Fast Shred Program: 4 Day Compound Set Workout Split

Fast Shred Program: 4 Day Compound Set Workout Split
Tired of spending hours in the gym without getting the results you want? Try the Fast Shred program; a compound set workout to get you shredded & on your way!

Workout Summary

Lose Fat
Split
Intermediate
8 weeks
4
30-45 minutes
Bands, Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
Male & Female
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Workout Description

Do you want to get shredded?

Do you also want to cut down on the hours you spend in the gym on a weekly basis?

With summer right around the corner, I can’t say that I blame you if you answered yes to both of those questions.

I mean, who wants to spend all their time in the gym when they could be hanging out by the pool, shredded, soaking up that summer sun?

That’s why I’ve designed a sequel to the Fast Mass Program.

But instead of packing on size, we’re going to focus on shredding some body fat this go around.

Related: Tank Top Workout - 4 Day Muscle Building Split

Editor's Note: Make sure you’re doing all the right things you need to be doing to lose body fat. For those looking for a more in-depth resource to teach them how to lose fat, we’ve created a FREE 5 day Fat Loss Email Course.

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.

Sign up below today to learn and ensure you get the most out of this workout program.

Need help losing fat? Take our FREE 5-part email Fat Loss Course!

The Basic Component of the Fast Shred Program

In the Fast Mass Program, I introduced you to a time saving intensity booster known as the superset.

In this program, we (for the most part) traded out the superset for compound sets.

What’s the difference? I’m glad you asked. Supersets involve opposing muscle groups, for example you would superset a set of bicep curls with a set of dumbbell tricep extensions.

Compound sets involve the same muscle group. So, for a traditional back compound set, immediately after a set of barbell rows you might hit a set of pullups.

In the Fast Shred Program, I’ve done my best to strategically set up compound sets that involve a heavy lift followed by a set of a bodyweight exercises. This way, you can utilize a heavier weight for the weighted motion without fear of injury risk of a loaded second movement.

That’s not to say that a few compound sets, supersets and giant sets involving loaded exercises weren’t incorporated into this program, but it was avoided for the majority of the sets.

The compound set drastically increases the muscle’s time under tension, thus causing greater overall muscle damage. Combined with proper nutrition, rest, and recovery the end result should be increased muscular endurance and a greater amount of fat loss.

Day 1 – Lower Body
Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Squat 4 8-12
1b. Bodyweight Squat 4 12-20
2a. Dumbbell RDL 4 8-12
2b. Leg Curls 4 12-20
3a. Leg Press 3 8-12
3b. Reverse Bodyweight Lunge 3 10 each leg
Day 2 – Upper Body
Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Bench Press 4 8-12
1b. Pushup 4 12-20
2a. Barbell Row 4 8-12
2b. Inverted Row 4 12-20
3a. Lateral Raises 3 8-12
3b. Front Raises 3 8-12
3c. Rear Delt Raises 3 8-12
4a. 21's 3 21's
4b. Seated Tricep Extension 3 8-12
Day 3 – Off / Active Recovery / Abs

off (light cardio 20-40 minutes of walking for active recovery)

Day 4 – Lower Body
Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Barbell Deadlift 4 8-12
1b. Single Leg Toe Touch 4 10 each leg
2a. Front Squat 3 8-12
2b. Side Lunges 3 10 each side
3a. Leg Extension 3 8-12
3b. Leg Curls 3 8-12
4a. Standing Calf Raise 3 20
4b. Seated Calf Raise 3 20
4c. Jump Rope 3 1 min
Day 5 – Upper Body
Exercise Sets Reps
1a. Standing Dumbbell Press 4 8-12
1b. Band Pull Apart 4 12-20
2a. Dumbbell Row 4 8-12
2b. Pullup 4 12-20
3a. Dumbbell Incline Press 4 8-12
3b. Incline Fly 4 12-20
4a. Dumbbell Curl 3 8-12
4b. Rope Pressdown 3 8-12
Day 6 &7 – Off/Active Recovery/ Abs

off (light cardio 20-40 minutes of walking for active recovery)

M&S Female Athlete Performing Inverted Rows

FAQs

How Long Should I Take for My Rest Periods?

You won’t be taking any rest periods in between compound, super, or giant sets.

After you finished the prescribed reps for all of the exercises in a set, take between 60-90 seconds worth of rest before attacking your next set.

With that said, it is important to know your own ability and fitness level. If you need longer in between sets, take a little longer to rest in between sets.

