This 5 day routine is designed to retain muscle mass while stripping fat! It's a mixture of cardio and weight training.
Workout Summary

Workout Description

Doug's 5 day high definition routine is designed to increase muscle definition and burn bodyfat. A thorough cardio warm up at start of each day, stretches and cardio cool down at the end of the training session.

Workout Notes:

  • 2 Warm up sets to be completed on 1st exercise per bodypart. 1st warm up set at a very light weight, 2nd warm up set at approx ½ weight to be used in working set.
  • Cardio is low intensity for up to an hour twice per day; First thing in the morning before breakfast and evening time, at least 2 hrs before bedtime.
  • Abdominals are performed after each training session
  • 30 Seconds rest between sets

Abdominal Exercises:

As stated above, in this workout you should train your abs at the end of each session. Use these exercises:

Exercise Sets Reps
Decline Crunches 4 20-25
Hanging Leg Raises 4 20-25
Twisting Crunches 4 20-25

Recommended: Need help losing fat? Take our Free Fat Loss Course

5 Day Workout Schedule

You'll be working out 5 days each week and have 2 rest days. This workout is designed to have you hitting the gym Monday - Friday with Saturday and Sunday as your rest days. If you feel like you need a rest day during the week, you can workout Monday-Wednesday, have a rest day on Thursday, workout Friday and Saturday, and take your final rest day on Sunday. Below is the suggested workout schedule:

  • Monday - Arms
  • Tuesday - Legs
  • Wednesday - Chest
  • Thursday - Back
  • Friday - Shoulders
  • Saturday - Rest
  • Sunday - Rest

Doug's 5 Day High-Definition Routine

Monday - Arms

Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell Curl 4 20, 15, 12, 10
Dumbbell Curl 3 15, 12, 10
Concentration Curl 3 15, 12, 10
Lying Tricep Extension 4 15, 12, 10, 10
Rope Pushdown 3 15, 12, 10
Dumbbell Extension 3 15, 12, 10

Tuesday - Legs

Exercise Sets Reps
Squats 4 20, 15, 12, 10
Leg Press 3 15, 12, 10
Leg Extension 3 20, 15, 12
Leg Curl 4 20, 15, 12, 10
Straight Leg Deadlifts 3 15, 12, 10
Seated Calf Raise 3 15, 12, 10
Standing Calf Raise 3 20, 15, 12

Wednesday - Chest

Exercise Sets Reps
Incline Dumbbell Press 4 15, 12, 12, 10
Flat Dumbbell Press 3 15, 12, 10
Decline Dumbbell Press 3 15, 12, 10
Cable Crossovers 2 12
Incline Flys 2 12

Thursday - Back

Exercise Sets Reps
Smith Machine Barbell Row 4 15, 12, 10, 10
Bent Over Dumbbell Rows 3 15, 12, 10
Wide Grip Pulldown 3 15, 12, 10
Seated Rowing 3 15, 12, 10
Hyper-Extension 4 15, 12, 10, 10

Friday - Shoulders

Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Press 4 15, 12, 10, 10
Side Lateral Raises 3 15, 12, 10
Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly 3 15, 12, 10
Dumbbell Shrugs 3 15, 12, 10


Posted on: Sun, 07/31/2011 - 15:54

hi there, can someone please offer me some advice, i currently weigh 220pounds, would like to maintain my weight around the 200pound mark,need to shred but look big at the same time, dont know if that makes sense though, the wwe wrestler Randy orton has my goal physique, can this prgram help me? how long should i try it for? and how do i maintain but rip at the same time, wold appreciate any help.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 08/02/2011 - 18:58

Hi Jonathan,

You want to focus on two things to maximize results:

1) Pushing yourself in the gym. Using good form, always push yourself on every set. When you can perform the recommended number of reps for a set, add weight.

2) Eating to maximize muscle retention while cutting fat. Here are two articles that can help:

Posted on: Sun, 07/31/2011 - 05:37

hi, just wondering if you move the weight up after each set??

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 08/02/2011 - 18:57

Hi Alex,

Yes, move the weight up if you can.

Posted on: Sat, 07/30/2011 - 16:07

i dont know why but sometimes when i do twisting crunches i have pain in my neck and when happens i stop the exercise. Do you know why?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 08/02/2011 - 18:54

Hi Junior,

Hard to say. If it's a very sharp pain I would see a doctor.

