength training my legs will work in with consistently running miles for the first time. Any tips?

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Posted Tue, 04/23/2013 - 16:25
Dimitrije

Hi Steve is carb back loading a good diet for this type of routine? :)

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Posted Tue, 04/16/2013 - 19:35
Uriel

What does the 4-1-4 and 1-1-1 mean for tri sets and main exercises?

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Posted Tue, 04/16/2013 - 16:07
Uriel

I like the workout just started but I feel I'm not doing it right because of confusion. What's confusing is the 4-1-4 and 1-1-1 with tri sets, can someone help me with a better understanding on it?

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Posted Sun, 04/14/2013 - 23:48
Kevin

hey um, do I need heavy weights on this routine? I'm only 16 years old and I'm a beginner. :)

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Posted Sun, 04/07/2013 - 12:30
abdullah noorzad

i cant pump my full body

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Posted Thu, 04/04/2013 - 10:43
Ritesh

Hi, can this routine be reduced to 2days.
Focus remains the same : cuts and fat loss.
Thnx

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Posted Thu, 04/04/2013 - 10:31
Ritesh

Hi, can this be reduced to a 2 Day workout regime. Pls advise on the routine. Thnx

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Posted Mon, 03/18/2013 - 09:43
Donald

What does (15,12*) mean. We do 15 reps, thn 12 reps as warmup then do the other 4 sets as 12,10,8,8 etc? 6 sets for that exercise?

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Posted Tue, 10/22/2013 - 15:59
Ran D

I'm curious about the same thing. It seems like a total of 6 sets there would be overkill.

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Posted Sat, 03/09/2013 - 10:48
Jordan

Why is there only 1 shoulder exercise?

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Posted Thu, 02/28/2013 - 17:27
Bob

Does this mean I have to go to the gym 3 times a day? Morning and evening cardio and then lifting at some point? Who has time for this?

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Posted Fri, 02/15/2013 - 15:26
Duque

Great great great, it's really difficult but i feel the burn and my muscles working. When i finish i'm really tired but mentally i am very satisfied! THANKS

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Posted Sun, 12/23/2012 - 16:33
Tom

Solid regiment!!! I think the most critical part is to make sure you are hitting 4-1-4 timings. Thanks for the workout posting.

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Posted Sun, 12/02/2012 - 19:53
Colin

I'm trying to get back into a solid routine at the gym. I'm looking to lose weight but I'd also like to add some muscle mass. Would it be a good idea to do this workout until I drop weight and then switch to another workout?

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Posted Tue, 12/04/2012 - 18:20
mnsjason

Hey Colin!

I'd recommend that you focus on one goal at a time. You can't build muscle mass while also looking to cut weight, as building mass requires that you have a calorie surplus. You can certainly switch to a mass building program after you've reached your goal weight. There are plenty to choose from here: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workout-routines/muscle-building

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Posted Fri, 11/09/2012 - 16:46
Ed

Are the warm up sets counted as part of the total sets for the main exercises?

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Posted Tue, 10/16/2012 - 06:21
KevinCôté

Hi I just wanna say thank's so much for all thoses free informations. it's almost 5 years I'm trying so hard be be lean I was work out like crazy and my result was not en off more it's was just for short time I pay a lot of personal trainers. I lose so much time.My job it's i'm model but I started at a very at low level and sometime it's realy hard with the competition, nobody help you or ll give you some advices about how to do it .. they let you just fail ! I was in China 8 month's they feed me with mc donald work 12 to 16 h a day i was going crazy but I try my best fo survive and still rip..... but with all those thing fake there fake yogour fake egg ,,, so many Smg in the nuts ( almond) i finish my contract fat but i was 5 time a day in gym was realy hard .. after that I been in Singapore and the climat so hard to live. my agency ask me to be skinny and rip they said to me run so I started and I be more fat no carbs I try bean toffu fish low fat yogou white egg but whend you run too much and not wor you muscle you lose a lot a lot . .. Now I'm in korea and I discover your web site plus somes videos about to be lean n 12 I make some reserch cause now i greatfuly I can speak english .I'm a french Canadian from quebec montréall And this is my message too you! it's cause of some personne like you i will probalby one day obtain the fruit of my hard work all peace Kevin Côté ( Folio Montréal Agency )

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Posted Fri, 10/05/2012 - 13:05
Braden

I have a question regarding the warm up sets on Doug's Mega Cutting Routine.
I dont understand what it means by (15,*12) then it says 4 sets with reps of 12,10,8,8 next to it. For example on seated dumbbell press: am i doing a warm up set of 15 reps then 12 reps then moving on to the 4 other sets of 12,10,8,8? Or am i only doing a warm up of either 15 or 12 then moving to the 4 sets? I look forward to beginning this program, just before I do I need to know how these warm up sets work with the normal sets?

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Posted Thu, 09/20/2012 - 22:15
April

Wondering, what does "failure" mean? Thanks.

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Posted Tue, 09/04/2012 - 15:48
braden

This looks like a great program! I am thinking Ill follow this for 4 weeks, then switch it up, i like the progression of your workouts so i hope to find another program that you have created under strength training. Let me know if you have posted a strength training program as well, thanks!

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Posted Fri, 08/24/2012 - 15:34
Shelley

This routine looks great...I'm going to start on Sunday. Question...how important is it for women to work the chest if their not trying to get that "muscle builder" appearance?

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Posted Mon, 07/09/2012 - 23:55
Amin

3 Set 12,10,8,8 = means 3x12 and 3x10 and 3x8 and 3x8 ?
for Tri Set 3 (10-12) = means 3x10 OR 3x12 ? AM I correct?

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Posted Mon, 06/18/2012 - 22:17
Alexander Perea

Does anyone know if when I am working on the tri sets if more weight should be add anytime during the repetition sets? Should I always use the same weight for the duration of this routine?

Thank you in advance .