If I Eat Properly and Do this Program, How Long Will It Take to See Results?

There are quite a few things that will determine your success with this program. Nutrition is indeed a key factor. For fat loss, you want to make sure you are in a caloric deficit. Find out your BMR here, then subtract ~250-500 calories away from that.

Other factors will include the amount of hours you get of sleep each night and how you spend your time recovering outside of the gym.

A good goal to aim for is about 0.25-0.5lbs of fat loss per week. Grant it, this will depend greatly on your current body composition and all of the factors listed above.

Related: How To Build A Fat Loss Meal Plan

What Should I Do For Abs?

Everyone wants a six pack for summer. Feel free to add in ab and core exercises to the tailend of these workouts or on off days.

Check out our full database of ab workouts here.

Can I Switch up the Order of the Workouts/Sub Exercises?

You’re more than welcome to tailor this program whatever way you see fit to better fit your needs and help you reach your goals.

With that said, be cautious about subbing exercises and switching the workout order. You want to make sure you are still able to recover properly from each workout as this is how you will inevitably see the results you want.

If you have any other questions, comments, and/or try the workout, let us know in the comments section below!

113 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Mon, 10/07/2019 - 07:54
J

What percentage do you move up each week or do you just stay the same weight?

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Posted Mon, 10/07/2019 - 11:25
JoshEngland

Hi J,

I'd move up 5-10lbs depending on the exercise whenever capable.

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Posted Wed, 09/25/2019 - 22:26
Jason

Hey Josh I just finished a power muscle burn workout but I feel as if it added too much mass to my legs. Would this fat shred workout help in leaning my quads out as well? I'm hesitant to do too much leg work because some of my trousers don't fit anymore!!!

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Posted Thu, 09/26/2019 - 10:42
JoshEngland

Hi Jason,

Lol - that's a genetic blessed. So many people would kill for that problem.

If you don't want big legs, I'd recommend training them less, not more. But, personally, I'd recommend investing in some better-fitted pants.

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Posted Sun, 06/23/2019 - 16:41
carlos

hello, I have a question please. I have about 11 percent of body fat and its summer over here.
my chest and arms are a bit lagging and i would like to have that shredded body. Would this program help me in gaining muscle and getting the nice toned body? I hope you understood me like, to have this toned muscular body and shredded. Thank you in advanced.

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Posted Mon, 06/24/2019 - 10:57
JoshEngland

Hi Carlos,

11% is pretty good! Yes, this program will help with those goals.

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Posted Mon, 06/24/2019 - 12:11
carlos

I would like to thank you for everything you are doing and all of your effort.

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Posted Wed, 05/22/2019 - 13:02
Jen Podnar

I lift in my basement and am planning on starting this workout. The only exercise I cannot perform is the leg press because I don't have that machine. Can you recommend an alternative for that particular exercise? Thank you.

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Posted Tue, 05/28/2019 - 14:57
JoshEngland

Hi Jen,

Any squat variation would do the trick in my books. Maybe pick a variation that is not already listed within the workout and add it in place of the leg press.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 05/14/2019 - 11:53
Scott J Smith

Okay so a 21 is a type of exercise but what lift am I actually doing here. A 21 can be used for any lift so it doesn't make a lot of sense here, I'm assuming since it is compound it is some type of tricep workout.

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Posted Tue, 05/14/2019 - 16:49
JoshEngland

Hi Scott,

It's a bicep curl 21. Sorry for the confusion there. I used supersets on arms. To me, a compound set didn't make a lot of sense there.

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Posted Wed, 05/08/2019 - 11:41
Iordache Radu

Hello. I m kind of new and i want to know if i need to do exercise a,b,c like a superset or i need to finish a, then b and than c, etc. Thank you

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Posted Wed, 05/08/2019 - 12:10
JoshEngland

Hi Iordache,

The letters represent circuits and supersets, yes. If you're new to the gym, I'd recommend one of these workouts: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/beginner

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Posted Thu, 05/02/2019 - 18:37
Lisa

Thanks for the great workouts, Josh! I chose Fast Shred because my primary goal atm is fat loss with muscle building a close second. I've been doing a 'super-slow' workout for a while (Once a week, full body. 1 set, taking a full 20 seconds to complete a rep, heavy enough to shoot for complete failure by 3 or 4 reps.) . I did that for 'least amount of work to maintain muscle" but now I'm ready to commit more time.

After making myself up a detailed chart to do Fast Shred, I read something in the questions that made me think I should do Fast Mass first... yes? No?
Appreciate your thoughts.
Thanks!!!
L.