Bigg B
Posted on: Fri, 07/29/2011 - 08:43

i'm 178 cm and 106 kgs , 4 months back i had joined the gym and at that time my weight was 119 . i want to follow your workout schedule can you please explain it further, i workout once in the evening.
1. when do to cardio (an hour twice per day) is it to be done before weights etc.and how long
2.pre workout cardio after workout cardio.
more questions to

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 08/02/2011 - 18:53

Hi Bigg,

Cardio is 2 sessions per day; First thing in the morning before breakfast and evening time, at least 2 hrs before bedtime.

Posted on: Thu, 07/28/2011 - 23:44

i am 20 years of age and i am 24 stone but i am very flexiable and can do cardio quite well for my weight,no body thinks i weigh that much wen i tell them as my height is 6foot 3, i have alot of natural body power and can lift heavy weight if fresh,i also do MMA and am quite good at this sport for my weight, i was advised to do full body works every day but now i want to split it up as above and focus on one muscle a day, i can not do the morning cardio but i will do 30mins after weights, do you recomend this for me?? i also work nights evry so ofton would u advise me to finshe shift in morning and goin to the gym and then working out then come and sleep? thank you for the work out please advise.


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Tue, 08/02/2011 - 18:52

Ho Joe,

With no previous experience gaining muscle I wouldn't recommend starting with this workout. You're better served picking one of the beginner workouts on the site:

Posted on: Tue, 07/26/2011 - 14:15

What is the best tone muscle workout? Can this t workout help me to tone muscles because i've been gyming for a year I get only size not muscles..

Posted on: Mon, 07/25/2011 - 11:10

I am a soccer player and I am trying to stay in the same shape and not really get big I want to lose a little bit of weight and i am trying to get ripped and cut but not put too much mass on me what would you recommend?

Posted on: Sun, 07/24/2011 - 15:36

Hey steve, I found this workout and it really looks like a good starting step for me. I have always lifted weights but never really got into a actual program. I am currently very overweight at a whopping 514 lbs. I am still very mobile and able to do a large amount of things. I will have to alter some of the moves in the weight lifting sections, but nothing I can't handle until more weight falls off. I'm just curious if I can do more than the current cardio on it. Along with other ways to really maximize my weight loss. Also would love to find a good eating plan if you know of any. Thanks for the tips and great article!

Dan Husband
Posted on: Sat, 07/23/2011 - 23:46

Hi steve i'm 22 and approx. 5ft4", and weigh 9st 11lbs (137 lbs) i perform very little cardio and focus mainly on weights training, but this isn't giving me the desired results. I'm struggling with my diet and i am planning on trying this routine out, as i have recently quit smoking, and the cardio will become easier.

I'm looking for definiton over size gains, is this routine right for me?
And could you give any advice on diet?

Posted on: Sat, 07/23/2011 - 19:28

Ok so this program is probably the closest to what I have come up with in my own mind as to what I would like to do. I am 6'3, and massively overweight lol. Just finally found a scale yesterday and I have hit the most awful feeling of 500 lbs. But I am solid built. I can still run , jump and all that. Just have a nasty case of plantar fasciitis in my right foot. So needless to say i'm looking to drop a overall goal 250 lbs to start with. Any tips to maximize the fat loss? I'm by no means unable to move so I must be just a big guy under all this stuff >< lol. Thanks for the help and great workout plan!

Posted on: Sat, 07/23/2011 - 13:44

Hey Steve,

Are all three ab exercises listed above (4 sets of 20-25) required at the end of each session? Or is it just one of your choice? Thx.

Posted on: Thu, 07/21/2011 - 03:01

hey, I really like your program. so far Ive been doing 55min of cardio after the lifting sessions and now I wanna add the morning cardio. I really dont want to lose any of my gains but I really wanna lean up. my question/concern is, can I really do up to an hour of low intensity cardio before ingesting any calories and only burn fat and not muscle?

Posted on: Wed, 07/20/2011 - 22:26

If you don't have time to do the low intensity cardio twice a day for up to an hour can you change that to high intensity cardio for half an hour and it be oK?

Walter Johnson
Posted on: Wed, 07/20/2011 - 19:59

Hi, Steve...I have a question for you...What kind of exercise can I do to reduce my hips,thigh,rear...I have arthritis in both my knees so it is kind of hard to do squats...I walk 2 miles every day(except Sunday) and I workout with weights 3 days a week. I am on 1500 Cal. Diet. I went from 320 lbs to now 270 lbs but still want to lose weight,but it is hard now due to my big areas below my stomach. I take Whey Protein 3 times aday. I am stuck at 270 seems that whatever I do now, I cannot lose more weight. I watch what I eat and limit my sugar and carbs.

