Fast Shred Program: 4 Day Compound Set Workout Split

Josh England
Written By: Josh England
March 17th, 2017
Updated: June 13th, 2020
720.1K Reads
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
  • Main Goal
    Lose Fat
  • Workout Type
    Split
  • Training Level
    Intermediate
  • Program Duration8 weeks
  • Days Per Week
    4
  • Time Per Workout30-45 minutes
  • Equipment Required
    Bands, Barbell, Bodyweight, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
  • Target Gender Male & Female
  • Workout PDF Download Workout

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!

178 Comments
Danielle
Posted on: Wed, 05/22/2024 - 20:31

I just did this workout and thought I'd share my results! First time doing an intermediate program but felt like I needed to challenge myself more since I've been strength training for 2 years. I was only able to complete this for 7 weeks but I lost 3 pounds and my upper body got super toned. I had to change some workouts as I couldn't do any pullups (not even the assisted ones in the beginning) But I saw a lot of progress. I'm going to come back to this one after trying another program out

Alex
Posted on: Tue, 05/07/2024 - 13:44

I've done 21s before but was wondering. Is it 21 reps per compound set for total of 63reps when done? Like 7,7 and 7 each set followed by the extensions?

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 05/22/2024 - 08:48

Hey Alex, I will try to put this in log form.

Set 1 - 21's (7,7,7) followed by Extensions
Set 2 - 21's (same) followed by Extensions
Set 3 - 21's (same) followed by Extensions

Hope this helps!

Alex
Posted on: Wed, 05/22/2024 - 12:11

Thanks, that’s what I figured and went ahead with it. Enjoyed the pump I got from it.

Jeremiah
Posted on: Wed, 01/10/2024 - 20:56

What are 21’s?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 01/11/2024 - 09:31

Hi, Jeremiah. They are a three-part exercise, mainly used for barbell curls.

7 reps from the bottom to the middle.
7 reps from the middle to the top.
7 full reps.
21 total, thus 21's.

Hope this helps!

Sumit Shinde
Posted on: Fri, 12/29/2023 - 23:46

Iam 33years old man my weight is 110kg and my height is 186cm can you give me weight loss program

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Roger
Posted on: Sat, 12/30/2023 - 20:33

We have plenty of them to choose from here. You can pick any of these based on your individual experience and schedule.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/how-to-choose-your-next-train...

David
Posted on: Sat, 09/30/2023 - 04:22

Sorry for the question but what’s 1a 1b etc etc ??

Thank you

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Roger
Posted on: Wed, 10/18/2023 - 11:07

When you see letters next to numbers, those are supersets or giant sets. You are to perform all the exercises consecutively before taking a rest. Hope this helps.

Jeannie
Posted on: Tue, 08/08/2023 - 16:08

Hi, so I'm a newbie and interested in trying this but all I have available to me is dumbbells ... Is there a plan to do this with dumbbells instead??
Thank you

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 08/22/2023 - 21:03

Not specifically for this one, but we do have several dumbbell workouts to choose from that will help you move forward on your fitness journey, Jeannie.

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/3-day-full-body-dumbbell-workout

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/dumbbell-only-upper-lower-wor...

https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/5-day-dumbbell-only-workout-s...

Sam
Posted on: Thu, 03/16/2023 - 10:30

Hi, thanks a lot for the program. I just want to know what can I swap the normal squat with. I have osteoarthritis in my knees, I can do a box squat but I am trying to find a solution for a normal squat. Thanks

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Roger
Posted on: Fri, 03/24/2023 - 21:06

My recommendation would be a box squat with knee sleeves on and talking to your doctor to determine how to proceed after. Hope this helps!

Rick
Posted on: Sun, 03/05/2023 - 10:12

For the core lifts being performed what percentage of our 1 rm should we be doing.

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 03/16/2023 - 20:57

1RM wasn't considered for programs like these, but if it helps, start with 65% of your 1RM and work up from there, depending on how challenging the weight is. You should be able to do no more than the prescribed rep range. If you can, go up in weight next time.

Mykel
Posted on: Mon, 02/27/2023 - 13:37

I find myself able to do about 12 on the 1st of the superset but not the prescribed bottom rep amount on the 2nd sets for example: I'll do bench press get 12 then get 12 pushups then I'll get 10 on bench press but 6 pushups, then on Barbell row with Inverted row.. I'll get 12 Barbell row and only 6 Inverted row when im supposed to get 12-20.. how should i got about this??

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Roger
Posted on: Mon, 02/27/2023 - 15:13

You could swap the movements you're weaker on so you do those first. That could help you bring the weaker movement up without negatively affecting your strength on the other. Also, it does take time for your body to get used to this kind of training, but you'll eventually see improvements. Good luck, and please let us know how it goes. Thanks for reading M&S!

Mykel
Posted on: Mon, 03/06/2023 - 14:20

Ok thank you so much

Amin
Posted on: Fri, 01/06/2023 - 01:47

4a. 21's (What is this Exercise ?

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 01/08/2023 - 12:56

21's are barbell curls you perform in three phases. 7 reps from the bottom to midpoint, 7 from midpoint to the top, and 7 full reps.