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Posted Mon, 05/06/2019 - 12:08
JoshEngland

Hi Lisa,

You can do either or first depending on your goals - they both compliment each other very well. Best of luck with the programs!

Hope this helps!

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Posted Mon, 04/01/2019 - 02:57
Chris wolfe

How heavy should u go

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Posted Mon, 04/01/2019 - 09:12
JoshEngland

Hi Chris,

75-85% working max should be good. Finish each superset feeling as though you have 1-2 reps still left in the tank.

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Posted Wed, 03/27/2019 - 15:30
Alexandru Tita

Hi Josh,

Can you help me with a diet? It’s been 3 weeks and i dont see any difference in the mirror nor when i weight myself. Is it normal? Am I doing something wrong?
The only good thing is that i lift more kg now.

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Posted Wed, 03/27/2019 - 16:34
JoshEngland
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Posted Thu, 03/28/2019 - 07:54
Alexandru Tita

Thank you, I’ll check them out.
Also, can you help me with an abs workout? Atm I’m doing only planks, side planks and crunches.

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Posted Thu, 03/28/2019 - 08:42
JoshEngland

Hi Alexandru,

Those are definitely awesome options for training your core. Check out this program - I think it might help you build both core strength and definition: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/12-week-ab-workout-for-ab-def...

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Posted Tue, 03/12/2019 - 19:17
Chris

Hi, what are your thoughts on 20 minutes of cardio before the workout or a two mile run?

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Posted Wed, 03/13/2019 - 10:43
JoshEngland

Hi Chris,

I'd recommend it after the workout.

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Posted Mon, 03/18/2019 - 13:03
Chris

Thanks for the response. Also, what do you recommend for a warming up before each days workout?

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Posted Tue, 02/19/2019 - 19:09
Tanya

Well Josh,
I am now on week 7 of this and I’ve been pretty impressed with the results. Really like the no BS, simple approach.
I’ve been looking into your fast mass and SHUL.
If I wanted to give this (compound) another round, could I tweak it and load up heavy on the first/second sets while going down on reps and load down on the next 1 or 2 and go up on the reps?
Or rather move on to SHUL or fast mass?
Thanks for putting all the thought and work into this - after 7 weeks I see what you are doing there. Shuffling exercises for optimal results as well as not having to run from one side of gym to the other etc.
Solid program that I will definitely either repeat or use days from.

Tanya

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Posted Wed, 02/20/2019 - 09:31
JoshEngland

Hi Tanya,

So happy to hear about your success with the program!

I'm all about simplicity because it breeds consistency - and consistency is what breeds results.

You could definitely give this program another round by doing what you've suggested. And Fast Mass and SHUL are both solid options as well. It really depends on your goals at the moment.

If you're looking to increase strength - I'd definitely recommend SHUL. Fast Mass is a solid change of pace from this program that wouldn't require you to alter anything aside from the change in program itself.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Fri, 02/08/2019 - 12:33
Shelby Cartwright

If I wanted to add cardio to the end of every workout, what would you reccomend the intensity and length be?

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Posted Mon, 02/11/2019 - 10:43
JoshEngland

Hi Shelby,

I'd do 10 Mins of hiit with a 2:1 work to rest ratio.

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Posted Thu, 01/17/2019 - 16:26
Tanya

Let me tell you this is working out great. I can see now what all the hype about the deadlifts is.
Feeling 100x better overall after just couple weeks of these workouts.
As far as sets are concerned: can I start heavy on the 1st set and do a dropset for the next two? Or is it intended to stay with the same weight throughout?
Thank you.
Tanya

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Posted Fri, 01/18/2019 - 14:08
JoshEngland

Hi Tanya,

That's awesome! Congrats on the progress so far!

Sure, you could do that definitely. Either strategy is fine. Perform the sets in the way you feel most comfortable with, enjoy, and see results from.

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Posted Fri, 01/11/2019 - 09:05
Tanya

Josh,
Finished the first week and only have a couple of additional questions.
1. On the dumbbell rows, do I keep my hand parallel or perpendicular to my body?
2. My Lowe back sometimes gives me trouble. On the barbell deadlift and squats: if I’m feeling it too much, can I substitute with kettlebell?
Thanks.

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Posted Fri, 01/11/2019 - 14:30
JoshEngland

Hi Tanya,

Awesome! Congrats on 1 week down!