Posted on: Wed, 07/20/2011 - 15:57

I am 5'7" female- 163lbs 30% body fat (puke)... I just started working out a week or 2 ago and would like to really hit it hard. My diet is lean and clean I just need to know what my weight/cardio workouts should look like. I'm getting married in 3 months and I want to see a NOTICEABLE difference in my body (the weight loss will happen regardless). I go to the gym 4-5x a week would this schedule be appropriate for me? I am really liking how the fitness models look and can totally see myself taking that route. I am willing to put in the work I am just one of those people who is scared of the weights due to not wanting to put on lbs vs. lose weight with cardio. But I want to be tight and tone/muscle definition.

Posted on: Wed, 07/20/2011 - 12:32

hey there, I really like your program. so far Ive been doing the lifting with the cardio at the end of my workout, and I finally wanna add the morning cardio session. Ive made some progress and i just want this fat gone but keep the lean mass that Ive fought for. my question and concern is, can i really do cardio up to an hour before ingesting any type of calories and not burn up muscle.

Darren Tully
Posted on: Wed, 07/20/2011 - 08:36


When it says 4 sets does it mean 15 Reps, 12 Reps, 12 Reps and 10 Reps equals 4 sets or do i need to repeat do 4 x 15 , 4 x 12, 4 x 12 and 4 x 10.

If you could clarify.

Thanks, Darren

Ryan Weber
Posted on: Tue, 07/19/2011 - 16:38

OK now I am doing this program for the next 8 weeks to get cut and lose some weight. After the 8 weeks I plan on training for a Half Marathon. You say light cardio for 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour after your weight lifting. What is considered "light cardio" like run 2 miles? jog for a full hour ? I'm confused on how hard I should be working because I have been doing 40 minutes on elliptical and doing approx 5.50 miles which is at 7.9-9.0 speed on the things. Am I working to hard and should be more focused on weight lifting ?

Posted on: Tue, 07/19/2011 - 14:20

I had a small question and I couldn't flip through everyone's post but for arms day should I 1st bicep exercise then 1st tricep followed by 2nd bicep exercise or should I follow as its printed. 3 biceps exercises then tricep then ab followed by cardio

Brad Griffiths
Posted on: Mon, 07/18/2011 - 16:12

HI Doug

Really enjoying your five high definition workout. I am doing the routines reps but instead of keeping the same weight i am adding weights on every set i do EG eight is the heaviest weight of the set.I am doing a pyramid on the high definition workout.

How will this effect the way my muscles grow. I was told a pyramid cuts you more, I have been doing weights for six yrs now. i have bulk but i want to drop some bulk and get more shape & cut. Is a pyramid the best way forward to achieve the above.

Thanks Brad.

Posted on: Mon, 07/11/2011 - 17:46

Hi, I plan on starting this routine this week, how long would it take for me to see results?

Posted on: Sun, 07/10/2011 - 11:20


can i do HIIT after workout and then dink protein shake.
Why not bench and incline press instead of dumbbell press.

Posted on: Fri, 07/08/2011 - 05:47

Hi Steve
I'm 6'1 and went from 100kg to 80 in less than 6 months, i haven't trained for 5 years so i was fat. I'm doing HIT consisting of 30 minutes for each type before weight training, mond wed and frid (treadmill, skipping) tues+ thurs (no weight training, static bike, treadmill and swimming) I train first thing in the morning (cardio then weights)
Now after reading your readers comments and your replies a bit i can tell that I'm skinny fat, overall tone is ok but abdominal area and sides are not as tight as i'd like due to rapid weight loss. I'm on a strict diet, 3 Egg whites (breakfast), turkey or chicken breast, few raw vegs plus quinoa (lunch) fresh mackerel, tuna or salmon with spinach (dinner) plus 'diet protein shak'e twice daily (after workout and mid afternoon), creatine and fatburner
My whole idea of going back to the gym is to get a beach body, not big or muscly just well defined and i really don't know which routine to do since I've been going to the gym for three months now and I dedicate plenty of time and energy to getting into my desired shape. I really like how your routine looks but i'm quite confused on what to do once someone has reached the skinny fat look.
Any advice on what routine to do? how long for? Am I eating too little? too much cardio?
Thank you very much for taking the time to read my rather long comment :-)

Posted on: Thu, 07/07/2011 - 12:32

I'm 6'2" and 175, I'm trying to get down to 165. How many calories should I be eating about while doing this routine?