Thomas
Posted on: Tue, 04/11/2023 - 13:27

TY!

Harry
Posted on: Wed, 12/28/2022 - 07:21

What are 21’s?

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Roger
Posted on: Thu, 12/29/2022 - 10:28

21's are a three-phase set. You do 7 reps from the bottom of the rep to the halfway point. Then, you do seven from the midpoint to the top. Then, you do 7 full reps. You perform all of these in a row without rest. 7+7+7 = 21 reps total.

Harry
Posted on: Thu, 12/29/2022 - 11:07

What exercise?
Thanks.

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 01/08/2023 - 12:55

Barbell curls.

Jeremiah
Posted on: Wed, 01/10/2024 - 20:58

Thanks!

Pakiko
Posted on: Mon, 12/19/2022 - 18:00

Hello!
I've been using this workout program since July and still getting great results but now i think its time to change for another plan.
What do you reccomend next?

Cheer's

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Roger
Posted on: Tue, 12/27/2022 - 08:40
Stephen
Posted on: Sun, 07/24/2022 - 13:49

I’m entering my eight week of this program. I have has great success and all my compound movements have had significant increase in weight. What do you recommend for a deload week after and then also what program to start after?

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Roger
Posted on: Sun, 07/31/2022 - 11:07

A great deload week would be to do this program with 50-60% of the weight you've been using. Go by feel, and if you think you can go without all sets, then cut what you like.

As for your next program, what's your most important goal going forward?

Edwin
Posted on: Fri, 07/09/2021 - 10:10

I have a bad shoulder, so front squats hurt, can I substitute for hack squats or something else?

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Abigail
Posted on: Mon, 07/12/2021 - 09:54

Hey Edwin - yes you can do that.

JJ
Posted on: Fri, 05/14/2021 - 17:46

2a. Dumbbell Row
One Arm dumbbell row? If so, 4-6 reps per Arm or 8-12 reps per arm?!

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Abigail
Posted on: Mon, 05/17/2021 - 11:02

Hey JJ - 8-12 reps per arm

fitgirl
Posted on: Tue, 04/20/2021 - 16:31

Can cardio sessions be added to this program? Say on off days? Or even every day as long as it’s low impact?

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Abigail
Posted on: Wed, 04/21/2021 - 09:11

Hey fitgirl - yes, you can add in cardio to this plan. Make sure to have at least one complete rest day per week.

Anthony
Posted on: Fri, 03/12/2021 - 23:19

hi there!

I don't have a leg press or leg curl equipment available to me, can you please recommend an alternative lowerbody exercise for me?

available equipment :
- squat rack and bench
-cable machine
-dumbells

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Abigail
Posted on: Tue, 03/16/2021 - 11:35
Manuella A
Posted on: Mon, 09/21/2020 - 20:47

Hiya Josh,

Thanks so much for this, really looking forward to starting it next week once I finish this current plan I'm on. I was wondering, what would be an effective substitute for pull-ups? I can maybe just about get 1 full motion (if that) so will definitely be doing it on the assisted machine, but in case that is out of use at the time, what other exercises work the same muscle groups?

Again, thanks a lot!

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Abigail
Posted on: Wed, 09/23/2020 - 11:40

Hey Manuella - check out this article on 3 pull up progressions: https://www.muscleandstrength.com/articles/pull-up-progressions

Jerry
Posted on: Thu, 09/17/2020 - 15:32

Hi! Are the workouts the same during the 8 week period? Meaning will Day 1 working be the same every week?
Thank you

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Abigail
Posted on: Wed, 09/23/2020 - 11:39

Hey Jerry - you are correct. Day 1 - 7 will be repeated on a weekly basis for the 8 week period.

Sam
Posted on: Fri, 08/28/2020 - 22:15

I really like this routine; especially the first leg day! However, I can’t quite overload the leg press the way I want because I’m working at home and beat I can do is a resistance band. Do you think I’d be better off doing front squats or Bulgarians or something, since I don’t have a leg press at home?

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Abigail
Posted on: Wed, 09/23/2020 - 11:37

Hey Sam - so glad you like the workout! Weighted lunges or Bulgarian split squats would be a great alternative to the leg press.

C wolfe
Posted on: Fri, 08/28/2020 - 12:15

I'm about 30% body fat at 285lbs I would love to drop that would it be worth doing 4days in a row and add 2 or 3 days of body weight workouts or mixing the upper lower in between days with body weight

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Mike
Posted on: Fri, 08/28/2020 - 15:18

Hey C Wolfe - follow the program as it's prescribed. Dropping weight is more about diet than exercise. If you do this workout consistently on a calorie deficit you will drop pounds. Good luck!

Jake Huggins
Posted on: Thu, 02/06/2020 - 07:00

Hi josh can I do this in a 4day row as that’s how it would work out around my routine as I swim aswell? So could I do upper, lower, upper, lower

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JoshEngland
Posted on: Thu, 02/06/2020 - 10:38

Hi Jake,

That would be fine depending on your ability to recover.

John
Posted on: Fri, 01/10/2020 - 11:04

Why can I only see Week 1?