1. Keeping them parallel is preferred.
2. Absolutely! If it causes pain, find an alternative that doesn't.

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Posted Mon, 01/07/2019 - 13:26
Chris

Regarding the rest periods I want to make sure I'm interpreting this correctly:
"You won’t be taking any rest periods in between compound, super, or giant sets.
After you finished the prescribed reps for all of the exercises in a set, take between 60-90 seconds worth of rest before attacking your next set."

Does this mean:

One set of 1a and 1b and then rest,
- or -
All sets of 1a and 1b for the prescribed number of sets (4x8-12, 4x12-20) and then rest?

I was interpreting it the first way, but wanted to make sure I'm following the program correctly.

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Posted Mon, 01/07/2019 - 13:54
JoshEngland

Hi Chris,

Your first example is correct.

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Posted Fri, 01/04/2019 - 00:30
Tanya

Josh, please be patient with my ignorance- I will probably ask a few more questions as I go through the workouts over the next week for the first time: I looked over your other workouts and you are specific about naming the exercises.
So, Day 2 upper: “dumbbell row” takes me to a video showing a guy work one arm at a time.
Am I to do 10 on one, 10 on the other and then move to pull-ups?
Thanks.
Tanya

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Posted Fri, 01/04/2019 - 16:12
JoshEngland

Hi Tanya,

We all were new to working out at one point or another! Yes, that is correct. Perform 10 reps with each arm before moving on to the next exercise. You could also perform both arms simultaneously if you'd like.

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Posted Thu, 01/03/2019 - 00:37
Akshayavata

I need to lose fat . I am 80kgs and 164 cm is my height. Do I need to add cardio workout after every routine. If yes how much intense should it be.

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Posted Thu, 01/03/2019 - 08:58
JoshEngland

Hi Akshayavata,

No, not necessarily. Just be consistent with your workouts and diet for an extended period of time. You'll get there.

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Posted Wed, 01/02/2019 - 15:24
Tanya

Love what I am seeing in these sets.
A bit confused: when a weighted exercise is followed by body weight, I get it.
But there a weighted exercises followed by another weighted exercise (ie leg extension/leg curl or lateral raise/front raise).
What is the load supposed to be on the “b” exercise in that case?
Thank you so much.
Tanya

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Posted Wed, 01/02/2019 - 15:27
JoshEngland

Hi Tanya,

75-85% for the first exercise. 70-75% for the second.

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Posted Thu, 12/27/2018 - 08:55
Mikkel Bielefeldt

I really like this workout program and I'll start here when New Years start. But I've and running program going on right too, so I was wondering if I could some running times in here and there. It can be on workout days and off days.

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Posted Wed, 01/02/2019 - 12:27
JoshEngland

Hi Mikkel,

Yes, you can pair this workout with a running program.

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Posted Sun, 12/16/2018 - 19:34
Steve

Josh I workout and most times the gym is to crowded to do a workout line this. But this workout looks great so what would you suggest to someone who wants to do this workout like myself. Also what could you substitute for jumping rope because I suck at jumping rope. Thanks and keep up the good work

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Posted Mon, 12/17/2018 - 10:44
JoshEngland

Hi Steve,

You don't necessarily have to superset. This is just a way to get in more work.

So long as you're eating in a calorie deficit you'll lose fat. Or gain muscle if in a surplus. So long as the stimulus (the workout) is there.

Try something a little more basic like this workout: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/upper-lower-4-day-gym-bodybui...

Hope this helps!

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Posted Tue, 10/30/2018 - 12:38
Darwin

Hi Josh,

Is it ok to switch the upper and lower days?

Thanks

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Posted Tue, 10/30/2018 - 15:16
JoshEngland

Hi Darwin,

Yes, that should be fine.

Hope this helps!

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Posted Sat, 10/27/2018 - 18:44
Tj

Can i perform carido hiit on all days training? I dont wanna over due anything i want the right kind of workout to eliminate body fat as much as i can but dont wanna burn myself out. Thanks, tj

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Posted Mon, 10/29/2018 - 09:19
JoshEngland

Hi TJ,

You can add cardio to this program to help increase the amount of calories you burn, sure. However, it may or may not be necessary.

If you do decide to add in some cardio, I'd recommend something light and spaced out from your weight training session (perhaps do one in the morning and one in the evening).

Hope this helps!

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Posted Thu, 09/06/2018 - 02:10
Harry

Thanks. Is it ok to change the compound sets to super sets? Say the bench press with the barbell row and the push-up with the incline row? Or is there a better programme for doing that?