Posted on: Wed, 07/06/2011 - 13:07

I'm 18 and have started working out so far its been eating less cutting out all junk food and doing push ups and sit ups. When I started this program i was 292 that was in March I am currently at 268 and I want to continue losing weight. Which of these toning work outs would best suit my weight loss goals, also is there any supplements that you would recommend that would assist me with losing weight

Posted on: Wed, 07/06/2011 - 06:13

I've been doing this routine for 5 weeks now doing pretty good lost 10 lbs but how long can i do this routine untill my muscles get used to it and i have to switch it up ? thanks

Posted on: Mon, 07/04/2011 - 00:27

Two questions. How much weight should I be using for cutting routines? Half of my max? And can I do low-intensity cardio in the morning and HIIT in the evening with this routine?

Posted on: Sun, 07/03/2011 - 15:50

hey, which dumbbell or barbell exercise can i use a replacement for the below:
Rope pushdown

Posted on: Sat, 07/02/2011 - 17:03

hey two more questions I have trouble doing dead lifts and squats with the correct form are there any other exercises you could recommend to replace those and when you wake up should you do cardio then take a protein shake or take a protein shake then do cardio

Posted on: Sat, 07/02/2011 - 15:41

How important is the cardio component what if I cant find time for it?

mark stephenson
Posted on: Fri, 07/01/2011 - 17:16

iv justed finished this program bein on it for 6 weeks i av made some good gains,eg leaner and more definition i would tell people to try it ,its hard so you will have to push your sen tho.good program thank you doug

Posted on: Tue, 03/06/2012 - 08:51

Hi there, glad that it worked out for you, actually am quite confused over the number of abs that i should be doing? 3 types of abs exercises and each of them having 4 sets of 25 reps - wow, that's like 300 abs per day? am i reading right? is that what i should be doing?

Thanking you beforehand and my apologies for..if ever. =)

Posted on: Fri, 07/01/2011 - 14:50

Should i train to failure on these sets.

Thanks Rob

Posted on: Thu, 06/30/2011 - 22:54

This is a great routine! But will this still bulk me up a little bit? I don't want to have a flat chest haha. Sounds silly but i don't. Mainly i just want to gain a little muscle mass on my upper body and look great! Will this do just that?

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 07/01/2011 - 16:25

Yes, you can certainly gain muscle if eating properly. Here is an article that can help.

Posted on: Thu, 06/30/2011 - 19:56

If I wanted to throw in pull-ups for a back exercise, which one should I replace it with? Or just do it in addition??

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 07/01/2011 - 16:24

Hi Mark,

I would use them instead of lat pulldowns.

Posted on: Thu, 06/30/2011 - 04:48

Please could you suggest an alternative for the 'cable Tricep extension' (monday - triceps) with dumbbell.

Posted on: Thu, 06/30/2011 - 02:13

I just started this workout; does anyone have a good diet to pair with it to help burn body fat? How many calories a day should I consume?
- Frank

Posted on: Wed, 06/29/2011 - 21:08

Is this workout suitable for women too? if you don't suggest it, is there another good 5 day a week workout you can suggest? Thanks.

M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 07/01/2011 - 16:23


Posted on: Wed, 06/29/2011 - 12:50


Reading thr programme says 4 sets of x,y,z but it that keeping the weight the same each set or going up the weight and dropping the reps as it shows above?

Thank you


M&S Team Badge
Posted on: Fri, 07/01/2011 - 16:22

Hi Gareth,

In general you will need to increase the weight from set to set.

Posted on: Sun, 07/03/2011 - 07:01

Thanks Steve!! That is what I thought :) I look forward to starting this routine tomorrow going to be a nice shock to my body and will deaf help get back into shape and help in a few months time when go back to power lifting routine!!



Posted on: Wed, 06/29/2011 - 08:15

Steve,Iam 25 years old and motivated moe than ever been since i was 19 years old to get back in some good shape. iam about 5ft7in tall and weigh about 225 lbs i really wanna lose some weight and tone my body up . is this a good workout routine for me ? or should i look for somthing else! also, is there any diets you would recommend ?